Ornithology Resources | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

The Museum's Ornithology Collections Manager, Kimball Garrett, in the Ballona freshwater marsh.
Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFollow us on FlickrFollow us on YouTubeFollow us on PinterestFollow us on Instagram

Nature in L.A. Blog

Follow the Nature in L.A. blog to keep up on research, community science, and the latest urban nature stories from around the city, as told by NHMLA scientists who live and study in L.A.
Nature in L.A.​

Ornithology Contact Information

General Inquiries and Collection Information

Allison J. Shultz, PhD
Assistant Curator, Ornithology
(213) 763-3378

Kimball L. Garrett
Collections Manager
(213) 763-3368

Our mailing address:
Ornithology Department
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90007 USA

Curator’s Cupboards

These special weekend events are your chance to meet members of our curatorial team, ask your own questions, and get a first-hand, up-close look at many amazing curiosities of our collections.
Learn more >


Ornithology Resources

On this page you will find further information about birds inside and outside the Museum. Revisit us often as we continue to add material about ornithology, local birds, and resources from our collections.

Birds of the Exposition Park area, Los Angeles

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has made Exposition Park its home since 1913. The Museum has changed over the decades, and so has the surrounding landscape. Originally an alluvial plain with nearby seasonal river channels, this part of Los Angeles later became agricultural, then saw low density urban and industrial development. In recent decades Exposition Park has been surrounded by miles of residential and commercial areas with quiet tree-lined streets and busy boulevards. The open spaces in the park and the park-like settings of portions of the adjacent campus of the University of Southern California have proven attractive to birds. Ornithology Collections Manager Kimball Garrett and others have kept track of bird sightings in the Exposition Park area since the early 1980s, and publications, collections, and field notes of various observers provide us with some information on the area's avifauna in earlier years.

See a PDF version of the
Complete List of the Birds of Exposition Park

The most familiar and commonly-seen birds of Exposition Park area are:

Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis

Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii

Western Gull, Larus occidentalis

California Gull, Larus californicus

Rock Pigeon, Columba livia

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, Brotogeris chiriri

White-throated Swift, Aeronautes saxatalis

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna

Allen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos

Common Raven, Corvus corax

Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus

American Robin, Turdus migratorius

Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos

European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata

Brewer's Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus

House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus

The complete list includes 170 species, including 160 native species and 10 non-native species; many of these species have occurred only one or a few times as scarce migrants.

Birds of Los Angeles County

With 523 bird species recorded within its boundaries and offshore waters, Los Angeles County is among the most ornithologically diverse regions in North America. Currently we are roughly tied with San Diego County, California for the honor of the being the U.S. county with the most bird species. For several consecutive years, L.A. County has won the "America's Birdiest County" competition in which teams of birders scour a county in late April or early May to see how many bird species they can find in a 72-hour period.

Avifauna of Los Angeles County

Wild Parrots in California

Researchers at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have taken the lead in studying the populations of various species of parrots and parakeets in California since the early 1990s. All of the 10 or more established parrot species in California were originally brought here for the pet bird trade. Naturalized populations (some numbering hundreds or even thousands of individuals) now thrive in urban and suburban landscapes, taking advantage of a variety of exotic trees and shrubs that provide fruit, seed, and nectar resources throughout the year.

More information about wild parrots in California, including identification guides, summaries of our research, and an online submission form for sightings, may be found at the California Parrot Project.