Sterling's California County Birding

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  This site contains a downloadable spreadsheet with lists of native, non-introduced species that have been recorded in each county in California.  The spreadsheet was created by John Sterling in order to provide the birding community with an easily-accessible single source of county lists.  Many published county lists serve as sources.  Bruce Deuel reorganized the species order to follow the updated taxonomic order and has been instrumental in helping to maintain and upgrade the spreadsheet by systematically reviewing the lists and the literature.   We have also received valuable input from a variety of birders that are referenced in the updates webpage.  

Excel97\2000   Download here

    The spreadsheet is simple to use for keeping one's own county lists in a convenient format.  The quality of the individual county lists vary as they were garnered from a variety of sources including: previously compiled county lists, "American Birds", "Field Notes", "North American Birds", various regional books, personal communications with county experts and other sources.  Unfortunately, only a few counties have up-to-date, "official", published lists.  Many counties currently lack much information, therefore their lists are incomplete in that some species that should be deleted or added.  Species have not been added simply because they "ought to have occurred there".  Care has been given to only include species for which there was some sort of a record--either unpublished or published, although some of these have been or may be retracted due to re-evaluation by local county editors.

    This spreadsheet will be updated or corrected as we receive more information.   Extinct/extirpated species, such as Sharp-tailed Grouse and California Condor that have not been recorded in a particular county since 1960 have been deleted from that county list.  Also, green cells refer to species that are rare in that particular county--but beware that this process of identifying the rare species is not yet complete! Any help that you can provide will be acknowledged. There are no set criteria for determining what is "rare", but generally refer to "vagrants" that are far out of range and locally-rare species that are not recorded annually in the county. Zeros refer to species that have been recorded in a county, blanks indicate the lack of a record known to me.  

    Also, I added, for your information, a few subspecies that may be split in the future (2 species were already split by the British Ornithologists' Union--teal and  whimbrel/hudsonian curlew) as well as a few other species that are on the supplemental list or not [yet?] endorsed by the California Bird Records Committee.  I add them so that birders can keep track of these records and are not meant to endorse the validity of any of these splits or records!!!  If you don't like them, then simply delete them from your file.

For updates up to September 21, 2001 version "old updates page".

Please send corrections and additions to John Sterling at or Bruce Deuel.  Your input would be very much appreciated and will be added to the updates page.  Hopefully in the near future, this spreadsheet will have complete and accurate species lists (following the above guidelines) for all 58 of California's counties.  Updated 6/11/2012