Birdwatching at Galileo Hill


Geese at sunset Running north and south along the length of California and extending north into Canada and south into Mexico is an aerial highway for birds known as the Pacific Flyway. Along this “flyway” birds find a wide range of terrain ranging from lush, friendly coastal areas to inhospitable desert ones.

As human development expanded, beginning in earnest back in the 1960’s, many new habitats and stop-over areas were created for birds in the form of parks, golf courses and water features. Birds seemed to welcome these new “rest areas”, especially the ones who had been blown off course and might otherwise have struggled to regain their normal routing.

People are usually surprised when they discover that the California City area is one of the top birding spots in southern California. In fact, neighboring Galileo Hill, at Silver Saddle Ranch, has a record of over 350 species of birds recorded there since bird watchers began flocking to the area back in the 1980’s. The oasis like setting of Galileo Hill has become a regular stopping point along many migration paths and there has even been the occasional spotting of rare or endangered species by some lucky birders.

Note: As of December 2016 SSR&C has a Master Falconer on occassion. Read more...

A few resources including pictures of the birds found here:!birding/ba68x!california-city/khkda

A few of the birdspecies spotted around Galileo Hill include.


Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose 
Ross' Goose 
Cackling Goose 
Canada Goose 
Tundra Swan 
Wood Duck 
Eurasian Wigeon 
American Wigeon 
Blue-winged Teal 
Cinnamon Teal 
Northern Shoveler 
Northern Pintail 
Green-winged Teal 
Ring-necked Duck 
Lesser Scaup 
Hooded Merganser 
Common Merganser 
Red-breasted Merganser 
Ruddy Duck 
California Quail 
Gambel's Quail* 
Pied-billed Grebe 
Eared Grebe 
Western Grebe 
Clark's Grebe 
American White Pelican 
Double-crested Cormorant 
American Bittern 
Least Bittern 
Great Blue Heron 
Great Egret 
Snowy Egret 
Cattle Egret 
Green Heron 
Black-crowned Night Heron 
White-faced Ibis 
Turkey Vulture 
White-tailed Kite 
Bald Eagle 
Northern Harrier 
Sharp-shinned Hawk 
Cooper's Hawk 
Northern Goshawk 
Red-shouldered Hawk 
Broad-winged Hawk 
Swainson's Hawk 
Red-tailed Hawk 
Ferruginous Hawk 
Golden Eagle 
American Kestrel 
Peregrine Falcon 
Prairie Falcon 
Virginia Rail 
American Coot 
Sandhill Crane 
Semipalmated Plover 
Black-necked Stilt 
American Avocet 
Greater Yellowlegs 
Lesser Yellowlegs 
Solitary Sandpiper 
Spotted Sandpiper 
Semipalmated Sandpiper 
Western Sandpiper 
Least Sandpiper 
Baird's Sandpiper 
Pectoral Sandpiper 
Short-billed Dowitcher 
Long-billed Dowitcher 
Wilson’s Snipe 
Wilson's Phalarope 
Red-necked Phalarope 
Red Phalarope 
Bonaparte's Gull 
Ring-billed Gull 
California Gull 
Herring Gull 
Caspian Tern 
Common Tern 
Forster's Tern 
Least Tern 
Black Tern 
Rock Dove* 
Band-tailed Pigeon 
Eurasian Collared-Dove* 
White-winged Dove 
Mourning Dove 
Common Ground-Dove 
Ruddy Ground-Dove 
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
Greater Roadrunner 
Groove-billed Ani 
Barn Owl 
Flammulated Owl 
Western Screech-Owl 
Great Horned Owl 
Burrowing Owl 
Long-eared Owl 
Northern Saw-whet Owl 
Lesser Nighthawk 
Common Nighthawk 
Black Swift 
Vaux's Swift 
White-throated Swift 
Black-chinned Hummingbird 
Anna's Hummingbird 
Costa's Hummingbird 
Calliope Hummingbird 
Rufous Hummingbird 
Belted Kingfisher 
Lewis' Woodpecker 
Acorn Woodpecker 
Williamson's Sapsucker 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Red-naped Sapsucker 
Red-breasted Sapsucker 
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 
Nuttall's Woodpecker 
Downy Woodpecker 
Hairy Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker 

Silver Saddle Ranch & Club
California City, California