Welcome to Siliconvalleybirding.ORG, the place to connect with others interested in birdwatching in Santa Clara County. Here you will find resources to help you find the best birds in the best birding places in the county.

This is also the home to the South Bay Birds and South Bay Birds (Events) mailing lists and the Silicon Valley Birders Facebook group, where you can talk to  other birders in the county and share with them your sightings and explore the birds and locations they report in. See the subscription page for information on how to join.

We’ve also collected resources that will help you find the most popular birding locations in the county and find our most interesting birds. Curious about what species you can find in the county? Check out the county checklist managed by Bill Bousman and SCVAS. Looking for a specific species of interest? Look at our list of interesting county birds for hints on where to find them.

Birding Locations in Santa Clara County

This map will help you locate the birding locations commonly used in reporting sightings on the SBB list. 

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society

We are affiliated with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, a local organization that does education, outreach and conservation advocacy within the county to protect and improve bird habitats. Interested in learning more about birding? Join one of the expert-led group outings around the county. Want to learn more about birds or become a better birder? Want to get involved in protecting birds and their habitat around the county? Then consider taking a class, going on an outing or getting involved with SCVAS.

South Bay Birds Mailing Lists and Facebook Group

For those of you wanting to get involved with us, we have to places where we communicate with each other:

South Bay Birds [SBB]: The South Bay Birds mailing list is where we report sightings and share information about outings and birding locations. Subscription instructions are below.

Acceptable Content

The primary content for SBB is where you went and what you saw. Please report only Santa Clara County locations, other counties have their own mailing lists for trip reports. We discourage general discussion on South Bay Birds, for that we’ve created a Facebook group (see below).

Occasionally the administrator will post an Advocacy digest — no more than once a week, and more typically, once or twice a month. This digest contains topics that are not typically posted to the list but we feel are of interest to the readers of SBB and are important enough to warrant posting to the wider audience. These messages will be tagged with the word “Advocacy” in the subject so members who aren’t interested can delete or filter them if they choose. Topics posted as Advocacy messages typically include updates on important Advocacy activities by Santa Clara Valley Audubon (SCVAS) and SCVAS volunteer activities.

Unacceptable Content

Please do not post notices of upcoming events to SBB. SBB-Events should be used for that purpose. If you are interested in knowing what events are being offered by SCVAS and other county bird-oriented organizations, we encourage you to subscribe to this list (see below).

Please do not post carpooling requests for events to SBB. We request they go to the Facebook discussion group.

South Bay Birds (Events) [SBB-Events]: The South Bay Birds (Events) mailing list will send you information about events happening in Santa Clara County. This list is moderated and posting to this list is restricted to approved representatives of county organizations that sponsor bird-related events. If you are interested in attending events and outings put on by Santa Clara County Audubon and other bird-oriented organizations, South Bay Birds Events is your resource to find out what’s happening.

Silicon Valley Birders on Facebook: this Facebook group is run by Brooke Miller, and is for general conversation about topics of interest to Silicon Valley birders. That might include sharing photos, discussions about environmental or advocacy issues, and anything else of interest to our group. To join this Facebook Group, please follow this link.

Please note that you can’t post to South Bay Birds or access the archives without subscribing, and you can’t view the Facebook group unless you are logged into Facebook, or post to the group unless you’ve joined it as a member.

Subscribing, Unsubscribing or changing your Email Address

South Bay Birds now lives on the groups.io mail list system. We no longer use Yahoo Groups. To find the main page for the list, please go to these URLs:

To subscribe to the list use the form below to get started. It will email you to confirm the subscription and then you’re set. To change your subscription, log onto the site at the URL above; the first time you do it’ll have you set a password.

Posting to South Bay Birds

  • To post a message to South Bay Birds, send an email to southbaybirds@groups.io. You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
  • Please use a Subject that describes what the email is about, including species and location as appropriate.
  • Please sign your message with your name and your home location (as in “Chuq Von Rospach, Santa Clara”). We feel it’s important for everyone on this list to be communicating to each other as people, and so users who refuse to identify themselves may lose the ability to post to the list. Your home city is useful to us when we create the Notable Sightings for SCVAS’s newsletter, The Avocet, and for listing on the SCVAS Website.
  • Please consider the welfare of the birds before posting, especially about the location of nests. Are they at risk of vandalism or abuse? Is it a species that’s considered Threatened or Endangered? If so, it might not be appropriate to disclose the location. If you aren’t sure, contact the list administrators and we’ll help you with the question.
  • Because there is still a black market for eggs among some falconers, we request everyone be very discrete about disclosing locations of raptor or owl nests.
  • Photos and Attachments are not allowed on the list. If you want to show the group an image, please host it somewhere and include a URL to it in the email.

Posting to South Bay Birds (Events)

South Bay Birds (Events) is a fully moderated list and only representatives of Santa Clara County Audubon and other authorized groups are allowed to post to the list. If you have an event you want to have posted to the list, or if you are with a group you think should have permission to post to this list, please email chuqvr@gmail.com.

South Bay Birds Code of Conduct

The birds we watch should be our primary concern. As birders we need to be sensitive to their needs and not do things that put the birds or their habitat at risk.

We believe all birders should act as ethical birders. Your personal year list or that special photograph puts the bird at risk or cause its nest to fail. Because we expect all birders to act ethically around the birds that bring them joy, we expect that of the birders who are on our list as well. We have written up some ideas of what it means to be an ethical birder, and list links to other resources on ethical birding as well. Please read them and act to put the bird’s needs ahead of your own. If we find out that members of the list are putting birds or their habitat at risk, those members may lose access to the mailing list and its resources.

We also believe that members of the list should treat each other properly. We are a firm believer of the Rands Leadership code of conduct. The short version of that reads:

Be respectful of other people; respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered; respect privacy; understand we’re mostly not-for-profit; and if you can’t resolve an issue then contact the Administrators. If you are being a problem, it will be apparent and you may be asked to leave South Bay Birds.

The longer version of Ethical Birding above has a lot of good information on how to behave in online group situations. I encourage you to read it and consider the suggestions it makes.

Resources on Ethical Birding