eWestern BirdsThe Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists
Vol. 43, No. 3
Western Field Ornithologists
Fall Bird Migration on Santa Barbara Island, California
Nick Lethaby, Wes Fritz, Paul W. Collins, and Peter Gaede
ABSTRACT: Between 2001 and 2011, we made 15 visits during the fall migration period to study bird migration on Santa Barbara Island, off the coast of southern California. We kept daily records of the composition and numbers of migrants, which are summarized in this paper and compared with compiled records of previous sightings from Santa Barbara Island. The area of the island most attractive to migrant land birds is the stand of the shrubs Coreopsis gigantea and Eriogonum giganteum compactum near North Peak. Both overcast skies and Santa Ana winds favor migrants’ reaching the island, whereas northwest winds disfavor it. The island’s isolation, small size, and limited vegetative cover make it an ideal location for observing daily changes in the composition of migrating birds.