Birds and Peacocks on the Palos Verdes Peninsula


Birds and Peacocks

on the Palos Verdes Peninsula

Where to See

You are a bird watcher visiting Southern California, and you want to go bird watching. Where do you go? One local hotspot is South Coast Botanic Garden located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Somewhat overlooked by tourists, this is a birding hotspot for locals. Often rare birds are sighted such as Mississippi Kates, Scott's Oriole, and even a Summer Tanager.

The better- known National Audubon Society’s Palos Verdes Important Bird Area (IBA) is a birding hotspot for the Elegant Tern. This is also an open water habitat for fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism recreation.

Types of Birds

The Audubon Society conducts bird watching tours on selected Sundays and Wednesdays. This is a visitor's chance to get acquainted with the different bird species that are found in the Botanic Gardens. With over 300 species of birds to be observed and photographed. Some varieties of birds to be found there are: Spotted and California Towhees, Northern Mockingbird, Common Raven, Dowdy Woodpecker, And many more. Of course, there are the Peacocks of Palos Verdes Peninsula.

A Little History

The accounts vary as to how the peacocks actually came to inhabit Palos Verdes Peninsula. One fact that is not disputed, that a businessman named Baldwin imported a flock of Peacocks from India in 1879. In 1927 Baldwin's daughter gifted 16 peacocks to a Palos Verdes resident named Vanderlip. One can say the rest is history.  Palos Verdes Peninsula s not the only location in southern California, in La Canada a debate has been raging for decades as what to do with the peacocks.

Lately, residents have been complaining to local authorities about the birds. It seems the birds tend to leave droppings everywhere, they peck paint off cars, destroy gardens and flower beds, and have become an all-around nuisance.

Some people choose Palos Verdes Peninsula to live because of the wild peacocks. They thought the birds a beautiful addition to a great place in Southern California to live. The city council in 2015 approved a plan to allow the peafowl to be trapped and relocated.


Palos Verdes South Bay Audubon Society

It seems that 100 years ago a favorite Christmas season activity around Palos Verdes Peninsula was the Christmas Side Hunt. It was a contest for hunters to shoot as many birds in one day as they could. A man named Frank Chapman took exception the senseless killing of birds and organized the Christmas Bird Census in 1900. It didn't take long, and the idea caught on, now they count birds not shoot them.

On December 23, 2017, the South Bay Audubon Society held the 51st Annual Palos Verdes Peninsula Christmas Bird Count. The count circle has a 15-mile diameter with the center point being Palos Verdes Reservoir.


South Coast Botanic Garden

Also located in Palos Verdes Peninsula the botanical gardens host bird watching tours on selected Sundays and Wednesdays. The tour starts at the Visitors Center with a paid admission, adults $9, seniors $6, and children 5-12 $4. Don’t miss the Faries vs. Trolls exhibit, running through 8/31/19.

Point Vicente Park

This is an excellent place to watch seabirds, gulls, and terns, located on the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes.