Birdwatching at Our Reservoirs

Sweetwater and Loveland Reservoir property support diverse bird populations. This is largely due to the range of habitats of these sites, including open water, mud flats, freshwater marsh, riparian forests, grasslands, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub, and proximity to the Pacific Flyway for migratory species. 

Types of Bird Species

Over 250 bird species that have been documented on and immediately adjacent to the Sweetwater Reservoir and over 125 species at Loveland Reservoir. Some of the more common species are listed below. Sweetwater Authority welcomes these birds and other wildlife, including their habitats, as a part of our stewardship of the natural watershed that helps keep reservoir water quality high and supports the balance of human and environmental needs. Some species are even protected in preserves on the properties that we manage, such as the endangered federally and state endangered least Bell’s vireo and federally threatened California gnatcatcher

Public Access Areas

Whether it be from site or sound, many of these birds can be found from public access areas at the Sweetwater Reservoir or Loveland Reservoir Fishing Program shoreline areas. Please note current hours of each program. Public access areas are subject to closure at any time due to elevated fire conditions, Red Flag Warnings, inclement weather, staffing shortages, or any other safety concerns. 

Plan Your Visit

Bring binoculars, a bird guide, and notebook if wanting to keep a list, or just come enjoy the sights and sounds. Please contact our staff Biologist at (619) 409-6814 if you have any questions or want to share an interesting wildlife account.

Illustration of Sweetwater Authority watershed and facilities
Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo Bellii Pusillus)

Additional Resources

San Diego Audubon