Enjoy bird watching in American Canyon! American Canyon in the Napa Valley is fortunate to be nestled among an abundance of natural habitat, greatly adding to the quality of life of our citizens and welcomed tourists. The wide array of terrain types in such a relatively small area makes A.C. and its surrounding lands perfect for observing wildlife, and bird watching (birding) in particular.
We’ve created this primer on the outstanding benefits to birding, how easy it is to get started, and a couple resources for you to use to get out and explore American Canyon with new eyes!
Starting with the mind-body, birding is fantastic for physiological health as it gets participants out of the house. Walking outside in the fresh air is great for cardiovascular health, particularly when heading to viewing locations that require a healthy hike. On the mental health side of things, the great outdoors is a natural prescription for lowering stress while lifting spirits. Birding increases both mental alertness and patience helps with memory and has a knack for instigating contemplation and introspection. There is also the social aspect, bird watchers tend to integrate into established bird watching communities, travel more, and get involved with conservation efforts.
The great thing about birding is you can start once you go outside. No matter where you end up in AC, you have an opportunity to sight a bird you haven’t seen before. We suggest The American Canyon Wetlands as an area in prime birding real estate with the 80+ species of birds that call it home from September to May. Be it a simple stroll on the paths along Wetlands Edge on the western portion of the town, or a hike on any of the trails further west into the Wetlands, you are certain to find what you’re looking for be it pelicans, mallards, hummingbirds, doves, gulls, warblers, and more. Partially integrated with The Wetlands, The Napa River is another good source for bird watching opportunities, especially if you’re interested in getting out on the water and dropping anchor on a gorgeous day. For bigger birds The Newell Open Space Preserve, just east of American Canyon, offers bird watching at elevations of up to 800 feet above sea level which provides good opportunities for raptor viewing, such as golden eagles and hawks, alongside the smaller birds that call the rolling grasslands of the Open Space home.
Becoming a bird watcher is easy as you’re already equipped with the two most important pieces you need: your eyes and ears. Of course, as you get more involved you may want to pick up some items to enhance your vision and provide comfort. Binoculars are a bird watchers best friend, as is a pack with water, food, bug repellent and sunscreen. Don’t forget your hat, hiking shoes, and it’s typically best to dress in layers. Gear can be found at our local Costco and Walmart.
Birds of a feather flock together and the same can be said for bird watchers. You’re sure to meet like-minded friends out on the trails and bird watching clubs like the Napa Solano Audobon lead groups for special bird watching excursions that you may not otherwise experience on your own accord. Be sure to head to their site to learn about upcoming events, resources such as a collection of over 600 bird calls to listen to, and gather tips. Great for taking your personal birding experience to new heights! To get you started, here’s their checklist for common birds of Napa County. Be sure to print that and keep a copy on you when you head out.
There’s a pronounced effect to going out into nature and observing life unfold without making an impression upon it, one of the great lessons of birding. From viewing the full life cycle in front of your eyes to catching a glimpse of a majestic, colorful animal going about it’s routine, to listening to their beautiful song, there’s plenty of magical moments to experience amongst birds and more than ample benefits to which you’ll be rewarded. Get out there and observe the birds of American Canyon!