A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

(Unless otherwise indicated, all phone numbers are in the 707 area code)


Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, Santa Rosa 95403

Location aliases: Officially called Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, but often referred to as Shiloh Regional Park or simply Shiloh Park.

©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, GeoEye, Map data ©2011 Google

Location: 5750 Faught Rd., Santa Rosa CA 95403

GPS address: 5750 Faught Rd., Santa Rosa CA 95403

GPS Coordinates: 38 31 30N, 122 45 46W

Access: The main entry is at Faught Rd., near its intersection with E. Shiloh Rd., in northeastern Santa Rosa, southeast of Windsor. Heading east on the Shiloh Rd. exit from Hwy. 101 will take you right to Faught Rd.  There is a $7 parking fee, but Sonoma County Regional Park annual pass holders park free ($65 at the time of writing).

Habitats: An 850-acre park with extensive walking trails through a wide variety of habitats including open grassland and brush, creekside brush, a reservoir area, mixed conifer forest, oak woods, and other wooded areas. The “Ridge Trail” returning by way of the “Big Leaf Trail” is a loop of about three miles. Adding the “creek Trail” extends the walk another half hour or so.

Typical Species: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White-tailed Kite, Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Wild Turkey, California Quail, Mourning Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Nuttal’s Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Hutton’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Stellers’ Jay, Western Scrub-jay, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, American Crow, Raven, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Bushtit, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Bewick’s Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Western Bluebird, American Robin, Wrentit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch, European Starling

Unusual birds, sightings: Hooded Merganser (11/18,14, Brigid O’Dowd); Least Bittern (10/17/14, Doug Shaw); Northern Parula (9/22/14, Doug Shaw); Tens of thousands of Starlings were reported near the entrance to the park on 20 Dec. 2010.

Restroom facilities: Restrooms only at the picnic area near the main park entrance.

Restaurants Nearby: For sandwiches to go, there is a Safeway at 9080 Brooks Rd., Windsor CA 95492 (837-2000), about 10 minutes north of the park. One of the best restaurants in all of northern California--The Farmhouse Inn--is at 7871 River Rd., Forestville, CA 95436 (887-3300), about 20 minutes away. Expensive, but worth every penny. Not suitable for quick lunches while bird watching, but if you’re staying in the area and want to splurge, this is the place for a memorable evening meal (but plan well ahead; it can be hard to get reservations). As the name suggests, The Farmhouse Inn also offers accommodations. Also see the Nagasawa Park page for some restaurant suggestions in the north Santa Rosa area.

Nearby attractions: Picnic areas, horseback riding, and hiking at the park

Related bird watching spots: Closest is Nagasawa Park in Santa Rosa, but all the Santa Rosa birding spots listed on the front page of this Website are within about 15 to 30-minutes by car from Shiloh Ranch Regional Park. See individual location pages for details. Sebastopol locations are to the west and south. Bodega Bay is on the coast, to the west and south. Petaluma locations are further south.

Notes: 1. Excellent views of Mt. St. Helena, Sonoma county’s highest peak, from the higher-elevation trails. 2. Watch out for poison oak in wooded areas here (and throughout the county).

All photos by the author, unless otherwise indicated

Maps by Google Maps



© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Unless noted, all photos by the author. If you would like to use one of my images, please ask for permission for non-commercial use with proper credit or commercial use with proper compensation.