Bodega Bay – California, USA


Bodega Bay is a small town in Sonoma, California, near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, 5 miles across. It is just 40 miles northwest of San Francisco. The San Andreas Fault runs parallel to the coastline. It is a tourist hot spot with beaches, playgrounds, and dog parks, known for seafood, wine tasting, many much-visited restaurants, shopping, and birding. The bay has a rich history – up until 1775, Coast Miwok and Powo Native Americans once lived on its shores. Bodega Bay was first charted in 1775 by the Spanish Peruvian explorer of the Spanish Navy, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. The bay used to be called Tomales Bay and he renamed it to Bodega.

In the early 1800s, the bay was a hotspot for otter hunting, and by 1817, sea otters were mostly eliminated due to overhunting. Additionally, Bodega Bay is famous for being the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds. Ironically enough, this area is a birding hotspot. It is also an important place to see gray and blue whale migration along the Sonoma Coast – primarily from January to May. Whale watching became popular here as a response to the shrinking whale population. As mentioned, the bay is a great place to go birding and Owen has visited here for that purpose. Owen has photographed the Turkey Vulture, Black Turnstone, Willet, Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-billed Dowitcher, and the Barn Owl here – which is featured in his book, Bringing Back the Birds.
Owen traveled to Bodega Bay at end of October and the beginning of November 2004.

Birds found here