Birdwatching in and around Hannon Library

The Hannon Library makes an excellent bird observatory. With views that command the Bluff, Playa Vista, and the nearby wetlands, you can spot a wide variety of species even without binoculars. How many species can you see? We’ve made a checklist to get you going (see below).

Large, bright white Great Egrets are particularly easy to see at a distance. Red-tailed hawks, especially the ones that live at LMU’s ballpark, frequently fly very near the library windows. Just below the library on the bluff, you might find a surprisingly large number of smaller birds foraging, perching, or even dust-bathing in the exposed sandy soil. These can be seen easily from the windows in the Information Commons on Level One.

Some birds are seasonal visitors from our local mountains, living in the mountains during the summer and moving to the valleys of Los Angeles during the winter, like the Yellow-rumped Warbler.

The library also has great books and databases on bird life. The Sibley Guide to Birds is an excellent start, but the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America might be even more helpful. If you’re birding in the library with your laptop or smartphone, we recommend our subscription database Birds of the World Online. Also check out iNaturalist, an app that lets you record your observations while seeing what other members are observing – worldwide!

Checklist – in no particular order

Common Raven

Red-tailed Hawk

Mourning Dove

Great Egret

Common Sparrow (House Sparrow)

Song Sparrow (more likely to be heard than seen!)

House Finch


Ring-necked Parakeet (rare in LA but common at LMU)

American Crow

Brewer’s Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Western Kingbird

Black-crowned Night Heron

California Gull

Yellow-rumped Warbler


Dark-eyed Junco

Great Blue Heron

Rock Pigeon (rare at LMU but very common in L.A.!)

Black Phoebe

Anna’s Hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbird

Western Scrub Jay

European Starling

Lesser Goldfinch

Northern Flicker

Mallard Duck

White-shinned Hawk

American Kestrel

Canada Goose

Great-tailed Grackle

Herring Gull

Western Gull