Bird Rock | MARINe

Bird Rock

Click here for Long-Term trends

Click here for Biodiversity Survey findings

Bird Rock is located in the Southern Channel Islands, on the northeast side of Santa Catalina Island, California. This site is located in an Area of Special Biological Significance (Santa Catalina Island - Subarea One, Isthmus Cove to Catalina Head ASBS) within the Blue Cavern State Marine Conservation Area, and is near the Bird Rock Mussel Watch site. This site lies approximately 500 meters offshore of the University of Southern California Wrigley Marine Science Center. This site receives moderately low visitation due to its offshore location; however, USC Marine Lab classes and scientists focus studies there because of its excellent intertidal habitat. California State University Los Angeles researchers have conducted experimental studies here since the 1980’s. This moderately sloping site consists of moderately uneven terrain, containing few cracks and folds.

Bird Rock biodiversity survey overview

Bird Rock is dominated by consolidated volcanic breccia bedrock, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of consolidated bedrock and boulders. The primary coastal orientation of this site is west/northwest.

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Bird Rock were established in 1982, and are done by Channel Islands Research Program. Long-Term MARINe surveys currently target the following species and/or areas: Chthamalus/Balanus (Acorn Barnacles), Pollicipes (Goose Barnacle), Mytilus (California Mussel), Silvetia (Golden Rockweed), Rock (Above Barnacles), Red Algal Turf (Photo Plot), and Pisaster (Ochre Star). Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

Bird Rock long-term monitoring overview

Biodiversity Surveys were done by University of California Santa Cruz in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2020. The Biodiversity Survey grid encompasses one section that is approximately 30 meters (along shore) x 10 meters (seaward). Click here to view Biodiversity Survey findings at this site.

For more information about Bird Rock, please contact Steven Lee ( and Jack Engle (