Southern California is rich in diversity. It has an array of communities, including deserts, mountains, woodlands, riparian forests, chaparral and sage scrub, marshes, lakes and rivers, and the ocean. These communities, combined with the relatively mild climate, make southern California home to a wide variety and abundance of plants and animals, including birds. California State University, Channel Islands (CI) is located against the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, on the periphery of the Oxnard Plain. This large coastal plain extends from the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Susana Mountains on the east, to the Topa Topa Mountains at the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west.  The soil of the Oxnard Plain is some of the most fertile in the world and natural habitats on the plain have been largely obliterated by agriculture and other development. However, habitats in the hills remain more intact and closer to their natural state.

The campus is well-landscaped with lawns and trees that are attractive to birds that have adapted to human habitation, while the areas immediately surrounding campus harbor interior coastal sage scrub and chaparral that provide refuge to many of our native species.