Birding

Over the last several years, I have been tracking the elusive fauna wherever we camp and hike. Birds are both rewarding and challenging, so I decided to set up a page to put all the species I have shot (well, with a camera) and identified.

For now, they are organized by order. Perhaps if I get enough, I will further classify them by family. 

I want to acknowledge the help of my friends Jon, Katy, and Judy for their assistance in identifying these birds, and also credit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, Sibley Birds West, and Birds of North America for being of assistance in the field and afterward. If you disagree with my identification, feel free to message me or comment. Just be sure to give detailed information regarding your identification so I can research the differences.

I have generally included only one picture of each species (unless I have a picture of both a male and female.) It was quite difficult to decide which picture was "best," particularly when I have several good pictures. If I take a better picture later, I will probably swap it in for the old one.

All pictures were taken of birds in the wild. Most are North American natives, but a few are not, such as the peafowl. I have omitted my numerous zoo pictures. The thrill is in the chase...

For those who care, I have used the following cameras for these shots. For those up through roughly February of 2017, I have used Sony Cybershot subcompacts of various vintages. After that time, I switched to a Nikon Coolpix P530. Since most of my shots have been while hiking, camping, or exploring with the kids, I have gone for light weight, long zoom, and portability over other considerations.

Generally, I think the newer pictures are better - better equipment and better technique with practice. But some birds have been hard to capture, so what I have is what I have until I get a better one.



Cranes and Rails
(order: Gruiformes)

American Coot, Fulica americana
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, and Anis
(order: Cuculiformes)


Greater Roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus
Kern River, California, 2017 (top)
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018 (bottom)  

Ducks, Geese, and Swans
(order: Anseriformes)


Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
Lake Success, California, 2017 (female (l) and male (r), top)
Upper Salmon Lake, California (Ducklings, bottom)
 




Mallard (female and ducklings, top; male, middle; juveniles, bottom), Anas platyrhynchos
Shaver Lake, California, 2017 (top)
Pismo Beach State Park, California, 2017 (middle)
Lower Tamarack Lake, California, 2018 (bottom)


Ruddy Duck (male), Oxyura jamaicensis
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


Cinnamon Teal (male), Anas cyanoptera 
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


Northern Pintail (female), Anas acuta
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

 Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017




Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (Top)
Wright's Lake, California, 2018 (Female, middle)
Wright's Lake, California, 2018 (Ducklings, bottom)

Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Lake Success, CA 2018

Frigatebirds, Boobies, Cormorants, Darters, and Allies
(order: Suliformes)


Double-crested Cormorant (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Phalacrocorax auritus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (bottom)

Pelagic Cormorant,  Phalacrocorax pelagicus
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017

Grebes
(order: Podicipediformes)

 Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
Lake Success, California, 2017 

Clark's Grebe, Aechmophorus clarkii
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 
Grouse, Quail, and Allies
(order: Galliformes)


Wild Turkey (females, top; male, bottom), Meleagris gallopavo
Great Basin National Park, Nevada, 2017 (top)
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2015 (bottom)


Sooty Grouse (chick, top;  female, bottom) Dendragapus fuliginosus
Sequoia National Park, California, 2016

Indian Peafowl (females), Pavo cristatus
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017


California Quail, Callipepla californica
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017


Hawks, Kites, Eagles, and Allies 
(order: Accipitriformes) 
 
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Kern Water Bank, 2017
 Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2017



Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Lassen National Forest, CA, 2018 (top)



Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
Juvenile or white morph, Bakersfield, CA, 2015 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, 2018 (bottom)


 White-tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
Lake Success, CA 2018

 California Condor, Gymnogyps californianus
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2016

 Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018

Nightjars, Swifts, and Hummingbirds
(order: Caprimulgiformes)


Anna's Hummingbird (male, top; female, bottom), Calypte anna
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (top)
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2018 (bottom)

Pelicans, Herons, Ibises, and Allies
(order: Pelicaniformes)
American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos 
Lake Success, California, 2017

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
Malibu Creek State Park, California, 2015 

 Great Egret, Ardea alba
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017



Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


 White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017  
 

Black-crowned Night-Heron (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Nycticorax nicticorax
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (both)


 Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis
Morro Bay, California, 2017

 
Perching Birds
(order: Passeriformes) 
 
Rock Wren, Salpinctes obsoletus
Red Rock Canyon State Park, California, 2018


Western Bluebird (top: female, bottom: male) Sialia mexicana
 Los Padres National Forest, California, 2017 (top)
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018 (bottom)

 Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides (male, top; female, bottom)
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018 (top)
Los Padres National Forest, CA, 2018 (bottom)


California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
Malibu Creek State Park, California, 2018

 Black-throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata
Red Rock Canyon State Park, California, 2018


Cliff Swallows, Petrochelidon pyrrhonoda
La Purisima Mission State Park, California, 2017

Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
Janesville, CA, 2018


American Robin (male, top; female, bottom), Turdus migratorius 
Shaver Lake, California, 2017 (top)
Kings Canyon National Park, 2018 (bottom)

 Steller's Jay, Cyanocitta stelleri 
Shaver Lake, CA, 2017

California Scrub-jay, Aphelocoma californica
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2015 

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay,  Aphelocoma woodhouseii
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018 

 Clark's Nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana
Great Basin National Park, NV, 2017


Varied Thrush, Ixorius naevius
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA, 2016


Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis
Walton Lake, OR, 2017

 White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018 (top)
Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, 2018 (bottom - chicks)

Pygmy Nuthatch, Sitta pygmaea
Los Padres National Forest, CA, 2018



Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
Tulare County, CA, 2018


Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
"Oregon" coloration, top, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, 2017
"Gray headed" coloration, middle, Grand Canyon National Park, 2018
Juvenile "Oregon" coloration, bottom, Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


 Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoenicius (male, top; female, bottom)

Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Lake Success, CA 2018 (bottom)


Tricolored Blackbird, Agelaius tricolor
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017

Brewer's Blackbird (male, top; female, bottom), Euphagus cyanocephalus
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018

 Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Success Lake, CA 2018 (bottom)

 White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018


Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, 2015




 Western Tanager (male, top; female, bottom), Piranga ludoviciana
Kings Canyon National Park, California, 2018


Common Raven, Corvus corax
Death Valley National Park, California, 2014

American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018

Cactus Wren, Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018


 Great-tailed Grackle (female, top; male, bottom), Quiscalis mexicanus
Bakersfield, California, 2018

 Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus
Pinnacles National Park, 2018



Spotted Towhee (female, top; male, bottom), Pipilo maculatus
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018 (top)
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018 (bottom)


Golden-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018

 Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018

Western Wood-pewee, Contopus sordidulus
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018



 House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus (female, top; male, bottom)
Lake Success, CA 2018

 Cassin's Finch (male), Haemorhous cassinii
Kings Canyon National Park, CA, 2018

Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
Lake Success, CA 2018

 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata
Lake Success, CA 2018

Nashville Warbler, Oreothlypis ruficapilla
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018 


Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus
Lake Success, CA 2018


Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
Lake Success, CA 2018

European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Lake Success, CA 2018

Bullock's Oriole (male), Icterus bullockii
Bakersfield, CA 2018

Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus
Cesar Chavez National Monument, California (2018)


California Thrasher, Toxostoma redivivum
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018

Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
Morro Bay State Park, California, 2018

Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Empidonax difficilis
Morro Bay State Park, California (2018)

 Cordilleran Flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018



Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
Cesar Chavez National Monument, California (2018)



 Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli
Kings Canyon National Park, CA, 2018 (top)
Desolation Wilderness, CA, 2018 (bottom)

 Brown-headed Cowbird (male), Molothrus ater
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 2018

Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, 2018

 Olive-sided Flycatcher, Contopus cooperi
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


Juniper Titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
Grand Canyon National Park, 2018


Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2018

Fox Sparrow ("Thick Billed" coloration), Passerella iliaca
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018


 
Pigeons and Doves
(order: Columbiformes)


Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
 Lake Success, CA 2018


Plovers, Sandpipers, and Allies
(order: Charadriiformes) 

Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
Kern Water Bank, 2017


Spotted Sandpiper (winter colors, top; summer colors, bottom), Actitis macularius
County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018 (top)
Upper Salmon Lake, CA, 2018 (bottom)

Willet, Tringa semipalmata
 County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018



Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa 
County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018

Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
Morro Bay, California, 2016 

Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus
Morro Bay, California, 2015

 Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017


  Forster's Tern, Sterna forsteri
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Lake Success, CA 2018 (bottom)

 Short-billed Dowditcher, Limnodromus griseus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017



California Gull (juvenile, top; adult, bottom), Larus Californicus
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017 (top), 2016 (bottom)


Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne caspia
Morro Bay, California, 2017
Snowy Plover, Charadrius nivosus
Morro Bay, California, 2016 

Bonaparte's Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Morro Bay, California, 2016

 Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2018

Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba
Montana de Oro State Park, CA, 2018

Woodpeckers
(order: Piciformes)



White-headed Woodpecker (female, top; male, bottom), Picoides albolarvatus
Shaver Lake, CA, 2017





 Northern Flicker (male, top; female, bottom), Colaptes auratus
Indian Grinding Rock State Park, CA, 2016 (top)
Los Padres National Forest, CA, 2018 (bottom)
 


Acorn Woodpecker (male, top; female, bottom) Melanerpes formicivorus
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, 2017



Ladder-backed Woodpecker (male), Picoides scalaris
Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2018

Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018
Nutall's Woodpecker, Picoides nutallii
Tahoe National Forest, CA, 2018







 

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