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,  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 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
female (l) and male (r)
Lake Success, California, 2017 




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

Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Lake Success, CA 2018

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

  Double-crested Cormorant (juvenile, top; adults, bottom), Phalacrocorax auritus
Kern Water Bank, California, 2017 (top)
Montana de Oro State Park, California, 2017 (bottom)

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
Kern Water Bank, CA, 2017 (top)
New Melones Lake, CA, 2016 (bottom)

Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
Bakersfield, CA, 2015

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

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

Nightjars, Swifts, and Hummingbirds
(order: Caprimulgiformes)


Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus
Wind Wolves Preserve, California, 2017

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)


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

American Robin (male), Turdus migratorius 
Shaver Lake, California, 2017 

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

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

 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


Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
Bakersfield, CA, 2015

Dark-eyed Junco (west coast coloration) Junco hyemalis
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, 2017


 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, Euphagus cyanocephalus
Antelope Lake, California, 2017

 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, Piranga ludoviciana
Plumas Eureka State Park, California, 2014

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), Pipilo maculatus
Pinnacles National Park, California, 2018


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

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



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

Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
Lake Success, CA 2018

 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata
Lake Success, 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

 
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), Actitis macularius
County Line Beach, Malibu, CA, 2018

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

Woodpeckers
(order: Piciformes)



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




 Northern Flicker (male), Colaptes auratus
Indian Grinding Rock State Park, CA, 2016 
 



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









 

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