Bird Journal Entry #2:
#1: 37.8797,-122.5548 approx.
#2: 37.8672,-122.5803 approx.
#3: 37.8631,-122.5855 approx.
Site Description: We visited three locations in Marin county this week. We went birdwatching near Mt. Tam and later at the Muir Beach Outlook. The landscape was a riparian forest type with an array of bushes, trees, conifers, even a small creek. Mt. Tam is a California State Park that is just on the other side of the bridge. The 3 hour excursion was filled with many fascinating species of birds. The main bird species we spotted were American Robins (46), Allen’s Hummingbird (7), Turkey Vultures (5), Red-tailed Hawks(3), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (2), Pygmy Nuthatch (3), and a Peregrine Falcon (1). We spotted many bird species on the trip different from those we saw the week before in Golden Gate Park.
Species Account: The species I enjoyed seeing this week was Allen’s Hummingbird. I spotted the bird at the first location we visited about 50 meters off the road and we were able to spot a few more over the next couple of hours. This bird species is very small and compact with green and brown coloring. The species tend to always be moving and have a very active behavior type. They have a very specific noise they make as the swerve in and out of bushes. These birds tend to live near the coast in chaparral and scrubs along California and Oregon coastlines. The diet of the species is mainly nectar with an insect or spider for protein in some circumstances. The mating season of the bird begins around February with males tending to mate with many females. The females have no controversy over their males’ mating style because they are not choosy when it comes to who they are courted by. Overall, they mate for approximately 1 day.
Narrative: This week we traveled over the bridge to Marin county. We left around 8 a.m. and made it to the first watching location around 9 a.m. We walked in the open brush along a path and spotted many birds in the trees off the trail. There were not many people around, except for the occasional person biking. The weather was cold (48 degrees Fahrenheit) in the morning, but the sky was very clear. This made it easy to spot birds in the sky. After about an hour we moved to another more dense forest-like landscape off a road and walked about 0.25 miles down. There was a creek that used to house many salmon, but over the years they stopped returning to reproduce. This is where we spotted the Peregrine Falcon. The whole class was very excited because the species is the fastest in the world. It was harder to spot birds in the dense brush because the light was unable to shine through the trees. We have gotten into a rhythm of being comfortable shouting out birds we spot and helping our classmates locate them as well. After 30 minutes in that location we went to a beach overlook. We spotted some Anna’s hummingbirds on our way to the lookout, but as we were looking over the ocean, there was a female gray whale. We ran to a lookout and were able to spot the whale and 3 dolphins. After, observing the majestic whale, we went birdwatching for a bit more then around 12 p.m. we left back to campus.
Allen’s Hummingbird Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Allens_Hummingbird/id
Allen’s Hummingbird on Zauschneria cana. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.laspilitas.com/california-birds/hummingbirds/allens-hummingbird/allen-hummingbird.html
Allen’s Hummingbirds: Reproduction / Nesting. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.beautyofbirds.com/allenshummingbirdbreeding.html