Second Bird Excursion 2/6/2020

Bird Journal Entry #2:

DATE: 2/6/2020


#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.


E-Bird List Link:



Allen’s Hummingbird Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Allen’s Hummingbird on Zauschneria cana. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Allen’s Hummingbirds: Reproduction / Nesting. (n.d.). Retrieved from


First Bird Excursion 1/30/2020

Bird Journal Entry #1:

DATE: 1/30/2020

Location: 37.774417,-122.455029 approx.

Site Description: The place we visited for our first outing was to Golden Gate Park right off of Stanyan and Fulton. The landscape was a riparian forest type with a mix of bushes, some tall trees, and many angiosperms. Golden Gate Park was built on sand dunes and this is artificial. The main bird species spotted during this 2.5 hour trip were rock pigeons (17) , Anna’s hummingbird (6), mourning dove (1), red tailed hawk (1), red-naked sapsucker (1), black phoebe (1), stellar’s jay (1), California scrub-jay (1), common raven (15), chestnut-backed chickadee (2), bushtit (10), dark-eyed junco (5), golden- crowned sparrow (35), California towhee (1), and the red-crowned kinglet (1).

Species Account: The species I enjoyed seeing the most from this week was the chestnut-backed chickadee. I spotted the bird about 50m off of the main path inside the Stanyan park entrance. The bird is small and  ball-like shaped with a darker brown head, a white patch under its’ eye, and a lighter cream colored stomach. The bird were social with one another and tended to hop around from branch to branch. The habitat we saw the chickadee in was very riparian. A few of the birds were interacting with one another.  The species tend to be very active and in Winter migrate toward Kinglets (Chestnut-backed Chickadee Identification). That is interesting because we spotted one Kinglet. Also, they are distributed in many places, for example in trees, parks, and cities. The type we spotted is seen along California’s central coast because they have more of a brown-red coloring near their tails. Their diet mostly consists of berries, fruits, and seeds. Since they are smaller birds, they can’t prey on anything very large.

NarrativeWe began the trip around 9:45 am and walked into Golden Gate Park from Fulton St. and Stanyan St. The weather was about 51 degrees Fahrenheit and the sky was sunny with patchy clouds. We went for the first time to get a sense of how the binoculars worked and to get int the rhythm of spotting birds. We only walked about 100m in and began seeing birds. I was surprised how hard it could be to find birds even with binoculars because they are so quick. One of the first birds I saw was the dark-eyed junco. I spotted it in a tree and we all struggled to locate it. For the next two hours we only walked about another 400 m or so around the area to spot 14 other species of birds. There were some “tweakers” trying to spot rare birds with telephoto cameras. The bird species we saw were very common for the area, except around 11:40 am we followed a tweaker and spotter what they thought was a Red-Naked Sapsucker. This species has not been seen in Golden Gate park in 20+ years. Not long after we walked back to school at around 12 pm. Overall, our first time out in the filed was extremely successful and we have been able to see how one can spot birds efficiently.


E-Bird List Link:



Chestnut-backed Chickadee Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Chestnut-backed Chickadee. (2020, January 6). Retrieved from





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