Bird Blog 7

Date: 3/21/2020

Location: Manhattan Beach On the beach, from 1st street to the pier 

Site Description: It was sunny with a few clouds the high 65 degrees F. It felt like in the 70s with the sun out. The beach was crowded but with social distancing. I was still surprised to see so many different people out.

Species Account: 

So this bird was strolling on the beach and just walking. He seemed very proud to be walking and I saw him when I went out on March 13th. Then I see him again walking north and I pay slowly to see where he goes. He then ended up resting in the position you see below. The bird was not scared of people at all I got a picture of him about 1 yard away from it. My guess is this is a juvenile since adults are more black mainly you can see the difference in the belly area. Not pictured but this bird took a nap on one leg with was cool to see. This is mainly a diving bird, this day I did not see it diving but I did just see it when I surfed on March 26th which was cool to see. I was looking out on the horizon as one does when surfing. It pops out of nowhere about 15 yards away. I am not sure if it is the same exact bird but it was our double-crested cormorant again. So it seems like to me it is living around the pier for now. It is found in flocks or on its own. And it weird because Ebird said it is found inland so I am probably wrong about the ID of the bird. It swims like a duck when underwater.

Common Name: Double-crested Cormorant

Species: Phalacrocorax auritus

Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Order: Suliformes

Observations: 3,672,034

Area: North America


So, I began my journey on the strand on 7th street in Manhattan Beach, CA. The strand is the walkway that is right next to the beach separating houses and the beach. The strand goes all the way from the 1st street of Hermosa beach with is south to El Porto which is the northern beaches of Manhattan Beach. I walk all the way to the pier and then down to 1st street and back to 7th which overall was about 1.42 miles according to E-bird. So, I saw a decent amount of birds I have seen a lot more on the beach when I go surfing because gulls, wrens, or pelicans are in groups and today I saw a lot but not as many as I am used to. I first saw a gull flying and the way it soars along the beach was fabulous. It did not flap its wing a lot until it began its landing. There were a couple of birds just chilling on the beach and people going over to them and they flew away but once the people left, they flew back to the same spot. I believe these are the wrens.

Then I saw some gulls, but I cannot for sure ID the specific pictures, but I believe this single gull.

It is very difficult to ID specific gulls, but I believe this a Western gull since it has a bright yellow beak and pink legs and its colored eyes.

So, I believe there was some kind of gull wars going on. The reason why I think this is because a group of gulls was chilling on the beach and then another group is coming from Northwest and all of a sudden they get maybe 100ish yards away and then the group chilling on the beach start to fly and the group come together and circles. Then I see the two group branch off and I don’t know which group took the spot but that was cool to see.

Then I saw my Double-crested Cormorant friend again I saw him in the other previous trip for another ebird list.

I went around the pier and this is where I saw some pigeons.

They were climbing the stairs, which was fun to see, and some people walked down, and they flew away onto the sand and just started walking around.

Lastly, I saw two different shorebirds that I was not too sure about their Identification, but I believe it this and this.

Please let me know what you think. Left Picture maybe a willet Right – marbled willet?

Bird List:

40 royal wrens?

15 Western Gulls and others

3 Crows

4 Shore Birds

1 shorebird

2 Small quick birds that were different than the above but didn’t get a good glimpse of

Field Blog 6

Date: 3/5/2020

Location: Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District

Site Description: It was 52 degrees Fahrenheit, Chilly, windy, partly cloudy. There were several lakes and a combination of marsh grasslands surrounding the lakes. The lakes had a variety of vegetation with a combination of trees and grass.

Species Account

These birds were in a group, made of 6. They were one of the largest birds with white plumage. They have yellow legs and beck. They have black wing tips which we could not see since they were floating around. They have a long neck, huge wingspan, thick bodies, and short, square tails. You can easily see them once they are in the air. They were often going into the water may be looking for fish. They have infrequent, slow and methodical fapping. They travel in between feeding sites during their migration. We saw them eating and swimming around. We never got a view of them flying. There is a difference in a Breeding adult and nonbreeding adult and that is a yellow plate form on their the upper bill on breeding adults and nonbreeding adults do not have it. They tend to spend their winters on the coast, bay, or a little bit inland. The other species in their family is the brown pelican.

Common Name: American White Pelican 

Species: Pelecanus

Family: Pelecanidae

Order Pelecaniformes

Observations: 693,244

Area: North America


The site was cold compared to last week. We first saw a downy woodpecker which we saw on the 2 field trip. Our Mallard friends were in the river and easily spotted. This trip had the most action and it was the hardest to keep documenting birds because we saw so many. The shorebirds are difficult to differentiate still but we continue to see their behavior of putting their bills into the dirt in search of food. We saw a lot of Canada goose and those are really popular at my hometown golf course. They can be aggressive if you approach them. The American coot was a new bird since it has such a unique look with its white bill and black plumage. It was moving its head back and forth when it was swimming. The Green-Winged Teal also tend to be small. Seeing the White-tailed Kite was a great bird to see and I loved how it glided through the sky. It hovering over open areas in the grasslands probably looking for food that consists of mice or snakes. We also saw Common Merganser where the males have blackhead, red beck, and white bodies where the females have a reddish head, and white, gray body and red beck. We mainly saw them swimming around. We also saw a mute swan looking for food in the water.

Bird List:

Downy woodpecker 1

Mallard 40

Northern Harrier 5

Wilson’s Snipe 1

Long-billed curlew 1

Canada goose 20

Black-crowned Night-Heron 5

Snowy Egret 5

American Coot 8  

American white pelican 6

Double-crested cormorant 13

Ring-billed gulls 2

Common gallinule 1

Tree swallow 1

Dowitcher 9

Great Blue Heron 1

Pied-billed grebe 2

Green-winged Teal 10   

White-tailed kite 1

Black phoebe 1

House Finch 3

Marsh wren 1

Cinnamon teal 5

Mute swan 3

Forster’s tern 1

Red-tailed hawk 1

Turkey Vulture 1

White-crowned sparrow 10

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1

Golden-crowned Sparrow 2

Common Merganser 6 

Common Raven 1

American Crow 1

Northern shoveler 3

Bufflehead 2

Killdeer 2 

Mourning dove 6

Filed Blog 5

Date: 2/27/2020

Location: Muir Beach

Site Description: Forestry Coast and Beach, Sunny with a slight wind and 70 degrees Fahrenheit

Species Account: Red-winged Blackbird

This was the first bird we saw this day. It was chillin on the fences as seen in the picture below. The sound was like tapping your fingers very quickly, (conk-la reeeee). When it calls it slightly spreads out its wings and tail. The black feathers with the one concentrated red shoulder patch. The red patch may be hidden while standing but once in the air, you can clearly see it. It has a long sharply pointed bill. It was for less than a second. There was about 5 total throughout the day. They are often seen in flocks during the winter. We mainly saw the bird walking on a wooden fence once it landed there and lost slight of it since we moved on to another area. It was a cool bird to see. 

Common Name: Red-winged Blackbird

Species: Agelaius phoeniceus

Family: Icteridae

Order: Passeriformes 

Observations: 7,192,657

Area: North America


It was a nice day for this walk. So we saw a lot of birds and it was difficult to count all the birds so I missed some. The beach was loud with a lot of birds and waves crashing. We first made our way through the forestry habitat that was right next to the beach. We saw the house flinches and sparrows, in a dirt area. We saw a Phoebe that was sitting the side of the road and it was flicking its tail. There were sparrows flying around a horse stall. Their flight pattern was in circular motions and usually, it looked like they could be doing something with another sparrow. Hawk flying over and looking for prey, we saw it dive for a bit but it didn’t come up with anything. The Hawks also were not in a convention current like we saw two weeks ago since there were flying all around and not flying in one circular motion. We went to the beach and saw Ravens and learned some differences between raven and crows. Ravens will be bigger in body and beak size. Ravens tend to be more stable when they land and call with slight motion but crows will move when landing and calling. We also saw a Cormick that looked like in the water. We saw it dive and then appear 20 yards away from where it dove. The Cormick’s body is denser so it can dive. It was also down for a decent amount of time. We ended the trip by seeing a Northern Harrier in the distance just scouting and probably looking for food. 

Bird List

Red-wing blackbird 3

Turkey vulture 2

House finches 5

American crows 15

Stellar’s Jay 1

Pygmy nuthatch 1

Red-tailed hawk 2

California scrub jay 1

Downy woodpecker 1

Great blue heron 1

Phoebes 2 

Fox sparrow 2

Peregrine 1

Anna’s hummingbird 10

Ravens 3

Cormick 1

Western gull 4

Northern harrier 1


Field Blog 4


We visited Mount Tamalpais near Muir woods. It was a cloudy day with the temperature in the upper 50s degrees Fahrenheit. We saw serpentine soil in the middle of a forest and Alec described his research. He is looking at plants that can grow in the harsh environment. Most of the environment was filled with trees: Coast Live Oaks, Mixed conifer forest, and Douglas Fir. Here is a picture of the habitat at the theater. If you turn about 120 degrees to the right you can see San Francisco. (Serpentine soil is not pictured)

The most significant bird we saw that day was the acorn woodpecker we saw them flying around picking up acorns and then hiding them. We saw them put them in trees but also in a man-made wooden fence. There are a lot of dead standing trees in the forest with a lot of holes in them. Here a picture of a tree that has a lot of holes in it for the birds to store their food.

In the Early Spring, some birds begin to build their nest I saw one in a tree. It is very difficult to distinguish a bunch of branches with a nest since the nest is made of branches. We saw different kinds of trees on the trip and this is great since some birds will be attracted to more trees than others in a specialist kind of relationship.

We went to another spot where we could see some of Bolinas Bay but there we almost no birds in the area. We could see some surfers out and other things but not a lot of bird action especially compared to last week.

Species Account 

We saw Acorn woodpecker’s flying pattern: glide, pump, glide, and pump. The females look different than the males, the females have a white between the eye and red color on the head. There was a clicking noise created by them when they hit the tree with their beaks.

Common Name: Acorn woodpecker

Order: Piciformes

Family: Picidae

Species: Melanerpes Formicivorus

Observations: 559,715

Map: Western and Middle North America and Northern South America


Birds List

Chestnut-backed chickadee 2

Acorn Woodpecker 12 

Northern flicker 2

Band-tailed pigeon10

Common Raven 2

Junco 1

California Scrub-Jay 1

Red Shafted Flicker 2


Field Blog 3

Welcome back!!!!

Date: 2/13/2020

Today we went to the Bolinas bay. It was so cold, the whole class was freezing but that’s life so we dealt with it. We saw so many birds in the bay and the USF farm. The tide was low. Here is a picture of just part of the bay.

We saw long bill curl birds sticking their beaks into the ground and the beck so long and interesting. We will talk more about the bird in the species account. There were so many wigeons in the water and it was difficult to see if there were any different ones. But, a student pointed out one that looked like it was from Asian. We went to multiple spots along the bay. I learned I need to be quiet while you bird watch and the birds flew away because of my carelessness. I also saw that the flying of the birds looked so cool and noticed different kinds of flapping. Pictured below is a Snowy egret flying and it was so cool to see it in the pictures since their body is in such a bizarre posture. Pictured below.

There were so many birds compared to the last week and this was probably due to the fact that they were so concentrated on the lake and easily visible.

At the very last spot we saw a King Fisher bird and we jumped out of the car since we just about to leave. We saw its flight pattern and it was very different than most birds like the ducks and Snowy egret. Here is a picture of it flapping its wings below. You can see how different the position is in this moment and I wish I was able to film it and watch in slow motion to see the difference. 

Species Account

Common Name: Long-billed Curlew 

Species: Numenius americanus

Family: Charadriiformes 

Order: Scolopacidae

Observations: 191,663

Biogeographical region: North America


Bird list 

Killdeer 1 

long-billed curlew 30

Snowy egret 15

Wigeons 450

Great egret 10

Scrub jay 1

American crow 1

Osprey 1 

Eurasian 1

Buffalo head 5

Larsul gull 150

Western gull 10

Turkey gull 1

Double-crested 1 

Kingfisher 1

Field Blog 2

Date: 2/5/2020

The site we visited was the Redwood Trail. It had a mix of vegetation and was really cool to see. It is very close to the Muir woods area. There was not a cloud in the sky and it was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is a picture of the environment to gain a better understanding of the environment. 

We saw American robins, Anna hummingbirds, common ravens, a gull, fox sparrows, and wrens. We mainly say the flight patterns of a hummingbird which was in a particular zig-zag motion and dives in the air. Then we moved on to a road in the middle of the forest where we encountered redtail hawk, red stellar jay, woodpecker, Turkey vultures, song sparrow, a peregrine and possibly goldfinches. The most exciting thing I saw is the vultures and peregrine using the heat convection to rise while falling which was dope to learn about in the lecture this week and I discuss more of it in detail in the species account. I spotted the woodpecker not by my sight but my ears first. I heard this knock knock knock noise and was like what is this? I looked around and took this picture of the bird. It was going off on the tree and looking and then it flew away after everyone came to see it into a higher tree.

The last place we went to was the Muir Beach overlook.

We saw Stellar jays, turkey vulture, anna’s hummingbird, western bluebird, pygmy nuthatch, common raven, and white-crowned sparrow. A number of the type of bird seen is in the bird list below. The weather was cold and sunny and we saw a lot of birds. The turkey vultures were hugging the coast and coming very close to us. We also saw a whale which was very interesting to see even if we are only looking out for birds. This was my first time in the field and getting used to the binoculars was challenging at first and still looking forward to practicing with them on the next field class.

Species Account: Peregrine Falcon

My moment with this dope bird that we got only a glimpse of since it was so far away. It looked cool with its slim, unslotted wings. The Falcon is seen all around the world. We saw it in a heat convention belt that it was using to rise into the sky while falling which is such a cool idea. How can you be falling and rising at the same time? It’s simple you rise more than you fall. I also listened to a recording of the bird and it sounds like a cool voice. I also think I might have seen similar birds in Los Angeles when I was in a high rise I saw some birds on a building. They may have been looking for pigeons or other small creatures. 

Common Name is: Peregrine Falcon

Species: Falco Peregrinus

Family: Falconidae

Order: Falconiformes 

Observations: 543,124

Biogeographical region: Global, seen in every region




40 Robins

6 Anna’s Hummingbird

4 Wern Tit 

2 Common Ravens

1 Gull

1 Fox Sparrow


Site 2

1 Red Tail Hawk

1 Red Stellar Jay

1 Wood Pecker

3 Turkey Vultures

1 Peregrine Falcon

1 Song Sparrow

4 Golden Finches


Site 3

2 Stellar Jay

3 Turkey Vulture 

4 Anna’s Hummingbird 

1 Western Blue Bird

1 Pygmy Nuthatch 

1 Common Raven 

3 White Crown

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