Birds & Birding

Quite often, I find myself photographing and writing about birds, and birding is a favorite hobby of mine.  Below are a few guides to help with identifying tricky species in the field.  In addition, on this page you will also find a list individual species accounts, organized alphabetically by common name.

Suggested Reading: Introduction to California Birdlife (Jules Evens and Ian Tait)

(A list of all the birds I encountered in 2017 can be found here.)

ID help for gulls: Gull ID Tips

ID help for small shorebirds of California's Central Valley:  Peeps, Plovers and Other Notoriously Difficult Shorebirds: Central Valley Edition

ID help for small shorebirds of California's central coast: Peeps, Plovers, and Other Notoriously Difficult Shorebirds: Coastal Edition

ID help for large shorebirds of California's central coast:  A Shorebird Primer: Godwits, Curlews, Willets and Whimbrels

ID help for a few sparrows: Common Sparrow ID Tips

Click on each bird below to learn more!

Acorn Woodpecker

American Coot

American Dipper

American Goldfinch

American White Pelican

Anna's Hummingbird

Bell's Sparrow

Black-billed Magpie

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-necked Stilt

Black Phoebe

Black-throated Sparrow

Bullock's Oriole


Cackling Goose

California Quail

California Scrub Jay

California Thrasher

Canyon Wren

Caspian Tern

Cedar Waxwing

Cliff Swallow

Common Loon

Common Merganser

Cooper's Hawk

Dark-eyed Junco

Double-crested Cormorant

Elegant Tern

Goldeneye (Common & Barrow's)

Great Egret

Great Horned Owl

Great-tailed Grackle

Horned Lark

Heermann's Gull

Hooded Oriole

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch

Lincoln's Sparrow

Loggerhead Shrike

Long-eared Owl


Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Quail

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Oak Titmouse


Pied-billed Grebe

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Rock Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruddy Duck

Rufous-crowned Sparrow


Sandhill Crane

Savannah Sparrow

Scaly-breasted Munia


Snow Goose

Snowy Egret

Snowy Plover


Tree Swallow

Tundra Swan

Vermilion Flycatcher

Western Kingbird

Western Tanager

Western Wood-Pewee

White-crowned Sparrow

White Stork

Wilson's Snipe

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