Birds
Introduction The Birds and When to See Them References

Birds that Visit the Marsh

Be sure to keep an eye out - Egrets and Herons can be seen searching for food along the bay and at low tide shorebirds can be seen feeding on the mudflats. Finches and Warblers can be seen foraging through the bushes, plus a variety of ducks waddling along the trails. But don't forget to look up- Falcons and Hawks are commonly seen soaring the sky or perched up on power towers.

Here is a list of birds seen at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary throughout the year:

Loons and Grebes
Pelicans and Cormorants
Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets
Geese and Ducks
Vultures, Hawks, and Falcons
Quail
Rails
Stilts and Shorebirds
Jaegers, Gulls, and Terns
Auks
Doves
Owls and Goatsuckers
Swifts and Hummingbirds
Kingfishers and Woodpeckers
Flycatchers
Larks and Swallows
Jays, Crows, and Ravens
Plovers
Chickadees and Bushtits
Nuthatches, Creepers and Wrens
Kinglets
Thrushes and Mockingbirds
Pipits and Waxwings
Shrikes and Starlings
Vireos
Warblers
Tanagers
Grosbeaks, Sparrows, and Buntings
Meadowlarks, Blackbirds, and Orioles
Finches

Loons and Grebes

Loons & Grebes are water birds that breed in freshwater lakes during the summer and travel the coastal marine land the rest of the year. They are average-to-large sized awkward birds- with their legs closer to their rear, they are awesome swimmers and divers.

Figure 1: Pied-billed Grebe

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata1000-2700 g 53-69 cm (21-27 in)--RareRare--
Common Loon Gavia immer2500-6100 g66-91 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps253-568 g30-38 cmUncommonCommonCommonCommon
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus300-570 g31-38 cm--AbundantAbundantAbundant
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena 800-1600 g43-56 cm----Casual--
Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis200-735 g30-35 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis800-180 g 55-75 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
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Pelicans and Cormorants>

Pelicans & Cormorants are larger birds with a large wing-span and distinctive pouch under their large beak.

Figure 2. Double-crested Cormorant

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis2000-5000 g100-137 cm CommonCommonRareCasual
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus1200-2500 g70-90 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus1400-2700 g70-79 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus1370-2440 g51-76 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
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Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

Bitterns, Herons, & Egrets are long-legged, long-necked and usually long-billed carnivorous birds that can be seen along bodies of water feeding on fish, lizards, and insects.

Figure 3. Black-crowned Night Heron

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus 370-500 g 60-85 cmUncommon------
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias2100-2500 g97-137 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Great Egret Ardea alba1000 g94-104 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Snowy Egret Egretta thula 370 g 56-66 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Cattle Heron Bubulcus ibis340 g48-54 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Green Heron Butorides virescens240 g41-46 cmRare--CasualRare
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 727-1014 g58-66 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
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Geese and Ducks

There are many types of ducks that are generally categorize into two groups: divers and dabblers. Divers usually have dull colors and enjoy deep bodies of water where they can swim for their food. Dabblers, aka paddle ducks, prefer small bodies of water and the males generally have brilliant plumage.

Figure 4. Ring-necked Duck

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus3800-10500 g120-147 cm----Rare--
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons1951-3311 g64-81 cm--Casual----
Snow Goose Chen caerulescens1600-3300 g69-83 cm--CasualCasual--
Ross's Goose Chen rossii860-2040 g57-64 cm--CasualCasual--
Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii950-3000 g55-75 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Black Brant Branta bernicla nigricans1500 g58-60 cm--RareRareRare
Canada Goose Branta canadensis3000-9000 g 76-110 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Wood Duck Aix sponsa454-862 g 47-54 cmRareRareRareRare
Green-winged TealAnas crecca140-500 g31-39 cmCasualCommonCommonCommon
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos1000-1300 g 50-65 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Northern Pintail Anas acuta500-1450 g51-76 cm--RareRareRare
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope500-950 g42-52 cm--CasualCasualCasual
American Wigeon Anas americana540-1330 g 42-59 cmCasualCommonCommonUncommon
Canvasback Aythya valisineria862-1588 g 48-56 cm--RareRare--
Redhead Aythya americana630-1500 g42-54 cm--RareRareRare
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris490-910 g39-46 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula1100 g40-46 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
Greater Scaup Aythya marila726-1360 g 39-56 cmUncommonCommonCommonCommon
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis39-46 cm454-1089 gUncommonCommonCommonCommon
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 500-1100 g38-58 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Black Scoter Melanitta nigra 862-1270 g43-53 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata953-1769 g48-60 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Whit-winged scoter Melanitta fusca950-1800 g48-58 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula600-1300 g40-51 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola272-635 g 32-40 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus453-879 g40-49 cm--RareRareRare
Common Merganser Mergus merganser900-2160 g54-71 cm------Casual
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator800-1350 g51-64 cm--RareRareRare
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis 300-850 g 35-43 cmCasualCommonCommonCommon
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Vultures, Hawks, and Falcons

Vultures, Hawks, and Falcons, aka birds of pray, raptors, or hunting birds are daytime flesh eaters. A common trend between these birds is their hooked beak, sharp talons, and larger females.

Figure 5. Cooper's Hawk

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura2000 g 64-81 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1400-2000 g 54-58 cmCommonCommonRareCommon
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus300-360 g32-38 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Bald Eagle Elanus leucurus300-360 g 32-38 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus300-750 g46-50 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus87-218 g24-34 cm--RareRareRare
Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii250-597 g39-50 cm--RareRareRare
Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus486-774 g43-61 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis690-1460 g45-65 cm CommonCommonCommonCommon
Rough-legged HawkButeo lagopus715-1400 g47-52 cm--RareRare--
Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis977-2074 g56-69 cm--CasualCasualCasual
American Kestrel Falco sparverius 80-165 g22-31 cm RareCommonCommonCommon
Merlin Falco columbarius 165 g24-33 cm --UncommonUncommonUncommon
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus530-1600 g 36-49 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus 420-1100 g37-47 cm--CasualCasualCasual
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Quail

California Quails are small plump birds with a single curved feather on their head. Females have a brown or grey head and back with a spotted chest; The males have a grey chest, brown wings and a black throat with white strips.

Figure 6. California Quail

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
California Quail Callipepla californica140-230 g24-27 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
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Rails

Rails are medium-sized, chicken like marsh birds with a long, and slightly hooked beak. They usually have a black and white striped underbody with a red-toned chest, neck, and back.

Figure 7. Common Moorhen

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola65-95 g 20-27 cm --CommonCommonCommon
Sora Porzana carolina49-112 g 20-25 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus310-456 g 32-35 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
American CootFulica americana650 g40 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
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Stilts and Shorebirds

Stilts and Shorebirds include Stilts, Avocets, and Sandpipers. Even though they are fairly small birds, they are know for their long distant migration from breeding in the arctic to a winter in Central and South America

Figure 8. Greater Yellowlegs

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus136-220 g35-39 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
American Avocet Recurvirostra americana275-350 g43-47 cmRareCommonCommonCommon
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca111-235 g 29-33 cmRareCommonCommonCommon
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes67-94 g23-25 cm RareRareRareRare
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria31-65 g19-23 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus 200-330 g33-41 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Wandering Tattler Heteroscelus incanus60-169 g 26-30 cm--Casual----
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius34-50 g 18-20 cmRareRareRareRare
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus310-493 g 44 cm--RareRareRare
Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus490-950 g 50-65 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa285-454 g42-48 cm--AbundantAbundantAbundant
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres84-190 g21-16 cm--RareRareRare
Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala100-170 g 22-25 cm--RareRareRare
Red Knot Calidris canutus 135 g23-25 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla21-32 g13-15 cmRareRare----
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri22-35 g14-17 cmAbundantCommonCommonCommon
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla19-30 g13-15 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii27-63 g14-18 cm--Casual----
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos41-105 g22 cmRareRare----
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata60 g18 cm--Casual----
Dunlin Calidris alpina48-64 g 16-22 cm--AbundantAbundantAbundant
Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus50-70 g 20-23 cm--Casual----
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus90-120 g25-29 cmCommonCommonRareCommon
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus90-131 g29 cmCommonCommonRareCommon
Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata79-146 g27-32 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor68 g23 cm--Casual----
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus34 g18 cm--Uncommon--Uncommon
Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius52 g21 cm--CasualCasualCasual
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Jaegers, Gulls, and Terns

Jaegers, Gulls, and Terns are abundant along the California coast. Although many find them highly pesky, they are highly complex scavengers. Unlike most bird species, larger of the birds take a minimum of four years to mature and the molt twice a year

Figure 9. Pomarine Jaeger

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 635 g 51-58 cmCasualCasual----
Parasitic Jeager Stercorarius parasiticus 422 g38-53 cm--Casual----
Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan220-335 g32-36 cm--Casual----
Little Gull Larus minutus100-150 g29-30 cm--CasualCasual--
Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia180-225 g28-38 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni371-643 g46-53 cmCommon------
Mew Gull Larus canus360-600 g41-46 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis300-700 g43-54 cmvCommonCommonCommonCommon
California Gull Larus californicus430-1045 g47-54 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Herring Gull Larus argentatus800-1250 g56-66 cmRareRareRareRare
Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri1000 g52-60 cm RareRareRareRare
Western Gull Larus occidentalis800-1250 g 56-66 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens900-1200 g 50-59 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus 1250-2700 g 68 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia 530-782 g47-54 cmCommonCommonRareCommon
Elegant Tern Sterna elegans255 g 41-43 cmUncommonUncommon----
Common Tern Sterna hirundo93-200 g31-38 cm--Casual--Casual
Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri130-190 g 33-36 cmRareRareRareRare
Black Tern Chlidonias niger50-60 g 23-26 cm--CasualCasualCasual
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Auks

Auks are small penguin-like black and white birds that can fly when they flap their tiny wings quickly.

Figure 10. Common Murre.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Common Murre Uria aalge998 g44 cm--CasualCasualCasual
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Doves

Doves commonly resemble the pigeon, with their small bodies, short necks, and small beak. They have round heads and are commonly grey with white and black speckles.

Figure 11. Band-tailed Pigeon.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Rock Pigeon Columba livia265-380 g29-36 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata342-364 g 33-40 cm------Casual
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura86-170 g23-34 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
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Owls and Goatsuckers

Owls and Goatsuckers are both nocturnal to semi-nocturnal, highly intricate hunting birds. Most of these birds sit upright, have forward facing eyes, and sharp defined hooked beak.

Figure 12. Long-eared Owl.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Barn Owl Tyto alba400-700 g32-40 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia150 g19-25 cm----Casual--
Long-eared Owl Asio otus220-435 g 35-40 cm----Casual--
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus206-475 g34-43 cm--RareRareRare
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor 65-98 g 22-24 cm vRare------
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Swifts and Hummingbirds

Swifts and Hummingbirds are both very small birds that move very rapid. Unlike most birds, both these groups of birds have ten tail feathers, whereas most other species have twelve.

Figure 13. Rufous Hummingbird.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Black Swift Cypseloides niger 45 g 18-19 cm --Casual--Casual
Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi15-22 g 11 cmCasualCasual--Casual
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna 3-6 g10 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus2-5 g7-9 cm------Uncommon
Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin 3 g10 cmUncommonUncommon--Uncommon
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Kingfishers and Woodpeckers

Kingfishers and Woodpeckers range in size and are distinguished from most other birds by their two toed feet. Woodpeckers typically climb tree trunks as they peck away bark with their extremely sharp beak.

Figure 14. Hairy Woodpecker.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon140-170 g28-35cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus40-95 g18-26 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus110-160 g28-31 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
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Flycatchers

Flycatchers are among the most common type of bird throughout the globe; although relatively small, their brains are highly developed with great learning capabilities.

Figure 15. Black Phoebe.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Western Wood Pewee Contopus sordidulus11-14 g14-16 cm--Rare--Rare
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi 32-37 g18-20 cm--Casual--Casual
Willow FlycatcherEmpidonax traillii11-16 g13-17 cmUncommonUncommon--Uncommon
Pacific Slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis11 g14 cmRareRare--Rare
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans15-22 g16 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens21-38 g19-21 cmCasualRareCasualCasual
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus32-43 g18-23 cm--CasualCasual--
Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis37-46 g20-24 cm------Rare
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Larks and Swallows

Larks and Swallows share similar characteristics even though they are not related at all. They commonly have scales covering their tarsus and long straight claws.

Figure 16. Barn Swallow.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris28-48 g16-20 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Purple Martin Progne subis45-60 g19-20 cmCasualCasual----
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor16-25 g12-15 cmCommonCommonCasualCommon
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina14 g 12 cmCommonCommonCasualCommon
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis10-18 g12-15 cmCommonCommon--Common
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia10-19 g12-14 cm--Casual--Casual
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota19-34 g13 cmCommonCommon--Common
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica17-20 g 15-19 cmCommonCommon--Common
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Jays, Crows, and Ravens

Though traditionally black somber birds, crows and ravens are part of a brightly colored family. Brilliant iridescence feathers reflect blue and green off the light.

Figure 17. Steller's Jay.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri100-140 g30-34 cmRareRareRareRare
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 316-620 g40-53 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Common Raven Corvus corax689-1625 g56-69 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
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Plovers

Plovers are often seen running back-and-forth dodging the water along the coast with their long, thin legs, dove-like heads, and short, pointed beak and tails.

Figure 18. Semipalmated Plover.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola160-277 g28-29 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva102-108 g23-26 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
Semipalmated PloverCharadrius semipalmatus 47 g 17-19 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus75-128 g20-28 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
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Chickadees and Bushtits

Bushtits are small brown-grey birds with a fairly large head, small neck and long tail. They are commonly seen forging for insects with chickadees and warblers.

Figure 19. Black-capped Chickadee.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapilla9-14 g12-15 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens7-12 g 10-12 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus 4-6 g7-8 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
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Nuthatches, Creepers and Wrens

Nuthatches are woodland birds, they have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike any other bird species such as woodpeckers, which can only go upwards. Wrens are small and unnoticeable yet are commonly found by their loud and often complex songs. These birds have short wings and a thin bill.

Figure 20. Marsh Wren.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis8-13 g11 cm--RareRareRare
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii8-12 g13 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
House Wren Troglodytes aedon10-12 g11-13 cm--Casual----
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes8-12 g8-12 cm----Rare--
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris9-14 g10-14 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
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Kinglets

The Kinglets are a small family of relatively small birds with a colorful crown pattern. They have a distinctive high-pitched call that makes them easily located.

Figure 21. Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa4-8 g8-11 cm----Rare--
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula 5-10 g9-11 cm--CommonCommonCommon
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Thrushes and Mockingbirds

Thrushes are small plump to medium-sized often feeding insects on the ground. Mockingbirds are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds, often loudly and in rapid succession.

Figure 22. Northern Mockingbird.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus23-45 g 16-19 cmRareRare--Rare
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus23-37 g14-18 cmRareRare--Rare
American Robin Turdus migratorius77 g20-28 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius77 g24 cm ----Uncommon--
Wrentit Chamaea fasciata13-16 g14-15 cm----Casual--
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos45-58 g21-26 cm----Casual--
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Pipits and Waxwings

Pipits are slender, bland colored, ground-feeders. Pipits are ground nesters, lying up to six speckled eggs. Waxwings are characterized by soft silky plumage and unique red tips on their wing feathers.

Figure 23. Ceder Waxwing.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
American Pipit Anthus rubescens19-26 g14-17 cmRareRareRareRare
Ceder Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum32 g14-17 cmCommonCommon--Common
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Shrikes and Starlings

The Shrike is known for catching insects, smaller birds and mammals then impaling their bodies on thorns. While many species of Starlings will search for their food by open-bill probing, where they open their mouth after probing it into dense vegetation.

Figure 24. Loggerhead Shrike feeding.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Northern Shrike Lanius excubitor56-79 g23-24 cm--RareRareRare
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus35-50 g20-23 cm--CasualCasualCasual
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris60-96 g20-23 cmAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundant
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Vireos

Vireos are small drab songbirds that are mostly grey-green with a whitish-yellow flanks. Back grayish green. Known for their vocal complexity, you can hear them throughout the day in a dozen to a hundred different tones, pitches, and variations.

Figure 25. Warbling Vireo.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Cassin's VireoVireo cassinii 13-18 g11-14 cm--Casual--Casual
Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni11 g12-13 cmRareRareRareRare
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus10-16 g12-13 cmCasualRare--Rare
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Warblers

Easily seen rather then heard this relatively small bird is fairly quiet. Warblers are mostly brown-grey to green-grey, some of which may have pail color lining the head and wings.

Figure 26. Orange-crowned Warbler.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata 7-11 g 11-14 cmCommonCommonRareCommon
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla7-12 g10-12 cm--Rare--Rare
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia 9-11 g12-13 cmUncommonCasualCasualRare
Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata12-13 g12-14 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Black-throated Gray WarblerDendroica nigrescens7-10 g11-13 cm--Casual--Casual
Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi7-11 g12 cm--Casual--Casual
Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum7-13 g12-14 cm--RareRareRare
MacGillivray's Warbler Oporornis tolmiei9-13 g10-15 cm--Casual--Casual
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas9-10 g11-13 cmCommonCasualCommonCommon
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla5-10 g10-12 cmCommon----Common
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens23-31 g18 cmCasualCasual--Casual
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Tanagers

Tanager characteristics vary greatly form genus to genus; some eat fruits where others only eat insects; whereas some have bright brilliant plumage while others are grayish-brown. One thing consistent throughout all geneses is that they live in small groups of three to four, rarely joining other flocks of migratory birds.

Figure 27. Western Tanager.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana24-36 g16-19 cmRareRare--Rare
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Grosbeaks, Sparrows, and Buntings

Grosbeaks are fairly small birds with a large beak and bright colors. Introduced from Europe during the 1950's, sparrows have adapted to North America and thrive in urban areas.

Figure 28. Song Sparrow.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Rose-breasted GrosbeakPheucticus ludovicianus39-49 g18-21 cm--Casual----
Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus35-49 g18-19 cmCasualCasual--Casual
Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena13-18 g13-15 cm--Casual--Casual
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus33-49 g17-21 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina11-15 g12-14 cm------Casual
Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida11 g14 cm--RareRareRare
Brewer's Sparrow Spizella breweri14 g14 cm ------Casual
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus20-28 g13-16 cm--RareRareRare
Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus 24-33 g 15-17 cm--CasualCasualCasual
Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys30-51 g14-18 cm--Casual----
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis15-28 g11-15 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca31 g17-19 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Song Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii17-19 g13-15 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii17-19 g13-15 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana11-24 g12-15 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis22-32 g 16-18 cm--RareRareRare
Golden-crowned SparrowZonotrichia atricapilla30-33 g15-18 cm--CommonCommonCommon
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys25-28 g15-16 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis18-30 g14-16 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis31-46 g15 cm--Casual----
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Meadowlarks, Blackbirds and Orioles

These very territorial birds generally live in grasslands and build neat, mud nests. Male blackbirds are brown until they mature, whereas the females never turn black. Orioles are black with brilliant oranges throughout their plumage and commonly live in suburban parks.

Figure 29. Western Meadowlark.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus29-56 g 15-21 cm--Casual--Casual
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus32-77 g17-23 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta89-115 g16-26 cm--CommonCommonCommon
Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus 47-67 g20-25 cmCasual----Casual
Brown-head Cowbird Molothrus ater 38-50 g 17-22 cmCasual----Casual
Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii29-43 g 17-19 cm--UncommonUncommonUncommon
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula30-40 g17-19 cm----Casual--
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius16-28 g15-18 cm----Casual--
Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus24 g18-20 cm----Casual--
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Finches

True finches are small to moderately large and have strong, stubby beaks. They have a bouncing flight style, alternating from flapping to gliding on closed wings.

Figure 30. House Finch.

SpeciesAverage WeightAverage LengthSummerFallWinterSpring
Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus18-31 g12-15 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus16-27 g13-14 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra24-45 g14-20 cmUncommonUncommonUncommonUncommon
Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus12-18 g11-14 cm CommonCommonCommonCommon
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria9 g11 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis 11-20 g 11-13 cmCasualCasualCasualCasual
House Sparrow Passer domesticus26-32 g14-16 cmCommonCommonCommonCommon
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