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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia


  1. Townsend's Warbler

    Townsend's Warbler

    This attractive well marked species is a migrant and winter visitor to coastal California. A separate population with longer wings winters in the highlands of Mexico and Central America. Interestingly, the birds wintering along the coast carry Hermit Warbler mtDNA while those wintering in the...
  2. Say's Phoebe

    Say's Phoebe

    Note the bristle-like feathers at the base of the bill, typical of members of the flycatcher family. These are known as "rictal bristles" and may help catching insect prey in mid-air and/or keep debris out of the birds' eyes. Say's Phoebe is primarily a migrant and winter visitor to this area...
  3. Great Blue Heron

    Great Blue Heron

    Standing motionless on a branch over our backyard creek, this stately heron posed on its favorite perch. This is an adult showing a white stripe down the middle of its crown. Notice the long, loose feathers on its chest. These specialized feathers continually grow and fray forming “powder down”...
  4. Hooded Oriole

    Hooded Oriole

    This adult male appeared briefly at our hummingbird feeder outside our window. Historically, these orioles' northern limit was Southern California, but the planting of California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera) into Northern California allowed this Palm specialist to expand its range. The...
  5. Black-headed Grosbeak

    Black-headed Grosbeak

    This male represents the far West race, "P. m. maculatus." In the nominate Rocky Mountain race, the male lacks the orange stripes on the sides of the head seen here.
  6. Columbian Black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

    Columbian Black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

    Note the large ears. This young buck was chewing on willows in our back yard. This is a race of the larger Mule Deer widespread in the Far West. Columbian Black-tailed Deer replaces the smaller Sitka Deer along the coast south of coastal British Columbia.
  7. Yellow Warbler

    Yellow Warbler

    Here is a brief video of the Yellow Warbler including its song.
  8. Yellow Warbler

    Yellow Warbler

    This male in alternate (breeding) plumage shows diagnostic chestnut steaking. Formerly a common breeder in our area, they have succumbed to brood parasitism from invading Brown-headed Cowbirds. Eastern populations thwart the cowbirds by building multiple nests on top of each other, but our birds...
  9. Tropical Kingbird

    Tropical Kingbird

    This species is a rare but regular late autumn migrant and winter visitor to the coast of California. The pale crown, throat, chest, and deeply notched tail are consistent with the expected northern race "T. m. satrapa" ranging from Arizona to northern South America. "T. m. occidentalis" is a...
  10. great egret

    great egret

  11. california scrub jay

    california scrub jay

    I guess that's why they call it Windy Hill
  12. dark-eyed junco

    dark-eyed junco

  13. semipalmated plover

    semipalmated plover

  14. black turnstone

    black turnstone

  15. Great-tailed Grackle

    Great-tailed Grackle

    This is an adult female. This species has recently colonized this area where there is now a small breeding colony at the south end of the Lake. They were first recorded in California 1964 along the Colorado River with first nesting in the 1980's. Birds in Northern California are presumably the...
  16. wilson's snipe

    wilson's snipe

  17. greater yellowlegs

    greater yellowlegs

  18. killdeer


  19. grey plover

    grey plover

  20. sanderling


  21. whimbrel


    subspecies hudsonicus. Considered by IOC as a full species: Hudsonian whimbrel (Numenius hudsonicus)
  22. willet


  23. black oystercatcher

    black oystercatcher

  24. marbled godwit

    marbled godwit

  25. short-billed dowitcher

    short-billed dowitcher