Ornithology 2 Summary (Spring 2017)

If you miss a class, please check this page and study the listed topics in your field guide. Click here for last semester's calendar.

Note: Please park in the Hayes Street Parking lot. All spaces are available except disabled and reserved drop off for the child care center. If the lot is full and you park in the Grove Street lot you will likely get a parking ticket unless you display the temporary parking passes which are available to all registered students. These passes must be stamped by the John Adams office which closes at 7:30pm!

Class notes by Elisabeth Koster are here. (Plumage and molt terminology here. )
Please register at
eBird and email me your eBird ID. I can then offer to share field trip lists with you.

Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 57th AOU supplement.
Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 56th AOU supplement.
Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 55th AOU supplement.
Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 54th AOU supplement.
Australia Dogs and Beaches brochure.
An online version of Ridgway's Color Standards and nomenclature is available here.

Replacement Sibley 2nd edition first printing
To get a replacement copy, cut the barcode off the back cover of your second edition, first printing and mail it to:
Penguin Random House
Attn: Consumer Services/DMS
400 Hahn Road
Westminster, MD 21157

"Subspecies for Birders" presented to Marin Audubon on 13 October. Audio Recording and PDF here
My article on Ridgway's Rail being imperiled by Spartina removal is here.


September 13, 2017
We plan to complete and review the terns on pages 236-238.

Brown Noddy at Dry Tortugas.
Sooty Tern at Dry Tortugas.
Click here for a photo of a Bridled Tern in California.
Sooty Terns in California are here and here.
My photos of Least Terns (with eggs & young) from Bolsa Chica are here and here. Additional Least Tern photo is here.
My account of the White-winged Tern at Moonglow Dairy (with photos) is here.


April 26, 2017
We reviewed all the gulls.

This was the LAST CLASS of the semester.


April 19, 2017
We completed and reviewed the gulls on pages 230-232.

Photo of an adult Yellow-footed Gull is here.

My Slaty-backed Gull photos and details are here, here, here, here and here. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for additional Slaty-backed Gull photos from California. Slaty-backed Gull photos from Alaska are here. My notes on a possible Slaty-backed Gull at the Salton Sea are here, but I now believe that the bird was likely a Lesser Black-backed Gull or hybrid. Click here for photos and notes on another possible Slaty-backed Gull from Davis. I now believe this bird was a probably a hybrid between Herring Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull. Click here for photos and notes on another possible Slaty-backed Gull from the Salton Sea. I now believe that the bird was not a Slaty-backed, but probably some other Asiatic species or hybrid.

My Kelp Gull photos and details from Half Moon Bay; Chile -Valpairaiso, Chiloe Island; New Zealand -Stewart Island, Auckland Islands, Campbell Island (adult and chick).

Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for photos and notes on Lesser Black-backed Gulls in California. Additional Lesser Black-backed notes are here. A possible 1st cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull is here.

My Great Black-backed Gull photos from New Brunswick.


April 12, 2017
We completed and reviewed Iceland and Glaucous Gulls on pages 226-228.

Accepted Iceland Gull photos from California are here, here and here. Photos of an adult Iceland Gull from Washington state are here. Photos of possible Iceland Gulls (all rejected by the California Bird Records Committee) are here, here and here. It is possible these are pale examples of first cycle Thayer's Gulls although all would probably be identified as Iceland Gulls if seen in the East.

Click here, here, here, and here for photos of Glaucous Gull in California. Click here for a photo of an adult Glaucous Gull in Alaska with identification discussion.
Click here, and here for photos of controversial Glaucous-like gulls in California, which are arguably hybrids between Glaucous and Herring, or Glaucous and Glaucous-winged gulls.


April 5, 2017
We completed and reviewed most of the immature gulls on pages 220-228. The "Morlan Method" gull identification key with full text is here. Please print out and bring the flow charts and text to class. Also print out the "Test your Gull Ability" sheet by John Muir Laws.

Immature Ring-billed Gull.

NO CLASS March 29th - Spring Break!


March 22, 2017
We completed and reviewed most of the adult gulls on pages 220-228. If you missed this class it is highly recommended that you listen to the voice recording. Link expires 4/21/2017.


March 15, 2017
We completed and reviewed the gulls on page 218.

Click here, here, here, and here for Black-tailed Gull photos. Click here for my photos of Black-tailed Gull in Japan.
My detailed account of the Belcher's (aka Band-tailed) Gull in San Diego is here. Photos are here.


March 8, 2017
We completed and reviewed the gulls on page 216.

Photos of the Salton Sea Ross's Gull are here.
My Franklin's Gull photos from South America are here. Franklin's Gull photos are here, here, here, here, here, and here.
My Laughing Gull photos with discussion are here, here, and here. Additional Laughing Gull photos are here, here, here, here, here and here. My photo of a 2nd cycle and an adult basic Laughing Gull together in Texas is here, and my photo of a 1st cycle Laughing Gull is here. My photo of an adult at the Salton Sea is here.


March 1, 2017
We completed and reviewed the gulls on page 214.

Click here, here, here and here for my documentation of Little Gulls in California. Click here and here for additional photos of Little Gulls in California.
My Bonaparte's Gull photo.
Click here for my photos and description of a Black-headed Gull at the Salton Sea. Other Black-headed Gull photos are here and here.


February 22, 2017
We completed and reviewed the gulls on page 212.

My Black-legged Kittiwake photos and notes from Alaska and Thailand, Half Moon Bay & Gazos Creek. Click here, here and here for more Black-legged Kittiwake photos.
Click here for a Red-legged Kittiwake photo from Alaska.
Sabine's Gull photos and notes are here, here, here and here.
Ivory Gull photos and notes are here and here. Ivory Gull from Washington is here.
Swallow-tailed Gull photos from Monterey are here. Click here and here for my Swallow-tailed Gull photos from the Galapagos.


February 15, 2017
We completed and reviewed the phalaropes on page 206.

Click here, here, and here for Wilson's Phalarope
Click here, here, here and here for my photos and notes on Red-necked Phalaropes.
Click here and here for Red Phalarope images. My photo of a Red Phalarope at Abbotts Lagoon is here.

My article on Ridgway's Rail being imperiled by Spartina removal is here.


February 8, 2017
We completed and reviewed the snipe and woodcock on page 204

Click here, here, here and here for my Wilson's Snipe photos and behavioral notes.
My Common Snipe photos and notes from India are here and here.
Click here for details and photos of the American Woodcock at Iron Mountain, California. I co-authored a full article published in "Western Birds" about this bird. A pdf of that article is here. Click here for my photo of American Woodcock in Ohio and here for a video of that bird. .


February 1, 2017
We completed the dowitchers on page 202.

A first summer Short-billed Dowitcher with analysis is here.
Click here for my photo and analysis of a molting Long-billed Dowitcher. Molting adult dowitchers discussed here are probably Long-billed. Winter plumage Long-billed Dowitchers.
A detailed but somewhat controversial article on dowitcher identification is here.