Topics in Field Ornithology (Fall 2018)

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!

Note: We will be using the new 7th edition of the National Geographic Guide.
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.

"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.

The new SFBIRD email list is here.


September 5, 2018
We plan to complete and review the hummingbirds on pages 92-94.

Terrible photo of a Mexican Violetear in California is here. Click here and here for my photos of Lesser Violetear (split from Green Violetear) in Costa Rica.
My photos of Green-breasted Mango from Costa Rica are here and here.
Rivoli's Hummingbird (split from Magnificent) from Arizona photo here. Click here for details and photo of California's first Rivoli's Hummingbird and here for photos of a Rivoli's Hummingbird in Eureka, California. My photos of male and female Talamanca Hummingbird (now split from Magnificent in Costa Rica are here and here.
Bird thought to be female Blue-throated Hummingbird here. What do you think it is?
Click here or here for my photos of a Plain-capped Starthroat at Ash Canyon, Arizona 20 July 2003.

Class notes by E. Koster


May 9, 2018
We completed and reviewed the swifts on pages 88-90 and the trogons on page 302. Class recording expires 6/8/2018

Les Chibana's photos of White-throated Swifts mating in mid-air are here.
Click here for a Vaux's Swift photo by Kris Olson which I edited for her.
Click here for a pdf of the article I coauthored about the White-collared Swift in California.
Click here for my photo of a fledgling Elegant Trogan in Arizona.

Class Notes by E. Koster: (Swifts & Trogons)

This was the last class of the semester. Tentative schedule for Fall 2018 - Hummingbirds through Woodpeckers.


May 2, 2018
We plan to complete and review the nightjars on pages 84-86. Class voice recording expires 6/1/2018

Click here for discussion with photo of Lesser Nighthawk.
Click here for discussion with photo of Common Nighthawk. Common/Antillean Nighthawk here.
Click here for a photo of a Chuck-will's-widow from Crescent City, California.
Click here for sonograms, voice recordings and notes on an Eastern Whip-poor-will in California.
Click here for a photo of Buff-collared Nightjar from Oxnard.
My Poorwill photo.

Class Notes by E. Koster

The Delicate Politics of chasing owls - NY Times Opinion here.


April 25, 2018
We completed and reviewed the owls on pages 302. Class voice recording expires 5/25/2018

Northern Saw-whet Owl in San Francisco and juvenile. at Half Moon Bay.
Boreal Owl in nest box, Alaska.


April 18, 2018
We completed and reviewed the owls on pages 300. Class voice recording expires 5/18/2018

Northern Pygmy-Owl at Putah Creek with detailed notes. Click here for my photo of Northern Pygmy-Owl from Gazos Creek.
Click here for my photo of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl from Texas, here for my photo from Costa Rica and here for my photo from Brazil.
Burrowing Owl in Niland and two more in Knightson. Additional Burrowing Owl photos are here, here, here, here, here, here.


April 11, 2018
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 298. Class voice recording expires 5/11/2018

Click here and here for my photos of Eastern Screech-Owls in Texas.
Whiskered Screech-Owl in Arizona.