Topics in Field Ornithology (Spring 2019)
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 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.
"Diversity and Evolution of Hummingbirds" - My
CCSF Lecture (YouTube Video).
"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.
Acorn Woodpecker cooperative breeding information is here and here.
Article on the effects of smoke on raptors here.
October 2, 2019
We plan to complete and review the becard and shrikes on pages 354-356.
Brown Shrike in Thailand with notes and another. Click here for a photo of the Brown Shrike at Inverness Park.
Hybrid Red-backed X Red-tailed Shrike originally thought to be Brown Shrike detailed discussion and photos from Mendocino. Hybrid Red-backed X Brown Shrike specimen images here.
My Loggerhead Shrike images here and here.
Click here for my photos of a Northern Shrike at Davis. Additional immature Northern Shrike photos from California are here, here, here, here, here and here.
Recommended Reading: Patten, M.A. and K.F. Campbell. 2000. Typological thinking and the conservation
of subspecies: the case of the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike. Diversity and Distributions 6:177-188
May 22, 2019
We completed and reviewed the kingbirds and flycatcher on pages 352-354. Class Recording Expires 5/28/2019
My Gray Kingbirds from Florida and Puerto Rico with notes. Click here for a Gray Kingbird photo from Tobago.
Click here for photos and discussion of a possible Eastern X Western Kingbird hybrid. Click here and here for an Eastern Kingbird in San Francisco. Click here for a photo of an Eastern Kingbird at Desert Center, here for one at ZZyzx, here for a photo of an Eastern Kingbird at Orick, here for one near Alturas, and here for an Eastern Kingbird on San Clemente Island. Click here for my photo of an Eastern Kingbird in Ohio and here for my Eastern Kingbird in Massachusetts..
My Fork-tailed Flycatcher photos and notes from Argentina. Click here for a photo of the Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Bridgehaven and here for a detailed article on North American occurrences.
My Scissor-tailed Flycatcher photo and notes from Half Moon Bay here and here. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for more photos of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in California. Click here for photos and detailed discussion of an apparrent Scissor-tailed Flycatcher X Western Kingbird hybrid in New York.
My Thick-billed Kingbird from Arizona. Click here, here and here for details and photos of a Thick-billed Kingbird at Half Moon Bay; and click here for my notes on a Thick-billed Kingbird at Pomona.
My Loggerhead Kingbirds from Puerto Rico with notes here and here. My photos from Cuba here and here. A paper on the identification and status of Loggerhead Kingbird is here and photos of a real Loggerhead Kingbird in Florida are here. Biography of James Bond is here.
My Great Kiskadee from Belize with notes. Click here and here for my photos and notes on Great Kiskadees in Texas. My photo of a Great Kiskadee in Trinidad is here. Here is my Great Kiskadee photo with notes from Costa Rica. My Great Kiskadee from Uruguay..
This was the last class of the semester. I hope to contine in the Fall starting in October.
May 15, 2019
We completed and reviewed the kingbirds on page 350. Class Recording Expires 5/21/2019
My Cassin's Kingbird photos with ID notes here. Click here for my photo of a Cassin's Kingbird in Orange County. Click here for an audio recording and songogram of the dawn song of Cassin's Kingbird and an essay by Nathan Pieplow regarding its similarity or lack thereof to the call of the Buff-collared Nightjar. Counterpoint by David Sibley here.
My Western Kingbird photo and another from Montana. .
Click here for my account with photos of a Couch's Kingbird in Fullerton and here for my photo of Couch's Kingbird in Texas identified by call..
My Tropical Kingbird photo from Arizona with notes is here;
my photos from Pacifica are here; my photos
from Lake Merced are here, my photos from
the Presideo are here, my photos from Point
Reyes are here, and my photos from North
Lake are here. Click here
and here for my photos of Tropical Kingbirds at Colma
and here for a photo of Tropcial Kingbird in Petaluma.
My photo of a Tropical Kingbird in Tobago is here
and my photos and notes from Belize and Costa Rica are here
and here. Click here
and here and here
for Tropical Kingbirds in Humboldt County. A Tropical Kingbird in Contra Costa County is here.
A San Francisco Tropical Kingbird is here and a very
soggy Tropical Kingbird from Half Moon Bay is here.
Click here for a Tropical Kingbird photo I took
in Panama and here for my photo
May 8, 2019
We completed and reviewed the flycatchers on page 348. Class Recording Expires 5/14/2019
Click here for photos and my account of a Nutting's Flycatcher in Arizona and here for more photos and discussion of another Nutting's Flycatcher in Southern California.
My Priatic Flycatcher photo from Brazil.
My Variegated Flycatcher photos from Brazil are here and here.
Click here for details and photos of a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at Bodega Bay, here for photos of a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at Pescadero, and here for photos of a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher in Baja. Sulpher-bellied Flycatcher from Arcata Marsh is here. Click here for discussion and photos of similar Streaked Flycatcher.
My photo of Brown-crested Flycatcher with notes from Tobago.
My photos from Florida and detailed discussion of Great Crested Flycatcher ID. Click here for my account of a Great Crested Flycatcher at the Carmel River and here for a photo and account of another Great Crested Flycatcher at Bodega Bay. Additional photos of Great Crested Flycatchers in California are here, here and here.
My photos from Golden Gate Park and a detailed discussion of Dusky-capped Flycatcher ID. Click here, here, here, here, here, and here for my accounts of other Dusky-capped Flycatchers in California. Click here, here, here, here and here for additional photos of Dusky-capped Flycatchers.
My Ash-throated Flycatcher image. Click here for my account and photos of an Ash-throated Flycatcher originally thought to be Nuttings.
Additional Reading: Myiarchus Flycatcher Identification
- Dittmann & Cardiff
April 24, 2019
We completed and reviewed the flycatchers on pages 344. Class Recording Expires 4/30/2019
My Eastern Phoebe photos from San Francisco. My Eastern Phoebe photos at Pescadero here, here and here. Click here for my photos of the Eastern Phoebe at Cosumnes and here for my images of an Eastern Phoebe on Mt. San Bruno. Click here for a photo of an Estern Phoebe at Santa Maria, here for an Eastern Phoebe in Victorville, here for an Eastern Phoebe in Fresno, here for an Eastern Phoebe in Santa Cruz, and here for an Eastern Phoebe in Madera. Additional Eastern Phoebe images here, here, here and here.
Click here for my photo of a Black Phoebe at Lake Merritt. A bird believed to be a hybrid Black X Say's Phoebe is here. An abstract of an article describing a hybrid Eastern X Black Phoebe is here.
My Say's Phoebe photos are here and here
My Vermilion Flycatcher photos at Morgan Hill and at Colma. Click here and here for a photo of a male Vermilion Flycatcher at Los Banos; here and here for my photos and notes from Belize; here for my photo of an immature male Vermilion Flycatcher at Lodi; here for two photos of an immature Vermilion Flycatcher at San Jacinto WMA; and here for a photo of an immature Vermilion Flycatcher at San Clemente Island. Click here for my photo of an immature male Vermilion Flycatcher in Texas. The Stonechat that was originally misidentified as a Vermilion Flycatcher is here.
Click here for my comments on identification of Pacific-slope/Cordilleran
flycatchers and their vocalizations.
Click here for a spreadsheet comparing the characters of selected Western Empidonax. Detailed Empidonax ID chart from Rich Stallcup.
Andrew Rush lecture on Western Flycatchers.
This was the last class of the five week quarter. Please register if you wish to continue
with Part B starting April 24.
April 10, 2019
We completed and review the Empidonax flycatchers on page 340. Class Recording Expires 5/10/2019
Click here for a photo of a Least Flycatcher
wintering in Arcata. Click here for photos and discussion
of an apparent Least Flycatcher at Point Reyes.
Hammond's Flycachter photos are here, here and here.
Click here and here for my photo of a Gray Flycatcher and a discussion of its taxonomic history.
April 3, 2019
We completed and reviewed the Empidonax flycatchers on page 338. Class Recording Expires 5/3/2019
My photos of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher from Belize with notes. Click here and here for photos of accepted California Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Click here for probable Yellow-bellied Flycatcher originally identified as Least Flycatcher (record evenutally submitted as Yellow-bellied and rejected).
Click here for a photo of an accepted Alder Flycatcher from the Farallons and here for photos of Alder Flycatcher in Washington state. Click here for photos of a possible Alder Flycatcher from the Farallons showing direct comparison with Willow Flycatcher (record not accepted). Other photos of possible Alder Flycatchers are here, here and here (records not accepted, the first probably being a Hammond's Flycatcher!). Click here for photo and discussion of an unusual "Trail's" type flycatcher from Point Reyes.
In his monograph, The Birds of Eastern Kern County, M. Heindel states, "Although extreme notes ("whit" for Willow; "peek", "pik", or "bik" for Alder) are likely diagnostic, Willows can give a hard note, which might be interpreted as one of those described for Alder."
my photos of Tufted Flycatcher in Costa Rica including taxonomic notes.
Click here for my photo of an Olive-sided Flycatcher at Briones Regional Park.
Click here for my account with photos of a Greater Pewee in the Imperial Valley. Click here, here, here here and here for photos of other Greater Pewees in California. Click here for a photo of claimed Greater Pewee on the Farallons in June 1998 (record not accepted).
Click here for my account with photo of an Eastern Wood-Pewee at Point Reyes in June 1998. Click here for songs and sonograms of two different Eastern Wood-Pewees in California in 1998. Click here for a photo of a claimed Eastern Wood-Pewee on the Farallons (record not accepted). Click here for an accepted record of Eastern Wood-Pewee in Solano County. Eastern Wood-Pewee from Cuba here.
Western Wood-Pewee photos here and here.
Cuban Pewee photos with notes here and here.
Additional Reading (not all is Gospel, but interesting points): Lee, Cin-Ty, Andrew Birch, and
Ted Lee Eubanks. 2008. Field identification of Eastern & Western Wood Pewees Birding 40(5):34-40) (PDF)
March 13, 2019
We completed and reviewed the woodpeckers on pages 316-318. Class Recording Expires 4/12/2019
Click here for a photo of an American Three-toed Woodpecker
Click here for my photo of a Northern Flicker from California and here for one from Cuba with discussion. Northern Flicker intergrades are here, here and here.
Gilded Flickers may be distinguished from intergrade Yellow-shafted x Red-shafted flickers by the Gilded's more extensive black on the underside of the tail, more oblong ventral spots, paler coloration and overall smaller size.
An article on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker by Sibley et al. in the journal Science is here. Rebuttal is here. Perspective by Jerome Jackson published in the Auk is here.
My Pileated Woodpecker photo from Florida. Photos of a Pileated Woodpecker at Lake Solano Park are here.