Topics in Field Ornithology (Spring 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.

Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 58th AOS supplement.

"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.


April 25, 2018
We plan to complete and review the owls on pages 302.

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.


April 4, 2018
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 296. Class voice recording expires 5/4/2018

My juvenile Barred Owl photos from Florida. Additional Barred Owl photos here and here.
My Spotted Owl photos and notes.
My full account with photos of a Snowy Owl. Additional Snowy Owl photos here, here, here and here.


February 21, 2018
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 294. Class voice recording expires 3/16/2018

Barn Owl with taxonomic notes.
Short-eared Owl photos from Montana.
Click here and here for Long-eared Owl photos and here for a discussion of another Long-eared Owl photo.
Great Horned Owl with young. Another on nest. More here, here and here.

This was the last class for Part A. Part B will start April 4th.


February 14, 2018
We completed and reviewed the cuckoos on page 82. Class voice recording expires 3/16/2018

Common Cuckoo from Watsonville here, here and here.
Groove-billed Ani - my photos from Belize. Another here. Photo from Peru.
Smooth-billed Ani - my photo from Panama.
Click here and here for my Smooth-billed Ani photos from Tobago. 10-12 January 2007 - Cuffie River Lodge, Tobago. These social cuckoos are famous for building a large singe communal nest. Several females lay eggs in the same nest and often incubate together during the day while males may incubate at night. They are also very social at other times. It was fun watching a group gather together in the evening to roost in a tree outside our window where they snuggled together. This species is common throughout the tropics. It also occurs marginally in Florida where it was formerly fairly common but now very scarce.


February 7, 2018
We completed and reviewed the cuckoos on page 80. Class voice recording expires 3/9/2018

My Mangrove Cuckoo photos from Cuba with notes.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo photos are here and here.
A Black-billed Cuckoo photo is here.
My Greater Roadrunner photos from Coyote Lake County Park.


January 31, 2018
We completed the parrots and parakeets on pages 326-332. Class voice recording expires 2/6/2018.

Click here for information on feral parrots in San Francisco.
My Rose-ringed Parakeet photos and notes from India are here, here, here and here.
My Monk Parakeet photos and notes from Brazil and Uruguay.
My White-eyed Parkeet photo from Brazil.
Red-masked Parakeet photos.
My Red-lored Parrot photo and notes from Belize.


January 24, 2018
We completed and reviewed the pigeons and doves on pages 76-78. Class voice recording expires 2/4/2018

Click here and here for Common Ground-Doves in Santa Cruz. My photos from Baja and Florida
My Ruddy Ground-Dove notes and photos are here, here, here, here and here. My photos from Baja and Panama. More Ruddy Ground-Dove photos are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (09 January 2007 - Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad. This small dove was common on both islands, but I found they were difficult to photograph because they kept moving, bobbing their heads as they walked rapidly on the ground. Females are similar to males but browner, less reddish. This is the subspecies C. t. rufipennis which ranges widely from Mexico to northern South America and which occurs marginally in the southern United States. It has less black and more cinnamon on its underwings cf. C. t. talpacoti which ranges further south in the South American tropics.)
My Key West Quail-Dove photo from Cuba.
White-tipped Dove from Tobago is here (14 January 2007 - Blue Waters Inn, Tobago. This species was fairly common in Tobago, where the endemic subspecies L. v. tobagensis looks and sounds quite different (lower pitched) from the nominate race which occurs on Trinidad and the adjacent mainland.Tobagenis is paler below and lacks the copper sheen on its nape found on other races). My photos and notes from Panama and Brazil (Pousada Pouso Alegre) and Brazil (P. Jofre).
Click here for my photo with distributional and taxonomic notes on White-winged Dove in Puerto Rico. Additional photos here, here, and here.
Zenaida Dove - My photos from Puerto Rico and Cuba.
My Mourning Dove photos here here here.


January 17, 2018
We completed and started to review the pigeons and doves on pages 72-74. Class voice recording expires 1/22/18

Click here and here for my photos of and notes on Band-tailed Pigeon at Pacifica and Coyote Point.
Click here for my photo of a Red-billed Pigeon from Belize.
A photo of the Bolinas Oriental Turtle-Dove is here. My photos and notes from Japan here and here.
Click here for my photos and analysis of Eurasian Collared-Doves in the Imperial Valley. Click here, here (5 October 2008, Fish Docks, Point Reyes, Marin County, California) and here for additional Eurasian Collared-Dove photos.
My Spotted Dove photos from Thailand and India
My photo of Inca Dove from Texas is here (18 January 2006 - Salineno, Texas. This small dove has been expanding its range and increasing in numbers over the last century. It has adapted from its native arid desert habitat to suburbs and gardens where they frequently attend feeders.). Photos and notes from the Imperial Vallely, California are here and here.


November 29, 2017
We completed and reviewed the puffins and auklets on page 262 (page 178 in 7th edition). Class voice recording expires 12/29/17

Click here for a photo of Rhinoceros Auklets in Alaska.
Atlantic Puffin off Canada with notes.
Horned Puffin photos are here, here, here, here and here.
My Tufted Puffin photos and notes are here and here. Click here for a Tufted Puffin from Alaska.
For the puffin poem, click here.

This was the last class of the semester. Information on Spring 2018 classes.