Ornithology 3 Summary (Spring 2015)

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 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 55th AOU supplement.
Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 54th AOU supplement.
My bird and wildlife photos from South America/Antarctica are here (under construction).
Australia Dogs and Beaches brochure.

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


April 28, 2015
We plan to complete and review the vireos and start the crows and jays on page 356.

Click here for photos and notes on a Philadelphia Vireo in Kern County, California and here for my notes on a Philadelphia Vireo in Humboldt County and a photo is here. Philadelphia Vireo in Monterey County is here.

A Warbling Vireo with dark lores is duscussed here.

A Clark's Nutcracker in San Francisco is here.

Click here for a photo of a Gray Jay from our Alaska trip.


April 21, 2015
We completed and reviewed the vireos on page 354.

Click here for photos and notes of a Yellow-green Vireo at Point Reyes. Click here, here, here and here for other photos of Yellow-green Vireo in California. Click here and here for my notes on Yellow-green Vireos in San Francisco and Pescadero.

Click here for a photo of a Red-eyed Vireo in Arcata.

Yucatan Vireo photo from Texas is here.

Hutton's Vireo at Half Moon Bay.

Recommended Reading:
Johnson, N.K., and Zink, R.M. 1985. Genetic evidence for relationships among the Red-eyed, Yellow-green, and Chivi Vireos. Wilson Bull. 97:421-435. (PDF)
Morgan, J.G. et al. 1985. Yucatan Vireo appears in Texas. American Birds. 39:245-246. (PDF).


April 14, 2015
We completed the vireos on pages 350 and 352..

California White-eyed Vireo images are here, here, and here. Click here for my notes on a White-eyed Vireo in Dublin, California. Excellent White-eyed Vireo photos here and here. Other White-eyed Vireos are here and here.

California Yellow-throated Vireo images are here, here and here. Click here and here for Yellow-throated Vireo photos and here, here and here for my notes on Yellow-throated Vireos in Kern, Orange and Monterey Counties.

Click here for photos and my notes on a Blue-headed Vireo at Point Reyes; and here for photos, video, audio and my notes on a Blue-headed Vireo in Orange County. Blue-headed Vireo in San Diego is here; Monterey County is here; and ones on the Farallons are here, here and here.

Menlo Park Bell's Vireo from Spring 2010 is here. Click here for photos and external links on the Eastern Bell's Vireo in Golden Gate Park.

Click here for my photo of a cowbird trap and discussion on cowbird control.

Recommended Reading:
Greaves, J., L. Chadwick, and J. Morlan. 2006. Featured photo: Apparent Eastern Bell's Vireo in San Francisco. Western Birds 37:119-122. (Online version here.)
Heindel, M. T. 1996. Field identification of the Solitary Vireo complex. Birding 28: 459471. (PDF)


April 7, 2015
We completed the becard and shrikes on pages 346 & 348.

Brown Shrike detailed discussion and photos from Mendocino. Brown Shrike in Thailand with notes and another. Click here for a photo of the Brown Shrike at Inverness Park.

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 [PDF]


March 24, 2015
We completed and reviewed the flycatchers on pages 344 & 346.

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 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..

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 from Half Moon Bay. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for 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 Loggerhead Kingbirds from Puerto Rico with notes 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 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 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.


March 17, 2015
We completed and reviewed the flycatchers on pages 340 & the kingbirds on page 342.

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.

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.

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.

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..

My Tropical Kingbird photo from Arizona with notes is here; my photos from Pacifica are here; my photos from Lake Merced are here, and my photos from the Presideo 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 are 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.


March 10, 2015
We completed and reviewed the Myiarchus flycatchers on page 338.

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 and here for my accounts of Dusky-capped Flycatchers in California. Click here, here, here, here and here for additional photos of Dusky-capped Flycatchers.

Click here for my account and photos of an Ash-throated Flycatcher originally thought to be Nuttings.

Additional Reading: Myiarchus Flycatcher Identification - Dittmann & Cardiff


March 3, 2015
We completed and reviewed the flycatchers on pages 334 & 336.

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.

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.


February 24, 2015
We completed the flycatchers on page 334 and started the phoebes on page 336.

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.

My Eastern Phoebe photos at Pescadero 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.