Ornithology 3 A&B Summary (Fall 2014)

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 have been emailed to all registered students. These passes must be stamped by the John Adams office!

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 53rd AOU supplement.
Click here for a summary of bird name changes from the 54th AOU supplement.
Marsh Sandpiper account.
Northern Gannet photos.
Video of my lecture on the diversity and evolution of hummingbirds.


September 9, 2014
We plan to complete and review the hummingbirds on pages 300-304.

Click here and here for my photos of Green Violetear (note change in spelling) in Costa Rica. Terrible photo of a Green Violetear in California is here.
My photos of Green-breasted Mango from Costa Rica are here and here.
Click here for my account and photos of a male Broad-billed Hummingbird in Sonoma, here for my notes on a Broad-billed Hummingbird in Goleta, and here for a photo of a Broad-billed Hummingbird at Weldon, California. Additional California Broad-billed Hummingbirds are here, here and here.
Click here for a photo of Violet-crowned Hummingbird in Humboldt County.
Click here for details and photo of California's first Magnificent Hummingbird and here for photos of a Magnificent Hummingbird in Eureka, California. My photos of male and female Magnificent Hummingbird in Costa Rica are here and here.
Click here or here for my photo of a Plain-capped Starthroat at Ash Canyon, Arizona 20 July 2003.
May 20, 2014
We completed and reviewed the swifts and Trogons on pages 296-298.

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

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

This was be the last class for the semester. We resume September 9, 2014. Registration is available starting July 1st. Thank you for your interest and support.


May 13, 2014
We completed and reviewed the nightjars on pages 292-294.

Click here for discussion with photo of Lesser Nighthawk.
Click here for discussion with photo of Common Nighthawk.
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.

Class Notes by E. Koster


May 6, 2014
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 290.

Northern Saw-whet Owl in San Francisco and juvenile. at Half Moon Bay.
Burrowing Owl in Niland and two more in Knightson.

Class Notes by E. Koster


April 29, 2014
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 288.

Click here for my photo of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl from Texas.
Northern Pygmy-Owl at Putah Creek with detailed notes. Click here for my photo of Northern Pygmy-Owl from Gazos Creek.


April 22, 2014
We completed and reviewed the owls on page 286.

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


April 15, 2014
We completed and reviewed the owls on pages 282-284.

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.


April 8, 2014
We started the owls on page 282.

Barn Owl with taxonomic notes.
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 and here.


March 25, 2014
We completed and reviewed the cuckoos on pages 278-280.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo photos are here and here.
A Black-billed Cuckoo photo is here.
Smooth-billed Ani - my photo from Panama.
Common Cuckoo from Watsonville here, here and here.
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.
Groove-billed Ani - my photos from Belize. Another here.

This was the last class for Part A. Please register for Part B (EA125) as soon as possible if you have not already done so.


March 18, 2014
We completed the parrots on pages 270 through 276.

Click here for information on feral parrots in San Francisco. Red-masked Parakeet photos.
My Red-lored Parrot photo from Belize.


March 11, 2014
We completed and reviewed the pigeons & doves on pages 268 and 270.

A photo of the Bolinas Oriental Turtle-Dove is here. My photo from Japan.
Click here and here for Common Ground-Doves in Santa Cruz.
My Ruddy Ground-Dove notes and photos are here, here, here, here and here. My photo from 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 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.). Photo from the Imperial Vallely, California are here and here.
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 photo and notes from Panama.
Spotted Dove - My photos from Thailand.


March 4, 2014
We completed and reviewed the pigeons and doves on pages 264 and 266.

Click here for my photo of a Band-tailed Pigeon at Coyote Point.
Click here for my photo of a Red-billed Pigeon from Belize.
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.
Zenaida Dove - My photo from Puerto Rico
Click here for my photo with distributional and taxonomic notes on White-winged Dove in Puerto Rico.


February 25, 2014
We completed and reviewed the alcids on page 262 and started the pigeons on page 264.

Click here for a photo of Rhinoceros Auklets in Alaska.
Horned Puffin photos are here, here, here, here and here.
Click here for a Tufted Puffin from Alaska.
For the puffin poem, click here. For an explanation of how puffins hold so many fish, click here.


February 18, 2014
We completed and reviewed the alcids on pages 258 and 260

Parakeet Auklets in California. Click for photos of Least Auklet, Parakeet Auklet and Crested Auklets from Alaska.


February 11, 2014
We completed and reviewed the alcids on pages 254 & 256 and started the alcids on page 258..

Click here for my photos of Pigeon Guillemots in Monterey.
Long-billed Murrelet photos are here, here, here and here.