A CHECKLIST OF THE BIRDS OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

The following list contains all 355 species, 350 of them native, that have been recorded in Contra Costa County, California, through 8/1/1998. Primary sources for the list are the following: "Checklist of the Birds of the East Bay Region" (1989, Richard A. Erickson), "The Distribution of the Birds of California" (1944, Grinnell and Miller), "Directory to the Bird-Life of the San Francisco Bay Region" (1927, Grinnell and Wythe), Western Birds, Field Notes (under all of itís titles), "The Quail" (newsletter of Mt. Diablo Audubon Soc.), "The Gull" (newsletter of Golden Gate Audubon Soc.), and "The Kite Call" (newsletter of Ohlone Audubon Soc.).

Abundance Codes				Status Codes       Suffixes to Status Codes
a=many 1,000ís or more          	P=perennial             a=autumn status for trans.
c=many 100ís or low 1,000ís 		R=permanent resident when different from spring
f=dozens or low 100ís           	S=summer visitor        s=spring status for trans.
u=up to 12 or 24                	T=transient when different from aut.
r=a few found regularly         	W=winter visitor        *=confirmed breeder or near regularly
1=reintroduction of all or part of the population 
x=extremely rare, casual
Species          	Abundance Status 		Comments
Red-throated Loon                    fW            	All 3 loons are most common in Richmond
Pacific Loon                         uW                 area, uncommon to rare elsewhere
Common Loon                          xS,fW		        
Yellow-billed Loon                   xW                 1 record, Richmond
Pied-billed Grebe                    c*S,cW,aT		        	
Horned Grebe                         cW
Red-necked Grebe                     rW                 most from Rich., rare on inland reservoirs
Eared Grebe                          fW
Western Grebe                        uS,aW              significant numbers of Western and Clark's
Clark's Grebe                        uS,aW              summer in non-breeding habitat
Laysan Albatross                     xW                 1 record
Northern Fulmar                      xTs                1 record
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel             xTa                1 record from 1937
Leach's Storm-Petrel                 xTa                1 rec. from fall '60, picked up in Orinda
American White Pelican               rS,uW,fT           most on inland reservoirs
Brown Pelican                        cS,cTa,uW,uTs      Richmond, rare to Pittsburg, 2 inland recs.
Double-crested Cormorant             c*S,aW             only inland Cormorant, nests Richmond Br
Brandt's Cormorant                   rS,uW              Richmond only
Pelagic Cormorant                    u*R                Richmond only, nests on W. Brothers Is.
Magnificent Frigatebird              xTa                1 record, fall of '91 Pt. Pinole
American Bittern                     r*R                n. marshes, e. county.  Declining rapidly
Least Bittern                        xTs                1 record: Waterfront Rd. 4/94
Great Blue Heron                     f*R                           
Great Egret                          f*R
Snowy Egret                          f*R
Cattle Egret                         uW                 very rare away from Central Valley
Green Heron                          u*S,rW             hard to find in winter
Black-crowned Night-Heron            u*R
White-faced Ibis                     uW                 increasing in recent years, east co. only
Tundra Swan                          cW                 east county, accidental elsewhere
Greater White-fronted Goose          cW                 east co., regular at duck ponds
Snow Goose                           cW                 east co., regular at duck ponds
     blue                            rW                 less than 5 recs., all east co.
Ross' Goose                          uW                 east county
Brant                                rWT                Richmond only
Canada Goose                         c*R                introduced population established and
     moffitti                 		c*R                still increasing
     minima                   		rW
     leucopareia              		rW
Wood Duck                            r*S,uW             known breeder only at Discovery Bay
Green-winged Teal                    cW                               
     crecca                   		xW                 1 rec.
Mallard                              f*S,cW
Northern Pintail                     r*S,cW
Blue-winged Teal                     rW                 reliable only at McNabney Marsh
Cinnamon Teal                        u*S,fTa,fW,cTs
Northern Shoveler                    r*S,aW             known to breed only at McNabney Marsh
Gadwall                              r*S,cW
Eurasian Wigeon                      rW                 regular at McNabney Marsh, Rich.
American Wigeon                      xS,aW                          
Canvasback                           cW
Redhead                              rW                 mostly Richmond
Ring-necked Duck                     xS,fW              Inland reservoirs, espec. Marsh Creek
Tufted Duck                          xW                 most records from Mallard Res.
Greater Scaup                        uS,aW              Richmond birds are almost exclusively
Lesser Scaup                         cW                 Greaters, most inland are Lesser
King Eider                           xS                 1 rec., Brooks Is. summer of '84
Harlequin Duck                       xSWT               Brooks Is., pair currently resident
Oldsquaw                             xS,rW              Brooks Is., 2 inland recs.
Black Scoter                         rW                 Richmond only
Surf Scoter                          uS,aW              east to Martinez, only a few inland recs.
White-winged Scoter                  rS,uW              Richmond only, 1 inland rec.
Common Goldeneye                     cW                               
Barrow's Goldeneye                   uW                 rare and local, reliable at Clifton Court
Bufflehead                           xS,cW
Hooded Merganser                     rW                 local at watershed reservoirs, golf courses
Common Merganser                     rS,uW              mostly watershed reservoirs
Red-breasted Merganser               rS,fW              Richmond, annual at Clifton Court
Ruddy Duck                           u*S,aW
Turkey Vulture                       f*R
Osprey                               r*SWT              breeds Pt. Pinole, Briones Res.
White-tailed Kite                    f*R
Bald Eagle                           rW                 winters small numbers on reservoirs
Northern Harrier                     f*S,cW                         
Sharp-shinned Hawk                   r*SW,uT            very local nester
Cooper's Hawk                        u*SWT
Northern Goshawk                     xWTa
Red-shouldered Hawk                  f*R                com. and increasing, especially in eucs.
Broad-winged Hawk                    xW                 2 winter recs.
Swainson's Hawk                      u*ST,rW            rare nester, now found in winter
Red-tailed Hawk                      c*R
Ferruginous Hawk                     uW                 mostly east county
Rough-legged Hawk                    uW                 mostly east county, irruptive
Golden Eagle                         u*R
American Kestrel                     f*S,cW
Merlin                               rW
Prairie Falcon                       r*R                local breeder, more widespread in win.
Peregrine Falcon                     r*S,rW             very local breeder
Ring-necked Pheasant (I)             f*R                apparently decreasing
Wild Turkey (I)                      u*R                increasing in central county
California Quail                     f*R                decreasing in suburban areas
Yellow Rail                          W                  not recorded since 1868!
Black Rail                           u*R                can be common in northern marshes
Clapper Rail                         r*R                local in Richmond and northern marshes
Virginia Rail                        u*S,cW
Sora                                 u*S,fW
Common Moorhen                       u*R                decreasing, mostly n. marshes, e. county
American Coot                        f*S,aW
Sandhill Crane                       uW                 east county only, mostly Holland Tract
Black-bellied Plover                 uS,cW
American Golden-Plover               xTa                Richmond
Pacific Golden-Plover                xTa                Richmond, east county
Snowy Plover                         rW,xT              local at Pt. Pinole, 1 inland rec.
Semipalmated Plover                  rS,fW,cT
Killdeer                             r*S,cW
Mountain Plover                      xW                 east county, not since 1989
Black Oystercatcher                  r*R                Richmond only, east to Pt. Pinole
Black-necked Stilt                   f*s,cW
American Avocet                      u*s,cWT
Greater Yellowlegs                   rS,cW
Lesser Yellowlegs                    xS,uW,fT
Solitary Sandpiper                   xT                 mostly Shell Marsh
Willet                               uS,aW
Wandering Tattler                    xWTs,rTa           Regular at Richmond
Spotted Sandpiper                    x*S,uWTs,fTa       extremely local breeder
Whimbrel                             rS,uW,cTs,fTa
Long-billed Curlew                   rS,fW
Marbled Godwit                       uS,aW
Ruddy Turnstone                      rW                 rare in Richmond, mostly Albany Cres.
Black Turnstone                      fW                 Richmond only, east to Pt. Pinole
Surfbird                             xW,rT              Richmond only
Red Knot                             fWT                Richmond only, very rare inland
Sanderling                           cW                 Richmond only, very rare inland
Semipalmated Sandpiper               xTa                most from Richmond Sewer
Western Sandpiper                    xS,aW
Least Sandpiper                      xS,aW
Baird's Sandpiper                    xTa                Richmond Sewer, McNabney Marsh
Pectoral Sandpiper                   xTa                Richmond Sewer, McNabney Marsh
Dunlin                               aW
Ruff                                 xW                 2 records
Short-billed Dowitcher               cW,aT
Long-billed Dowitcher                cW
Common Snipe                         fW                 especially east co. flooded fields
Wilson's Phalarope                   uT                 especially McNabney Marsh
Red-necked Phalarope                 uT                 McNabney Marsh, Iron House Sewer
Red Phalarope                        xW,rT              rare in Richmond
Pomarine Jaeger                      xTa                1 record from Richmond
Parasitic Jaeger                     rTa                Richmond
Long-tailed Jaeger                   xTa                1 record from Pt. Pinole
Laughing Gull                        xTa
Franklin's Gull                      xW                 2 records
Common Black-headed Gull             xW                 1 record
Bonaparte's Gull                     xS,fW
Heerman's Gull                       uSTa,xWTs          Richmond only, acc. at Mart. and inland
Mew Gull                             xS,cW
Ring-billed Gull                     fS,aW
California Gull                      fS,aW
Herring Gull                         cW
Thayer's Gull                        fW                 declining due to dump closures
Western Gull                         f*S,aW             regular east to Martinez
Glaucous-winged Gull                 rS,cW                             
Glaucous Gull                        rW                 rare and local, Richmond and CCF
Black-legged Kittiwake               xW                 only 2-3 recs., 1 inland
Sabine's Gull                        xTa                very rare Martinez and CCF
Caspian Tern                         c*S                huge colony at Brooks Is.
Elegant Tern                         cSTa
Common Tern                          rTa                hard to find, mostly Rich.
Arctic Tern                          xTa                just 1 rec.
Forster's Tern                       fP                 perennial but does not breed
Least Tern                           r*S                a few pairs nest at Pittsburg
Black Tern                           rT                 east county, especially CCF
Black Skimmer                        rT                 Richmond, especially Brooks Is.
Common Murre                         xW,rTa             Richmond, most common alcid
Pigeon Guillemot                     xS,rTa             Richmond
Marbled Murrelet                     xWTa               Richmond
Ancient Murrelet                     xTa                2 recs., both inland!
Rock Dove (I)                        c*R
Band-tailed Pigeon                   u*S,cW
White-winged Dove                    xW                 1 rec.
Mourning Dove                        c*R
Yellow-billed Cuckoo                 xS                 1 rec., July '98 Richmond
Greater Roadrunner                   r*R                extremely elusive, most Mt. Diablo area
Barn Owl                             f*R
Flammulated Owl                      xTs                1 rec.
Western Screech-Owl                  f*R
Great Horned Owl                     c*R
Northern Pygmy-Owl                   r*R                surprisingly local
Burrowing Owl                        f*R                population plummeting catastrophically
Long-eared Owl                       xS(*?),rW          nests at Pine Canyon, MDSP?
Short-eared Owl                      r*R                declining, mostly east co., n. marshes
Northern Saw-whet Owl                u*R                watershed areas west of I-680
Lesser Nighthawk                     rS(*?),rW          presumably nests at CCF
Common Nighthawk                     xTs
Common Poorwill                      f*S,xW
Black Swift                          rTs,xTa            check freeway overpasses, only 1 fall rec.
Vaux's Swift                         uT
White-throated Swift                 f*R                common nester in freeway overpasses
Black-chinned Hummingbird            u*S                Delta
Anna's Hummingbird                   c*R
Costa's Hummingbird                  xW,rT              rare migrant, 2 winter recs.
Calliope Hummingbird                 uTs                no fall records
Rufous Hummingbird                   xW,fT              all winter selasphorus recs. assumed to
Allen's Hummingbird                  c*S                        be Rufous
Belted Kingfisher                    u*S,fW             more widespread in win., local breeder
Lewis' Woodpecker                    rWT                now very rare, never proven nesting
Acorn Woodpecker                     f*R
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker             xW                 2 county recs.
Red-naped Sapsucker                  rW                 now annual
Red-breasted Sapsucker               uW
Williamson's Sapsucker               xW                 1-2 records
Nuttall's Woodpecker                 f*R                              
Downy Woodpecker                     f*R
Hairy Woodpecker                     u*R                absent from east county
Northern Flicker                     c*R
     yellow-shafted                  rW
Pileated Woodpecker                  rR(*?)             Possibly resident at Pinehurst Rd.
Olive-sided Flycatcher               u*S
Western Wood-Pewee                   f*S
Willow Flycatcher                    rTs,fTa            fairly easy in east co. in late Aug-mid Sept
Least Flycatcher                     xTa                one record
Hammond's Flycatcher                 uTs                can be com. in canyons of Diablo Range
Dusky Flycatcher                     rTs,xTa            Dusky and Gray recorded annually in Spr.
Gray Flycatcher                      rTs                        but carefully eliminate Hammond's
Pacific-slope Flycatcher             c*S,xW
Black Phoebe                         f*R
Eastern Phoebe                       xTa                1 record
Say's Phoebe                         r*S,fW             very rare and local nester in Diablo Range
Ash-throated Flycatcher              f*S
Tropical Kingbird                    xTa                just one record
Cassin's Kingbird                    xT                 just 2 records
Western Kingbird                     f*S                most common in east co.
Horned Lark                          c*R
Purple Martin                        rTs                rare spring transient, no fall records
Tree Swallow                         u*SW,fTs,aTa       local breeder at reservoirs and in east co.
Violet-green Swallow                 f*S
N. Rough-winged Swallow              f*S                nests in freeway overpasses
Bank Swallow                         rST                no breeding habitat
Cliff Swallow                        a*S
Barn Swallow                         c*S,xW
Steller's Jay                        c*R
Western Scrub-Jay                    c*R
Clark's Nutcracker                   xWTa
Black-billed Magpie                  xWTa               1 record
Yellow-billed Magpie                 r*R                now breeding in east co. but very locally
American Crow                        a*R
Common Raven                         u*R                steadily increasing
Chestnut-backed Chickadee            c*R                absent from east co.
Oak Titmouse                         c*R                absent from east co.
Bushtit                              c*R
Red-breasted Nuthatch                u*R                just one east co. record
White-breasted Nuthatch              f*R                just one east co. record
Pygmy Nuthatch                       r*R                local breeder in Berk. Hills in Mont. Pines
Brown Creeper                        u*R
Rock Wren                            u*R
Canyon Wren                          r*R                local in Diablo Range, mostly Mt. Diablo
Bewick's Wren                        c*R
House Wren                           f*S,uW
Winter Wren                          r*S,fW             local breeder in Berkeley Hills
Marsh Wren                           c*R
American Dipper                      xW                 no nesting habitat, not found since '88
Golden-crowned Kinglet               fW,cTa             irruptive, most com. late Oct-mid Nov
Ruby-crowned Kinglet                 aW
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                f*S,xW
Western Bluebird                     c*R
Mountain Bluebird                    rW                 irruptive, most found in Deer Valley area
Townsend's Solitaire                 rWT                irruptive, most in Toyon on Mt. Diablo
Swainson's Thrush                    c*S
Hermit Thrush                        r*S,cW             very local breeder in Berkeley Hills
American Robin                       c*S,aW
Varied Thrush                        fW
Wrentit                              c*R                extirpated from east co.?
Northern Mockingbird                 c*R
Sage Thrasher                        xWT
California Thrasher                  f*R                1 east co. rec., very rare in Richmond area
American Pipit                       cW
Bohemian Waxwing                     xW                 1 record
Cedar Waxwing                        xS,cW              may nest occasionally in Berk. Hills
Phainopepla                          r*SW               extremely rare nester around Mt. Diablo
Northern Shrike                      xW                 1 record
Loggerhead Shrike                    f*R
European Starling (I)                a*R
Plumbeous Vireo                      xTs                2 records
Cassin's Vireo                       u*S,xW
Hutton's Vireo                       c*R
Warbling Vireo                       c*S,xW
Red-eyed Vireo                       xT                 most records from Tilden Park
Tennessee Warbler                    xWT
Orange-crowned Warbler               c*S,rW
Nashville Warbler                    xW,fTs,rTa         most com. in canyons of Diablo Range
Virginia's Warbler                   xTa                1 record
Northern Parula                      xTa
Yellow Warbler                       r*S,cT             extirpated as a breeder?
Chestnut-sided Warbler               xTa                several Tilden records
Magnolia Warbler                     xTs                1 record
Black-throated Blue Warbler          xTa                3 records
Yellow-rumped Warbler                cW
     Audubon's                       cW                 breeds?
     Myrtle                          fW
Black-throated Gray Warbler          r*S,xW,fT          2 nest records from Mt. Diablo
Townsend's Warbler                   fWT
Hermit Warbler                       rW,fTs,uTa         most common in spr. on Mt. Diablo
Blackburnian Warbler                 xTa                apparently 1 fall record
Palm Warbler                         xTa                just one record from 1965!
Blackpoll Warbler                    xTa
Black-and-white Warbler              xSWT               most recs. from Tilden
American Redstart                    xST                most recs. from Tilden
Worm-eating Warbler                  xS                 1 record from summer!
Ovenbird                             xT                 3 records
Northern Waterthrush                 xWT                about 5 records
MacGillivray's Warbler               r*S                local nester in Berleley Hills
Common Yellowthroat                  c*R
Hooded Warbler                       xSTs               5 recs. from Tilden Park!
Wilson's Warbler                     f*S
Canada Warbler                       xTa                2 records
Yellow-breasted Chat                 r*S                only known to breed at Piper Slough
Summer Tanager                       xT
Western Tanager                      r*S,xW
Rose-breasted Grosbeak               xSWT               most records from Berk Hills feeders
Black-headed Grosbeak                c*S
Blue Grosbeak                        u*S                only 2 recs. away from east co.
Lazuli Bunting                       f*S
Indigo Bunting                       xST                may now breed
Green-tailed Towhee                  xWTs               4 records from Mt. Diablo in May
Spotted Towhee                       c*R
California Towhee                    c*R                absent from east county
Rufous-crowned Sparrow               f*R
American Tree Sparrow                xT                 2 recs.
Chipping Sparrow                     u*S,xW,rT
Clay-colored Sparrow                 xTa                now annual in Richmond area
Brewer's Sparrow                     xTa                now annual
Field Sparrow                        xW                 1 record
Black-chinned Sparrow                u*S                most years found only on Mt. Diablo
Vesper Sparrow                       rWTa               now rare in winter
Lark Sparrow                         f*R
Sage Sparrow                         f*R
Lark Bunting                         xTa                1 record
Savannah Sparrow                     f*S,cW
Grasshopper Sparrow                  u*S,rW             a few winter recs.
LeConte's Sparrow                    xTa                1 record
Fox Sparrow                          cW
     iliaca                          rW
     unalaschcensis                  cW
     schistacea                      uWT
Song Sparrow
     santaecrucis/gouldii            c*R                this is the race in the coast ranges
     samuellis                       f*R                salt marshes around Rich/Pt Pinole
     pusillila                       u*R(?)             now gone from El Cerrito area?
     maxillaris                      c*R                Suisun Bay
     mailliardii                     f*R                Delta
Lincoln's Sparrow                    cW                 most com. in weedy areas of east co.
Swamp Sparrow                        xWTa
White-throated Sparrow               rW                 most from feeders in central county
Golden-crowned Sparrow               xS,cW
White-crowned Sparrow                u*S,aW
     nuttalli                        u*R                local breeder around Rich/El Cerrito
     pugetensis                      cW
     gambelii                        cW
Harris' Sparrow                      xWT                virtually all records from feeders
Dark-eyed Junco                      c*R
     slate-colored                   rW
     gray-headed                     xTa                1 record
Lapland Longspur                     xW                 2 records
Chestnut-collared Longspur           xTa                only 1 record?
Bobolink                             xS                 1 record
Red-winged Blackbird                 a*R
Tricolored Blackbird                 f*R                local breeder in east county
Western Meadowlark                   C*R
Yellow-headed Blackbird              r*S,uW             local in east co. in win., bred formerly
Brewer's Blackbird                   c*R
Great-tailed Grackle                 xW                 2 records
Common Grackle                       xTs                1 record
Brown-headed Cowbird                 c*R
Orchard Oriole                       xT
Hooded Oriole                        u*S,xW
Baltimore Oriole                     xW                 1 record
Bullock's Oriole                     f*S,xW
Purple Finch                         f*S,cW
Cassin's Finch                       xWT                rare and irruptive, usually at feeders
House Finch                          c*R
Red Crossbill                        xS,rWT             irruptive
Pine Siskin                          r*S,cW             nests?
Lesser Goldfinch                     c*R
Lawrence's Goldfinch                 u*S,rW             local nester in Diablo Range
American Goldfinch                   c*R,aTa
Evening Grosbeak                     rWT
House Sparrow (I)                    c*R