Bird Sightings

Last update: May 31, 2009. 

This is a frequently updated list of birds and the places where I first learned to identify them. The categorization adopted here is borrowed from David Allen Sibley's The Sibley Guide to Birds. For birds spotted in Asia or in the Indian subcontinent, Salim Ali's The Book of Indian Birds has been used for identification and categorization.  If available, each bird's name is linked to a detailed listing at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Otherwise, a link to the Wikipedia page is provided. If I have been shown a certain bird but don't consider myself competent enough to identify it reliably owing to differences in seasonal plumage or similarity with other species, then that particular entry is written in gray. The newest sightings are indicated by light yellow boxes.

If you have comments or suggestions to improve this page, or just want to talk about birds, please write an email to mirkwoodblog@gmail.com.

Pelecaniformes

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Brown Pelican
Pelicanus occidentalis
Redwood City, CANovember 23, 20072:30 pm
American White Pelican
Pelicanus erythrorhynchos
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
April 2005
5:30 pm
Double-crested Cormorant
Phalacrocorax auritus
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, MESeptember 23, 200511:00 am
Great Cormorant
Phalacrocorax carbo
Newburyport, MAJanuary 19, 20083:00 pm

Wading Birds (Egrets, Herons and Flamingos)

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CAFebruary 2007
8:30 am
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford, CAApril 2007
10:00 am
Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea
Nagaokakyo, JapanSeptember 9, 2008
3:45 pm
Great Egret
Ardea alba
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CAApril 2005
6 pm
Green Heron
Butorides virescens
Lake Solano County Park, Winters, CAFebruary 17, 2008
3:30 pm
Snowy Egret
Egretta thula
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
April 2005
6:00 pm
Cattle Egret
Bubulcus Ibis
College of Engineering, Boat Club, Pune, India
1996
??
Greater Flamingo
Phoenicopterus ruber
Mysore Zoological Park, Mysore, India
June 1988
?
Black Ibis
Pseudibis papillosa
Pashan Lake, Pune, India
January 8, 2009
4:30 pm

Swans, Geese and Ducks

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Mute Swan
Cygnus olor
Redwood City, CA
November 23, 20072:00 pm
Tundra Swan
Cygnus columbianusYolo Bypass Wildlife Refuge, Davis, CA
Feburary 17, 200812:00 noon
Brant
Branta bernicia
Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
November 27, 2008
9:20 pm
Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MNMay, 2000
approx 6 pm
Greater White-Fronted Goose
Anser albifrons
Embarcadero Duck Pond
November 25, 200710:30 am
Snow Goose
Chen caerulescensYolo Bypass Wildlife Area Near Davis, CAFebruary 17, 2008
12:00 noon
American Black Duck
Anas rubripes
Plum Island, Newburyport, MANovember 11, 200710:00 am
Mallard
Anas platyrhynchosShoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
May 2004
6 pm
Northern Pintail
Anas acuta
Plum Island, Newburyport, MANovember 11, 2007
1:00 pm
American Wigeon
Anas americana
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MANovember 11, 200710:15 am
Northern Shoveler
Anas clipeata
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto, CA
November 25, 2007
10:30 am
Cinnamon Teal
Anas cyanoptera
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
February 2007
9:00 am
Green-winged Teal
Anas crecca
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto, CANovember 25, 200711:15 am
Lesser Scaup
Aythya affinis
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
July-August 2006
6:00 pm
Long-tailed Duck
Clangula hyemalis
Salisbury State Reservation, Salisbury, MA
March 16, 2008
3:00 pm
Common Goldeneye
Bucephala clangula
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
February 2007
9:00 am
Bufflehead
Bucephala albeola
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CAFebruary 20079:00 am
Common Merganser
Mergus merganser
Lake Solano County Park, Winters, CA
February 17, 2008
4:00 pm
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
March 16, 2008
11 am
Rudy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto, CA
mid-April, 2007
12:00 noon
Wood Duck
Aix sponsa
Lullwater Lake, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
May 3, 2008
6:00 pm
Common Loon
Gavia immer
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MAJanuary 17, 2009
10:30 am
Common Eider
Somateria mollissimaParker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MAJanuary 17, 2009
12:45 pm
Harlequin Duck
Histrionicus histrionicusRockport, MAFebruary 28, 2009
2:00 pm

Diurnal Raptors

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
California Condor
Gymnogyps californianus
Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon, AZ
May 25, 2008
10:00 am
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto, CA
February 2007
12:00 noon
Northern Harrier
Circus cyaneus
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
November 11, 2007
Various
White-tailed Kite
Elanus leucurus
The Dish, Stanford Foothills, Stanford, CA
June 2005
11:00 am
Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
Stanford Foothills, Stanford, CA
Various days in 2005
Various
Rough-legged Hawk
Buteo lagopus
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
January 18, 2008
11:00 am
Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Near the Chain Bridge, Newburyport, MA
January 18, 2008
3:30 pm
Common Pariah Kite (Black Kite)
Milvus Migrans
Neelayam Bridge, Pune, India
January 8, 2009
11:00 am

Upland Game Birds

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
California Quail
Callipepla californica
Lyman Graduate Residences, Stanford, CA
One summer day in 2005
About 10:30 am
Ring-necked Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto, CA
November 25, 2007
11:00 am
Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo
Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
August 6, 2007
10:00 am
Indian Peafowl
Pavo cristatus
Parvati Hills, Pune, India
1995 ?
?

Gruiformes

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
American Coot
Fulica americana
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
20056:00 pm
California Clapper Rail
Rallus longirostris
Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto, CA
February 2007
11:45 am






Shorebirds

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
American Avocet
Recurvirostra americana
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
April-May 2005
6:30 pm
Black-necked Stilt
Himantopus maxicanus
Charleston Slough, Mountain View, CA
May 2005
6:30 pm
Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Preserve, Davis, CA
February 17, 2008
10:40 am
Greater Yellowlegs
Tringa melanoleuca
Parker River Wildlife Preserve, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
November 11, 2007
9:30 am
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Preserve, Davis, CAFebruary 17, 2008
10:30 am
Willet
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
February 20078:30 am
Long-billed Curlew
Numenius americanus
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Preserve, Davis, CAFebruary 17, 2008
2:00 pm
Red-Wattled Lapwing
Vanellus indicus
Pashan Lake, Pune, India
January 9, 2009
4:30 pm
Sanderling
Calidris alba
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
January 17, 200912:00 noon
Purple Sandpiper
Calidris maritima
Rockport, MA
February 28, 200912:30 pm


Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus
Plum Island, Newburyport, MANovember 11, 20079:30 pm
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
Various dates in 2005
Various
Iceland Gull
Larus glaucoides
Plum Island, Newburyport, MAJanuary 18, 20084:00 pm
Ring-billed Gull
Larus delawarensis
Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, MANovember 11, 20072:00 pm
Mew Gull
Larus canus
Potter Marsh, Anchorage, AKJune 29, 20082:30 pm
Forster's Tern
Sterna forsteri
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CAMay 2005
5:00 pm
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea
Potter Marsh, Anchorage, AKJune 29, 2008
10:00 am
Black Skimmer
Rynchops niger
Charleston, Slough, MAApril 2005
6:00 pm

Cuckoos, Anis and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Asian KoelEudynamys scolopacea
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
?
?
Greater Coucal / Crow Pheasant
Centropus sinensis
Parvati Hills, Pune, India
1996
Evening walk

Pigeons, Doves and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon
Columba livia
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
1982-83
?
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, CA
2005
6:30 pm
Spotted Dove
Streptopelia chinensis
Howard Plaza Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
April 21, 2009
7:00 am

Parrots and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Psittacula krameri
Forest Area, Solapur, India
1989
?
Budgerigar
Melopsittacus undulatus
Pune, India (kept pet birds for a year)
1993-94
N/A

Owls

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Barn Owl
Tyto alba
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
?
around 10:00 am
Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus
Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, Belmont, MA
November 17, 2007
7 am
Snowy Owl
Nyctea scandiaca
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
January 18, 2008
10 am

Hummingbirds

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Anna's Hummingbird
Calypte anna
Science and Engg Quad, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2003
?

Kingfishers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Belted Kingfisher
Megaceryle alcyon
Lake Solano County Park, Winters, CA
February 17, 2008
3:00 pm

Woodpeckers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Acorn Woodpecker
Melanerpes formicivorus
Main Quad, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2003
Lunch 1:00 pm
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
March 29, 2008
10:15 am
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Melanerpes carolinus
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
March 29, 2008
10:20 am
Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus
Ipswich River Wildlife Refuge, Topsfield, MA
June 14, 2008
2:30 pm
Red-naped Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus nuchalis
Beaver Ponds Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
May 24, 2009
Lunch 4:45 pm

Tyrant Flycatchers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Black Phoebe
Sayornis nigricans
Jasper Ridge, Stanford, CA
April 2007
11:00 am
Eastern Phoebe
Sayornis phoebe
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 12, 2008
11:30 am
Eastern Kingbird
Tyrannus tyrannus
Bradley Palmer State Park, Ipswich, MA
June 8, 2008
11:00 am

Shrikes and Vireos

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Northern Shrike
Lanius excubitor
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
January 19, 2008
11:00 am

Jays, Crows and Allies (Corvidae)

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Blue Jay
Cyanocitta cristata
Walden Street, Cambridge, MA
December 15, 20077:30 am
Scrub Jay (Western)
Aphelocoma californica
Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2004
All day
Steller's Jay
Cyanocitta stelleri
Purisima Creek, Half moon Bay, CAFebruary 16, 200810:00 am
Clark's Nutcracker
Nucifraga columbiana
Crater Lake National Park, OR
September 1, 20073:45 pm
American Crow
Corvus brachyrhynchos
All visited places in the US
N/AN/A
House Crow
Corvus splendens
All visited places in India
N/A
N/A
Black-billed Magpie
Pica hudsonia
4th Avenue, Anchorage, AK
June 25, 2008
9:30 pm
European Magpie
Pica pica
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, Taipei, Taiwan
April 25, 2009
12:30 pm
Common Raven
Corvus corax
Grand Canyon, AZ
May 25, 2008
3:00 pm

Larks

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Horned Lark
Eremophila alpestris
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
January 17, 200912:00 noon

Swallows

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Purple Martin
Progne subis
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
June 14, 2008
8:40 am
Tree Swallow
Tachycineta bicolor
Ipswich River wildlife Refuge, Topsfield, MA
June 14, 2008
3:00 pm
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Highland Lighthouse, Cape Cod, MA
August 9, 2008
3:30 pm

Chickadees and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Black-capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapilla
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MA
December 30, 2007
11:45 am
Northern Tufted Titmouse
Baeolophous bicolor
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
March 29, 2008
9:30 am

Nuthatches and Creepers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MADecember 30, 200712:00 noon

Wrens

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Carolina Wren
Thyrothorus ludovicianus
Island Ford, Chattahoochee River NRA, Atlanta, GA
May 4, 2008
11:30 am


Old-World Warblers, Thrushes and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Western Bluebird
Sialia mexicana
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford, CA
April 2007
12:00 noon
Mountain Bluebird
Sialia currucoides
Morraine Meadow, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
May 24 2009
6:00 pm
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Regulus calendula
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 26, 2008
12:10 pm
American Robin
Turdus migratorius
Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN
March 2000
?
Wood Thrush
Hylocichla mustelina
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
August 10, 2008
12:30 pm
Indian Robin
Saxicoloides fulicata
Parvati Hills, Pune, India
1997
On an Evening Walk
Magpie Robin
Copsychus saularis
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
1997
One afternoon through a window

Note: Indian Robin and Magpie Robin are grouped with American Robin for convenience. They are no longer considered Old-World Thrushes and are included under Old-World Flycatchers.

Wood Warblers

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Dendroica coronata
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA
February 17, 2008
2:00 pm
Palm Warbler
Dendroica palmarum
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 26, 2008
11:10 am
Pine Warbler
Dendroica pinus
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 20, 2008
7:00 am
Common Yellowthroat
Geothlypis trichas
Palo Alto Duck Pond, Palo Alto CA
February 2007
11:00 am
Wilson's Warbler
Wilsonia pusilla
Jasper Ridge, Stanford, CA
April 2007
10:30 am
Yellow Warbler
Dendroica petechia
Ipswich River Wildlife Refuge, Topsfield, MA
June 14, 2008
2:00 pm

Waxwings

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Cedar Waxwing
Bombycilla cedrorum
Escondido Village, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2004 ?
6:00 pm

Mimids

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottos
Cambridge, MA
October 2007
9:15 am
Gray Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis
Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA
June 7, 2007
3:00 pm
Brown Thrasher
Toxostoma rufum
Island Ford, Chattahoochee River, Atlanta, GA
May 4, 2008
11:15 am

Starlings and Mynas

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
A McDonald's in Milbrae
2006
11:45 am
Common Myna
Acridotheres tristis
Solapur, India
?
?

Wagtails and Pipits

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
White Wagtail
Motacilla alba
Kenchoji Temple, Kamakura, Japan
September 13, 2008
3:00 pm
Large Pied Wagtail (White-browed Wagtail)
Motacilla madaraspatensis
Pashan Lake, Pune, India
January 9, 2009
4:30 pm

Drongos

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Black Drongo
Dicrurus adsimilis
Pashan Lake, Pune, India
January 8, 2009
4:45 pm





Silky Flycatchers and Bulbuls

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Phainopepla
Phainopepla nitens
Lake Solano County Park, Winters, CA
February 17, 2008
3:00 pm
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Pycnonotus jocosus
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
1991
?
Red-vented Bulbul
Pycnonotus cafer
Sahakarnagar, Pune, India
1991
?

Icterids

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus
Tressider Union, Stanford University
around May 2003
Lunch, 12:30 pm
Brewer's Blackbird
Euphagus cyanocephalus
Tressider Union, Stanford University
around May 2003
Lunch, 12:30 pm
Common Grackle
Quiscalus quiscula
Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
March 16, 2008
9:30 am
Baltimore Oriole
Icterus galbula
Marlborough High School, Marlborough, MA
May 17, 2008
11:30 am
Orchard Oriole
Icterus spurius
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
June 14, 2008
9:15 am
Bobolink
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
June 14, 2008
9:30 am
Western Meadowlark
Sturnella neglecta
Santa Teresa County Park, South San Jose, CA
February 14, 2009
12:45 pm


Emberizine Sparrows and Allies

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
California Towhee
Pipilo crissalis
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford, CA
April 2007
12:00 noon
American Tree Sparrow
Spizella arborea
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MA
January 18, 2008
10:30 am
Chipping Sparrow
Spizella passerina
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 20, 2008
7:30 am
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MAJune 14, 2008
8:00 am
White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 26, 2008
11:45 am
White-crowned Sparrow
Zonotrichia leucophrys
Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage, AK
June 25, 2008
8:30 pm
Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis
Escondido Village, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2006
?
Snow Bunting
Plectrophenax nivalis
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MANovember 11, 2007
10:30 am
Eastern Towhee
Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Hellcat, Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, MAJune 14, 2008
11:00 am
Savannah Sparrow
Passerculous sandwichensis
Salisbury State Reservation, Salisbury, MA
January 17, 2009
2:15 pm

Finches and Old-World Sparrows

Common Name
Latin NamePlaceDateTime
House Finch
Passer domesticus
Blackwelder Court, Stanford, CA
Spring 2003
9:00 am
American Goldfinch
Carduelis tristis
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
April 20, 20087:15 am
House Sparrow
Carpodacus mexicanus
?
?
?
White-winged Crossbill
Loxia leucoptera
Salisbury State Reservation, Salisbury, MA
January 17, 2009
2:30 pm