A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

(Unless otherwise indicated, all phone numbers are in the 707 area code)


Sonoma County: Common summer species

Species generally present in the county in the SUMMER months in appropriate habitat

Pelagic Species: Black-footed Albatross, Sooty Shearwater, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet

Loons, Grebes: Pied-billed Grebe, Western Grebe

Ducks, Geese: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Cinnamon Teal, Surf Scoter, Common Merganser

Shorebirds, Wading Birds:, American White Pelican, Brown Pelican, Brandt's Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Virginia Rail, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Semi-palmated Plover, Killdeer, Black Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher

Gulls and Terns: Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Western Gull, Heermann's Gull, Caspian Tern, Elegant Tern, Forster's Tern

Raptors: Turkey Vulture, Osprey, White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Kestrel

Doves, Quail and Grouse: Mourning Dove, California Quail, Rock Dove, Band-tailed Pigeon, Mountain Quail, Blue Grouse

Owls: Barn Owl, Western Screech-owl, Great-horned Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Spotted Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl

Goatsuckers: Common Poorwill

Swifts: Vaux's Swift, White-throated Swift

Hummingbirds: Anna's Hummingbird, Allen's Hummingbird

Woodpeckers: Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker

Flycatchers: Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-pewee, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird

Larks: Horned Lark

Swallows: Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow

Crows, Jays, and Allies: American Crow, Common Raven, Steller's Jay, Western Scrub-jay

Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches, Tits and Creepers: Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Bushtit

Wrens, Wrentit: Bewick's Wren, House Wren, Pacific (Winter )Wren, Marsh Wren, Wrentit

Kinglets, gnatcatchers: Golden-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Mockingbirds, Thrashers: Northern Mockingbird, California Thrasher

Thrushes: American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Western Bluebird

Shrikes: Loggerhead Shrike

Vireos: Cassin's vireo, Hutton's Vireo, Warbling Vireo

Warblers: Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Black-throated gray Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat

Blackbirds, Orioles, Meadowlarks: Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Western Meadowlark

Sparrows, Towhees, and Juncos: Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Sage Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco

Buntings, Finches, and Grosbeaks: Lazuli Bunting, Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch, Black-headed Grosbeak

Others: Western Tanager, Belted Kingfisher

Introduced Species: European Starling, House Sparrow, Ring-necked Pheasant, Wild Turkey, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mute Swan

The bird in the photo: Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Santa Rosa, a common summer resident

Most common species list

Common winter species list

Less common species list

Rare species list



© Colin Talcroft, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Unless noted, all photos by the author. If you would like to use one of my images, please ask for permission for non-commercial use with proper credit or commercial use with proper compensation.