A practical guide to bird watching in Sonoma County, California

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


Sonoma County: Less-common species

Species generally present in the county in appropriate habitat mostly during migration and birds for which a comparatively small number of county records exist. The Sonoma County species count (one accepted sighting or more) currently stands at about 438. The county's most active birders typically see about 250 species in the county each year.

Pelagic Species: Laysan Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Buller's Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater, Black-vented Shearwater, Fork-tailed Storm-petrel, Ashy Storm-petrel, South Polar Skua, Pomerine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin

Ducks, Geese, Swans: Greater White-fronted Goose, Emperor Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Tundra Swan, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, Barrow's Goldeneye, Blue-winged Teal, Tufted Duck, Black Scoter, Steller's Eider, Long-tailed Duck

Shorebirds, Wading Birds: American Bittern, Black Rail, Clapper Rail, Sandhill Crane, American Golden Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Wandering Tatler, Red Knot, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Rock Sandpiper, Ruff, Red-necked Phalarope, Red Phalarope

Hawks and Eagles: Bald Eagle, Swainson's Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Prairie Falcon

Gulls, Terns, Kittiwakes, and Skimmers: Franklin's Gull, Glaucous Gull, Sabine's Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Least Tern, Black Tern, Black Skimmer

Owls: Burrowing Owl, Long-eared Owl

Goatsuckers: Lesser Nighthawk, Common Nighthawk

Swifts: Black Swift

Hummingbirds: Costa's Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Allen's Hummingbird

Woodpeckers: Lewis's Woodpecker

Flycatchers: Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe

Nuthatches: Pygmy Nuthatch

Shrikes: Northern Shrike

Jays: Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker

Swallows, Martins: Purple Martin

Wrens, dippers: Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, American Dipper

Thrashers: Brown Thrasher

Silky Flycatchers: Phainopepla

Warblers: Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, MacGillivray's Warbler

Sparrows: Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Lark sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow

Grosbeaks: Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak

Blackbirds: Tricolored Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle

Finches: Red Crossbill, Lawrence's Goldfinch

The bird in the photo: Tundra swan, Ellis Creek water treatment ponds, Petaluma, January 2010

Most common species list

Common summer species list

Common winter 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.