río embudo birds

Identification Practice for the
Dixon Christmas Bird Count


Species Recorded in 16 out of the 16 Years of the Count.

[These species represent 85.5% of all individuals counted over the 16 years.]

See Suggested Exercises and other Information at Bottom of Page
 
English Name:
Genus species:
CommentsPhotos
Swans, Geese and Ducks
Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Note white horizontal mark at rear on both Female (above)

and

Male (below).

Male plumage distinctive.

Rinconada

Rinconada
Common Goldeneye
Bucephala clangula


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Females (upper) have brown heads.



Male (below) has dark head with distinctive white patch between the bill and the eye.

Both have yellow eye.

Orilla Verde

Orilla Verde

Orilla Verde Enlarge

Rinconada
Common Merganser
Mergus merganser


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Distinctive bill shape and color.

Male has dark head.

Female reddish-brown head.

Long-legged Wading Birds
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Only Winter Heron.

Large, often standing in water.

In flight: 72" wingspan.

El Bosque

El Bosque
Diurnal Raptors: Vultures, Eagles, Hawks and Falcons
Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Adult: Distinctive white head and tail.

Juveniles have white in wings near body. Sometimes head brown and tail with brown band on trailing edge.
Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Often easily identified by visible red tail.

If tail is not visible, other field marks can be used:

From below in flight, the dark front edges of the wings next to the body and the dark "commas" at the wrist are unique among local hawks.



When perched, the dark belly band against the white front is diagnostic.


Juveniles (lowest photo) do not yet have a red tail.

El Bosque

El Bosque

Camino Lejo, Santa Fe
Pigeons and Doves
Rock Pigeon
Columba livia


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Common on wires around human habitation, this species comes in a variety of colors.

Most individuals show two dark wing bars as shown in the upper photo.

Cañoncito

El Bosque
Woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Almost identical to the Hairy Woodpecker in plumage, this smaller woodpecker is generally distinguished by its diminuitive bill which is much shorter than the bird's head from front to back.

The red patch on the head indicates that this is a male.

El Bosque
Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
One of the most common birds in the valley.

From below, shows red feather shafts in flight.

The upper photo shows key marks:

Black breast band.
Red feather shafts on underside of wings and tail.

Red mark under the eye indicates a male.

Female (middle photo): no red face mark.

Lower photo shows diagnostic white rump patch which is always visible in flight and sometimes visible when perched.

Cachanillas

El Bosque

El Bosque
Jays, Crows and their Allies
Western Scrub-Jay
Aphelocoma californica


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Common in all area habitats.

Note white throat and faint white eyebrow.
Also brownish-gray back.

Distinguished from the Pinyon Jay by longer tail and solitary behavior.

Arroyo la Mina

Cañoncito
Black-billed Magpie
Pica hudsonia


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Unmistakable large black and white bird with very long tail.
El Bosque
American Crow
Corvus brachyrhynchos


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
At times difficult to distinguish from Common Raven as the largest Crows are nearly as big as the smallest Ravens.

By sound, the crow's "caw" is familiar.

In flight, the crow's tail is often square or rounded.

Crows are very social and often appear in noisy groups.

Bill smaller and thinner than that of the Raven.

El Bosque
Common Raven
Corvus corax


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
At times difficult to distinguish from American Crow.

By sound, a throaty chortle or shout.

In flight, the tail often appears wedge shaped.

Ravens are often solitary, but sometimes appear with a few other individuals.

Often soars like a hawk. Crows do not.

Bill is thick and heavy. The throat is shaggy compared to the Crow.

Breeding pairs perform synchronized flight high overhead.

El Bosque

Camino de los Marquez, Santa Fe
Chickadees and their Allies
Black-capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapillus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Distinctive Small (~5in) black, white and gray bird that says its name repeatedly: a buzzy chick-a-dee-dee-dee

During breeding season, gives a high descending two pitched
fee-bee.

El Bosque
Nuthatches and Creepers
White-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Distinctive black cap starts above the eye.

Relatively long, sharp bill.

Only local species that walks down tree trunks upside down.

Often heard at a distance: Rapidly repeated nasal "huh". Usually 5-8 sounds, all at same pitch.

El Bosque

El Bosque
Dippers
American Dipper
Cinclus mexicanus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Slate-colored bird seen in rushing streams.

Often standing on rocks right at the water level, bobbing by bending its knees.

Feeds by walking on the bottom of the stream.

El Bosque

See Slide Show of Dipper Feeding
Kinglets and Gnatcatchers
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Regulus calendula


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
In the summer, this species is found breeding at higher altitudes. Singing individuals are very common in nearby high mountain forests such as Amole Canyon above Vadito.

The species winters in the Dixon/Embudo area where it is usually heard before seen, making a harsh, attention getting "juh-juh" in shrubs and low trees along the Río Embudo.

Taos, Photo: John Lay Enlarge
Thrushes and their Allies
Townsend’s Solitaire
Myadestes townsendi


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
This bird is most often observed sitting in the tops of trees sounding a repeated, high, slow whistle.

Gray all over with white on sides of tail.

Fluttery in flight, with cream-colored bands running the length of each wing on the underside.
American Robin
Turdus migratorius


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Best known American Bird.

Note reddish breast, light colored bill and large white split eye-ring.

El Bosque
Starlings and Mynas
European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Usually appears black.

Often seen flying in large flocks. Flocks move very quickly, changing directions often.

Very short tail is distinctive among "blackbirds".

Note bright yellow bill.

El Bosque
Towhees
Canyon Towhee
Pipilo fuscus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Often seen around wood piles and under parked cars.

Note the buffy cap on head and buffy feathers under the tail.

Dark central spot visible on breast.

La Bolsa
Sparrows and their Allies
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
This sparrow is rarely seen more than 50 yards from the river and is often right in the willows at the river's edge.

Dark back, with streaks on breasts and sides joining a dark central spot.

Has a distinctive flight highlighted by a fairly long, rounded tail.

El Bosque
White-crowned Sparrow
Zonotrichia leucophrys


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Adult (Upper Photo): Distinctive black and white stripes on head. Light colored bill. Clear breast and belly.

Juvenile (Lower Photo): Head stripes brown and gray.

Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
In winter, there are 5 sub-species of Dark-eyed Junco in our area. Many have a full black or gray hood. All have a dark eye set in dark plumage.

Almost always in flocks of 10-20 individuals. Identifiable by a very "dry" sounding "tck-tck" and by white showing on the sides of the tail, especially in flight.

Do a an Image Search (at left) to get an idea of the great variation in the plumage of this species.

Finches and Old World Sparrows
House Finch
Carpodacus mexicanus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Often seen at feeders, this species is common in all habitats, especially agricultural areas.

Male (upper picture) is easily identified by red plumage on head, throat, breast and rump.

Female (lower photo) does not have red.

Both sexes have streaking on breast, belly and flanks.

Arroyo La Mina

Arroyo La Mina
American Goldfinch
Carduelis tristis


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Female (Upper Photo)




Male (Lower Photo)

House Sparrow
Passer domesticus


Enlarge Map



External Sites:
Cornell
USGS
Image Search
Common across the continental U.S., this species is generally found around human habitation.

The female (upper picture) is fairly plain with a weak, white eyebrow.

The male (lower picture) has black on the throat, a strong dark mask: often black in front of eye, reddish-brown (rufous) behind the eye.

Often in noisy flocks of 5-15 individuals.

Embudo Valley Library, Dixon

Nob Hill, Albuquerque


Top of Page


Copyright 2006-2013 by Rio Embudo Birds.org --- All rights reserved.