Their name comes from their call and they can be seen in small flocks, waiting for the tide to ebb, so they can feed in the freshly stocked pools. The long, downward curved beak, of varying lengths, is the identifying mark.


When standing at the waters edge in small flocks or pairs, these appear to be plain, plump birds. When they fly, however, the prominent black and white wing pattern shows, transforming them into things of beauty.



Yellow Footed Gull

A relative of the Western Gull, this bird, as the name says, has yellow feet and is only seen near the Sea of Cortez and occasionally in summer at the Salton Sea. The back is solidly black with a trim of white and he is a great flyer.




Herring Gull

Our most abundant gull; the adults have white heads and tails and black tipped wings. They love to be fed with bread and can hover briefly, waiting for a piece to be thrown. Their call is loud and clear and they often seem to be arguing with each other.



Caspian Tern

A large, noisy, tern with a blood-red bill and black capped head that can be seen diving close to the shore. Fish is its main diet and it is known to rob other seabirds if the occasion arises.

Whitewinged Dove

How can a small flock eat so much? They are adept at landing on the edges of hanging bowls of food, tipping them over, so they can eat in comfort on the ground. There often appears to be an "alpha" bird that will charge at all the others in turn, trying to reserve the food supply for himself.


Rock Dove (domestic pigeon)

We are all familiar with the soft cooing of this dove that is known world wide. They live mostly in cities, on farms and on cliffs though are not always welcome in built up areas. Their colors vary but they are typically grey with white rumps


Mourning Dove

Slightly smaller and slimmer than the domestic pigeon, these too are widespread in the west. The coloring is a golden brown and the tail is pointed. The call is the familiar, mournful, oooh, ooo, oo, oo.



Unmistakeable and such fun to watch. He is actually one of the cuckoo family but is rarely seen flying. He eats lizards, snakes and insects and seems more prevalent in the mountians than in the coastal regions.

Great Horned Owl

This beautiful large owl has been known to nest in holes in the cliffs of a northern campo where a pair can be heard calling to each other with typical low hoots.


Everyone's favorite. The books state that there are 519 species worldwide of which about 15 have been identified in the west. They can be difficult to distinguish but the Anna's, Rufous, Costa's (shown) and Black-chinned have been seen in our area.

Say's Phoebe

A member of the flycatcher family, this bird loves to nest in the eaves of buildings and can be quite tame. It has rusty underparts and a black tail and is fun to watch as it sweeps and turns in the air catching insects.

Common Raven

A black bird that is larger and soars more than a crow (which we do not see is this area). It has a heavy bill and is basically a carrion feeder.

Cactus Wren

Wrens are often thought of as being small, sweet-songed birds. Not this one! He is large, has a densly spotted breast and has a monotonous one pitched clicking sound for a "song".


Loggerhead Shrike

Not a common bird and sometimes mistaken for a mocking bird, but this shrike has a definite black facial mask and a hooked bill. He sits quietly on a look-out post or a tall cactus and thus far I have not heard one sing. A striking bird and only seen in open country.


Scott's Oriel

What a treat to both see and hear this striking yellow and black orial. In my opinion its song is the most beautiful that we hear in this area other than, perhaps, the mocking bird and its coloring is spectacular. It appears to stay for only a few days per year.



House Finch

This is a small brown bird with a reddish head and breast that keeps company with the sparrows at our feeders. It has a cheerul song and is abundant in the west.

Brown Pelican

Everyone knows this serious looking, but not-so-elegant bird. He loves to raid the fishing nets and watching him splashily dive is always entertaining. Flocks in 'V' formation can be seen almost every day - often skimming the surface of the Sea. Don't they ever hit the waves?

Magnificent Frigatebird

Summer visitors here, but what a breath taking sight. They are skilled flyers with a 7 1/2 foot wing-span and soar effortlessly, using the thermals. They cannot float on water, but rob smaller birds or collect small fish and refuse from the surface for food.


Turkey Vulture

The scavenger department of our skies, they soar in circles, scanning the ground below with their phenomenal eye-sight. Their two-toned wings, held in a slight V with wing tips upturned, are a give-away. When one finds food, others seem to appear from nowhere, all circling effortlessly until the coast is clear for them to come down and eat.

Redtailed Hawk

(Not exactly common here). When seen from above, the tail which is reddish in color is the clue. They like to perch on cacti and in the higher trees. Their food is usually rodents & rabbits, of which we hardly have an abundant supply.


Usually classed as "uncommon", we seem to have quite a few pairs here, especially the 'resident' pair on the bluff near my house and other pairs that can be seen nesting on the tops of electric poles closer to town. They like to have a favorite eating site where they perch, fish in claw, enjoying their catch.

California Quail

Often seen in the more quiet, desert areas, especially if a kind person puts out bird seed. The male, with his bobbing crest is unmistakable and the female is always close by. The "family outing" with babies in tow, is a delight.

Great Blue Heron

Usually just over 3 feet tall, this beautiful bird is the statue of our shores as he waits for a meal. We often see them at the northern campos and in the hotter weather one likes the shade of an unusually tall tree, but squawks loudly as he flies away if disturbed.


Credit given to pictures from GOLDEN books of Birds

Narrated by Theresa Moore of San Felipe, B.C. Mexico