Team Cosumnes, PRBO 2011 Bird-A-Thon


PRBO 2011 Bird-A-Thon

Petaluma, California

Team Cosumnes, PRBO 2011 Bird-A-Thon


This is the 34th annual PRBO Bird-A-thon, run each fall from Sept 1 to October 15. PRBO's many projects provide essential habitat information for conservation organizations throughout the western U.S. and solid bird-based science that provides an understanding of population status and overall habitat health.  See

PRBO has played a vital role in the bird survey efforts at Cosumnes River Preserve.

UPDATE:  We tallied 124 Species (miscounted the first time)

On Sunday, October 9th, John Trochet, Ed Harper and I covered Preserve properties from 6:25 AM to 8:05 PM. We visited the Barn Ponds, Lost Slough Wetlands, Visitor Center, the River Walk, ag fields west of the Tall Forest (shorebirds), the Accidental Forest, Wood Duck Slough, and the west side of the Tall Forest.  Continuing on, we picked up a single Yellow-billed Magpie en route to MacFarland Ranch/Orr Forest and then checked the dairies along Arno Rd on the south side of Valensin Ranch and drove out toward Howard Ranch. Here we traveled 16 miles by car and on foot, and ended the day in a remote valley, picking up W. Screech-Owl and Common Poorwill, having a Nighthawk (probably a Lesser) fly over us, and a Barn Owl fly by closely and circle us.

There were no real surprises aside from the Nighthawk, which seems on the late side. We did, however, have a nice selection of waterfowl and a good number of warblers for late in the season. There were several misses, including Green Heron, Common Gallinule (name changed recently from Moorhen), gulls other than Ring-billed (Cosumnes is often gull poor), Dark-eyed Junco, and Tricolored Blackbird. We also had the fewest number of Lewis’s Woodpeckers in the six years we have done this Cosumnes-based Big Day.  This is in contrast to often seeing 100+ in a visit to this site. The species varies a lot from year to year based likely on food availability, so it will be interesting to see if they are hard to come by on this winter’s local Christmas Bird Counts.

Note: the numbers listed by the species are, unless specified, those recorded on the Lower Preserve, and are very rough estimates (and “X” means there was no number estimate). Some species have additional comments.

Ducks and Geese

1. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 200
2. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 80
3. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 25
4. Gadwall (Anas strepera) 40
5. American Wigeon (Anas americana) 3
6. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 250
7. Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) 3
8. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 25
9. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 50
10. Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) 30
11. Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) 5
12. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) 1

Quail, Pheasants, Turkeys

13. California Quail (Callipepla californica) X Also at Howard
14. Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 5
15. Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) 10


16. Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 6
17. Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 1 Just northwest of Visitor Center

18. Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 5

Herons and Ibis

19. American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) 1
20. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 4
21. Great Egret (Ardea alba) 20
22. Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) 12
23. Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 4
24. White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) 200

Vultures, Hawks, Falcons

25. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 30
26. White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) 1
27. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 1 Howard Ranch (missed on the Lower Preserve)
28. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 1
29. Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1 Getting mobbed by the sharp-shinned

+1 Forgot to add this one

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

30. Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) 3
31. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 4
32. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 3
33. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 1 On the Bruceville Rd Comm. Tower

Rails and Cranes
34. Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) 5
35. Sora (Porzana carolina) 1
36. American Coot (Fulica americana) 40
37. Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) 200


38. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 20
39. Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) 15
40. Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) 12
41. Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) 2
42. Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) 1
43. Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 120
44. Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) 100
45. Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) 8


46. Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 3

Pigeons and Doves

47. Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 3 Arno/Valensin Rds
48. Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 1 MacFarland Ranch
49. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 5

Owls and Nightjars

50. Barn Owl (Tyto alba) 1 at Barn Ponds and 1 at Howard
51. Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii) 3 Howard
52. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) 1
53. Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) 5 Howard. Three in culverts, one under an overhanging rock, one foraging after dark.
+1 (this one counts) nighthawk sp. (Chordeiles sp.) 1 Probably a Lesser. Howard
54. Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) 1 Howard


55. Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1 Singing near feeder at Visitor Center


56. Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 5


57. Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) 5 Howard. The fewest by far in six falls
58. Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 1 One on Orr Rd a surprise/many at Howard Ranch
59. Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) 3 Surprisingly quiet
60. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 6
61. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 20


62. Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) 1 Late in the year
63. Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western) (Empidonax difficilis/occidentalis) 1
64. Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 6
65. Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) 1 Also at Howard

Shrikes and Vireos

66. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) 1 MacFarland Ranch/also one at Howard
67. Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) 1


68. Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 20
69. Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli) 1 Orr Rd
70. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 25
71. Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2 Arno/Valensin Rds/also at Howard Ranch

-1:  missed 72 here


73. Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) 100 Howard


74. Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) 8 Middle Slough and River Walk
75. Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 300 Barn Ponds and Wetlands
76. Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) 1 west of Visitor Center
77. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 100
78. Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) 1 at Barn Ponds

Titmouse, Bushtit, Nuthatch

79. Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 15
80. Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 60
81. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 10


82. Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) 1 at Howard on a log, not a rock
83. Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 12
84. House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 25
85. Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) 25

Kinglets, Wrentit, Thrushes and Thrashers

86. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 8
87. Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 20
88. Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 1 Also at Howard
89. Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) 3
90. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 25
91. Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 1 Also at Howard


92. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 50

Silky Flycatchers

93. Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) 2 Howard

Pipits and Waxwings

94. American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) 1
95. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) X heard at Middle Breach by Accidental Forest. That was it for the day for this species


96. Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) 10
97. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 10
98. Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) 12 Surprisingly common for this date
99. Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) 10
100. Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) 8
101. Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) 2
102. Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis) 1 One good flock had both Townsend’s and several B-t Grays.
103. Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla) 2


104. Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 30
105. Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps) 1 Howard
106. California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 4 Howard
107. Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) 10 Howard—missed at Orr where they are regular
108. Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 10
109. Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 1 Also saw one at Orr
110. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 30
111. Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) 20
112. White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) 40
113. Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 10


114. Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 3


115. Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 300
116. Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 20
117. Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 100
118. Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) 1 Arno Rd Dairy
119. Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 5


120. House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) 30
121. Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 1 plus many at Howard
122. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 40

House Sparrow

123. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 5 Arno Rd Dairy

Total is 124 (miscounted:  -1 and +2, see list)

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Checks should be made out to PRBO and mailed to me:

Chris Conard
2405 Rio Bravo Circle
Sacramento, CA 95826

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Chris Conard, for Team Cosumnes

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