Birds

Nuttall’s Woodpecker

California’s oak woodlands are the place to look for Nuttall’s Woodpeckers. If you find an oak tree in California, even in suburban areas, there’s a chance that a Nuttall’s Woodpecker will be around. These small woodpeckers don’t just forage on trunks and branches, they also forage on tiny stems in willows and alders where they might look more like a …

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Anna’s Hummingbird

anna's hummingbird at feeder

In our Sunnyvale garden, there is always one, and only one, dominant male hummingbird. He tries to keep every other hummingbird away from the feeder with one exception: During breeding season, the male allows some females to feed. tbd

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Meet the new boss

This is our male hummingbird. He ferociously defends his feeder against all…except this time of year when he welcomes females to sip nectar. Then he will sit nearby bobbing his head and making some chirps (or at least that is what the high-frequency-hearing-enabled people tell me)

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Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. These slender-bodied gray birds pour all their color into their personalities. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying slowly around them or …

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American Crow

Crows

The Crow is a very common bird in the neighborhood but rarely appears in my backyard. The most likely reason is that the crow has decided there is not enough room to evaluate threats and escape. We often see crows in the cypress trees in a neighbor’s yard. American Crows are familiar over much of the continent: large, intelligent, all-black …

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Scrub Jay

Wester Scrub Jay, Blue Jay

The type of blue jay we see in Sunnyvale are the Western Scrub Jay. Robin-sized, but large strong bill and long tail make it appear larger. Head, wings, and tail blue (conspicuous when it glides in a long, undulating flight). Their back is dull brown; underparts light gray. No crest; dusky face mask. White throat offset by incomplete blue necklace. …

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Wild Parrots of Sunnyvale

wild parrot of sunnyvale

A flock of wild parrots hang out most often in the area near El Camino Ave and Mathilda Ave, in Sunnyvale, where Matilda turns into Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.  At various times and, particularly, towards the end of the day, they congregate in Los Palmas Park, just a few blocks away. A cluster of palm trees in the park provide a safe …

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American Robin

American robin male

The quintessential early bird, American Robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. Robins are popular birds for their warm orange breast, cheery song, and early appearance at the end of winter. Though they’re familiar town and city birds, American Robins are at home in wilder areas, too, …

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Chestnut Chickadee

chestnut chickadee male

A handsome chickadee that matches the rich brown bark of the coastal trees it lives among, the Chestnut-backed Chickadee is the species to look for up and down the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. Active, sociable, and noisy as any chickadee, you’ll find these birds at the heart of foraging flocks moving through tall conifers with titmice, nuthatches, …

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Bewicks Wren

bewicks wren

If you come across a noisy, hyperactive little bird with bold white eyebrows, flicking its long tail as it hops from branch to branch, you may have spotted a Bewick’s Wren. These master vocalists belt out a string of short whistles, warbles, burrs, and trills to attract mates and defend their territory, or scold visitors with raspy calls. Bewick’s Wrens …

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