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  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

    Tijuana SloughNational WildlifeRefugeTijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve


  • The coming and goingof the birds is more or lessa mystery and a surprise.We go out in the morning,and no thrush or vireo isto be heard; we go out again,and every tree and grove ismusical; yet again, and all issilent. Who saw them come?Who saw them depart?- John Burroughs,Wake Robbin

  • Introduction

    For nearly 40 years, the Tijuanaestuary and river valley have been amagnet for birds and bird watchers.Today, the area continues to delightbirders, wildlife photographers andnature lovers from around the world.This bird list covers the estuary, rivervalley and the adjacent communitiesof Imperial Beach and Nestor to thenorth, Spooners Mesa to the south,and the ocean visible from shore tothe west.

    The Tijuana River valley hasexperienced enormous changes in itshabitats over the decades. Manyspecies of birds have appeared anddisappeared with these changes.Much of the data on birds in theTijuana River valley reflects pastconditions more extensiveagriculture, different crops, fewertrees, flooded swamps

    Current conditions (1997) are so newthat the status of many species isunclear. Some species that onceoccurred frequently are now rare orabsent. Although this list encompassesall species ever recorded here, theirstatus by season is an estimate basedon their response to currentconditions.

    Philip Unitt, Department of Birds andMammals, San Diego Natural HistoryMuseum

    Tijuana River National EstuarineResearch Reserve, of which TijuanaSlough National Wildlife Refuge is apart, lies along the Pacific Flywayand is designated as a GloballyImportant Bird Area by theAmerican Bird Conservancy. TheAudubon Societys 1997 Christmasbird count documented over 370species of birds in the estuary andriver valley.

    Tijuana SloughNWR

    Tijuana RiverNERR

    Bird List Key


    Key toHabitats

    c - Common species seen onnearly every visit at the properseason, usually in good numbers(>10 per day)

    u - Uncommon species seen onmost visits at the properseason, usually in smallnumbers (

  • Common Name Sp S F W

    Green Heron* u u u uBlack-crowned Night-Heron (*) u u u uYellow-crowned Night-Heron r r r r

    IbisWhite-faced Ibis o r o o

    StorkWood Stork r r

    WaterfowlGreater White-fronted Goose r rSnow Goose r rRoss Goose rBrant o o oCanada Goose r rWood Duck rGreen-winged Teal u u uMallard* u u c cNorthern Pintail c c cBlue-winged Teal o r oCinnamon Teal (*) c o c cNorthern Shoveler c c cGadwall (*) u o u uEurasian Wigeon o oAmerican Wigeon c c cCanvasback rRedhead o

    Birds of Tijuana River NERR

    Common Name Sp S F W

    GrebesPied-billed Grebe* u u u uHorned Grebe oEared Grebe u u uWestern Grebe u c cClarks Grebe r r u u

    LoonsRed-throated Loon* r r u uPacific Loon o oCommon Loon u u u

    Fulmars, and ShearwatersNorthern Fulmar r r rSooty Shearwater r r r rShort-tailed Shearwater rBlack-vented Shearwater o o

    TropicbirdsRed-billed Tropicbird r

    Boobies and GannetsBlue-footed Booby rBrown Booby r

    Pelicans and CormorantsBrandts Cormorant u u u uDouble-crested Cormorant c u c cAmerican White Pelican r r rCalifornia Brown Pelican c c c c

    FrigatebirdsMagnificent Frigatebird r r

    Bitterns, Herons and EgretsAmerican Bittern (*) r r r oLeast Bittern* o o o rGreat Blue Heron u u u uGreat Egret (*) u u u uSnowy Egret (*) u u c uLittle Blue Heron (*) o o o oTricolored Heron r r o oReddish Egret r r o oCattle Egret (*) r r r r

    Green heron Phillip Roullard

    Waterfowl, continued next page

  • Common Name Sp S F W Common Name Sp S F W

    Red-tailed Hawk* u u u uFerruginous Hawk o rRough-legged Hawk r rGolden Eagle o o

    FalconsAmerican Kestrel* u u u uMerlin o oPeregrine Falcon o o o oPrairie Falcon o o

    Gallinaceous BirdsCalifornia Quail* u u u u

    RailsBlack Rail - extirpatedClapper Rail* u u u uVirginia Rail u u uSora u u uCommon Gallinule* u u u uAmerican Coot* c u c c

    PloversBlack-bellied Plover c u c cPacific Golden-Plover r rAmerican Golden Plover r rSnowy Plover* u u c cWilsons Plover rSemipalmated Plover c r c uKilldeer* c c c cMountain Plover o o

    OystercatchersBlack Oystercatcher r r r

    Stilts and AvocetsBlack-necked Stilt* c c c cAmerican Avocet* c u c c

    ShorebirdsGreater Yellowlegs u c uLesser Yellowlegs o u oSolitary Sandpiper r oWillet c c c cShorebirds, continued next page

    Waterfowl, continued

    Ring-necked Duck r oGreater Scaup r rLesser Scaup u c cOldsquaw r r rBlack Scoter rSurf Scoter c u c cWhite-winged Scoter r rCommon Goldeneye rBufflehead u u cRed-breasted Merganser u o u uRuddy Duck (*) c u c c

    VulturesTurkey Vulture r uCalifornia Condor - extirpated

    Osprey, Kites, Eagles and HawksOsprey o o o oWhite-tailed Kite* u u u uMississippi Kite rBald Eagle rNorthern Harrier* u u u uSharp-shinned Hawk u uCoopers Hawk* u u u uRed-shouldered Hawk o o u uBroad-winged Hawk r rSwainsons Hawk r rZone-tailed Hawk r

    Light-footedclapper rail Shari Erickson

  • Common Name Sp S F W Common Name Sp S F W

    Herring Gull o r o uThayers Gull r oYellow-footed Gull r rWestern Gull c c c cGlaucous-winged Gull r oGlaucous Gull rBlack-legged Kittiwake rSabines Gull rGull-billed Tern o oCaspian Tern c c c uRoyal Tern u u u uElegant Tern c c cCommon Tern u r c rForsters Tern c c c cCalifornia Least Tern* u u uBlack Tern r o

    SkimmersBlack Skimmer u u u u

    SeabirdsCommon Murre r r rMarbled Murrelet rXantus Murrelet rCraveris Murrelet rAncient Murrelet r rCassins Auklet rRhinoceros Auklet r

    Shorebirds, continued

    Spotted Sandpiper u r u uWhimbrel u o c uLong-billed Curlew u o c uMarbled Godwit c c c cRuddy Turnstone u r u uBlack Turnstone o o oSurfbird o rRed Knot u c uSanderling c u c cSemipalmated Sandpiper rWestern Sandpiper c o c cLeast Sandpiper c r c cBairds Sandpiper r oPectoral Sandpiper oSharp-tailed Sandpiper rDunlin u c cStilt Sandpiper rBuff-breasted Sandpiper rRuff r rShort-billed Dowitcher c u c cLong-billed Dowitcher c c c

    SnipeCommon Snipe o u u

    PhalaropesWilsons Phalarope u cNorthern Phalarope c cRed Phalarope o o o

    JaegersPomarine Jaeger rParasitic Jaeger r r r

    Gulls and TernsLaughing Gull r r r rFranklins Gull r r rBonapartes Gull c o r cHeermanns Gull u c c cBelchers Gull rMew Gull r uRing-billed Gull c u c cCalifornia Gull c o c c Northern phalarope Shari Erickson

  • Common Name Sp S F W Common Name Sp S F W

    DovesBand-tailed Pigeon r rDomestic Pigeon* c c c cWhite-winged Dove r o rMourning Dove* c c c cCommon Ground-Dove (*) oRuddy Ground Dove r

    CuckoosYellow-billed Cuckoo (*) r rGreater Roadrunner* o o o o

    OwlsBarn Owl u u u uGreat Horned Owl u u u uBurrowing Owl* u u u uLong-eared Owl (*) r r r rShort-eared Owl r r o

    GoatsuckersLesser Nighthawk (*) r r o rCommon Nighthawk rPoorwill r r

    SwiftsBlack Swift rVauxs Swift u u rWhite-throated Swift o o o

    HummingbirdsBroad-billed Hummingbird r rBlack-chinned Hummingbird* c c cAnnas Hummingbird* c c c c

    Costas Hummingbird* u u c uCalliope Hummingbird r rRufous Hummingbird c c rAllens Hummingbird u u

    KingfishersBelted Kingfisher u u u

    WoodpeckersLewis Woodpecker rAcorn Woodpecker rRed-naped Sapsucker o oRed-breasted Sapsucker o oLadder-backed Woodpecker rNuttalls Woodpecker* u u u uDowny Woodpecker* u u u uHairy Woodpecker rNorthern Flicker u u u

    FlycatchersOlive-sided Flycatcher o oGreater Pewee rWestern Wood-Pewee u uWillow Flycatcher (*) u r uLeast Flycatcher rHammonds Flycatcher u uDusky Flycatcher rGray Flycatcher o rWestern Flycatcher c c rBlack Phoebe* c c c cEastern Phoebe r rSays Phoebe u r c cFlycatchers, continued next page

    Shari Erickson

  • Common Name Sp S F W Common Name Sp S F W

    Flycatchers, continued

    Vermilion Flycatcher r o rAsh-throated Flycatcher u u rTropical Kingbird o rCassins Kingbird* u u c rThick-billed Kingbird rWestern Kingbird c u cEastern Kingbird rScissor-tailed Flycatcher r r

    LarksHorned Lark* u u u u

    SwallowsPurple Martin r rTree Swallow c c uViolet-green Swallow c oNorthern Rough-winged Swallow c u c rBank Swallow r oCliff Swallow* c c uBarn Swallow c o c r

    Jays, Magpies and CrowsScrub-Jay* u u u uAmerican Crow* u u u uCommon Raven u u u u

    VerdinVerdin r r

    BushtitsBushtit* c c c c

    NuthatchesRed-breasted Nuthatch rWhite-breasted Nuthatch r

    CreepersBrown Creeper r r

    WrensBewicks Wren* c c c cHouse Wren* u u c cWinter Wren r rMarsh Wren* c u c cWrentit* c c c c

    Kinglets, Bluebirds and ThrushesGolden-crowned Kinglet r rRuby-crowned Kinglet c c cBlue-gray Gnatcatcher u uBlack-tailed GnatcatcherCalifornia Gnatcatcher* u u u uWestern Bluebird rMountain Bluebird r rTownsends Solitaire r rSwainsons Thrush u uHermit Thrush u u uWood Thrush rAmerican Robin o oVaried Thrush r r

    Mockingbirds and ThrashersGray Catbird rNorthern Mockingbird* c c c cSage Thrasher r o oBendires Thrasher r r rCalifornia Thrasher* u u u uLe Contes Thrasher

    Wagtails and PipitsRed-throated Pipit oSpragues Pipit rAmerican Pipit c c o o

    CaliforniagnatcatcherKen Morris/USFWS

  • Common Name Sp S F W Common Name Sp S F W

    WaxwingsCedar Waxwing c c c

    PhainopeplaPhainopepla o r

    ShrikesLoggerhead Shrike* u u u u

    Starlings and MynasEuropean Starling* c c c c

    VireosLeast Bells Vireo* u u r rCassins Vireo o o oHuttons Vireo rBlue-headed Vireo rWarbling Vireo u uPhiladephia Vireo rPlumbeous Vireo r oRed-eyed Vireo r rYellow-green Vireo r

    WarblersBlue-winged Warbler rGolden-winged Warbler rTennessee Warbler r oOrange-crowned Warbler c c cNashville Warbler u uVirginias Warbler o r

    Lucys Warbler r rParula Warbler r rYellow Warbler* c c u oCh


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