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Bird Checklists of the United States

Joshua Tree National Park

Twentynine Palms, California


Welcome to Joshua Tree National Park. This list includes 239 species of birds seen within the park. It's designed to help you know what to expect and when. Joshua Tree is a vast area of 794,000 acres including portions of the high Mojave Desert, the low Colorado Desert. Verdant palm oases, springs, and several man-made water impoundments (notably Barker Dam). Many birds found here show interesting adaptations to the extremes of desert life.
C - Common. Species observed frequently in most proper habitat.
FC - Fairly Common. Species occurs in only some of the proper habitat.
U - Uncommon. Species occurs regularly but is observed infrequently even in proper habitat.
R - Rare. Species occurs regularly, but in small numbers. Requires careful searching of proper habitat.
CAS - Casual. Presence documented by only a few records.
IRR - Irregular. May be common in certain years and entirely absent other years.

Res - Resident. Present year-round.
Mig - Migrant. Passing through in seasonal movement.
Vag - Vagrant. An erratic or irregular wanderer.

Sp - Spring - March-May
Su - Summer - June-August
Fa - Fall - September-November
Wi - Winter - December-February

* - Nests.
^ - Nesting suspected but not confirmed.
(w) - Water. Species for which water levels (adequate rainfall) are important. May be much less common or absent entirely if rainfall is inadequate.


LOONS Common Loon R Mig (w)
GREBES Pied-billed Grebe* U Res (w) Eared Grebe R Mig (w)
PELICANS White Pelican R Mig Brown Pelican CAS Vag
HERONS, BITTERN & IBIS American Bittern R Mig (w) Great Blue Heron R Mig (w) Great Egret R Mig (w) Snowy Egret R Mig (w) Green Heron R Mig (w) Black-crowned Night-Heron R Mig (w) White-faced Ibis R Mig (w)
DUCKS & GEESE Snow Goose R Mig (w) Brant CAS Mig (w) Canada Goose R Mig (w) Green-winged Teal U Mig (w) Mallard* U Res (w) Blue-winded Teal R Mig (w) Cinnamon Teal R Mig (w) American Wigeon R Mig (w) Canvasback R Mig (w) Redhead R Mig (w) Ring-necked Duck R Mig (w) Lesser Scaup R Mig (w) Bufflehead R Mig (w) Hooded Merganser CAS Mig (w) Common Merganser R Mig (w) Red-breasted Merganser CAS Mig (w) Ruddy Duck* U Res (w)
HAWKS & VULTURES Turkey Vulture* C Mig & Su Res Osprey R Mig Bald Eagle CAS Vag Northern Harrier U Mig & R Wi Sharp-shinned Hawk U Mig & R Wi Cooper's Hawk U Mig & R Res Swainson's Hawk IRR Mig Red-tailed Hawk* C Res Ferruginous Hawk R Mig & Wi Rough-legged Hawk CAS Mig Golden Eagle* R Res
FALCONS American Kestrel* C Res Merlin R Mig Prairie Falcon* U Res Peregrine Falcon CAS Mig
QUAIL Chukar CAS ? Gambel's Quail* C Res Mountain Quail* R Res
RAILS Virginia Rail R Mig (w) Sora U Mig & R Wi (w) American Coot* U Res (w)
SHOREBIRDS Killdeer^ U Mig & R Res Black-necked Stilt R Mig (w) American Avocet R Mig (w) Greater Yellowlegs R Mig (w) Solitary Sandpiper CAS Mig (w) Spotted Sandpiper R Mig (w) Long-billed Curlew R Mig (w) Western Sandpiper R Mig (w) Least Sandpiper R Mig (w) Long-billed Dowitcher R Mig (w) Common Snipe R Mig & Wi (w) Wilson's Phalarope R Mig (w) Red-necked Phalarope R Mig (w)
GULLS & TERNS Ring-billed Gull R Mig California Gull R Mig
PIGEONS & DOVES Rock Dove U Res Band-tailed Pigeon CAS Vag White-winged Dove^ U Mig & S Mourning Dove* C Res Common Ground-Dove CAS Vag
CUCKOOS & ALLIES Yellow-billed Cuckoo CAS Mig Greater Roadrunner* U Res
OWLS Barn Owl* U Res Western Screech-Owl* R Res Great Horned Owl* C Res Elf Owl Extirpated? Burrowing Owl* R Res Long-eared Owl^ IRR Wi (Res?) Northern Saw-whet Owl CAS Mig & Wi
GOATSUCKERS Lesser Nighthawk* FC Su Common Poorwill* FC Res
SWIFTS Vaux's Swift FC Mig White-throated Swift* C Su & IRR Wi
HUMMINGBIRDS Black-chinned Hummingbird^ U Mig Anna's Hummingbird* C Res Costa's Hummingbird* C Res Calliope Hummingbird CAS Mig Rufous Hummingbird FC Mig Allen's Hummingbird CAS Mig
KINGFISHERS Belted Kingfisher R Mig (w)
WOODPECKERS Lewis' Woodpecker IRR Mig & Wi Acorn Woodpecker Vag? Red-naped Sapsucker R Mig & Wi Red-breasted Sapsucker CAS Mig & Wi Williamson's Sapsucker CAS Fa & Wi Ladder-backed Woodpecker* C Res Hairy Woodpecker Cas Vag White-headed Woodpecker CAS Wi Red-shafted Flicker* U Res FC Wi
FLYCATCHERS Olive-sided Flycatcher R Mig Western Wood-Pewee C Mig Willow Flycatcher U Mig Hammond's Flycatcher FC Mig Dusky Flycatcher U Mig Gray Flycatcher U Mig & R Wi "Western" Flycatcher C Mig Black Phoebe* FC Res Say's Phoebe* FC Res Vermilion Flycatcher CAS Vag Ash-Throated Flycatcher* C Mig & Su Cassin's Kingbird^ U Mig & Su Western Kingbird* C Mig & Su
LARKS & SWALLOWS Horned Lark* FC Res Purple Martin CAS Mig Tree Swallow C Mig Violet-green Swallow C Mig Northern Rough-winged Swallow C Mig Bank Swallow R Mig Cliff Swallow C Mig Barn Swallow C Mig
JAYS & CROWS Steller's Jay IRR Wi Western Scrub Jay* C Res Pinyon Jay* FC Res Clark's Nutcracker CAS Wi Common Raven* C Res
TITMICE, BUSHTITS & VERDINS Mountain Chickadee IRR Wi Plain Titmouse* FC Res Verdin* C Res Bushtit* C Res
NUTHATCHES & CREEPERS Red-breasted Nuthatch IRR Fa & Wi White-breasted Nuthatch R Fa & Wi Pygmy Nuthatch CAS Vag Brown Creeper CAS Fa & Wi
WRENS Cactus Wren* C Res Rock Wren* FC Res Canyon Wren* FC Res Bewick's Wren* FC Res House Wren U Mig & R Wi Winter Wren CAS Fa & Wi Marsh Wren R Fa & Wi
KINGLETS & GNATCATCHERS Golden-crowned Kinglet CAS Fa & Mig Ruby-crowned Kinglet C Wi Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* FC Res Black-tailed Gnatcatcher* FC Res
THRUSHES Western Bluebird IRR Su U Wi Mountain Bluebird* IRR Townsend's Solitaire IRR Mig & Wi Swainson's Thrush R Mig Hermit Thrush U Mig & Wi American Robin IRR Mig & Wi Varied Thrush CAS Mig & Wi
MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS Northern Mockingbird* C Res Sage Thrasher U Mig & IRR Wi Brown Thrasher CAS Vag Bendire's Thrasher* R Su California Thrasher* U Res Le Conte's Thrasher* U Res
PIPITS American Pipit IRR Mig & Wi
WAXWINGS Bohemian Waxwing CAS Cedar Waxwing IRR Mig & Wi
SILKY FLYCATCHER Phainopepla* C Res
SHRIKES Loggerhead Shrike* FC Res
STARLINGS European Starling* C Res
VIREOS Bell's Vireo^ CAS Su Gray Vireo* R Su Solitary Vireo U Mig Hutton's Vireo CAS Vag Warbling Vireo FC Mig
WOOD WARBLERS Tennessee Warbler R Vag Orange-crowned Warbler C Mig R Wi Nashville Warbler C Mig Virginia's Warbler R Mig Lucy's Warbler R Mig Chestnut-sided Warbler CAS Mig Yellow Warbler FC Mig Black-throated Blue Warbler CAS Fa Vag Yellow-rumped Warbler C Mig & Wi Black-throated Gray Warbler C Mig Townsend's Warbler C Mig Hermit Warbler U Mig Palm Warbler CAS Vag Black-and-white Warbler CAS Mig American Redstart CAS Vag Ovenbird CAS Vag Northern Waterthrush R Mig McGillivray's Warbler FC Mig Common Yellowthroat FC Mig U Wi Wilson's Warbler C Mig Painted Redstart CAS Vag Yellow-breasted Chat R Mig
TANAGERS Summer Tanager R Mig Western Tanager C Mig
SPARROWS & EMBERIZID FINCHES Pyrrhuloxia CAS Vag Rose-breasted Grosbeak CAS Vag Black-headed Grosbeak* C Mig U Su Blue Grosbeak R Mig Lazuli Bunting^ FC Mig R Su Indigo Bunting CAS Mig Green-tailed Towhee U Mig CAS Wi Spotted Towhee* C Res California Towhee* U Res Rufous-sided Towhee* CAS Vag Chipping Sparrow FC Mig R Wi Brewer's Sparrow C Mig FC Wi U Su Black-chinned Sparrow* FC Su Vesper Sparrow R Mig Lark Sparrow U Mig Black-throated Sparrow* C Res Sage Sparrow FC Wi Lark Bunting R Mig & CAS Wi Savannah Sparrow U Mig & Wi Grasshopper Sparrow R Mig Fox Sparrow R Mig & Wi Song Sparrow U Mig & Wi Lincoln's Sparrow FC Mig U Wi White-throated Sparrow CAS Wi Golden-crowned Sparrow R Mig & Wi White-crowned Sparrow C Mig & wi Harris' Sparrow CAS Vag Dark-eyed Junco C Wi Lapland Longspur CAS Wi
BLACKBIRDS Red-winged Blackbird U Mig Western Meadowlark FC Mig & Wi Yellow-headed Blackbird R Mig Wi Brewer's Blackbird^ FC Mig & Wi Great-tailed Grackle CAS Vag Brown-headed Cowbird* FC Mig & Su
FRINGILLID FINCHES Hooded Oriole* FC Su Bullock's Oriole* FC Mig & Su Scott's Oriole* C Su R Wi
FRINGILLID FINCHES Purple Finch IRR Mig & Wi Cassin's Finch IRR Mig & Wi House Finch* C Res Red Crossbill CAS Vag Pine Siskin IRR Mig & Wi Lesser Goldfinch* FC Res Lawrence's Goldfinch* IRR Mig & Su American Goldfinch IRR Mig & Wi
WEAVER FINCHES House Sparrow* C Res

This list was compiled from visitor sight records, annual Christmas Bird Counts, Breeding Bird Surveys, and personal observations of many naturalists. We are especially indebted to Gene Cardiff and Bob McKernan of the San Bernadino County Museum. Doug Williams also made major contributions to the list. Help us to improve this checklist by reporting unusual or interesting sightings to park personnel. Nesting records, birds not on this list, or those listed as casual or vagrant should be documented with detailed fiels notes and photographs. Good birding!
                 Superintendent
                 Joshua Tree National Park
                 Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597
                 Telephone: 619/367-4528

This resource is based on the following resource:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  A checklist of birds of Joshua 
     Tree National Monument.  Joshua Tree Natural History Association 
     & National Park Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  A checklist of birds of Joshua 
     Tree National Monument.  Joshua Tree Natural History Association 
     & National Park Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govjoshua.htm 
     (Version 02MAR00).

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