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Bird Checklists of the United States

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge

Imperial Beach, California


Birds of the Tijuana Estuary and Valley

For nearly 40 years, the Tijuana River estuary and valley have been a magnet for birds and birders. This list intends to cover these areas, the adjacent communities of Imperial Beach and Nestor to the north, Spooner Mesa to the south, and the ocean visible from shore to the west. It does not include any part of San Diego Bay or the salt works at its south end.

The Tijuana River valley has experienced enormous changes in 6 habitats over the decades. Many species of birds have appeared and disappeared with these changes. Much of the data on birds in the Tijuana River reflects past conditions-more extensive agriculture, different crops, fewer trees, flooded swamps.... Current conditions (1997) are so new that the status of many species under them is unclear. Some species that once occurred frequently are now rare or absent. With the drying of the ponds along Dairy Mart Road, many water birds that nested for a few years can do so no longer. Therefore, the status by season on this list is for many species an estimate based on their response to current conditions, even though it encompasses all species ever recorded there.

Key:

Sp = Spring
S = Summer
F = Fall
W = Winter

Common (c): species seen on nearly every visit at the proper season, usually in good numbers (>10 per day).

Uncommon (u): species seen on most visits at the proper season, usually in small numbers (<10 per day).

Occasional (o): species not seen on most visits, even at the proper season, but small numbers can be expected nearly every year with repeated searching. Rarer species seen only sporadically, not annually; as few as one record.

*Species breeds or probably breeds regularly;

(*)species breeds sporadically or bred formerly. The current breeding status of many species is uncertain, requiring ongoing surveys.


LOONS & GREBES                              Sp  S  F  W

___ Pied-billed Grebe*                       u  u  u  u
___ Horned Grebe                             -  -  -  o
___ Eared Grebe                              u  -  u  u
___ Western Grebe                            u  -  c  c
___ Clark's Grebe                            r  r  u  u
___ Red-throated Loon                        r  r  u  u
___ Pacific Loon                             o  -  -  o
___ Common Loon                              u  -  u  u

SHEARWATERS, PETRELS Sp S F W ___ Northern Fulmar r - r r ___ Sooty Shearwater r r r r ___ Short-tailed Shearwater - - - r ___ Black-vented Shearwater - - o o
FRIGATEBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Magnificent Frigatebird - r r -
TROPICBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Red-billed Tropicbird - - r -
GANNETS & BOOBIES Sp S F W ___ Blue-footed Booby - - r - ___ Brown Booby r - - -
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Brandt's Cormorant u u u u ___ Double-crested Cormorant c u c c
PELICANS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican r - r r ___ Brown Pelican c c c c
HERONS Sp S F W ___ Reddish Egret r r o o ___ Tricolored Heron r r o o ___ Little Blue Heron (*) o o o o ___ Snowy Egret (*) u u c u ___ Great Blue Heron u u u u ___ Great Egret (*) u u u u ___ Cattle Egret (*) r r r r ___ Green Heron* u u u u ___ Yellow-crowned Night Heron r r r r ___ Black-crowned Night Heron (*) u u u u ___ Least Bittern* o o o r ___ American Bittern (*) r r r o
IBISES Sp S F W ___ White-faced Ibis o r o o
STORKS Sp S F W ___ Wood Stork r r - -
AMERICAN VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture r - u - ___ California Condor--extirpated - - - -
WATERFOWL Sp S F W ___ Ruddy Duck (*) c u c c ___ Greater White-fronted Goose - - r r ___ Snow Goose - - r r ___ Ross' Goose - - r - ___ Canada Goose - - r r ___ Brant o - r - ___ Wood Duck - - r - ___ Eurasian Wigeon - - o o ___ American Wigeon c - c c ___ Gadwall (*) u o u u ___ Green-winged Teal u - u u ___ Mallard* u u c c ___ Northern Pintail c - c c ___ Blue-winged Teal o - r o ___ Cinnamon Teal (*) c o c c ___ Northern Shoveler c - c c ___ Canvasback - - - r ___ Redhead - - - o ___ Ring-necked Duck - r - o ___ Greater Scaup - - r r ___ Lesser Scaup u - c c ___ Oldsquaw r - r r ___ Black Scoter - - - r ___ Surf Scoter c u c c ___ White-winged Scoter r - - r ___ Common Goldeneye - - - r ___ Bufflehead u - u c ___ Red-breasted Merganser u o u u
KITES, HAWKS, & EAGLES Sp S F W ___ Osprey o o o o ___ White-tailed Kite* u u u u ___ Mississippi Kite - r - - ___ Bald Eagle - - r - ___ Northern Harrier* u u u u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk - - u u ___ Cooper's Hawk* u u u u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk o o u u ___ Broad-winged Hawk - - r r ___ Swainson's Hawk r - r - ___ Zone-tailed Hawk - - r - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u u u u ___ Ferruginous Hawk - - o r ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - r r ___ Golden Eagle - - o o
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel* u u u u ___ Merlin - - o o ___ Prairie Falcon - - o o ___ Peregrine Falcon o o o o
GROUSE Sp S F W ___ California Quail* u u u u
RAILS, GALLINULES, COOTS Sp S F W ___ Black Rail--extirpated - - - - ___ Clapper Rail* u u u u ___ Virginia Rail u - u u ___ Sora u - u u ___ Common Gallinule* u u u u ___ American Coot* c u c c
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Common Snipe o - u u ___ Marbled Godwit c c c c ___ Whimbrel u o c u ___ Long-billed Curlew u o c u ___ Greater Yellowlegs u - c u ___ Lesser Yellowlegs o - u o ___ Solitary Sandpiper r - o - ___ Spotted Sandpiper u r u u ___ Willet c c c c ___ Ruddy Turnstone u r u u ___ Black Turnstone o - o o ___ Short-billed Dowitcher c u c c ___ Long-billed Dowicher c - c c ___ Surfbird o - r - ___ Red Knot u - c u ___ Sanderling c u c c ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper - - r - ___ Western Sandpiper c o c c ___ Least Sandpiper c r c c ___ Baird's Sandpiper r - o - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper - - o - ___ Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - - r - ___ Dunlin u - c c ___ Stilt Sandpiper - - r - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - - r - ___ Ruff - - r r ___ Wilson's Phalarope u - c - ___ Northern Phalarope c - c - ___ Red Phalarope o - o o
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ Pacific Golden Plover - - r r ___ American Golden Plover r - r - ___ Black-bellied Plover c u c c ___ Semipalmated Plover c r c u ___ Wilson's Plover r - - - ___ Killdeer* c c c c ___ Snowy Plover* u u c c ___ Mountain Plover - - o o
OYSTERCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Black Oystercatcher r r r -
STILTS & AVOCETS Sp S F W ___ Black-necked Stilt* c c c c ___ American Avocet c u c c
JAEGERS, GULLS & TERNS Sp S F W ___ Pomarine Jaeger - - r - ___ Parasitic Jaeger r - r r ___ Belcher's Gull - - r - ___ Heermann's Gull u c c c ___ Mew Gull r - - u ___ Ring-billed Gull c u c c ___ California Gull c o c c ___ Glaucous-winged Gull r - - o ___ Western Gull c c c c ___ Yellow-footed Gull - - r r ___ Glaucous Gull - - - r ___ Thayer's Gull - - r o ___ Herring Gull o r o u ___ Bonaparte's Gull c o r c ___ Laughing Gull r r r r ___ Franklin's Gull r - r r ___ Sabine's Gull - - r - ___ Black-legged Kittiwake - - - r ___ Gull-billed Tern o o - - ___ Caspian Tern c c c u ___ Royal Tern u u u u ___ Elegant Tern c c c - ___ Common Tern u r c r ___ Forster's Tern c c c c ___ Least Tern u u u - ___ Black Tern r - o - ___ Black Skimmer u u u u
AUKS Sp S F W ___ Common Murre r - r r ___ Marbled Murrelet - - - r ___ Xantus' Murrelet - r - - ___ Craveri's Murrelet - - r - ___ Ancient Murrelet - - r r ___ Cassin's Auklet - r - - ___ Rhinoceros Auklet r - - -
PIGEONS & DOVES Sp S F W ___ Domestic Pigeon* c c c c ___ Band-tailed Pigeon - r r - ___ Mourning Dove* c c c c ___ White-winged Dove r - o r ___ Common Ground Dove (*) - - o - ___ Ruddy Ground Dove - - r -
CUCKOOS & ANIS Sp S F W ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo (*) - r r - ___ Greater Roadrunner* o o o o
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl u u u u ___ Burrowing Owl* u u u u ___ Long-eared Owl (*) r r r r ___ Short-eared Owl r - r o
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Lesser Nighthawk (*) r r o r ___ Common Nighthawk - - r - ___ Poor-will - - r r
SWIFTS Sp S F W ___ Black Swift r - - - ___ Vaux's Swift u - u r ___ White-throated Swift o - o o
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Broad-billed Hummingbird r - r - ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird* c c c - ___ Anna's Hummingbird* c c c c ___ Costa's Hummingbird* u u c u ___ Calliope Hummingbird r - r - ___ Rufous Hummingbird c - c r ___ Allen's Hummingbird u - u -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u - u u
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Lewis' Woodpecker - - r - ___ Acorn Woodpecker - - r - ___ Red-naped Sapsucker - - o o ___ Red-breasted Sapsucker - - o o ___ Nuttall's Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Ladder-backed Woodpecker - - r - ___ Downy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker - - r - ___ Northern Flicker u - u u
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher o - o - ___ Greater Pewee - - - r ___ Western Wood Pewee u - u - ___ Willow Flycatcher (*) u r u - ___ Least Flycatcher - - r - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher u - u - ___ Gray Flycatcher - - o r ___ Dusky Flycatcher - - r - ___ Western Flycatcher c - c r ___ Eastern Phoebe - - r r ___ Black Phoebe* c c c c ___ Say's Phoebe u r c c ___ Vermilion Flycatcher r - o r ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher u - u r ___ Tropical Kingbird - - o r ___ Cassin's Kingbird* u u c r ___ Thick-billed Kingbird - - r - ___ Western Kingbird c u c - ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - - r r ___ Eastern Kingbird - - r -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* u u u u
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Bell's Vireo* u u r r ___ Hutton's Vireo - - r - ___ Blue-headed Vireo - - r - ___ Plumbeous Vireo - - r o ___ Cassin's Vireo o - o o ___ Philadelphia Vireo - - r - ___ Red-eyed Vireo r - r - ___ Yellow-green Vireo - - r - ___ Warbling Vireo u - u -
JAYS & CROWS Sp S F W ___ Scrub Jay* u u u u ___ American Crow* u u u u ___ Common Raven u u u u
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Phainopepla - - o r ___ Cedar Waxwing c - c c
THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Varied Thrush - - r r ___ Western Bluebird - - - r ___ Mountain Bluebird - - r r ___ Townsend's Solitaire r - r - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u u ___ Wood Thrush - - r - ___ American Robin - - o o
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c c
MIMIC THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird - - r - ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Sage Thrasher r - o o ___ Bendire's Thrasher r - r r ___ California Thrasher* u u u u
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch - - r - ___ White-breasted Nuthatch - - - r
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper - - r r
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Marsh Wren* c u c c ___ Bewick's Wren* c c c c ___ Winter Wren - - r r ___ House Wren* u u c c
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Harris' Sparrow - - r r ___ White-crowned Sparrow c - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow - - r r ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow u - u u ___ Dark-eyed Junco u - u u ___ Savannah Sparrow* c c c c ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow - - r r ___ Grasshopper Sparrow - - - r ___ Chipping Sparrow u - c u ___ Clay-colored Sparrow r - o r ___ Brewer's Sparrow r - o r ___ Black-chinned Sparrow r - r - ___ Vesper Sparrow - - o o ___ Lark Sparrow - - u u ___ Black-throated Sparrow - - r - ___ Sage Sparrow--extirpated - - - - ___ Rufous-crowned Sparrow* o o o o ___ Green-tailed Towhee r - o o ___ Spotted Towhee* u u u u ___ California Towhee* c c c c
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler - - r - ___ Golden-winged Warbler - - - r ___ Tennessee Warbler r - o - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler c - c c ___ Nashville Warbler u - u - ___ Virginia's Warbler - - o r ___ Lucy's Warbler - - r r ___ Parula Warbler - - r r ___ Yellow Warbler* c c u o ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler r - r r ___ Magnolia Warbler - - r - ___ Cape May Warbler - - r - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler - - r - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c c ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler u - o r ___ Townsend's Warbler u - u u ___ Hermit Warbler u - o - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler - - r - ___ Blackburnian Warbler - - r - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler - - r - ___ Grace's Warbler - - r - ___ Pine Warbler - - r - ___ Prairie Warbler - - r - ___ Palm Warbler r - o o ___ Bay-breasted Warbler - - r - ___ Blackpoll Warbler - r o - ___ Black-and-white Warbler r r o r ___ American Redstart r r o r ___ Prothonotary Warbler r - r - ___ Worm-eating Warbler - - r - ___ Ovenbird - - r - ___ Northern Waterthrush - - r o ___ Connecticut Warbler - - r - ___ Mourning Warbler - - r - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler o - u r ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c c ___ Hooded Warbler - - r - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - u r ___ Canada Warbler - - r - ___ Painted Redstart - - r - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* u u r -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Hepatic Tanager - - r - ___ Summer Tanager r - o - ___ Scarlet Tanager - - r - ___ Western Tanager u - u -
VERDINS Sp S F W ___ Verdin - - r r
GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - - u u ___ California Gnatcatcher* u u u u
BUSHTITS Sp S F W ___ Bushtit* c c c c
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Tree Swallow c - c u ___ Violet-green Swallow c - o - ___ Purple Martin r - r - ___ N. Rough-winged Swallow c u c r ___ Bank Swallow r - o - ___ Barn Swallow c o c r ___ Cliff Swallow* c c u - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c c ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - r r ___ Wrentit* c c c c ___ Horned Lark* u u u u ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ Red-throated Pipit - - o - ___ Sprague's Pipit - - r -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Siskin r - o o ___ American Goldfinch* c c c c ___ Lesser Goldfinch* c c c c ___ Lawrence's Goldfinch (*) o r o o ___ House Finch* c c c c ___ Evening Grosbeak - - r -
GROSBEAKS, BUNTINGS, & SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ McCown's Longspur - - r - ___ Lapland Longspur - - r r ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur - - r - ___ Lark Bunting r - r r ___ Fox Sparrow - - o o ___ Song Sparrow* c c c c ___ Lincoln's Sparrow c - c c ___ Swamp Sparrow - - o r ___ Dickcissel - - r - ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak - - o - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak* u u u - ___ Blue Grosbeak* u u o - ___ Lazuli Bunting u - u - ___ Indigo Bunting - r o - ___ Painted Bunting - - r -
BLACKBIRDS & ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Streak-backed Oriole - - r - ___ Hooded Oriole* c c o - ___ Baltimore Oriole r - r - ___ Orchard Oriole - - r r ___ Scott's Oriole - - r r ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird r r o r ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c c c ___ Tricolored Blackbird (*) - - o o ___ Western Meadowlark* c c c c ___ Great-tailed Grackle* u u u u ___ Rusty Blackbird - - r r ___ Brewer's Blackbird* c c c c ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c c ___ Bobolink - r o -

For additional information contact:
    
    Tijuana Slough NWR
    301 Caspian Way
    Imperial Beach, California 91932

This resource is based on the following source:
Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  1997.  Birds of the Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  
     Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as
Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  1997.  Birds of the Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  
     Tijuana Estuary and Valley.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: Northern 
     Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govtslough.htm 
     (Version 23FEB01)

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