Sunday, 10 July 2005

Annotated bird list for Santa Palmia, San Jose, California

This is a list of the species seen from a balcony in the Santa Palmia estate in San Jose, California, between 24 June and 7 July 2005. This is a modern apartment block complex with limited habitat for birds in the courtyard consisting mainly of shrubs and palm trees.

Species which were only seen overhead are marked with an asterisk *.

  1. Snowy Egret (Bubulcus ibis) * - two singles and a couple seen over
  2. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) - regularly hunting over, nest traced to a hole in a large palm nearby, at the base of the leafy section
  3. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) * - group of 10 N over in the evening
  4. Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) - common
  5. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) - common; a nest with two eggs was observed on a metal drainpipe cover nearby
  6. Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) - one or two regularly made rounds of the flowers in the yard; ID was confirmed on seeing the male, but at least two birds were regular, one of which is depicted below (not an adult male)
  7. Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorous) - the most obvious bird in the estate, with a least 5 permanently resident on the small line of palms at the front entrance
  8. Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) - loud squeaking of a juv betrayed the presence of this delightful bird one evening, the adult busily fetching food for it around the yard
  9. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) * - regular in small groups over, max 5
  10. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) - occasional, preferring the larger lawns outside the complex; once squabbling with the Brewer's Blackbirds
  11. Eurasian Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - present
  12. Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) - common, in flocks as large as 25 including young juvs
  13. House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) - most permanent resident of the yard, some almost always in sight or hearing, 5+ including young being fed
  14. Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) - regularly heard over and a pair in the "yard" palms one the morning; observed roving the entire estate later one afternoon
  15. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - regular in the "yard"

    Other species seen locally some of which are probably regularly visible from the complex included:

  16. Great White Egret (Ardea alba) - single S over SE side of town, c. HW82
  17. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) - seen over dry hillsides to immediate E
  18. Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) - this species was tentatively seen and heard outside the courtyard, and based on call was suspected in the "yard" too
  19. Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) - single on a roadside tree by traffic lights on Monterey Highway
  20. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) - a couple on wires over waste ground by the Evergreen Commons shopping area off HW101

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