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JimBob

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JimBob last won the day on June 22

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  1. Wild birds are wild animals. It's illegal to own them without proper licenses (and even then, I don't really know of any that allow you to own them indefinitely--usually it's just for rehab).
  2. The squirrels were undoubtably California Ground-Squirrels, if they were on the ground. If you're talking tree squirrels, Fox Squirrels but I'm sure you know what those look like.
  3. I have limited experience with adult, breeding plumage Common Terns, but to me this is a Common Tern. The black cap appearing shorter than normal is probably a combination of feather wear and posture. The features that point to Common Tern for me are the dark primary feathers and the short legs, though the latter is a bit subjective and the difference between Common and Forster's is very subtle (as compared to Arctic vs the other two). The bill is rather orange, but I suspect that is due to the overexposure of the photo. The legs look red to me, but again tough to tell for sure. The tail on terns is only really long early in the breeding season, usually in April and May. By late June and later, it's usually worn or broken off. So that's not really a helpful mark this late. Also, the dark carpal bar is only on immature and basic (non-breeding) plumaged Common Terns so that can't be used either.
  4. Ornate Hawk-Eagle from Costa Rica, where I'm spending the summer. Needless to say it's been pretty great.
  5. Yeah, Lake Piru is one of the better spots outside the wildlife refuges to see condors. I was going to go there in April, but I missed the exit on I-5 due to a ton of confusing construction (I was still driving on the wrong side of the freeway when I passed the exit, lol) and ended up having to drive halfway through the grapevine before the next exit (15+ minutes). Fun times.
  6. This is a Willow Flycatcher. The strong wing bars, lack of an eyering, and medium length primaries rule out the other options.
  7. Haha, I'm currently in Costa Rica for the summer and have a lot of downtime so I got to wondering how the forum was. And yes, I probably should be out birding 24/7, but that's literally my job so I take afternoons off. 😉 For the sapsuckers, you're going to need to get to high elevations. I have actually never birded the mountains of LA, so I'm not exactly sure where you would do that. I have quite a bit of experience birding the mountains outside of Ventura, but I've never seen either of those species outside the winter. If you have a full day in Ventura and want to get up into the mountains, Pine Mountain is a pretty good spot. There's lots of little spots to stop along the way up (Rose Valley Lake can be interesting). You can get things like Mountain Quail, Lawrence's Goldfinch, White-headed Woodpecker, Cassin's Finch, and Green-tailed Towhee on Pine Mountain. Lots of other common stuff as well. It's a bit of a drive, so it might not be an option. In Ventura proper, the Ventura Settling Ponds are good. It's mostly riparian woodland, but you'll still got common western species. I really have no idea where to bird in the LA mountains, I'd check eBird for your target species and see what's reported where. Lewis's Woodpeckers won't be around in the summer. Wrentit is easy in a lot of places, basically anywhere with chaparral. Learn their song and you'll find them--San Joaquin has them. As for seabirds, there's not really any well-known locations for them in Orange or LA counties. I suppose anywhere along the highway through Malibu (to Ventura, from LA) is a good place to scan for Black-vented Shearwater but that's a lot tougher in summer. You will have to be incredibly lucky for any seabirds other than that (auklets included). I've seawatched from Pt. Mugu before: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L347403 I've never been to Griffith Park, but I've driven by. I'm sure you can find somewhere to bird. It'd have chaparral species, so think things like Wrentit, California Scrub-Jay, Bewick's Wren, Bushtit, Spotted Towhee, etc. Not terribly species diverse, but a good habitat for a lot of west coast species. Bonelli Regional Park is a good spot to consider if you're driving. Whittier Narrows is another good option near LA. None of these locations will have spectacular birding this time of year, but for someone who hasn't been to Southern California you should get quite a few new species.
  8. Happened to be skulking about the forums and noticed this thread and figured I'd rise from the dead to answer. If you're wanting right near the airport, I'd recommend either Ballona Freshwater Marsh or Madrona Marsh. Both are pretty urban, but they have a lot of the common California specialties/western species such as Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds, Bushtit, California Towhee, Hooded Oriole, etc. If you're willing to drive a bit, I'd check out some stuff in Orange county. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Huntington Central Park are near each other and can easily be done in a quick morning. Bolsa Chica is excellent for waterbirds/shorebirds (though the latter will be really limited this time of year). There's a large Elegant Tern colony, as well as Least, Forster's, Royal, and Caspian Terns, Black Skimmer, etc. Ridgway's Rail is possible but I've had bad luck with this species here in recent years. You will get a handful of common landbird species, but Huntington Central Park is better for that. Huntington Central was better in previous years, but you can still pick up easy, common species here. Shipley Nature Center is in the western half of the park, though it has really weird hours (off the top of my head I can't recall them). I typically bird the eastern half of the park in a clockwise manner, starting near the Park Bench Cafe. Common species here include Anna's and Allen's Hummingbird, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Western Bluebird, Lesser Goldfinch, California Towhee, Hooded Oriole, Great-tailed Grackle, Scaly-breasted Munia. If you're willing to drive even a bit further, there's a lot of places you could check out. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is always good--basically the same species as Huntington Central, but better chances for all of them, more species, and it's a nicer area to bird.
  9. 1: Eastern Wood-Pewee 2: Great Crested Flycatcher 3-6: Eastern Wood-Pewee 7-8: Honestly, I don't think this is identifiable. Wood Thrush is my best suggestion but I can't say for sure
  10. I haven't been on whatbird in ages, but I was definitely sad when I saw the forums seemed to be permanently down. Really sucks that so much of the data was corrupted and not recoverable... reading through old trip reports was always fun. Almost didn't make an account since I doubt I'll use it much, but didn't feel right not doing it. This forum is one of the main reasons I got into birding!
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