Species Alerts

Here are some bird species to look for as you scout before and count on 29 December.  Grab a copy of this list here:  Species to Look For 2015 (pdf).

Species seen on only three of the fifteen counts
Common Poorwill                               Ross’s Goose
Vermillion Flycatcher

Species seen on only two of the fifteen counts
Grtr White-fronted Goose                 Dunlin  *
McCown’s Longspur                           Chestnut-backed Chickadee   *

Species seen only once
Red-throated Loon *                           Brant  *
Least Bittern *                                      Western Sandpiper
Sage Thrasher                                       Thayer’s (or Gw x Herring?) Gull  *
Long-eared Owl *                                 Eastern Phoebe *
Green-tailed Towhee *                        Harris Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak *                  Lapland Longspur  *
Yellow-headed Blackbird *                 Scaly-breasted Munia
Cassin’s Vireo                                          Hermit Warbler
Wilson’ Warbler                                      Hooded Oriole

Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Sedgwick Ranch in 2010
Two Yellow-headed Blackbirds among many other blackbirds at Sedgwick Ranch in 2010

Species never seen, to be on the lookout for:
Surf Scoter                          Rough-legged Hawk                      Semipalmated Plover

Embarrassing misses from previous CBCs

  • Black-crowned Night-Heron    Northern Pygmy-Owl
  • Mountain Quail                          Burrowing Owl
  • Peregrine Falcon                        Red-naped Sapsucker
  • White-tailed Kite                       Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Moorhen                    Pygmy Nuthatch
  • Greater Yellowlegs

    Red-naped Sapsucker at Lone Star Ranch (Wim van Dam)
    Red-naped Sapsucker at Lone Star Ranch (Wim van Dam)


  • Lesser Scaup                               Brown Creeper
  • Common Goldeneye                  Varied Thrush
  • Horned Grebe                             Townsend’s Warbler
  • Mew Gull


  • Least Sandpiper
  • Horned Grebe
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Lewis’ Woodpecker
  • Townsend’s Solitaire

    Townsend's Solitaire (Matt Victoria)
    Townsend’s Solitaire (Matt Victoria)
  • Marsh Wren
  • Pacific Wren
  • Wilson’ Snipe
  • Greater Roadrunner


  • Northern Pintail
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Com. Merganser
  • Horned Grebe
  • Eared Grebe                                 Canyon Wren
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron     Pacific Wren
  • Common Moorhen                     Pine Siskin
  • Greater Yellowlegs                      Red Crossbill
  • Burrowing Owl                            Lawrence’s Goldfinch


  • Cinnamon Teal            Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Northern Pintail          Barn Owl
  • Canvasback                  Spotted Owl
  • Redhead                        Tree Swallow
  • Wild Turkey                 Lawrence’s Goldfinch
  • Snowy Egret                 Sora


  • Cinnamon Teal                Northern Pintail
  • Canvasback                      Hooded Merganser
  • Redhead                            Horned Grebe
  • Snowy Egret                     Bonaparte’ Gull
  • Black-cr Night-Heron    Common Moorhen
  • Sora                                    N. Saw-whet Owl
  • Spotted Owl                      McCown’s Longspur
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Tree Swallow                    Lawrence’s Goldfinch

2014 (# counts seen previously)

  • All geese except for Canada                          White-tailed Kite (14)
    Wood Duck (11)                                               Common Gallinule (5)
    All Teal except Green-winged                       Violet-green Swallow
    Northern Pintail (5)                                        Pygmy Nuthatch (12)
    Canvasback (6)                                                Pacific Wren (7)
    Common Merganser (14)                              Chestnut-collared Longspur (5)
    Bl-crowned Night-Heron (5)

2015 (# counts seen previously)

  • Common Loon (16)                                       Townsends Warbler (14)
  • Herring Gull (16)                                           Pygmy Nuthatch (14)
  • Great-tailed Grackle (16)
  • Common Goldeneye (15)
  • Mountain Quail (15)

It’s important to review these ‘miss-able’ species before going into the field—these are the genuinely rare or easily overlooked ones.