Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bulletin #4 - Monterey CA #3

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas

Bulletin #4 – Monterey, California – part 3

Hello friends,

OK, I know, you want colorful birds, and Bulletin #3 just showed birds that were black and white.

So let’s start with a breeding American Goldfinch. We seldom see this plumage on the Texas coast as the birds usually head north before molting. I have only seen 1 in 16 years here.

There are 2 other ‘goldfinches’, Lesser and Lawrence’s. Both also occur in Monterey, but I got photos only of the Lawrence’s. Here is the breeding male Lawrence’s Goldfinch.

There are several members of the Sparrow family. I got a photo of a male Black-chinned Sparrow – only the second time ever to see this bird.

Some members of the sparrow family aren’t called sparrow. There are 2 towhees and a junco.

The first is a pretty brown bird – the California Towhee.

The other towhee is the beautiful Spotted Towhee. Here is the male. I had tried to photo this bird last year, but was frustrated as they would not come out of the deep brush. This bird flew up and posed for 10 minutes until I had taken all the pictures I wanted and he was still there!

The junco is the Dark-eyed Junco. This bird has several color variations in different parts of the USA. This female is the so-called ‘Oregon Junco’. Here she is gathering nesting material on the ground.

Next we have 2 birds that are similar in color, but in different families.

This male Western Bluebird is in the thrush family.

And the Lazuli Bunting is a finch – same family as Indigo and Painted Buntings. Here is the male. Notice he has white wing bars unlike the bluebird above.

Lastly, we all love hummers. There are many hummingbirds in the western USA. In the east we generally only have a single species.

2 species nest in the Monterey area. The first is a male Anna’s Hummingbird. He is the only North American hummingbird to have a red forehead as well as a red throat. Here are 2 different birds.

The other local nester is Allen’s Hummingbird. I was able to have a juvenile male sit and pose for me. You can see the downy feathers on his breast. Notice the green back but rufous rump. The similar Rufous Hummingbird has the whole back rufous. This juvenile male just has a few red feathers on his throat. The adult male would have an all red throat.

I have only ever seen a Bobcat 3 times. My guide Rick Fournier ( saw this Bobcat in a field while we were birding. The cat was about 50-60 yards away, but I was able to get some reasonable photos before he left the area.

My birding guide in Monterey was Rick Fournier. His web site is Monterey Birding Adventures.
and his email is

All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy Birding,David McDonald

photos copyright 2007 David McDonald

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