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Birds

The list below consists of 100 species of birds that have been seen on the wildlands of Cal Poly Pomona. A study conducted from 1981 to 2003 examined the species richness and response of the bird community to fire. This list is the result of well over 250 hours of field work by students and faculty. This is not a list of all bird species found on the campus, indeed some common campus birds such as the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia, better known as the “Pigeon”) are not on this list because they do not occur in the wildlands.

The wildlands are important to the birds in different ways: about 27 of these species live on the wildlands all year—they use it for nesting and for surviving the winter until the next breeding season. About 12 species regularly breed on the wildlands during the spring and summer, but spend their winters elsewhere. Another 16 species are found regularly only during the winter (nonbreeding season). The remaining 45 species use the area occasionally—most during migratory flights which take them through the area during fall and/or spring. The importance of the wildlands to these migrants should not be underestimated. Migration is a difficult, exhausting task for birds, and the availability of habitat suitable for resting and finding food is very important.

A species of particular importance in the list below is the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica). The subspecies which occurs on campus (Coastal California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) is listed as threatened by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is highly likely the Gnatcatchers are breeding on the Cal Poly wildlands. Any disturbance or loss of habitat would be very disruptive to the birds. If there is too much human activity in the area, they will simply abandon their nests. Hopefully, these birds will be allowed to conduct their activities in peace.

English name1Scientific name
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus (Swainson, 1827)
Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin (Lesson, 1829)
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos Brehm, 1822
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis (Linnaeus, 1758)
American Kestrel Falco sparverius Linnaeus, 1758
American Robin Turdus migratorius Linnaeus, 1766
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna (Lesson, 1829)
Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens (Lawrence, 1851)
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata (Say, 1823)
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii (Audubon, 1829)
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans (Swainson, 1827)
Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846)
Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus (Swainson, 1827)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea (Linnaeus, 1766)
Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus (Wagler, 1829)
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater (Boddaert, 1783)
Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii (Swainson, 1827)
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus (Townsend, 1837)
Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus Lafresnaye, 1835
California Gnatcatcher2 Polioptila californica (Brewster, 1881)
California Quail Callipepla californica (Shaw, 1798)
California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum (Gambel, 1845)
California Towhee Melozone crissalis (Vigors, 1839)
Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus (Swainson, 1829)
Cassin's Finch Carpodacus cassinii Baird, 1854
Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans (Swainson, 1826)
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum Vieillot, 1808
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina (Bechstein, 1798)
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota Vieillot, 1817
Common Poorwill Phalaenoptilus nuttallii Audubon, 1844
Common Raven Corvus corax Linnaeus, 1758
Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii (Bonaparte, 1828)
Costa's Hummingbird Calypte costae (Bourcier, 1839)
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1758
Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca (Merrem, 1786)
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (Linnaeus, 1758)
Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla (Gmelin, 1789)
Gray Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii (S.F. Baird, 1858)
Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus (Gmelin, 1788)
Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus (Lesson, 1829)
Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus (Audubon 1839)
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus (Pallas, 1811)
Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus Swainson, 1827
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris (Linnaeus, 1758)
House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus (Müller, 1776)
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758)
House Wren Troglodytes aedon (Vieillot, 1809)
Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni Cassin, 1851
Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus (Say, 1823)
Lawrence's Goldfinch Carduelis lawrencei Cassin, 1852
Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena (Say, 1823)
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria (Say, 1823)
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii (Audubon, 1834)
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus Linnaeus, 1766
MacGillivray's Warbler Oporornis tolmiei (Townsend, 1839)
Mountain Chickadee Poecile gambeli Ridgway, 1886
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nashville Warbler Oreothlypis ruficapilla (Wilson, 1811)
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos (Linnaeus, 1758)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis (Audubon, 1838)
Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii (Gambel, 1843)
Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus (Gambel, 1842)
Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata (Say, 1823)
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis Baird, 1858
Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens (Swainson, 1838)
Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus Coues, 1866
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus Schlegel, 1850
Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus (Gmelin, 1789)
Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus (Gmelin, 1788)
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis (Gmelin, 1788)
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus (Say, 1823)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula (Linnaeus, 1766)
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus (Gmelin, 1788)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps (Cassin, 1852)
Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli (Cassin, 1850)
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis (Gmelin, 1789)
Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya (Bonaparte, 1825)
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus Vieillot, 1807
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia (Wilson, 1810)
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis (Scopoli, 1768)
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus Swainson, 1827
Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus (Nuttall, 1840)
Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi (Townsend, 1837)
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura (Linnaeus, 1758)
Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi (Townsend, 1839)
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina (Swainson, 1827)
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus (Vieillot, 1808)
Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana Swainson, 1832
Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis Say, 1823
Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta Audubon, 1844
Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica (Vigors, 1839)
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana (Wilson, 1811)
Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus (Sclater, 1859)
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys (Forster, 1772)
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus (Vieillot, 1818)
White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis (Woodhouse, 1853)
Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor (Vieillot, 1819)
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla (Wilson, 1811)
Wrentit Chamaea fasciata (Gambel, 1845)
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia (Linnaeus, 1766)
Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata Linnaeus, 1766
  1. English names follow the AOU Checklist of North American Birds
  2. The subspecies on campus, Polioptila californica californica, is listed as"Threatened" under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Reference

Moriarty, David J. 2012. Bird species of the Voorhis Ecological Reserve. In litt.