Annotated checklist and data resource
text © Don Roberson
photos copyrighted by photographer(s) credited
all photos taken in Monterey County, California
MTY = Monterey County
Part 5: Jaegers through Alcids
MTY status & distribution
if photo, usually a thumbnail;
if specimen or details,
so indicated
credits or comments 
South Polar Skua
Catharacta maccormicki
Scarce but regular fall visitor; rare at other seasons
photo © Don Roberson
6 Oct 1999 Monterey Bay
Pomarine Jaeger
Catharacta pomarinus
Common migrant offshore spring & (esp.) fall; uncommon in winter offshore. No interior records to date
photo © Don Roberson
17 Nov 1979
~50 nmi SW of Pt. Sur
Parasitic Jaeger
Catharacta parasiticus
Common fall migrant offshore; uncommon spring migrant and rare winter visitor. This is the jaeger most likely to be visiting river mouths or on Elkhorn Slough
photo © Don Roberson
22 Sep 1982 Monterey Bay
Long-tailed Jaeger
Catharacta longicaudus
Common fall migrant well offshore becoming scarce near-shore; one inland record
photo © Don Roberson
2 Sep 1990 Salinas wtp
Laughing Gull
Larus atricilla
Very rare spring, fall, and winter vagrant along the coast
photo © Paul E. Lehman
18 Feb 1979 Moss Landing
Franklin's Gull
Larus pipixcan
Rare visitor, mostly coastal, with records scattered throughout the seasons but most in spring & fall migrations
photo © Don Roberson
27 Oct 2003 Pt. Pinos
Little Gull
Larus minutus
Very rare winter and spring vagrant along the coast
photo © Ronald L. Branson
3 Apr 1982 Monterey Harbor
Bonaparte's Gull
Larus philadelphia
Common spring & fall migrant, much of it offshore; a few remain to winter and summer locally
photo © Don Roberson
16 Aug 1982 Carmel R. mouth
Heermann's Gull
Larus heermanni
Breeds locally: up to 3 pairs have nested at Roberts Lake, Seaside, since 1999 (not always successfully). Otherwise, a common summer and fall visitor along the coast with fair numbers remaining to winter locally. 
photo © Don Roberson
24 Feb 1984 Pt. Pinos
Mew Gull
Larus canus
Common winter visitor along the coast and in the Salinas Valley; very rare in summer
photo © Don Roberson
13 Nov 1995 Monterey harbor
Ring-billed Gull
Larus delawarensis
Common winter visitor to Elkhorn Slough and Salinas Valley; much rarer on Monterey Peninsula and south along Big Sur coast where most records are of spring or fall migrants; rare in summer
photo © Don Roberson
8 Jan 2004 Moss Landing
California Gull
Larus californicus
Common winter visitor with good numbers of non-breeders remaining into spring and summer
photo © Don Roberson
18 Jan 1980 Pt. Pinos
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus
Uncommon winter visitor along the coast and offshore but regular and conspicuous at some gull roosts; very rare in summer
photo © Don Roberson
17 Nov 1979
~50 nmi SW Cape San Martin
Thayer's Gull
Larus thayeri
Uncommon winter visitor, regular at some roosts and offshore. Rare in spring and very rare in summer

Much more information on species page

photo © Jeff Poklen
8 Feb 2004 ~12 nmi west
of Pt. Lobos
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus
Very rare winter vagrants; two records (Jan 1978, Jan 2003)
photo © Ronald L. Branson
14 Jan 1978 Roberts Lake
Western Gull
Larus occidentalis
Breeds widely: common and conspicuous resident along the coast; very rare inland
photo © Don Roberson
Nov 1986 Otter Pt., P.G.
Glaucous-winged Gull
Larus glaucescens
Fairly common winter visitor along the coast; scarce in summer or inland
photo © Don Roberson
Feb 2000 Roberts Lake
Glaucous Gull
Larus hyperboreus
Rare winter visitor along the coast; exceptional in spring or summer
photo © Don Roberson
2 Jan 1994 Carmel R. mouth
Sabine's Gull
Xema sabini
Common spring & fall migrant offshore; rare along coastline
photo © Don Roberson
Sep 1987 Monterey Bay
Swallow-tailed Gull
Creagrus furcatus
Exceptional vagrant; one record in June 1985 likely linked to the 1982-83 El Niño
photo © Peter LaTourrette
7 June 1985 Hopkins, P.G.
Black-legged Kittiwake
Rissa tridactyla
Regular winter visitor offshore, sometimes common during irregular flight years, after which a few may summer
photo © Don Roberson
10 Feb 1996 Monterey Bay
Caspian Tern
Sterna caspia
Breeds locally: uncommon but conspicuous along the coast of n. MTY and on Elkhorn Slough; rare in winter
photo © Don Roberson
2 May 1995 El Estero, Monterey
Royal Tern
Sterna maxima
Now a rare vagrant, mostly in summer (last record 1989); was once a common winter visitor in the early 20th century
no photo in MTY
but many
specimens at CAS, MVZ;
also sev. field
descriptions, incl.
this one 16 Aug 1982
Elkhorn Slough
Elegant Tern
Sterna elegans
Common post-breeding summer visitor along the coast; rare by Nov-Dec. Numbers & date span has been increasing in recent years
photo © Don Roberson
11 Sep 1994 Salinas R. mouth
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Common spring & fall migrant offshore with some seen along the coast; rare in summer and very rare in winter
photo © Don Roberson
24 Aug 1980 Monterey Bay
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea
Common spring & fall migrant offshore; scarce along the coast
photo © Don Roberson
22 Sep 1982 Monterey Bay
Forster's Tern
Sterna forsteri
Has been a local breeder but not recently (last nested 1980; nesting attempted 1995), but common migrant and summer visitor to Elkhorn Slough, and a few winter there
photo © Don Roberson
22 Mar 1986 Moss Landing
Least Tern
Sterna antillarum
Rare spring & fall migrant, and rare summer visitor, but once nested near Salinas R. mouth (last nested 1956)
many specimens
no photo for MTY ?
many specimens
annual sight records
White-winged Tern

Chlidonias leucopterus

Exceptional fall vagrant; one record (Aug-Oct 1999)
photo © Ed Kwater
6 Sep 1999 Moonglow Dairy, Elkhorn Slough
Black Tern
Chlidonias niger
Rare spring & fall migrant along the coast; rare breeder a century ago
photo © Don Roberson
23 Aug 1981 Moss Landing
Black Skimmer
Rynchops niger
Rare spring & fall migrant along the coast; very rare in summer (breeding attempted summer 2000) and winter
photo © John Sorensen
27 Sep 2000 Del Monte Beach, Monterey
Common Murre
Uria aalge
Breeds locally: common resident along Big Sur coast (Castle Rock & Hurricane Pt.). Common offshore; numbers increased in fall & winter by migrants.
photo © Don Roberson
date Monterey Bay
Thick-billed Murre
Uria lomvia
Very rare fall and winter visitor to Monterey Bay and Monterey harbor
photo © Don Roberson
24 Sep 1993 Monterey Harbor
Pigeon Guillemot
Cepphus columba
Breeds widely along coast: common summer resident from Monterey harbor south along Big Sur coast; rare in winter
photo © Don Roberson
18 Apr 1995 Monterey harbor
Marbled Murrelet
Brachyramphus marmoratus
Rare post-breeding visitor along coast; most recorded in fall & winter
photo © W. Ed Harper
Feb 1984 Monterey Bay
Xantus's Murrelet
Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
Post-breeding visitor offshore. Race scrippsi is an uncommon late summer & fall visitor with more in warm-water years; rare in winter. Race hypoleucus is a rare fall visitor is warm-water years, exceptional in spring
photo of S. h. scrippsi
© Don Roberson
Oct date Monterey Bay
Craveri's Murrelet
Synthliboramphus craveri
Uncommon and irregular late summer & fall visitor offshore, primarily in warm-water years
photo © Don Roberson
7 Oct 1978 Moss Landing
Ancient Murrelet
Synthliboramphus antiquus
Irregular but sometimes fairly common winter visitor offshore; very rare in summer
photo © Bill Hill
Jan 2003 Monterey
Cassin's Auklet
Ptychoramphus aleuticus
Breeds very locally at Castle Rock, Big Sur coast. Otherwise a common fall & winter visitor offshore with smaller numbers present in spring & summer
photo © Don Roberson
9 Feb 2003 Monterey Bay
Parakeet Auklet
Aethia psittacula
Very rare winter vagrant; was more regular as a winter visitor a century ago
no photo in MTY
specimens at CAS &
at MLML (this one)
3 Mar 1974 Zmudowski SP
Rhinoceros Auklet
Cerorhinca monocerata
Common visitor offshore, primarily in fall & winter
photo © Don Roberson
10 Feb 1996 Monterey Bay
Horned Puffin
Fratercula corniculata
Very rare visitor offshore with records in both winter & summer
photo © John Sorensen
7 Aug 1999 Monterey Bay
Tufted Puffin
Fratercula cirrhata
Rare but regular offshore visitor throughout the year with fewest in summer, but may breed occasionally at Castle Rock
photo © Don Roberson
24 Aug 2003 Monterey Bay

Use these links to reach other portions of the Monterey County list:

Part 1: Waterfowl through Grebes
Part 2: Albatrosses through Frigatebirds
Part 3: Herons through Cranes
Part 4: Plovers through Sandpipers
Part 5: Jaegers through Alcids
Part 6: Doves through Woodpeckers
Part 7: Flycatchers through Larks
Part 8: Swallows through Pipits
Part 9: Waxwings through Warblers
Part 10: Tanagers through Sparrows
Part 11: Grosbeaks through Finches
or just the plain Checklist (no annotations)
Readers may use this material for their own private enjoyment, study, or research but none of the photos or text herein may be used commercially nor may they be reposted on other web sites without written permission. All material is copyrighted. The posting of photos and text on this private web site is not a submission to review organizations.
for more information on the status & distribution of birds in Monterey County,
see Monterey Birds 2d ed.
by Don Roberson

click on cover (right) for ordering information and more details about the book





Page created 22-26 Jan 2004