A complete, annotated, and illustrated checklist of the birds of Monterey County, California:
THE MONTEREY COUNTY LIST
Annotated checklist and data resource
text © Don Roberson
photos copyrighted by photographer(s) credited
all photos taken in Monterey County, California
This is the portal to pages of an annotated, illustrated, and complete checklist of the birds of Monterey County. The annotations are the bold-faced status and distribution summaries from the species accounts in Monterey Birds, 2d ed. (2003) by Don Roberson, slightly modified for the web. All the birds shown were photographed in Monterey County. About 270 of these are from my own collection, but major contributions were made by local photographers Ronald L. Branson, Bill Hill, John Sorensen, and Robert F. Tintle, all of whom have 15 or more photos shown. In addition, the Big Sur Ornithology Lab contributed photos of banded birds when needed, and more than 30 other photographers contributed 1-3 photos each to fill out the missing species. More photos are still needed (see bottom of page).

In choosing photos, birds photographed in the wild in Monterey County were preferred, even if better in-hand photos were available. If no such photos were located, birds photographed while being banded in MTY were used. Lacking these, photos of MTY specimens are shown when possible and lastly, portions of sketches or written details of MTY records are included when available. Some 24 species on the MTY checklist are documented by details of such sight records only.

Individual species pages linked to the checklist annotations will be added over time.
Some are available now [e.g., see Thayer's Gull] and it is anticipated that eventually all species will have a species page discussing local status, distribution, and identification in much more detail.
This project will take some time (years); for now, the Checklist and species pages now linked, can be a resource for all.
The checklist has eleven segments, as follows:
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)
 
ABBREVIATIONS: Some abbreviations used on the checklist pages include: Acronyms for museums credited in this project are: MORE PHOTOS WELCOME: If you have nice photographs taken in Monterey County of any species not illustrated by a photo of a wild bird on these pages, I'd be happy to add your shot to this project. Also, if you have an excellent photo that would significant upgrade the current illustration, I'd like to consider using it. Please contact me at creagrus@montereybay.com.

CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This project could not have been undertaken without the help of numerous photographers in Monterey County. I especially thank Ronald L. Branson, Bill Hill, John Sorensen, and Robert F. Tintle for their exceptional local photographs; Bob Tintle permitted me to search his entire collection (and he has 57 photos herein) and the others graciously responded to specific requests. The Big Sur Ornithology Lab was also very cooperative, and I'd especially like to thank Sarah Stock, Jim Booker, Jeff Davis, and Craig Hohenberger for provided photos to me over the years. Other photographers with multiple shots in this collection are Jim & Helen Banks, Ed Harper, Peter LaTourrette, Brian J. Weed, and Stan Wulkowicz. Contributors of at least one photo to this project are Larry Balch, Nancy Black, L.J.V. Compagno & D.H. Varoujean, Betty Cost, Lis Covello, Michael Danzenbaker, Ivan Eberle, Al Ghiorso, Greg Hoffmann, Ed Kwater, Paul E. Lehman, David Lemon, Scott MacDonald, Paul Matray, Tristan McKee, Rod Norden, Robert L. Pitman, Jeff Poklen, Bernadette Ramer, J. Van Remsen, Anne Spence, Craig Strong, Ian Tait, Richard Ternullo, Jerry Wettle, and Steve Wilson.

I also thank Rita Carratello, Bill Hill, Jeff Poklen, Dan Singer, and Jim Tietz for comments on earlier versions of these pages that have improved their content

DETAILS, DETAILS: See Monterey Birds, 2d ed. (2002) for use of the terms in this project. The birds' behaviors define terms differently. Thus many shorebirds are "fall migrants" in July-August while many landbirds are not "fall migrants" until September or later, and July-August status would be considered "summer" for these landbirds. Our early breeding Allen's Hummingbirds can arrive in January, but only first nesting Black Swift may not arrive until late May or June. Thus the breeding season for these species is very different. Keep this distinction in mind when using the capsule status summaries.

The term "photographed in Monterey County" has a little bit of wiggle room.  Obviously, for birding purposes, we consider any birds within 200 nautical miles of the MTY shoreline as within Monterey County, if the MTY shore is the nearest point of land. Technically, of course, the statutory boundaries set out in the California Government Code do not extend that far; this "200 mile offshore" rule has been widely adopted for birding purposes throughout the world.

In addition, I've included photographs in this project that were taken on the Santa Cruz County side of the Pajaro River if, and only if, the specific bird photographed was also recorded on the MTY side of the river at some point. Right now this applies to Black-backed Wagtail only, but could apply to other birds in the future. Finally, common birds photographed in the western portion of Pinnacles National Monument are used in this project, if the photographer reached the National Monument through the west access road. Here the boundary between Monterey and San Benito counties wanders in and out of the National Monument. All the birds are equally common on both sides of the boundary, and if the photo is from the west slope of Pinnacles National Monument, that's good enough for this project.

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.

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Page created 1-5 Mar 2004