Birds of Kern County, California: A photo checklist

The current county tally of birds is 442 native species (NIB) plus 10 accepted introduced species (and 5 additional unaccepted introduced species), (+1 more if you count California Condor as introduced) bringing the official total to 452 accepted species. The list is current with The A.O.S. (American Ornithological Society) Check-list of North American Birds, Seventh Edition, (July 2017 supplement) listing order and nomenclature. The list represents records of resident, migrant, visitant, and vagrant species. Habitats are extremely varied within the county and include: great basin, wetland, desert, montane, riparian, chaparral, and grassland habitats. Very few species have been recorded in every habitat. What is extremely common in one county location may be unheard of or exceptional in another. These birds have been documented over the past 150 years.

Click here for a simple checklist to print and use in the field.

The 442nd native addition is a specialty resident of post-fire forest, the Cedar Fire in the Greenhorn Mountains created habitat for a small population of Black-backed Woodpecker found on July 18, 2017. Wendy Rannals of the Forest Service mentioned to Alison Sheehey that she had heard a bird and Alison confirmed this new county record species. The 441st county record was heard hooting "who cooks for you?" on June 2, 2017 by Jenna and John Stanek in the Greenhorn Mountains. The Barred Owl has long been feared to enter the territory of the dwindling California Spotted Owl, a week later Elias Elias recorded the bird and disturbingly the video shows a "Sparred Owl" with a Barred Owl hoot. An armchair record for Kern County brought the 440th native species with the AOU split of Western Scrub-jay into California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay.  Cordilleran Flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis was recorded at Galileo Hill on 1 June 2016 by Curtis Marantz (I had heard this bird a day earlier but was unable to convince anyone to corroborate it,) making this the 439th native species recorded in Kern County. The 438th native species was found by Nick and Mary Freeman on 15 May 2016, a Buff-breasted Flycatcher was photographed and identified post-birding. A Neotropic Cormorant was discovered at Lake Ming on May 11, 2015 by George Griffeth making it the 437th native species. Pine Warbler is Kern's 436th native species discovered by Pine Warbler found by Tom Benson, Matt Grube, David Rankin, and Brad Singer on 8 November 2014 at Desert Memorial Park in Ridgecrest. Ken & Brenda Kyle discovered the 435th native species for Kern a Red-faced Warbler on 7 October 2014 at Galileo Hill. The 434th native species was found by Susan Steele on May 2, 2014, she observed a Gull-billed Tern at the highly restricted southern evaporation ponds just north of the Kern National Wildlife Refuge. The potential 434th species was removed after being revealed it was only seen in Ventura County so a sighting of a Green Violetear photographed by Steven W. Cardiff between July 30 and August 1, 1977 was re-reviewed by the CBRC and accepted in 2005 after a photograph was produced but not in Kern County. The AOU provided Kern with its 433rd native species by splitting the Sage Sparrow into two species. Sage Sparrow becomes Bell's Sparrow - Artemisiospiza belli which breeds in Kern and Sagebrush Sparrow - Artemisiospiza nevadensis which migrates through and possibly winters in Kern County. On May 5, 2013, Bob Barnes found Kern's 432nd species with the sighting of Grace's Warbler at Cerro Coso College in Ridgecrest. On May 7, 2011, Susan Steele discovered the 431st NIB bird with a female Pyrrhuloxia in the Kern desert. In the summer of 2009, Jon Feenstra's pair of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers breeding southeastern Kern made the 430th NIB county record. Susan Steele found a Lesser Black-backed Gull, the 429th species on December 21st, 2008, at Buena Vista Lake. Susan & Bob Steele found the 428th county bird, Common Black Hawk, at Galileo Hill on 27 April 2008. Bill Foster observed the 427th NIB species, Crested Caracara, in March 2008. Susan and Bob Steele's discovery of an Arctic Warbler in September 2007 and a Hudsonian Godwit in June 2007 and Wood Sandpiper in May 2007 added the 426th, 425th, and 424th NIB species respectively to the list. Ryan Terrill's sighting of an Upland Sandpiper* added the 423rd and Tom Wurster's sighting of a Yellow-footed Gull added the 422nd NIB species to the list. The split of Canada Goose and Cackling Goose added the 421st NIB species to the list in July 2004.

CBRC species that are accepted such as Chukar (which is bred and released for hunters regularly) and others that are not accepted as in Rose-ringed Parakeet makes the whole idea of accepting some introduced species and not others which fulfill every criteria a bothersome quandary. Scaly-breasted Munia are on the list as of 2017 as they are being documented across the county. I include species that are subject to verification as to their origin and introduced species that do not appear on the Western Field Ornithologists' official California list (eg. psittacids) because these records are important in tracking origins of potentially naturalized species. Some rarities found are reviewed by the California Bird Records Committee (CBRC). All birds appearing in bold italics with an asterisk * are California Review Species by the CBRC. Italicized birds with an asterisk * are exceptional rare visitants or vagrants (this was originally done with John Wilson's and Mike Feighner's assistance), any corrections from KC birders or CBRC reviewers are welcome.

Any birds not appearing on this list or that have an asterisk need to be documented and sent to the CBRC and to Kelli Levinson Kern County's compiler for American Birds. Although, I have been lambasted by elitist birders for including "not credible" species, I made an executive decision to add certain species that are most assuredly captive escapes/releases but deserve mention to give readers an understanding of how such a species could occur, eg. Harris's Hawk. The Trumpeter Swan is provisional, Grinnell & Miller list it in the Birds of California, but it is a weak sighting, a possible sighting in Dec. 2003 had me put it on the list. All young swans should be carefully documented as range expansion for this sensitive species is occurring. See Kern Introduced Species for others not included on this list such as some of the parrots and other single incident cage birds.

Susan Steele, Bob Barnes, and Ken & Brenda Kyle are key players in the publicizing new and rare species, without their keen observations this list would languish. The original list is a compilation of many birders list's. Information was compiled using David Blue's list from March of 1997, Rick Saval's Kern County Birds, Birds of the Kern River Parkway, Birds of Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Birds of the Kern River Valley, and Birds of Indian Wells Valley. Updates are found by reviewing the AOU supplements, from John Wilson's Field Notes for American Birds, information provided to me by area birders: Bob Barnes, Mike Feighner, Gary File, Barbara Mansfield, Michael McQuerrey, Bob & Susan Steele, John Sterling, Mary Beth Stowe, John Wilson and others, from information gleaned from CalBird and Kern County Birding, and from my own field notes.

Exceptionally devoted birders can reach 300 birds and up. No county birder has seen all of the listed species within the borders of Kern County (although Matt Heindel comes darn close!). Enjoy birding Kern County. 

All thumbnails except those cited otherwise are taken by Alison Sheehey © (available as larger images), if there is not an image it generally means that would be a life bird for me or life photograph, email me if you see something in the field that I need to photograph. These images are taken all over the country, but each bird has been documented in Kern. For fantastic bird and butterfly photos of most of these species check out Bob Steele's website. http://www.bobsteelephoto.com.

 
 

 

 

1 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck *

Dendrocygna autumnalis

Buena Vista Lake One record only: 19 June 1938

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

2 Fulvous Whistling-Duck *

Dendrocygna bicolor

Lakes, ponds

exceptional (SSC)

16 May 1986 California City Tom Edell 

20 Aug 1988, Edwards AFB

Every few winters a few are killed by hunters at Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

3 Snow Goose 

Anser caerulescens

Lakes, sewer ponds, grasslands Uncommon winter visitor to the Southern Valley. Several thousand winter in the Mojave desert especially Ridgecrest around Jackson Park. One or two are resident at California City Park.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

4 Ross's Goose 

Anser rossii

Lakes, sewer ponds, grasslands

uncommon winter resident of the southern valley. Hundreds of these are found mixed with Snow geese in the desert.

Some birds are resident at California City Park.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

5 Greater White-fronted Goose 

Anser albifrons

Lakes, ponds

Uncommon winter. Easily confused with the domestic graylag goose.

Notice the black speckling on the belly.

A decent population of these birds winters At Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

6 Brant *

Branta bernicla

sewer ponds (SSC) rare in Kern Desert records in spring and late fall

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

7 Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii

Lakes, ponds winter throughout county - occasional lingering bird. the small races of Canada Goose familiar to those in the central valley were split in the summer of 2004. Found most commonly in winter.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

8 Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

Lakes, ponds winter visitor to the county. Small flocks now permanently residing at Buena Vista Lake, Lake Ming, Hart Park, and Kern Water Agency HQ

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

 

Trumpeter Swan*

Cygnus buccinator

  NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST

Buena Vista Lake 10 1893 in Grinnell & Miller. 1X only

Questionable sighting but one was found just south of Kern In Los Angeles County in 2013.

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

9 Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus

Lakes, rivers rare in Kern County - typically pass through in Dec-Jan

sexes look similar (monomorphic)

 

Muscovy Duck (I) Feral Domestic

Cairina moschata

  NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST AS ESTABLISHED

Introduced population at Hart Park and other parks around county.

sexes look similar (monomorphic) but males larger (size dimorphic)

 

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata

lakes and ponds

NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST

 

occasional escapee seen in the county - not established

 

sexes look different (dimorphic)

10  

 

Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

 

Lakes, ponds uncommon resident only because of its habits. Shy and retiring find the wood duck near cover. Nests along the Kern River from South Fork to Buena Vista. Common now at Hart Lake in Bakersfield.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

11   Garganey *

Spatula querquedula

 

ponds 30 Sep 1990, 28 Sep–01 Oct 1995 Cantil

sexes look different (dimorphic)

12  

 

Blue-winged Teal

Spatula discors

 

Lakes, ponds winter throughout county - one or two may linger into late spring

found in desert oases and at Kern National Wildlife refuge, uncommon but hard to tell difference in eclipse plumage from Cinnamon Teal. Found at Kern Sanitation Authority ponds  off Oswell St. in Bakersfield.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

13  

 

Cinnamon Teal

Spatula cyanoptera

 

Lakes, ponds year-round nesting resident, common in appropriate habitat.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

14  

Northern Shoveler - drake

 

Northern Shoveler

Spatula clypeata

 

Lakes, ponds resident breeder

sexes look different (dimorphic)

15  

 

Gadwall

Mareca strepera

 

Lakes, ponds resident breeder

sexes look different (dimorphic)

16  

 

Eurasian Wigeon *

Mareca penelope

 

Lakes, ponds rare visitor in winter generally only one or two

sexes look different (dimorphic)

17

American Wigeon

Mareca americana

Lakes, ponds, golf courses common in winter at lakes and golf courses

sexes look different (dimorphic)

18 Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Lakes, ponds, rivers resident breeder - many domestic

abundant resident found in ponds and watercourses throughout the county. Mixed populations of domestic and wild ducks common.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

19  

 

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

 

Lakes, ponds fairly common in winter through spring

sexes look different (dimorphic)

20  

 

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers fairly common fall through spring some summer records

sexes look different (dimorphic)

21  

 

Canvasback

Aythya valisineria

 

Lakes, ponds uncommon fall through spring

sexes look different (dimorphic)

22  

 

Redhead

Aythya americana

 

Lakes, ponds (SSC) uncommon resident breeder

sexes look different (dimorphic)

23  

 

Ring-necked Duck

Aythya collaris

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers common fall through spring

sexes look different (dimorphic)

24

Tufted Duck *

Aythya fuligula

Lakes, ponds 15 Jan 1980 Cuddy Valley, 17–19 Jan 1992 Isabella Reservoir, 23 Jan-7 Feb 1998, Bakersfield

sexes look different (dimorphic)

25  

 

Greater Scaup *

Aythya marila

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers rare inland in winter

sexes look different (dimorphic)

26  

 

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers common in all except summer

sexes look different (dimorphic)

27  

 

Surf Scoter *

Melanitta perspicillata

 

Lakes, ponds mostly Oct-Nov desert lakes sewer ponds

sexes look different (dimorphic)

28  

 

White-winged Scoter *

Melanitta fusca

 

Lakes, ponds Nov-Dec Isabella and China Lake

sexes look different (dimorphic)

29

Long-tailed Duck *

Clangula hyemalis

Lakes, ponds 8 Dec 1990 Cantil, 1-28 Nov 1991 China Lake, 27 Dec 1994 Isabella, 25 Mar 2003 Cantil, 14-25 March 2015 KNWR

sexes look different (dimorphic)

30  

 

Bufflehead

Bucephala albeola

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers common except in summer

sexes look different (dimorphic)

31  

 

Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers fairly common along waterways except in summer

sexes look different (dimorphic)

32  

 

Barrow's Goldeneye *

Bucephala islandica

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers (SSC) 1 Jan-4 Feb 2012 Isabella Reservoir Alison Sheehey, 16 Dec 2015 Kern River Bakersfield Bob Barnes, 19-20 Dec 2016 Hart Park

sexes look different (dimorphic)

33  

 

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers occasional along the Kern River and Hart Park fall-spring

sexes look different (dimorphic)

34  

 

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser

 

Lakes, ponds, rivers very common in winter but extremely rare in summer

sexes look different (dimorphic)

35  

 

Red-breasted Merganser *

Mergus serrator

 

Lakes, ponds rare but expected at lakes around the county fall-spring

sexes look different (dimorphic)

36  

 

Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis

 

  breeds on quiet water throughout county

sexes look different (dimorphic)

37

 

Mountain Quail

Oreortyx pictus

 

montane, desert facing canyons (W) breeds in conifer forests in county mountains, relatively common but seldom seen.
38  

 

California Quail

Callipepla californica

 

grassland, shrubland, woodland, riparian California's state bird is common in its habitat. Listen for its "Chi- CA-go" call.

common in valleys but population is crashing because of feral cats

sexes look different (dimorphic)

39

 

Gambel's Quail *

Callipepla gambelii

 

desert near permanent water sources This species has been introduced to some areas of  Kern, but they occur naturally in the NW Mojave desert around China Lake.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

40

Chukar (I)

Alectoris chukar

grassland, desert, oak woodland, near water sources (I) uncommon in desert mountains

Introduced from Calcutta, India in 1932. Continuous restocking make this species a tough one to count, as a wild bird.

41

Ring-necked Pheasant (I)

Phasianus colchicus

grassland, shrubland, marshes, grain fields introductions of these Chinese birds began in 1889 by fish & game. there are some good size flocks around the county where hunting is restricted

sexes look different (dimorphic)

   

Common Peafowl

 

Indian Peafowl (I)

Pavo cristatus

 

parks NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST AS ESTABLISHED

A flock of peafowl are breeding at Hart Park in Bakersfield, these are related to the birds at the old zoo.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

42  

 

Sooty Grouse*

Dendragapus fuliginosus howardii

 

Sooty Grouse

conifer forest Mount Pinos Sooty Grouse

(SSC) (W) Greenhorn Mountains - Sunday to Shirley Peak

extremely rare now due to hunting pressure. May soon be extinct within county as only one flock determined to still exist.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

43  

 

 

Wild Turkey (I)

Meleagris gallopavo

 

Wild Turkey

montane, grassland, marsh, riparian, woodland (I) in Greenhorn Mtns and South Fork Kern

This species is continually released for the benefit of hunters. It is an eastern North American species.

sexes look different (dimorphic)

44  

 

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

 

countywide lakes, rivers, marshes, wetlands. common in lakes and marshes breeds in county
45  

 

Horned Grebe *

Podiceps auritus

 

countywide lakes rare fall thru spring
46  

 

Red-necked Grebe *

Podiceps grisegena

 

mountain lakes very rare Oct-Jan in lakes around county

exceptional

13-19 Nov 1993, Lake Isabella

26 Nov 1994, Lake Isabella, Jan 2007

Buena Vista Lake

47  

 

Eared Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

 

Eared Grebe

countywide, lakes, marshes, wetlands most common in winter with less found during spring and fall. rare in summer
48

Western Grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis

countywide, lakes abundant to common in appropriate habitat, nesting
49 Clark's Grebe

Clark's Grebe

Aechmophorus clarkii

countywide, lakes (W) Breeds on Isabella Reservoir. common to uncommon in appropriate habitat, nesting
50

Rock Pigeon (I)

Columba livia

nests on buildings in cities and farms (I) feral populations found near humans around county. common to abundant. Introduced with European colonization of county.
51 Band-tailed Pigeon

Band-tailed Pigeon

Patagioenas fasciata

oak woodlands to mixed conifer breeds in mountains near oaks
  African Collared-Dove African Collared-Dove - (I)

Streptopelia roseogrisea

suburbia NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST AS ESTABLISHED

small populations in Shafter and Bakersfield escapes and deliberate releases by breeders.

52

Eurasian Collared-Dove (I)

Streptopelia decaocto

common now throughout county (I) First observed in the late 1990s but First official record in Ridgecrest on 13 May 2001
53

Spotted Dove (I)

Streptopelia chinensis

Bakersfield resident - successfully naturalized (I) Species first reported in Los Angeles prior to 1917. Unknown when establish in Kern, suspect early 60's. Uncommon and declining in Bakersfield
54

Inca Dove *

Columbina inca

 

rare visitant - several years in Inyokern

12 May 1996, Mojave

10 Oct 1999, California City. one individual Ridgecrest Apr 2001-Dec 2002

55

Common Ground-Dove *

Columbina passerina

citrus orchards, Central Valley Very secretive in orange orchards and occasionally near wetlands

sexes look slightly different (dimorphic)

56  

Ruddy Ground-Dove *

Columbina talpacoti

desert oases 30 Sep 1990, 21 Sep 1991, 17–18 Oct 1991 Cantil 3 Feb–4 Apr 1992 Ridgecrest 6–15 Nov 1996 Ridgecrest 21 Oct 1999, Galileo Hill 20–22 Oct 2001Galileo Hill
57

White-winged Dove

Zenaida asiatica

towns and oases in desert. Small population in Ridgecrest breeds - vagrant in rest of county. Kern Valley records in Wofford Heights and Onyx
58

Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

Urban, rural, orchards Breeding but numbers dwindling since Eurasian Collared-Dove arrived
59

Yellow-billed Cuckoo*

Coccyzus americanus

riparian forest (SE) Breeds along South Fork Kern River - numbers keep dropping due to habitat flooding by Corps of Engineers
60 Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

desert areas uncommon and local. In deserts and grasslands around county
61

Groove-billed Ani *

Crotophaga sulcirostris

  14–15 Oct 1988 Galileo Hill
62

Lesser Nighthawk

Chordeiles acutipennis

grasslands, riparian areas summer resident in valleys, canyons, and desert. Uncommon mid April through mid October.
63 Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk *

Chordeiles minor

mountain meadows Late May through August vagrant
64

Common Poorwill

Phalaenoptilus nuttallii

rocky areas, conifer forests, canyons, and woodlands non-migratory. Experiences torpor during colder days. resident in foothills and mountains
65 Black Swift 

Black Swift *

Cypseloides niger

 

waterfalls (SSC) uncommon summer resident nesting under waterfalls
66 Chimney Swift *

Chimney Swift *

Chaetura pelagica

vagrant

11 May 1990, Cantil

5 Jun 1993, Cantil

25 May 1997, California City

67

Vaux's Swift

Chaetura vauxi

  (SSC) Spring and fall migrant
68

White-throated Swift

Aeronautes saxatalis

cliffs Resident in rocky cliff areas throughout the county
69 Black-chinned Hummingbird

 

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Archilochus alexandri

 

  Summer resident in county

sexes look different (dimorphic)

70  

 

Anna's Hummingbird

Calypte anna

 

  Resident throughout county

sexes look different (dimorphic)

71

 

Costa's Hummingbird

Calypte costae

 

  (BCC) Resident in desert habitats

sexes look different (dimorphic)

72

 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird *

Selasphorus platycercus

 

 

exceptional  11 May 1986, California City

May 1991, California City nesting female

4 Jun 1999, Jawbone Canyon

sexes look different (dimorphic)

73  

Rufous Hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus

  (BCC) Spring and Fall Migrant

sexes look different (dimorphic)

74

 

Allen's Hummingbird *

Selasphorus sasin

 

  Rare spring and fall migrant

sexes look different (dimorphic)

75

Calliope Hummingbird

Selasphorus calliope

mountain meadows Summer resident in mountains

sexes look different (dimorphic)

76 Broad-billed Hummingbird

 

Broad-billed Hummingbird *

Cynanthus latirostris

 

  18 Apr 1982 Short Canyon, 1–4 Oct 1997 Weldon, 26-31 Oct 2005 Inyokern

sexes look different (dimorphic)

77

Virginia Rail

Rallus limicola

marshes marshland desert, kern valley, central valley
78

Sora

Porzana carolina

marshes marshland desert, kern valley, central valley
79 Common Moorhen

Common Gallinule

Gallinula galeata

marshes marshland desert, central valley
80

American Coot

Fulica americana

marshes marsh and lake desert, kern valley, central valley
81 Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Antigone canadensis

Lesser Sandhill Crane - state species of concern

A. c. canadensis

(Linnaeus)

Greater Sandhill Crane - state threatened species

A. (Grus) c. tabida

(Peters)

marshes, grassland, irrigated pasture, agricultural fields (ST-Greater) (FP)(SSC) rare and local in winter. Just to the north in Tulare County at Pixley Refuge, thousands can easily be seen from November through February.
82 Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Himantopus mexicanus

marshes, wetlands resident in county

sexes look slightly different (dimorphic)

83

 

American Avocet

Recurvirostra americana

 

marshes, wetlands resident in county

sexes look slightly different (dimorphic)

84

 

Black-bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

 

marshes, wetlands spring and fall migrant
85

American Golden-Plover *

Pluvialis dominica

marshes, wetlands (W) 19 Oct 2005 Edward’s Air Force Base

10 fall records

3 one day records one per year 2005-2007. Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Weapons Center

86

 

Pacific Golden-Plover *

Pluvialis fulva

 

marshes, wetlands

31 Aug-2 Sep 1990, Kern NWR vicinity
23 May 2011, Ridgecrest

87

 

Snowy Plover*

Charadrius alexandrinus

 

marshes, wetlands (FT) (SSC)(W) rare in wetlands. Breed at China Lake and Central Valley

sexes look slightly (dimorphic)

88

Semipalmated Plover

Charadrius semipalmatus

marshes, wetlands spring and fall migrant
89

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

marshes, wetlands, grasslands, lawns common throughout county
90

Mountain Plover*

Charadrius montanus

marshes, wetlands, short grasslands (SSC)(BCC)(W) winter resident
91 Upland Sandpiper *

Bartramia longicauda

wetlands, grasslands 4-8 Jun 2006 Galileo Hill, 9 June 2016, Cerro Coso, Andrew Howe
92

Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

wetlands winter resident
93

Long-billed Curlew

Numenius americanus

wetlands, grasslands (BCC)(W) uncommon year round
94 Hudsonian Godwit * Hudsonian Godwit*

Limosa haemastica

 

wetlands (W) 7-8 Jun 2007 China Lake, Susan Steele
95  

Marbled Godwit

Limosa fedoa

wetlands (W) uncommon migrant
96

Ruddy Turnstone *

Arenaria interpres

wetlands

28 Apr-12 May (9 records)

14 July to 8 Sept (16 fall records)

97 Black Turnstone

Black Turnstone *

Arenaria melanocephala

wetlands (W) 

29 May 1988, China Lake

1-2 Sept 1996, Edwards AFB.

98 Red Knot

Red Knot *

Calidris canutus

wetlands Very rare fall migrant
99

Ruff *

Calidris pugnax

wetlands Central Valley records
100 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper *

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper *

Calidris acuminata

 

wetlands 8-10 Apr 1984, Kern NWR
101 Stilt Sandpiper *

Stilt Sandpiper*

Calidris himantopus

 

wetlands  
102 Curlew Sandpiper * Curlew Sandpiper *

Calidris ferruginea

 

wetlands 24 Jul 2001 Edwards Air Force Base
103 Red-necked Stint * Red-necked Stint *

Calidris ruficollis

 

wetlands 13 Jun 2005 China Lake, Susan Steele
104

Sanderling*

Calidris alba

wetlands rare inland visitor
105 Dunlin

Dunlin

Calidris alpina

wetlands winter resident
106 Baird's Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

Calidris bairdii

wetlands fall migrant
107

 

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

 

wetlands resident
108 White-rumped Sandpiper *

White-rumped Sandpiper *

Calidris fuscicollis 

wetlands 25–29 May 2000, 15 Aug 2006, 21-22. 23 May 2007,  24-25 May 2009 China Lake, Susan Steele
109 Buff-breasted Sandpiper *

Buff-breasted Sandpiper *

Calidris subruficollis

wetlands 5 Sep 1988, 16 Sep 1989, 3–9 Jun 1990, 16 Sep 1990 Edwards Air Force Base
110

Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

wetlands uncommon migrant
111

Semipalmated Sandpiper*

Calidris pusilla

wetlands 13 May 1979 Kern NWR rare spring migrant
112

 

Western Sandpiper

Calidris mauri

 

wetlands migrant and winter resident
113 Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus griseus

wetlands uncommon fall migrant
114

 

Long-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus scolopaceus

 

wetlands common migrant and winter resident
115

Wilson's Snipe

Gallinago delicata

wetlands uncommon resident
116

 

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

 

wetlands migrant and uncommon winter resident
117

Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria

wetlands uncommon migrant
118

Wandering Tattler *

Tringa incana

wetlands (W) exceptional

4 Jun 1993, China Lake

6 May 1998, Edwards AFB

119

Lesser Yellowlegs

Tringa flavipes

wetlands common in low numbers migration
120

Willet

Tringa semipalmata

wetlands uncommon migration
121 Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Tringa melanoleuca

wetlands common resident
122 Wood Sandpiper * Wood Sandpiper *

Tringa glareola.

 

wetlands 22-23 May 2007 China Lake, Susan Steele
123 Wilson's Phalarope

 

Wilson's Phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor

 

wetlands spring and fall migration

sexes look different (dimorphic)

124

 

Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

 

wetlands spring and fall migration

sexes look different (dimorphic)

125

 

Red Phalarope *

Phalaropus fulicarius

 

Red Phalarope

wetlands spring and fall migration

exceptionally rare inland - records from the desert only

sexes look different (dimorphic)

126

Pomarine Jaeger *

Stercorarius pomarinus

  2 Sept 1989, China Lake

sexes look similar (monomorphic) but females larger (size dimorphic)

127

Parasitic Jaeger *

Stercorarius parasiticus

  19-22 Sept 1989, China Lake

sexes look similar (monomorphic) but females larger (size dimorphic)

128

Long-tailed Jaeger *

Stercorarius longicaudus

  23-Aug-94 China Lake

sexes look similar (monomorphic) but females larger (size dimorphic)

129

Black-legged Kittiwake *

Rissa tridactyla

11 Dec 1987, Inyokern
130

 

Sabine's Gull

Xema sabini

 

rare in fall
131

Bonaparte's Gull

Chroicocephalus philadelphia

 

uncommon but the most expected black hooded gull in Kern County.

At all larger bodies of water throughout the county

132 Little Gull *

Little Gull *

Hydrocoloeus minutus

 

4-6 May 1996, China Lake NWR

29 Aug 1997,  China Lake NWR, 19 Apr 1999, China Lake NWR

29 Aug 2011, China Lake NWR

133

 

Laughing Gull *

Leucophaeus atricilla

 

(W) 19 July 1997, Edwards AFB
134

 

Franklin's Gull

Leucophaeus pipixcan

 

rare at lakes and sewer ponds during migration
135

Heermann's Gull *

Larus heermanni

16 Jun 1990, 10-11 May 1997, 29 Oct 1994, 7 Oct 1995, Edwards AFB, 13 May 2012 Isabella Reservoir
136 Mew Gull

Mew Gull *

Larus canus

rare at inland lakes - records from Cantil, Edwards AFB, Isabella Reservoir, and Buena Vista Lake
137

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

most common in desert and San Joaquin Valley a few individuals interspersed with California Gulls at Isabella Reservoir
138

Western Gull *

Larus occidentalis

Exceptional visitor to Kern. This common coastal gull is truly a sea gull as it rarely ventures inland.

17 Apr 1988, Edwards, also recorded at Buena Vista Lake.

139

Yellow-footed Gull*

Larus livens

April 2006 Tom Wurster, China Lake
140

California Gull

Larus californicus

(W) Most common gull in county
141

Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

uncommon
142

Iceland Gull* 

Larus glaucoides

rare in county

Name change - Thayer's Gull determined to be subspecies of Iceland

143

Lesser Black-backed Gull *

Larus fuscus

lakes 21 Dec 2008 Buena Vista Rec Area, Susan Steele 5 Jan 2014, Isabella Reservoir, Alison Sheehey
144

 

Glaucous-winged Gull *

Larus glaucescens

 

rare in county - single birds only
145

Glaucous Gull *

Larus hyperboreus

19 Dec 1998, Arvin
2011, Arvin
146 Least Tern

Least Tern *

Sternula antillarum

(SE) (FE) (FP) 12 May - 23 Jun, 8 records in Kern desert
 
147

Gull-billed Tern*

Gelochelidon nilotica

  (SSC)  Susan Steele 2 May 2014 S. Evaporation Ponds (restricted access)
148

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

(BCC) most common tern in county spring through fall
149

Black Tern

Chlidonias niger

(SSC) spring and fall migrant
150

Common Tern *

Sterna hirundo

rare in county
151 Arctic Tern *

 

Arctic Tern *

Sterna paradisaea

 

sewer ponds June records at both China Lake NAWS and Edwards AFB
152

Forster's Tern

Sterna forsteri

lakes, marshes uncommon but expected
153

Black Skimmer *

Rynchops niger

sewer pond (SSC) 28 Jul 1990, China Lake
154

Red-throated Loon *

Gavia stellata

lakes

Lake Isabella

22 Oct 1995, Edwards AFB

fall, winter exceptional

155

Pacific Loon

Gavia pacifica

mountain, desert lakes

very rare fall through spring

156

 

Common Loon   

Gavia immer

mountain, valley lakes, recharge areas, aqueduct (SSC)

 uncommon Sept. thru May

157 Wood Stork *Wood Stork

Wood Stork *

Mycteria americana

 

valley, marshes

(SSC)

exceptional

11 May 1922, Buena Vista

158 Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird *

Fregata magnificens

 

lakes

Lake Isabella

exceptional

5 Aug 1980, Mt Pinos

fall 1977, Lake Isabella

159

Neotropic Cormorant*

Phalacrocorax brasilianus

lakes May 11-23, 2015 - George Griffeth found this bird at Lake Ming - May 11, 2015
160

 

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

 

countywide lakes, rivers (SSC)

 

common winter, fall, spring, uncommon summer

161

American White Pelican

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

countywide, lakes, marshes, waste water treatment areas (SSC)

 

uncommon to common

162 Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican *

Pelecanus occidentalis

desert and  mountain lakes (FP) sensitive

 

exceptional

21 Aug 1991, China Lake NWS

23-25 Aug 1990, China Lake NWS

163

American Bittern

Botaurus lentiginosus

marshes

An uncommon resident in the San Joaquin Valley, Kern Valley and Mojave Desert.

Prefers cattail / tule marshes. Breeding at Kern National Wildlife Refuge and unconfirmed in the Kern Valley.

164

Least Bittern *

Ixobrychus exilis

marshes (SSC)

Formerly bred in the Kern Valley but no recent records.

Extremely shy and very rarely seen.  Prefers cattail / tule marshes in the valleys, few records for the Kern desert but there are breeding records to the north in Inyo County.

165

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

marshes, riparian forest, grassland, lakes sensitive

A breeding resident throughout the county.

Great Blue Herons nest in trees in communal rookeries. Relatively common in appropriate habitat year round.

166

Great Egret

Ardea alba

California sensitive species

Common along the Kern River especially in winter and spring. Found in varying numbers throughout the county.

167

Snowy Egret

Egretta thula

A rare breeder in the San Joaquin Valley.

Frequents open cottonwood/willow forests, and cattail / tule marshes. Fairly common in the Tulare and Kern River Basins. Uncommon to rare in the Kern Valley and the desert.

168

Little Blue Heron *

Egretta caerulea

Only observed 3X in county at Edwards Air Force Base and California City

exceptional vagrant

10 May 1991, California City

19-22 Dec 1992, California City

169

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

sewer ponds and feedlots A breeding resident in the San Joaquin Valley. Prefers rather stinky places like sewer ponds and feedlots. Very common at landfills and sewer ponds in the Bakersfield area. Less common to rare in rest of the county.
170

 

Green Heron

Butorides virescens

 

countywide, tule marshes, vegetated canals A breeding resident in the San Joaquin Valley, Kern Valley and Mojave Desert. Prefers the edges and underbrush along streams and in marshes. A shy and inconspicuous bird that is uncommon in appropriate habitat in the valleys, and rare in the desert.
171

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

countywide, parks, rivers, lakes, marshes

A breeding resident in the San Joaquin Valley, Kern Valley and Mojave Desert.

Prefers cattail / tule marshes. Relatively abundant to common in appropriate habitat in the valleys, less common to rare in the desert.

172

White-faced Ibis

Plegadis chihi

countywide, marshes, ponds (W)

 

nesting

173 Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill *

Platalea ajaja

valley, marshes

 

exceptional

24 Sep - 2 Oct 1966, Buttonwillow

174 Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

countywide, all habitats

uncommon nesting common migrant, split migration routes through Kern Valley and Tehachapi via Bakersfield

175 California Condor

California Condor

Gymnogyps californianus

Federal endangered species

California endangered species

Foothill grassland, rocky cliffs, Mature conifer forest

(E) (FP) (W) increasing in mountains and foothills - Bittercreek Refuge, Tehachapis, Frazier Park, Breckenridge, Greenhorn Mtns

reintroduced population

see Don Roberson's page about countability

176

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

(SSC) Resident along canals and at Isabella Reservoir
177

White-tailed Kite

Elanus leucurus

(FP) Resident in riparian areas with extreme variability in populations from year to year
178

Mississippi Kite *

Ictinia mississippiensis

5 Jun 1992 Kern River Preserve
179

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

lakes, rivers, aqueduct (SE) (FP) uncommon winter resident
180

Northern Harrier

Circus hudsonius

grasslands, marshes (SSC) In 2017 split from European and North American harrier - common name retained but specific epithet changed.
181

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Accipiter striatus

(W)
182

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

(W)
183

Northern Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

conifer forest (SSC) breeds in mountains. largest accipiter
184

Common Black Hawk *

Buteogallus anthracinus

Lakes stocked with fish 27 Apr 2008 Galileo Hill
185

Harris's Hawk *(I)

Parabuteo unicinctus

(W) 5 Mar 2001 California City
186 Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus

riparian forest resident
187

Broad-winged Hawk *

Buteo platypterus

2 Oct 1983, Cantil

8 May 1988, Cantil

24 Sept 1999, Galileo Hill

24 Sept 2016, Galileo

188

Swainson's Hawk

Buteo swainsoni

grasslands, riparian forest (ST-CA)(W) migratory, breeds in county. late winter through fall
189

Zone-tailed Hawk *

Buteo albonotatus

 

 

26 May 1994, California City, 3 Oct 1994 Weldon, 27-28 May 2017 California City

190

Red-tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

most common raptor in county. Resident, nesting
191

Rough-legged Hawk

Buteo lagopus

uncommon in winter
192

Ferruginous Hawk

Buteo regalis

(BCC) winters in county
193

Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos

mountains, foothills, grassland  (FP) sensitive resident, breeding
194

Barn Owl

Tyto alba

barns, rock cavities, tree cavities, palm tress

common near water and open areas with trees or buildings nearby

195

Flammulated Owl *

Psiloscops flammeolus

(BCC) mountain nester summer only
196 Western Screech Owl

Western Screech-Owl

Megascops kennicottii

oak woodlands, riparian areas

uncommon

197

Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus

riparian areas, suburban, palm trees

common to abundant

198 Northern Pygmy-Owl

Northern Pygmy-Owl

Glaucidium gnoma

oak woodlands
199

Burrowing Owl

Athene cunicularia

(SSC) grasslands
200

Spotted Owl

Strix occidentalis

(SSC) old growth conifer and oak forest
201

Barred Owl

Strix varia

John & Jenna Stanek 6-2-2017 - Elias Elias photographed and video
202

Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

(SSC)

riparian areas and pine trees in deserts.

These birds breed in Ridgecrest and can be found on occasion in the mountains and deserts of the county.

203

Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

(SSC) Winter resident in marshlands
204 Northern Saw-whet Owl 

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus

 

Resident in conifer woodland
205

Belted Kingfisher

Megaceryle alcyon

Resident along lakes and rivers
206

Lewis's Woodpecker

Melanerpes lewis

(BCC) Rare resident in oak woodlands
207

Acorn Woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus

 

Resident in oak to conifer forests in foothills to mountains
208 Williamson's Sapsucker

 

Williamson's Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus thyroideus

 

Williamson's Sapsucker

Rare resident nester in mountains. Winter resident in pine/oak woodlands and parks
209

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker *

Sphyrapicus varius

rare winter visitor to pine/oak woodlands and parks
210

Red-naped Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus nuchalis

Winter visitor to oak and pine woodlands.
211 Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus ruber

(W) Breeds in mountains along willow canyons and winter resident in exotic pines and live oaks
212

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Picoides scalaris

 

Resident in Joshua tree woodlands
213

 

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Picoides nuttallii

 

Resident nester in oak woodlands and riparian forests.
214 Downy Woodpecker - male 

 

Downy Woodpecker

Picoides pubescens

 

Resident nesting in riparian forests and oak woodlands. Hybridizes with Ladder-backed Woodpecker.
215

Hairy Woodpecker

Picoides villosus

Resident nester in mountains. Winters in lowlands.
216 White-headed Woodpecker

White-headed Woodpecker

Picoides albolarvatus

Resident nester in mountains. Valley visitor in winter
217

Black-backed Woodpecker*

Picoides arcticus

(FSS) imperiled in California - Discovered 18 July 2017 by Wendy Rannals in Cedar Fire - Greenhorn Mountains
218 Northern Flicker 

Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

 

Resident
219 Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus

Rare resident in Greenhorn Mountains
220

Crested Caracara*

Caracara cheriway

 

Crested Caracara

grassland - riparian forest

Exceptional vagrant

FT 25-27 Mar 2008 Kern River Preserve, Bill Foster

221

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

Resident
222

Merlin

Falco columbarius

(W) Winter resident
223

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

(BCC) Resident
224

Prairie Falcon

Falco mexicanus

(BCC) Resident
225

Rose-ringed Parakeet (I)

Psittacula krameri

 

 

(I) not on official list

at least 3,000 birds throughout Bakersfield

ESCAPEE in late 1970's - well established as a naturalized population

 

NOT ON OFFICIAL LIST AS ESTABLISHED - THIS IS AN ERROR THAT NEEDS TO BE RECTIFIED

226 Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Contopus cooperi

(BCC) Breeds in conifer forests
227

Western Wood-Pewee

Contopus sordidulus

Common in summer and during migration.  Breeds in at the Kern River Preserve and the local montane conifer forests.
228

Eastern Wood-Pewee *

Contopus virens

 

Exceptional vagrant

10 Jun 1998, Galileo Hill Park

27 Jun - 9 Jul 1998, South Fork Wildlife Area

229 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher *

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher *

Empidonax flaviventris

  24 Sep 1997 Cantil, 7 Sep 1998, 5 Oct 2002 California City, 27 Sep–01 Oct 1989, 11 Sep 1996, 21 Sep 1997, 3 Oct 2004 Galileo Hill 5 Oct 2002 California City golf course.
230

Alder Flycatcher *

Empidonax alnorum

11 Jul 1991 Kern River Preserve
231

Willow Flycatcher

Empidonax traillii

(SE full species) (FE - extimus) Breeds in riparian forest along South Fork Kern River
232

Least Flycatcher *

Empidonax minimus

rare vagrant has over summered at the Kern River Preserve in Weldon
233 Hammond's Flycatcher 

Hammond's Flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii

 

migrant
234

Gray Flycatcher

Empidonax wrightii

breeds in sagebrush in mountain meadows
235 Dusky Flycatcher 

Dusky Flycatcher

Empidonax oberholseri

 

breeds in conifer forests
236 Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Empidonax difficilis

breeds in Kern Valley and mountains
237

Cordilleran Flycatcher*

Empidonax occidentalis

31 May 2016, Alison Sheehey, Galileo

recorded at Galileo Hill on 1 June 2016 by Thomas Ford-Hutchinson

238

Buff-breasted Flycatcher*

Empidonax fulvifrons

15 May 2016, Mary & Nick Freeman, Galileo
239

Black Phoebe

Sayornis nigricans

Year round resident. Common along waterways. High pitched "Tchew chew" call gives away location
240

Eastern Phoebe *

Sayornis phoebe

Rare visitor to Kern. in marshy areas.
241

Say's Phoebe

Sayornis saya

Year round resident. Along with Black Phoebe these are the only flycatchers normally found in Kern in winter. Fence lines near golf courses, good places to find this bird.
242

Vermilion Flycatcher

Pyrocephalus rubinus

 

(SSC)

desert riparian corridors

This bird nests in the desert and Kern Valley, rare winter vagrant to the central valley.

243

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Myiarchus cinerascens

common spring through fall nests in chaparral, riparian, and desert environs
244 Great-crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher *

Myiarchus crinitus

 

23-27 Sept 1989, Galileo

4 Oct 1996, 7 mi N of California City

245

Brown-crested Flycatcher*

Myiarchus tyrannulus

(W) rare nesting species in Kern and Kelso Valleys
246

Tropical Kingbird *

yrannus melancholicus

exceptional

22 Sep 1996, Kern River Preserve

247

Cassin's Kingbird

Tyrannus vociferans

Uncommon. A pair has been nesting and wintering in the Rio Bravo area since 2001. Nesting in Weldon
248 Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Tyrannus verticalis

Common summer resident.
249

Eastern Kingbird *

Tyrannus tyrannus

rare vagrant
250

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher *

Tyrannus forficatus

  rare vagrant, female bred with Western Kingbird at Belridge in the western San Joaquin Valley in the summer of 2000.

7 Aug 1992 China Lake, 6 Sep 1992 Cerro Noroeste

251

 

Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovicianus

 

  (SSC) Uncommon resident. The Loggerhead Shrike is declining nationwide as its habitat, grassland and shrubland disappears to development.
252

Northern Shrike *

Lanius borealis

  An exceptional winter visitor from the northern states. This bird has been recorded at least 8 times in Kern.
253

White-eyed Vireo *

Vireo griseus

  14–17 May 1992, Butterbredt, 24–27 May 1992 Kern River Preserve, 26 May 1997 Cantil, 29 May 1999 California City, 18 May 2008, 25-28 May 2009, 31 May-1 Jun 2012, Galileo Hill
254

Bell's Vireo *

Vireo bellii

  (FE) (SE) Formerly common breeder in riparian forests, infrequently found in the county now.
255 Gray Vireo *

Gray Vireo *

Vireo vicinior

 

  (SSC)
256

Hutton's Vireo

Vireo huttoni

  Found in oak chaparral, breeds locally.
257 Yellow-throated Vireo *

Yellow-throated Vireo *

Vireo flavifrons

  7–30 Jul 1994 Weldon, 26 May 1999 Jawbone Canyon, 9 Oct 1999 Galileo Hill, 19–20 May 2001 Jawbone Canyon, 3 Jun 2001 Butterbredt Spring, 13 Apr 2002 Galileo Hill, 29-31 May 2004, 14 May 2006 Butterbredt Spring
258

Cassin's Vireo

Vireo cassinii

  A summer resident breeding in area mountains.
259

Blue-headed Vireo *

Vireo solitarius

  22 Oct 2001 Galileo Hill,  Tom Wurster, 20 Apr 2004, 14 May 2006 Butterbredt Spring
260

Plumbeous Vireo

Vireo plumbeus

  Migrant through the county. Breeds just over the county line in Tulare County at the Chimney Creek Campground on the Chimney Peak Byway
261 Philadelphia Vireo *

Philadelphia Vireo *

Vireo philadelphicus

  22 Oct 1983 California City, 19 Oct 1988, 10 Oct 1992, 6–12 Oct 1996 Galileo Hill, 29 Sept 2012, Cerro Coso College, Ridgecrest  Bob Barnes
262

Warbling Vireo

Vireo gilvus

  A breeding summer resident in riparian forests and mountains.
263

Red-eyed Vireo *

Vireo olivaceus

  A rare vagrant.
264 Yellow-green Vireo *

Yellow-green Vireo *

Vireo flavoviridis

 

  21–27 Sep 1995, 6 Oct 1998, 28–30 Oct 2003 Galileo Hill
265

Pinyon Jay

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

  Found in the pinyon pine woodland along the eastern crest of the Sierra Nevada and in Kelso Valley.
266 Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

Cyanocitta stelleri

  Resident in all of the region's montane conifer forests.
267

California Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma californica

  A common resident of wooded areas of the mountains and San Joaquin Valley.
268 Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay *

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay*

Aphelocoma woodhouseii

 

  Records of Woodhouse's race from Kern Valley to desert
269

Clark's Nutcracker

Nucifraga columbiana

  Very rare county resident. Seen most often on Mt. Pinos, but also inhabits the Piutes, and Greenhorns.
270

Black-billed Magpie *

Pica hudsonia

  exceptional 3X only in the desert
271

Yellow-billed Magpie

Pica nuttalli

  (BCC) Found in Kern County only along Hwy 41 between San Luis Obispo and Kings Counties.
272  

American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

  large flocks in Central Valley, recent expansion into Kern River Valley. Rare to absent from high mountains and desert
273

Common Raven

Corvus corax

  Common outside of urban areas and orchards throughout county. Population exploding due to human infrastructure benefiting species.
274

Horned Lark

Eremophila alpestris

  (W)
275 Purple Martin

Purple Martin

Progne subis

  (SSC) Breeds in oak woodland at Tejon Ranch and Stallions Springs
276

Tree Swallow

Tachycineta bicolor

   
277

Violet-green Swallow

Tachycineta thalassina

mountains and riparian Breeds in mountains, migrates through entire county
278

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Stelgidopteryx serripennis

   
279

Bank Swallow

Riparia riparia

  (ST) spring migrant
280

Cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

 

   
281

 

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

 

   
282

Mountain Chickadee

Poecile gambeli

conifer forest  
283

Oak Titmouse

Baeolophus inornatus

oak woodlands (BCC)
284

Juniper Titmouse* 

Baeolophus ridgwayi

desert

Exceptional 

24 Feb 1999, California City, Matt Heindel

285

Verdin

Auriparus flaviceps

desert  
286

 

Bushtit

Psaltriparus minimus

 

   
287

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

conifer forest

urban parks

breeds in mountains, downslope migrant in winter
288

White-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta carolinensis

   
289

Pygmy Nuthatch

Sitta pygmaea

   
290

Brown Creeper

Certhia americana

  Resident in conifer forests, found on mature trees in suburbs and along riparian zones in winter
291 Rock Wren

Rock Wren

Salpinctes obsoletus

  Resident in rocky areas in foothills, and along reservoir and canal rip rap areas
292

Canyon Wren

Catherpes mexicanus

  Resident in canyons and on foothill slopes
293

House Wren

Troglodytes aedon

  Summer resident in valleys and mountains. Some linger in winter in the San Joaquin Valley
294

Pacific Wren

Troglodytes pacificus

  Rare resident in montane riparian
295

Marsh Wren

Cistothorus palustris

  Resident in marshes and tule/cattail lined canals
296

Bewick's Wren

Thryomanes bewickii

  Resident in chaparral, woodlands, and riparian underbrush
297

Cactus Wren

Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

  Resident in desert areas with cholla cactus
298

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Polioptila caerulea

  riparian, pinyon forest,  washes, desert, chaparral
299

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher*

Polioptila melanura

  (W) Summer 2009 - Jon Feenstra. Resident Edwards Air Force Base
300

American Dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

rivers Uncommon resident along the Kern River and tributaries.
301

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Regulus satrapa

mountains Winter wanderer to the desert and valleys. Summer nesting in the conifer forest
302

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Regulus calendula

 

throughout county Winter resident
303 Dusky Warbler *

Dusky Warbler *

Phylloscopus fuscatus

 

  4-5 Oct 1997 near Cantil, David Blue, Matt Heindel
304 Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf Warbler *

Phylloscopus borealis/examinandus

  6-10 Sept 2007 Bob & Susan Steele, Gjon Hazard - Galileo Hill
305

Wrentit

Chamaea fasciata

chaparral foothill oak woodland, canyons
306

Western Bluebird

Sialia mexicana

  Breeds in mountain valleys and Kern River Valley. Found in lesser numbers in SJV and KRV in winter
307  

Mountain Bluebird

Sialia currucoides

  Good size flocks are found in the valleys in winter
308

Townsend's Solitaire

Myadestes townsendi

  Breeds locally in the mountains and chaparral. Winters in Kern Desert and some valley locales.
309

Veery *

Catharus fuscescens

  19–24 Sep 1991 Galileo Hill
310 Gray-cheeked Thrush *

Gray-cheeked Thrush *

Catharus minimus

  14-18 Sep 1989, Galileo, 9 Oct 1998 Galileo Hill 29 Sept-1 Oct 2015, Galileo Hill, Susan Steele
311

Swainson's Thrush

Catharus ustulatus

  Mostly spring migrant
312 Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

  Winter resident
313 Wood Thrush *

Wood Thrush *

Hylocichla mustelina

 

16 Jun 1999, Galileo Park

11-13 Oct 1998,  California City

8-10 Jun 2003, Cerro Coso,  Ridgecrest, 9 Oct 2008, 1 Oct 2011 Galileo Hill, 22 June-2 Jul 2010, Tejon Ranch, Dan Kopp, Ed Pandolfino

314 Eyebrowed Thrush * Eyebrowed Thrush*

Turdus obscurus

 

  28 May 2001 Galileo Hill, Scott Terrill
315

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

   
316

Varied Thrush

Ixoreus naevius

   
317

Gray Catbird *

Dumetella carolinensis

  5 Jun 1987 Mojave, 1 Jun 1991 Butterbredt Spring, many other sightings Kern Desert, 14 Oct 2004 Kern River Preserve,
318

Brown Thrasher *

Toxostoma rufum

  rare vagrant
319 Bendire's Thrasher *

 

Bendire's Thrasher*

Toxostoma bendirei

 

  (SSC)
320

California Thrasher

Toxostoma redivivum

   
321

LeConte's Thrasher

Toxostoma lecontei

  (SSC)
322

Sage Thrasher

Oreoscoptes montanus

323

Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos

324

European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

(I)
325 Bohemian Waxwing *

 

Bohemian Waxwing *

Bombycilla garrulus

 

 

Exceptional vagrant

11 Jan 1987, Inyokern

326

Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

   
327

Phainopepla

Phainopepla nitens

 

   
328

Scaly-breasted Munia

Lonchura punctulata

  (I)
329

 

House Sparrow (I)

Passer domesticus

 

Countywide human habitations and agricultural fields especially those with sludge or manure based fertilizers. (I) Common to abundant. First appeared in Bakersfield in 1901 and in Tehachapi 1903.
330 Red-throated Pipit *

 

Red-throated Pipit *

Anthus cervinus

 

  20 Sep 1991 China Lake, 22 Sep 1991 California City
331

American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

   
332

Sprague's Pipit *

Anthus spragueii

  20–22 Oct 1996 China Lake, 8-9 Oct 2008 Galileo Hill
333

Evening Grosbeak*

Coccothraustes vespertinus

334

 

Pine Grosbeak*

Pinicola enucleator

 

Exceptional vagrant  3 Nov 2004, Galileo Hill, found by Brenda & Ken Kyle
335

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch *

Leucosticte tephrocotis

Exceptional vagrant

12 Nov 1998, Galileo

336

 

House Finch

Haemorhous mexicanus

 

variety of habitats Resident nester in the county in the lower elevations
337

Purple Finch

Haemorhous purpureus

338  

 

Cassin's Finch

Haemorhous cassinii

 

339

 

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

 

montane irruptive species that breeds in conifer forests. Hooked bill tears open pine cones. Occasionally found breeding in the unusual desert location at California City Central Park.
340

Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

irruptive winter resident
341

Lesser Goldfinch

Spinus psaltria

riparian, grassland and chaparral near water source. resident in varying numbers throughout the county. Breeds in the Kern Valley and Mountains
342

 

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Spinus lawrencei

 

(BCC)

riparian, grassland, conifers,  and chaparral near water source.

rare winter records

spring through fall

breeds in Kern River Valley and mountains

343

American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis

 

riparian and grassland habitats

winter resident in varying numbers like most goldfinches numbers tend to be irruptive

344

Lapland Longspur *

Calcarius lapponicus

Rare migrant
345 Chestnut-collared Longspur 

Chestnut-collared Longspur*

Calcarius ornatus

Rare migrant
346 Smith's Longspur *

Smith's Longspur *

Calcarius pictus

10 Oct 1996 Galileo Hill
347

McCown's Longspur *

Rhynchophanes mccownii

Exceptional vagrant

25-30 Nov 1988, Garlock

20-25 Oct 1999, Edwards

348

Snow Bunting *

Plectrophenax nivalis

23–27 Dec 1978 Kelso Valley
349

Rustic Bunting *

Emberiza rustica

 

Exceptional vagrant

7-10 Nov 1993 near Cantil, Matt Heindel

350

Green-tailed Towhee

Pipilo chlorurus

351  

Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus

 

352

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Aimophila ruficeps

353

California Towhee

Melozone crissalis

354

Cassin's Sparrow*

Peucaea cassinii

10–13 Jun 2001 Kern River Preserve
355

American Tree Sparrow *

Spizella arborea

356

 

Chipping Sparrow

Spizella passerina

 

357

 

Clay-colored Sparrow *

Spizella pallida

 

358

Brewer's Sparrow

Spizella breweri

(BCC)
359

Field Sparrow *

Spizella pusilla

  1–4 Nov 1998 Inyokern, 6 Feb 2006 Edwards Air Force Base, 14-15 Oct 2012, David Blue, China Lake
360

 

Black-chinned Sparrow

Spizella atrogularis

 

chaparral summer resident
361

Vesper Sparrow

Pooecetes gramineus

(BCC)
362 Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Chondestes grammacus

363

Black-throated Sparrow

Amphispiza bilineata

364

Sagebrush Sparrow

Artemisiospiza nevadensis

365

Bell's Sparrow

Artemisiospiza belli

(BCC)
366

Lark Bunting *

Calamospiza melanocorys

 

367

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis

368

Grasshopper Sparrow *

Ammodramus savannarum

(SSC)
369

LeConte's Sparrow *

Ammodramus leconteii

Exceptional vagrant

27 Nov 1988–2 Jan 1989 China Lake

370 Nelson's Sparrow *

Nelson's Sparrow *

Ammodramus nelsoni

Exceptional vagrant
371

Fox Sparrow

Passerella iliaca

372

Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

373

Lincoln's Sparrow

Melospiza lincolnii

374

Swamp Sparrow *

Melospiza georgiana

375

White-throated Sparrow *

Zonotrichia albicollis

376 Harris' Sparrow

Harris's Sparrow *

Zonotrichia querula

377

White-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys

378

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia atricapilla

379

Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis

380

Yellow-breasted Chat

Icteria virens

 

riparian forest Summer resident
381

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

(SSC)
382

Bobolink *

Dolichonyx oryzivorus

exceptional
383

Western Meadowlark

Sturnella neglecta

grassland
384

Orchard Oriole *

Icterus spurius

385

Hooded Oriole

Icterus cucullatus

386

Bullock's Oriole

Icterus bullockii

387

Baltimore Oriole *

Icterus galbula

388

Scott's Oriole

Icterus parisorum

389

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

(SSC) Kern subspecies
390

Tricolored Blackbird

Agelaius tricolor

(SE)
391

Bronzed Cowbird *

Molothrus aeneus

Bronzed Cowbird

Exceptional vagrant

5 Jun 1988, Galileo

19-28 May 1994, Onyx
5 Jun 2011, Inyokern

392

Brown-headed Cowbird

Molothrus ater

 

393

Rusty Blackbird *

Euphagus carolinus

  5-14 Nov 2011 Ridgecrest 18 Nov 2011 Galileo Hill 20-22 Nov 2012, Susan Steele, China Lake
394

Brewer's Blackbird

Euphagus cyanocephalus

resident
395

Common Grackle *

Quiscalus quiscula

  29 Oct 1994 Galileo Hill, 25 Oct 1995 Canebrake, 22 Apr 2009 Inyokern 9-17 Nov 2013, Tom Wurster, Galileo Hill
396

Great-tailed Grackle

Quiscalus mexicanus

 

resident
397

Ovenbird *

Seiurus aurocapillus

  75 spring records and 17 fall records
398

Worm-eating Warbler *

Helmitheros vermivorus

 

10 May 1987, Butterbredt

25 May 1990, Mojave

24 May 1992, Butterbredt

4/22-25/2001, Butterbredt Spring,

5/17-20/2003, Butterbredt Spring

10/12-28/2003, Galileo Hill, Found by Dan Cooper

6/9-10/2010,  Butterbredt Springs

27 May 2017 Butterbredt Spring

399 Louisiana Waterthrush *

Louisiana Waterthrush *

Parkesia motacilla

21 May 1990, Mojave

16-19 Sep 1994, Galileo Hill

3-6 Sep 2012, California City Tom Wurster

400

Northern Waterthrush *

Parkesia noveboracensis

rare

over 40 spring records and over 60 fall records in the Kern desert

401

Golden-winged Warbler *

Vermivora chrysoptera

5/31/1997, California City

8/3/2000, Kern River Preserve

6/13/2001, Galileo Hill Park

5/31/2008, Butterbredt Springs

402

Blue-winged Warbler *

Vermivora cyanoptera

9/24-27/1995, Galileo Hill

6/8/1997, Butterbredt Spring

6/8-10/1999, Butterbredt Springs

5/21/2001, California City

5/28/2001, Galileo Hill Park

10/4/2002, near Cantil

5/26/2003, Butterbredt Springs

5/25/2009, Butterbredt Spring

403

Black-and-white Warbler *

Mniotilta varia

uncommon migrant
404

Prothonotary Warbler *

Protonotaria citrea

  10 May 1987 Butterbredt Spring, 28 May 1987 California City, 2–3 Oct 1987 Galileo Hill, 12–16 Sep 1989 Mojave, 24 May 1998 Kern River Preserve, May 2017 KRP
405

Tennessee Warbler *

Oreothlypis peregrina

rare vagrant
406

Orange-crowned Warbler

Oreothlypis celata

resident
407

Lucy's Warbler *

Oreothlypis luciae

(BCC) rare breeder on Edwards AFB
408

Nashville Warbler

Oreothlypis ruficapilla

 

summer resident mountains
409 Virginia's Warbler

Virginia's Warbler *

Oreothlypis virginiae

(BCC) rare migrant
410 Connecticut Warbler *

Connecticut Warbler*

Oporornis agilis

12 June 1999

9/7/1999, Ridgecrest

9/7/2000, Galileo Hill Park

9/19-20/2000, Inyokern

9/23/2001, Galileo Hill Park

5/23/2006, Butterbredt Spring

411

MacGillivray's Warbler

Geothlypis tolmiei

summer resident chaparral
412

Mourning Warbler *

Geothlypis philadelphia

 

9/15-18/1994, Galileo Hill, 16 Sep 2006 Galileo Hill Park 30 May 2012 California City, Scott Terrill, Galileo Hill Park10-11 Sep 2016 Galileo Hill. Ed Thomas

9/25/1999, California City

9/11/2002, LADWP Property in Mojave

5/26/2003, Cerro Coso College,  Ridgecrest

10/2/2003, California City

413

Kentucky Warbler *

Geothlypis formosus

  19 Oct 1984 California City 1st record, 5+ Galileo, 6+ Butterbredt, 3+ Kern River Preserve, 3+ Cal City, 4+ Mojave
414 Common Yellowthroat

 

Common Yellowthroat

Geothlypis trichas

 

resident in marshes and riparian forest
415

Hooded Warbler *

Setophaga citrina

rare vagrant
416

American Redstart *

Setophaga ruticilla

rare migrant
417

Cape May Warbler *

Setophaga tigrina

exceptional vagrant
418

Cerulean Warbler *

Setophaga cerulea

exceptional vagrant

17 May 1985 California City

419 Northern Parula

Northern Parula *

Setophaga americana

rare migrant
420

Magnolia Warbler *

Setophaga magnolia

 

rare vagrant
421

Bay-breasted Warbler *

Setophaga castanea

rare vagrant
422 Blackburnian Warbler *

Blackburnian Warbler *

Setophaga fusca

rare vagrant
423

Yellow Warbler

Setophaga petechia