An ABC of Birds

Serious birders are showing interest in Cesar Chavez Park and the North Basin Cove again. I will be co-heading a bird walk with a veteran local Audubon Society field trip leader in October. As part of my homework I’ve compiled this 9-minute video featuring the birds I’ve been able to photograph in and on the shores of the North Basin Cove these past few years. Frankly, this is for me. Most of these birds are migrators, in and out. I don’t see them for half a year. When they show up again after their seasonal absence, I’ve forgotten their names, like some remote relative. So this is a refresher.

I’ve included birds that I’ve photographed on the water and on the shore. I’ve left out birds like the Osprey,that I’ve seen but wasn’t able to photograph. I’ve left out birds that I’ve photographed but that showed no particular interest in the water or the shoreline, like the White-tailed Kite, Cooper’s Hawk, all the sparrows, finches, blackbirds, and the like. I’ve included birds that aren’t waterbirds or shorebirds but show a definite interest in the shoreline, like the crows, the Burrowing Owls, the phoebes, and the Turkey Vulture. By these criteria, maybe not always totally consistent, I ended up with 52 species, a little over half of the 93 species I’ve photographed in the park so far.

Ornithologists want to see bird collections organized by Order, you know, Accipitriformes then Anseriformes etc. That’s how the List of Chavez Park Birds on this website is organized by default. (You can change it with a quick click.) For my video, it was easier just to alphabetize them by their common names. So my 9-minute video begins with the American Avocet and ends with the Yellowlegs. (I’ve ignored the distinction between Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs as I can’t tell them apart, if in fact both are here.) A little voice nags at me and says I should have listed them by Order, but it was more fun this way. Isn’t that what it’s about?

Want to see more videos of the 92 imaged Chavez Park birds? Click here.

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