More Sutro Forest Birds

Some time ago, we’d posted a bird-list from birder Keith McAllister: Nearly 30 species seen or heard in a single morning in the Sutro Forest. From several other people, and covering several separate visits to the forest, we have yet more species. This, including the Great Horned Owl, brings the total to over 40 about 45 species. (We’ve listed the yellow-rumped warbler as a single species, but it has recently been replaced in the official nomenclature by four separate species. Two of them, the Audubon’s and the Myrtle have been spotted or heard in the forest. Edited to Add: Apparently the International Ornithological Congress made the split, but the American Ornithologist’s Union hasn’t. We have no idea of the implications here, but note that birders have seen/ heard both in the forest.)

[ETA 2: One more species not on this or the previous list was spotted in April 2011 – the Western Tanager. Public domain NPS photo added below.]

olive-sided flycatcher by Harry Fuller

Cassin's Vireo

Orange-crowned Warbler


Yellow-rumped warbler (Craig Newmark)

Myrtle Warbler (formerly Yellow-rumped)

Black-headed Grosbeak


Purple Finch

Bullock's Oriole

Golden Crowned Kinglet


Varied Thrush (by W. Siegmund via Wikimedia Commons)

Swainson's Thrush (by Magnus Manske via Wikimedia Commons)

Male House Finch (Harry Fuller)


White-crowned sparrow on blackberry: David Parsons

Golden crowned sparrow (Harry Fuller)

Western Tanager


The List:

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Audubon’s and/ or Myrtle)

(The photos used to illustrate this article are, unless we’ve noted differently, in the public domain from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Special thanks to David Parsons, to Harry Fuller of Towheeblog, and to Craig Newmark of Craigslist, who lives on the edge of the forest,  for permission to use their pictures. If anyone else would like to contribute pictures of birds, particularly from in and around the forest, we’d be happy to publish them. The picture below is ours, taken in the forest.)

Dusk, mist, Great Horned Owl

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12 Responses to More Sutro Forest Birds

  1. Kay Loughman says:

    Since the Yellow-rumped Warblers have been re-split, I guess you could re-name Craig’s YRWA above to Audubon’s Warbler.

    • webmaster says:

      Actually, Kay, I’m now quite confused about Yellow-rumps (see the Edited to Add) because the two organizations now have different rules…

  2. milliontrees says:

    Folks who know birds and care about them will not be surprised to learn that there are many birds on Mt Sutro although there are few native plants. Birds don’t know whether a plant is native and they care even less if it is. They are looking for food and shelter and they go to whatever plant will provide the most of what they need. They suffer no plant prejudices.

    In the June 22 edition of Science Daily, there is a report of the results of an extensive survey of actual birders—the folks who know birds, not the politicians of the birding world found in the local Audubon Society—of what they observed birds eating in California, Florida, New York and Washington. They reported 1,143 “interactions” of birds with plants, defined as birds “feeding on fruits or seeds” of plants. They reported that 47% of those “interactions” were with non-native plants. This article can be found here:

    The article goes on to observe that this is obviously a method of dispersal of non-native plants. Birds eat the seeds in one location and then poop those seeds in another location. This is a perfectly natural occurrence that cannot be controlled by native plant advocates or anyone else, for that matter.

    Someday we hope to experience a collective awaking from the delusion that man can prevent the “invasion” of non-native plants. As usual, the birds are way ahead of us.

    • webmaster says:

      Thanks for the reference. What I found interesting was that while “Science Daily” headlined the article “Birders Contribute Valuable Data on Invasive Plant Species”, the actual article in the ESA journal had the more sober (and accurate) title: Avian use of introduced plants: Ornithologist records illuminate interspecific associations and research needs.

      While some introduced plants (as well as some “native” ones) are invasive, conflating the two is sloppy logic.

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