Bird Guide

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bird-flocksWhile the avocets sweep, the long-billed dowitchers perforate the mud. A flock of more than 200, sectioned into groups of a several dozen, probe incessantly. They methodically cover all the unflooded surfaces—perhaps 15 percent of the open area. Shoulder-high stalks of buckwheat arch over the surrounding peat. The generous number of birds currently here (at least 450) is a reflection of this half-acre pond's “well-stocked larder.” In the weeks to come the buckwheat's long, nodding flower-heads will produce a huge bounty of seeds favored by migrating songbirds and water birds, some of which will spend the winter here.

— From Jerry Busch's essays on the Watsonville Slough System, from our book Watching the Watsonville Wetlands.


Complete Bird Checklist of Our Wetlands

Use the checklist table below or pdfdownload our new checklist of the birds of the Watsonville Wetlands. The checklist covers Watsonville, Struve, West Struve, Harkins, Gallighan, Hanson Sloughs, adjacent marshlands, and the Pajaro River Estuary. Lands include areas protected by the California Department of Fish and Game, the City of Watsonville, the Santa Cruz Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private land owners.


Seasonal Key:

Winter = November – February
Spring = (February) March – May
Summer = June – July
Fall = (July) August – October

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Watsonville Wetlands Watch
PO Box 1239
Freedom, CA 95019-1239
Voice: 831-728-1156
Fax: 831-728-6944
Offices at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center

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