Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Birdwalk, March
6, 2015 Tilden Nature Area.
Theme today was the new sequence of bird orders, derived
mostly from Jarvis et al. 2014 in Science, 12 December
2014, 346:1320-1331. Whole genome analyses resolve early
branches in the tree of life of modern birds.
Ducks and Geese, Pheasants and other Fowl lead the field
guide sequence now, not Loons. Grebes are not closely
related to Loons which with they have been paired in most
of the field guides for nearly 100 years. Flamingoes and
Grebes are now recognized as each others' closest
relatives. Swifts and Hummingbirds lose their respective
orders, merged with the Goatsuckers and Nightjars ; they
have always been associated in the guides, but the Swifts
and hummers are derived from within the Nightbirds and so
don't get their own order(s) anymore. Cranes are sisters
to Plovers (Gruiformes and Charadriiformes are each their
own closest relatives). Penguins (out of our area), which
led the world lists for almost a century, are close to the
Tubenoses, Albatrosses and Shearwaters. Pelecaniformes are
expanded to include storks, which lose their once-greatly
expanded status as an order. New World Vultures are back
with the Accipteriformes (Hawks and Eagles) after a "New
York minute" as "storks." Parrots are now closest to
Songbirds, and Falcons are between the Parrot-Songbird
orders and the woodpeckers (woodpeckers had immediately
preceeded the sub-oscine Songbirds [Tyrant Flycatchers]
for nearly a century). More on all this on Tuesday, March
10, St. Alban's Church, 7:00pm, in the Bay Currents series
sponsored by Friends of Five Creeks.
Bird O' the Day is hard to choose: was it the Red-breasted
Sapsucker, once again at the parking lot picnic table for
The pair of Red-shouldered Hawks at the Jewel Lake Meadow?
The Hooded Merganser on the lake? The pair of
Double-crested Cormorants (at least one showing the
crests!)? Or the four raptors (Sharp-shinned, Cooper's,
Red-tailed and the aforementioned Red-shouldered)? Or the
five Picidae- Northern Flicker, Downy, Hairy and Acorn
Woodpeckers, and aforementioned Red-breasted Sapsucker?
Forty-one observers plus leader, Orange-crowned Warblers
singing everywhere, sunny day of delight!
Here are the 48 species seen or heard:
Double-crested Cormorant crests were showing !
Turkey Vulture makes it official !
Common Raven carrying nesting material
Yellow-rumped Warbler Myrtle-type
Wilson's Warbler (Pacific Coast) 1 Early record? Heard by
Chris Hiyamizu, and the bright yellow bird with black cap
seen by Doug Henderson. One other person whose name I
didn't get also saw it. Sorry, no pictures, but Chris said
she heard the increasingly louder call (ch-ch-CH-CH-CH)
that we associate with the Wilson's Warbler here.
Purple Finch singing "a burst of Purple Finch song"
Best of Boids!