Trip report for the Wild Wings 
Veterans Memorial Park Bird Walk

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Number of participants: 24 + 2 leaders
Start time 8:00am
Finish time 10:25am
Distance covered: 1.25 mile
Weather:  46° at the start, warming to 57° with calm conditions.

Our annual woodpecker chase at Veteran's Park in Sylmar was a success; 6 species of Picidae found, 21 individuals in total.  This is a walk where everyone can contribute and everyone did.  Woodpeckers (particularly sapsuckers) can be notoriously difficult to find. But with so many eyes searching, the odds shifted a bit in our favor.  Definitely the bird, or should I say "birds" of the day were two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.  One of the sapsuckers, an adult female, appears to be the same bird that has been seen here the previous two winters.  Our second yellow-bellied was a juvenile male.  The possibility exists that this young male is the female's offspring from the 2015 breeding season.  It would explain why 2(!) Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a species that normally winters in the Eastern U.S., Mexico and Central America (see range map), are here in Southern California at the same time in the same park in the same grove of trees.

  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - from left: juvenile male, adult female and range map.
  Photos: Greg Boreham

38 species (+3 other taxa*):

Red-shouldered Hawk  
Red-tailed Hawk  
Eurasian Collared-Dove  
Red-shafted Flicker.
Photo: Paula Maxwell
Mourning Dove  
Anna's Hummingbird  
Allen's Hummingbird  
Acorn Woodpecker  
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  
Red-breasted Sapsucker  
Nuttall's Woodpecker  
Hairy Woodpecker  
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
Northern Flicker (intergrade) *
American Kestrel  
Black Phoebe  
Say's Phoebe  
Cassin's Kingbird  
Hutton's Vireo  
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow  
Common Raven  
Mountain Chickadee  
Oak Titmouse  
White-breasted Nuthatch  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Western Bluebird  
Hermit Thrush  
American Robin  
Northern Mockingbird  
Yellow-rumped Warbler  
Dark-eyed Junco  
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) *  
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) *
White-crowned Sparrow  
California Towhee  
Spotted Towhee  
House Finch  
Lesser Goldfinch  
American Goldfinch
  Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel.  Photos: Paula Maxwell

4337 Woodman Ave. Sherman Oaks CA 91423     818-995-0022