Numbers and species of birds you will see here varies according to season.
Heavy migrations of waterfowl, marsh and shorebirds occur during spring and
fall. Throughout the mild winter and spring, a wide variety of songbirds and
birds of prey are present. They are attracted to the freshwater marshes and
riparian habitat along the New and Alamo Rivers. The greatest number of species
is present from November to May.
The following list of birds contains over 400 species that have been recorded
on the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The common
name and taxonomic order used in this list follows that appearing in the 6th
edition of the American Ornithologists’ Union Check List of North American
Birds, published in 1983, and subsequent revisions.
Sp – Spring (April through May).....................F
– Fall (September through October)
S – Summer (June through August).................W
– Winter (November through March)
Season Abundance Codes
c – common to abundant, easily found in suitable habitat.
u – uncommon to fairly common, found when looked for in suitable habitat,
but can be missed.
r – rare to very uncommon, more often missed than seen, even when looked
for in suitable habitat.
o – occasional, normally less than five individuals per season during
any given year.
a – accidental, less than ten records for the entire area, and not to
o – open water
b – beach and mudflat
m – marshes
f – farmland
s – shrubland
r – riparian vegetation
a – aerial
h – houses and towns
Codes Listed Under Status
b -- species regularly breeds in the area.
b+ -- species has bred in the area, and may continue to breed
sporadically in the area, but is not expected to become a regularly nesting
l – species occurs only locally within the area.
e – an erratic species, occurring in numbers some years,
but very scarce or even absent in others.
x – species formerly occurred in the area, but is now
extirpated, occurring only as an accidental straggler if at all.
xb – an extirpated breeder formerly nesting in the
area, but with no recent breeding records.
p – a post-breeding visitor to the area from the south,
most numerous in the area between July and September.
1-9 – actual number of recorded occurrences for those
species listed as accidentals in the area.
y – present year round, origin unknown.
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