Birds of Owens Lake

This checklist contains 270 species that have been recorded in the Owens Lake area.  The boundaries are Highways 395, 190, and 136 including towns, desert scrub, riparian woodlands, marshes, and Owens River from the highways to the lake bottom. The taxonomy and nomenclature used follows The AOU Check-list of North American Birds (1998), and all supplements through 2013.

Most of the data used in the checklist were collected by Tom and Jo Heindel, Mike Prather, Susan Steele, Debbie House, Judy Wickman, and Bob Hudson. Any species considered rare, casual, or accidental requires extensive documentation to be considered a county record and submitted for publication. Please send documentation, images, and/or audio files to Tom and Jo Heindel at


_____Fulvous Whistling-Duck (E) (SS) _____Virginia Rail
_____Greater White-fronted Goose _____Sora
_____Snow Goose _____Common Gallinule
_____Ross’s Goose _____American Coot
_____Brant (SS) _____Sandhill Crane (SS) (ST)
_____Cackling Goose SHOREBIRDS
_____Canada Goose _____Black-necked Stilt
_____Tundra Swan _____American Avocet
_____Wood Duck _____Black-bellied Plover
_____Gadwall _____American Golden-Plover
_____American Wigeon _____Pacific Golden-Plover
_____Mallard _____Snowy Plover (SS)
_____Blue-winged Teal _____Semipalmated Plover
_____Cinnamon Teal _____Killdeer
_____Northern Shoveler _____Mountain Plover (SS)
_____Northern Pintail _____Spotted Sandpiper
_____Green-winged Teal _____Solitary Sandpiper
_____Canvasback _____Greater Yellowlegs
_____Redhead (SS) _____Willet
_____Ring-necked Duck _____Lesser Yellowlegs
_____Greater Scaup _____Whimbrel
_____Lesser Scaup _____Long-billed Curlew
_____Surf Scoter _____Marbled Godwit
_____Long-tailed Duck _____Ruddy Turnstone
_____Bufflehead _____Black Turnstone
_____Common Goldeneye _____Red Knot
_____Hooded Merganser _____Ruff
_____Common Merganser _____Stilt Sandpiper
_____Red-breasted Merganser _____Sanderling
_____Ruddy Duck _____Dunlin
QUAIL/LOONS/GREBES _____Baird’s Sandpiper
_____California Quail _____Little Stint
_____Chukar _____Least Sandpiper
_____Ring-necked Pheasant _____Buff-breasted Sandpiper
_____Pacific Loon _____Pectoral Sandpiper
_____Common Loon _____Semipalmated Sandpiper
_____Pied-billed Grebe _____Western Sandpiper
_____Horned Grebe _____Short-billed Dowitcher
_____Eared Grebe _____Long-billed Dowitcher
_____Western Grebe _____Wilson’s Snipe
_____Clark’s Grebe _____Wilson’s Phalarope
CORMORANT/PELICANS _____Red-necked Phalarope
_____Double-crested Cormorant _____Red Phalarope
_____American White Pelican (SS) JAEGER/GULLS/TERNS
_____Brown Pelican _____Long-tailed Jaeger
_____American Bittern _____Bonaparte’s Gull
_____Least Bittern (SS) _____Franklin’s Gull
_____Great Blue Heron _____Heermann’s Gull
_____Great Egret _____Ring-billed Gull
_____Snowy Egret _____Western Gull
_____Cattle Egret _____California Gull
_____Green Heron _____Herring Gull
_____Black-crowned Night-Heron _____Thayer’s Gull
_____Glossy Ibis _____Lesser Black-backed Gull
_____White-faced Ibis _____Glaucous-winged Gull
_____Turkey Vulture _____Caspian Tern
_____Osprey _____Black Tern (SS)
_____White-tailed Kite _____Common Tern
_____Mississippi Kite _____Arctic Tern
_____Bald Eagle (SE) _____Forster’s Tern
_____Northern Harrier (SS) PIGEON/DOVES/ROADRUNNER
_____Sharp-shinned Hawk _____Rock Pigeon
_____Cooper’s Hawk _____Eurasian Collared-Dove
_____Red-shouldered Hawk _____White-winged Dove
_____Swainson’s Hawk (ST) _____Mourning Dove
_____Red-tailed Hawk _____Common Ground-Dove
_____Ferruginous Hawk _____Greater Roadrunner
_____Rough-legged Hawk  
_____Golden Eagle  
_____Barn Owl _____Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
_____Great Horned Owl _____Ruby-crowned Kinglet
_____Burrowing Owl (SS) _____Western Bluebird
_____Long-eared Owl (SS) _____Mountain Bluebird
_____Short-eared Owl (SS) _____Swainson’s Thrush
_____Lesser Nighthawk _____Hermit Thrush
_____Common Nighthawk _____American Robin
_____Black Swift (SS) _____Le Conte’s Thrasher
_____Vaux’s Swift (SS) _____Sage Thrasher
_____White-throated Swift _____Northern Mockingbird
_____Black-chinned Hummingbird WAXWING/PHAINOPEPLA/LONGSPURS
_____Anna’s Hummingbird _____American Pipit
_____Costa’s Hummingbird _____Cedar Waxwing
_____Rufous Hummingbird _____Phainopepla
_____Belted Kingfisher _____Lapland Longspur
WOODPECKERS _____Chestnut-collared Longspur
_____Lewis’s Woodpecker WARBLERS
_____Red-naped Sapsucker _____Northern Waterthrush
_____Red-breasted Sapsucker _____Prothonotary Warbler
_____Ladder-backed Woodpecker _____Tennessee Warbler
_____Nuttall’s Woodpecker _____Orange-crowned Warbler
_____Downy Woodpecker _____Nashville Warbler
_____Northern Flicker _____MacGillivray’s Warbler
CARACARA/FALCONS _____Common  Yellowthroat
_____Crested Caracara _____American Redstart
_____American Kestrel _____Northern Parula
_____Merlin _____Yellow Warbler (SS)
_____Gyrfalcon _____Yellow-rumped Warbler
_____Peregrine Falcon _____Black-throated Gray Warbler
_____Prairie Falcon _____Townsend’s Warbler
FLYCATCHERS _____Hermit Warbler
_____Olive-sided Flycatcher (SS) _____Wilson’s Warbler
_____Western Wood-Pewee _____Yellow-breasted Chat (SS)
_____Willow Flycatcher (SE), (FE) TOWHEES/SPARROWS
_____Gray Flycatcher _____Green-tailed Towhee
_____Dusky Flycatcher _____Spotted Towhee
_____Pacific-slope Flycatcher _____Chipping Sparrow
_____Black Phoebe _____Clay-colored Sparrow
_____Say’s Phoebe _____Brewer’s Sparrow
_____Vermilion Flycatcher (SS) _____Black-chinned Sparrow
_____Ash-throated Flycatcher _____Vesper Sparrow
_____Western Kingbird _____Lark Sparrow
_____Eastern Kingbird _____Black-throated Sparrow
_____Scissor-tailed Flycatcher _____Sagebrush Sparrow
SHRIKES/VIREOS _____Bell’s Sparrow
_____Loggerhead Shrike (SS) _____Savannah Sparrow
_____Northern Shrike _____Fox Sparrow
_____Bell’s Vireo (SE), (FE) _____Song Sparrow
_____Cassin’s Vireo _____Lincoln’s Sparrow
_____Warbling Vireo _____Swamp Sparrow
JAYS/MAGPIE/CROW/RAVEN _____Harris’s Sparrow
_____Steller’s Jay _____White-crowned Sparrow
_____Western Scrub-Jay _____Golden-crowned Sparrow
_____Black-billed Magpie _____Dark-eyed Junco
_____Common Raven _____Western Tanager
LARK/SWALLOWS _____Black-headed Grosbeak
_____Horned Lark _____Blue Grosbeak
_____Purple Martin (SS) _____Lazuli Bunting
_____Tree Swallow BLACKBIRDS
_____Violet-green Swallow _____Bobolink
_____Northern Rough-winged Swallow _____Red-winged Blackbird
_____Bank Swallow (ST) _____Western Meadowlark
_____Cliff Swallow _____Yellow-headed Blackbird (SS)
_____Barn Swallow _____Brewer’s Blackbird
CHICKADEE/NUTHATCH/WRENS _____Great-tailed Grackle
_____Mountain Chickadee _____Brown-headed Cowbird
_____Bushtit _____Hooded Oriole
_____White-breasted Nuthatch _____Bullock’s Oriole
_____Marsh Wren _____House Finch