THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SANTA FE DAM RECREATION AREA


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Notable Birds

These are excerpts from messages posted on the Los Angeles County Yahoo! Bird Group or Yahoo! Group PasadenaAudubon by birders who are reporting sightings that seem outstanding to them.

Cactus Wren
This bird is "the Voice of Santa Fe Dam". In the spring, they sing atop the agaves and yuccas. They live here year round.

Mickey Long says:

"Males do the extensive, repetitive singing from the high perches; females make a variety of sounds, but apparently not the "song". My years of notes/maps from the area lead me to feel there are about 5 pairs on an "average" year within the main basin. More probably to the north of fwy. Remember, you can't count nests and multiply by 2 for population, since they make winter roosting nests."

Species Account for the Coastal Cactus Wren
Cactus wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus from USGS


Lesser Nighthawk
Dates seen: Sun Jun 20, 2004
Descriptions: foraging over chapparal just south of the 210 freeway between 605 on the west and the Miller brewery in Irwindale in the east .. about 20 minutes after sunset

Focus On...The Lesser Nighthawk John Lovio, from the spring 1998 issue of WRENDERINGS, San Diego Natural History Museum


Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Dates Seen: Sun Mar 9, 2003, Sun Dec 7, 2003, Tue Dec 9, 2003, Sat Jan 10, 2004, Sun Jan 11, 2004
Descriptions: The flycatcher looked to be immature, with no pink on the sides, but only on the underwing coverts and was around the sandy beach on the South and West sides of the lake ... on a snag across the lake from the beach area between lifeguard towers 3 and 4 ... after a few minutes feeding in a small tree with little black berries, it flew over the dam wall and sat on some power lines ... along the west side of the lake near the playground with the blue fence around it ... it was near restroom building No. 6, west of the swimming area. The bird was out in the open perched on a power line.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher photographed by Jon Feenstra, 2/16/2003
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus from USGS


Common Merganser
Dates seen: Sun Mar 9, 2003; Sun Jan 11, 2004
Descriptions: none

Common merganser Mergus merganser from USGS


Greater White-fronted Goose
Dates seen: Fri Jan 24, 2003; Sun Mar 9, 2003; Sun Jan 11, 2004
Descriptions: with the feral goose flock near the west end of the lake ... in the water along the south shore at the far end of the lake

Greater White-Fronted Goose photographed by Jon Feenstra, 2/16/2003
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons from USGS


Horned Lark
Dates seen: Tue Dec 9, 2003
Descriptions: in the dirt area between the dam and the main road

Horned lark Eremophila alpestris from USGS


"Lesser" or "minima" form of Canada Goose
Dates seen: Fri Jan 24, 2003; Sun Mar 9, 2003; Sun Jan 11, 2004
Descriptions: with the feral goose flock near the west end of the lake ... in the water along the south shore at the far end of the lake

An individual of one of the "Aleutian" subspecies photographed by Jon Feenstra, 2/16/2003


Vesper Sparrow
Dates seen: Sat Nov 10, 2001; Sun Nov 3, 2002
Descriptions: feeding alone at the edge of a sand volleyball court near the far end of the lake

Vesper Sparrow photographed by Jon Feenstra, 11/03/02
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus from USGS


Mountain Bluebird
Dates seen: Fri Jan 19, 2001; Sat Nov 10, 2001
Descriptions: at least 30+ in the field next to parking lot 5 and other smaller flocks of 2-3 birds nearby.

Mountain bluebird Sialia currucoides from USGS


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Web Page by Jane Strong for CNPS-SGM, April, 2004