Mallard - These dabbling ducks strain invertebrates from the water with comb-like grooves in their beaks. The iridescent green feathers on the males’ heads during breeding season set them apart from the more camouflaged females and juveniles.
American Wigeon - The most common duck in North America, its short, strong bill is specialized to dislodge and pluck aquatic vegetation. Listen for its high-pitched, whistle-like call.
Northern Pintail - The distinctive long pointed tail feathers on this duck make the male easy to recognize. Its trim form allows for swift flight on their migration from Alaska to Central America. It feeds primarily by dabbling in shallow water.
Northern Shoveler - Its spoon-like bill has grooves on its edges that help it filter food from the water. They occasionally forage in groups, collectively stirring up sediment, then skimming the surface for aquatic vegetation and invertebrates.
Cinnamon Teal - This small duck can be seen foraging for seeds, aquatic plants, snails and insects by skimming the water or dabbling just below the surface. The male is unmistakable with a deep cinnamon-brown color over its body and reddish eyes.
Ring-necked duck -This duck is more easily recognized by the white ring around its bill than the subtle chestnut one around its neck. A fast flier, it travels further on migration than most other diving ducks.
Lesser Scaup -This diving duck is able to dive underwater the day it hatches, although it is too buoyant to stay down for more than a few seconds. As adults, they can stay underwater up to 25 seconds and swim over 50 feet deep.
Ruddy Duck -This small duck has a spiky tail that it often holds straight up in display. You can recognize the breeding male by its distinctive blue bill and bright rusty-red body color.
Pied-billed Grebe - Rarely found on land, grebes have legs set far back on their bodies – making them efficient underwater swimmers. Pied-bills dive to find insects and their larvae, small fish, crayfish and shrimp.
American White Pelican - Instead of diving, these enormous freshwater birds dip their bills into the water to find food. Can be seen in large flocks during winter in the San Gabriel River.
Double-crested Cormorant - This bird lies low in the water, often with just its head and long neck visible. After diving to depths up to 25 feet looking for schooling small fish, cormorants perch with their wings spread to dry them in the sun.
Black-crowned Night-Heron - The young look noticeably different, having mottled, brown striping that keeps them camouflaged in the trees. Nocturnal, they leave their communal roosts at dusk to hunt for fish and small invertebrates in shallow waters.
Green Heron - Colorful, yet well camouflaged, this heron hides along the vegetated banks of streams, marshes and ponds. One of several tool-using birds, it will drop twigs, food and other pieces of bait onto the water’s surface to lure fish.
Snowy Egret - By shuffling its bright yellow feet as it walks through the shallows, this bird disturbs its mud-dwelling prey out of hiding. The Snowy Egret was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century for its striking feather plumes.
Great Egret - This large heron will stand silently for what seems like hours as it waits to stalk its prey in the shallows and in open grassy fields. Its yellow bill and black legs distinguish it from the smaller Snowy Egret.
Great Blue Heron - Standing nearly four-feet tall with a six-foot wingspan, this is the largest heron in North America. With a varied diet, they can be seen wading in the shallows, stalking fish or even in fields looking for lizards and gophers.
Turkey Vulture – This bird is able to safely eat decomposing animal carcasses because its stomach acids kill virtually all viruses and bacteria. You can recognize one by its red featherless head and by the V-shape of its wings while in flight.
Osprey - Hovering over water, it will dive and grab fish with its talons, securing its prey with barbed pads on its feet. When carrying a fish to its perch, the osprey holds it headfirst, maneuvering it in flight to be as aerodynamic as possible.
Cooper’s Hawk - Built for fast flight, this hawk dashes through forested areas hunting for small birds. It captures prey with its feet, squeezing repeatedly to kill it. Its piercing alarm call is used especially while nesting and rearing young.
Red-shouldered Hawk - Its repeated “kee-aah” call helps identify this vocal hawk. Often seen in wooded areas near water, it can be identified in flight by its banded black and white tail.
Red-tailed Hawk - The most common hawk in North America, it is often seen perched near open areas searching for rodents. Its excellent vision allows it to spot a mouse from 100 ft away. Adults can be identified by their rusty-red colored tail.
American Kestrel - When suitable perches are not available, this colorful small hawk can hover in flight as it hunts for food. It is the most common falcon in North America.
American Coot - Unlike a duck, this bird has flattened lobed toes instead of webbed feet. Its white beak is triangular, like a chicken’s. It eats a variety of foods, including aquatic plants and insects.
Great Horned Owl - Not really “horned”, this owl has prominent feathered tufts on its ears. It uses a variety of nesting sites including cliffs, buildings and the ground, but does not make its own nest, instead taking over nests of other birds.
Anna’s Hummingbird - As part of an elaborate courting display, the male will fly straight up and plummet in a near vertical dive. Though nectar is its main food, when feeding its young it will catch insects in flight and pluck spiders from webs.
Allen’s Hummingbird - Like many hummingbirds, its nest is a small open cup attached to a small twig or tree branch. Held together with spider webs, it is covered with leaves, grass and bark and lined with soft plant down
Belted Kingfisher - The red chest and flanks of the female make it more brightly colored than the male. At the lake’s edge, it hovers before plunging headfirst to catch a fish. Notice its large head and listen for its unique “rattle” call.
Northern Flicker - Though it can climb and hammer on tree trunks like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to forage on the ground for its favorite food – ants. It digs in the dirt and uses its long barbed tongue to lap them up.
Downy Woodpecker - The smallest and most common North American woodpecker. As it needs only as small nesting cavity, it can live in a wider variety of habitats than larger woodpeckers. It feeds on insects, seeds, nuts and fruits.
Black Phoebe - Found around buildings and people, and frequently near water, this flycatcher can be seen flying from low, exposed perches to catch insects in flight. Its four-syllable song is a rising “pee-wee” followed by a descending “pee-wee”.
Western Scrub-Jay – Found where acorns are abundant, these birds have stout, hooked bills that help them hammer open the acorn and peel off the shell. A single Scrub-Jay can cache from 4,000-6,000 acorns per season.
American Crow - Young crows stay with their parents for several years and help them raise their younger siblings. Extremely intelligent, these birds have memory and problem-solving skills, can mimic many sounds and use various tools to find food.
Common Raven - One of the most widespread birds in the world, it can survive in environments ranging from the Arctic to the desert. Its large size and wedge-shaped tail distinguish it from the similar-looking American Crow.
Barn Swallow - This bird is easily recognizable by its long forked tail. Originally nesting in caves, it now nests mainly on man-made structures. Its nest is an open cup made of mud and grass fastened to a vertical wall or under an overhang.
Bushtit - This tiny bird is found in large flocks of up to 40 individuals. They build elaborate hanging gourd-shaped nests out of spider webs and plant material and lined with feathers and fur.
House Wren - This territorial bird will extensively defend its nesting and feeding grounds. The wren’s song is exuberant – a cascade of bubbling, whistling notes. Its call, however, is a series of dry, harsh “scolding” notes.
Yellow-rumped Warbler - One of the most common warblers in North American, its conspicuous yellow rump helps identify it. It has four other identifying yellow markings – the crown, throat and small marks on each side of the body.
Common Yellowthroat - Far more frequently heard than seen, the Common Yellowthroat is found in thick vegetation, frequently near water. Its call is a musical “wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty” sound.
California Towhee - A characteristic bird of chaparral and oak woodlands in California, the Towhee is also common in urban and suburban areas. It primarily forages on the ground, digging with a backwards two-footed hop.
Song Sparrow - This common sparrow is easily recognized by the large central spot on its streaky breast. A persistent spring and summer singer, its song usually starts with several clear notes and includes buzzes, trills and other complex notes.
White-crowned Sparrow – As young birds, males learn the basics of the song dialect they grow up in. If they grow up on the edge of two song groups, they may be bilingual as adults. Identified by their black and white striped crown.
House Finch - This red and brown bird commonly resides in proximity to people. The red color of the male’s plumage comes from pigments in their food. Females prefer to mate with the reddest male they can find. Has a lively, high-pitched song.
American Goldfinch - A familiar and abundant small colorful bird, the American Goldfinch is frequently found in weedy fields and visiting feeders. It shows a particular fondness for thistles, eating the seeds and using the down to line its nest.
Lesser Goldfinch - The appearance of this small seed-eating finch differs from the American Goldfinch by the crown being entirely black paired with a greenish back.