This page is a taxonomic index of every species of wild bird photographed by Paul Kienitz.

Total species listed: 296.    Species photographed: 213, plus 11 maybes.
Recent additions — a group from the Yucatán Peninsula:
White-fronted Amazon (new), Grayish Saltator (new), Black-headed Saltator (new — uncertain), Groove-billed Ani (new), Great Kiskadee (new), Tamaulipas Crow (new — uncertain), Summer Tanager (new — uncertain), Altamira Oriole (new), Melodious Blackbird (new), Yucatan Woodpecker (new), Black Vulture (new), Blue-crowned Motmot (new), Turquoise-browed Motmot (new), Clay-colored Thrush (new), Social Flycatcher (new), Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (new), Yucatan Jay (new), Green Jay (new), Great-tailed Grackle (new), Tropical Kingbird (new), American Flamingo (new), Laughing Gull (new), Magnificent Frigatebird adult male and juvenile (new), Royal Tern adult and fledgling (new), Brown Pelican atlantic (new subspecies), Tricolored Heron (new), Little Blue Heron (new), Osprey (improved), Common Black Hawk (new), Semipalmated Plover (new — uncertain).

This page lists bird species that are normally seen in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to either or, plus of course any others that I happen to see. Some are linked to photographs; others don’t have any yet. Species names in italics are those that, as yet, I have not identified in the wild. All sightings and photographs are from within the Bay Area or nearby areas — usually the East Bay or North Bay — unless another location is noted.

Some photos might be fine portraits; others might be blurry messes. A five-pointed star (★) is used to mark the pictures that might count as good photographs, rather than just being identifiable bird images. As a rule, the linked picture is the best single shot I have of the species. Sometimes I include more than one shot, if I’ve managed to capture distinct plumages by sex or by season.

The taxonomic classification into orders, families, and so on is in flux as scientific debate continues. Also, the whole idea of dividing clades into such named levels was always bogus, and the more we learn, the more it breaks down. But while it lasts, I will use it here. The ordering I use is taken from the American Ornithological Union, which keeps up to date and helps arbitrate the latest scientific findings, but then boils the result down into a simple and usable list by omitting most of the clutter of superfamilies, suborders, infraclasses, “tribes”, and other in-between rankings — many of which don’t even get names anymore for what level they’re at, because they are proliferating so much that the old template is being overwhelmed. As straightforward and conservative as this scheme is, it has still involved major reorganization of this page since it was first put up. In a few cases I have included groupings which they omit (such as the suborders of Charadriiformes, to distinguish gulls and terns from plovers and sandpipers), and omitted a few that the AOU includes, in cases where they are both disuputed and uninformative.

Waterfowl (order Anseriformes, family Anatidae)

Wildfowl (order Galliformes)

Loons (order Gaviiformes, family Gaviidae, genus Gavia)

Grebes (order Podicipediformes, family Podicipedidae)

Flamingoes (order Phoenicopteriformes,family Phoenicopteridae, genus Phoenicopterus)

Cormorants and allies (order Suliformes)

Pelicans and Herons (order Pelecaniformes)

Dinural Raptors (order Accipitriformes)

Rails and Cranes (order Gruniformes)

Shorebirds and Gulls (order Charadriiformes)

Doves and Pigeons (order Columbiformes, family Columbidae)

Cuckoos and allies (order Cuculiformes, family Cuculidae)

Owls (order Strigiformes)

Nightjars (order Caprimulgiformes, family Caprimulgidae, subfamily Caprimulginae, genus Phalaenoptilus)

Swifts and Hummingbirds (order Apodiformes)

Kingfishers and Bee-eaters (order Coraciiformes, family Alcedinidae, subfamily Cerylinae, genus Megaceryle)

Woodpeckers (order Piciformes, family Picidae, subfamily Picinae)

Falcons (order Falconiformes, family Falconidae, subfamily Falconinae, genus Falco)

Parrots (order Psittaciformes, family Psittacidae, subfamily Arinae, genus Amazona)

Perching birds (order Passeriformes)

Tyrant Flycatchers (family Tyrannidae)

Shrikes (family Laniidae, genus Lanius)

Vireos (family Vireonidae, genus Vireo)

Crows and Jays (family Corvidae)

Larks (family Alaudidae, genus Eremophila)

Swallows (family Hirundinidae)

  • Blue Martins (genus Progne)
    • Purple Martin     [possibly seen, not photographed — Sierraville, CA]
  • Tree Swallow and allies (genus Tachycineta)
  • Rough-winged Swallows (genus Stelgidopteryx)
    • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Cliff-nesting Swallows (genus Petrochelidon)
  • Typical Swallows (genus Hirundo)

Chickadees and Titmice (family Paridae)

Long-tailed Tits (family Aegithalidae, genus Psaltriparus)

Nuthatches (family Sittidae, genus Sitta)

Treecreepers (family Certhidae, genus Certhia)

  • Brown Creeper     [seen but not photographed]

Wrens (family Troglodytidae)

  • Rock Wrens (genus Salpinctes)
    • Rock Wren
  • Canyon Wrens (genus Catherpes)
    • Canyon Wren
  • House Wren and allies (genus Troglodytes)
  • Bewick’s Wrens (genus Thryomanes)
  • Sedge Wren and allies (genus Cistothorus)

Gnatcatchers (family Polioptilidae, genus Polioptila)

Kinglets (family Regulidae, genus Regulus)

Old World Warblers (family Sylviidae, genus Chamaea)

  • Wrentit ★ (captured for banding)

White-eyes (family Zosteropidae, genus Zosterops)

Thrushes (family Turdidae)

Mockingbirds and Catbirds (family Mimidae)

  • Gray Catbirds (genus Dumetella)
  • Typical Thrashers (genus Toxostoma)
    • California Thrasher
  • Typical Mockingbirds (genus Mimus)

Starlings and Mynas (family Sturnidae)

  • Typical Starlings (genus Sturnus)
  • Typical Mynas (genus Acridotheres)

Wagtails and Pipits (family Motacillidae, genus Anthus)

Waxwings (family Bombycillidae, genus Bombycilla)

Silky-flycatchers (family Ptilogonatidae, genus Phainopepla)

  • Phainopepla

Wood-warblers, or New World Warblers (family Parulidae)

  • Orange-crowned Warbler and allies (genus Oreothlypis)
  • Yellowthroats (genus Geothlypis)
    • MacGillivray’s Warbler
    • Common Yellowthroat
  • Typical New World Warblers (genus Setophaga)
  • Canada Warbler and allies (genus Wilsonia)
  • Yellow-breasted Chats (genus Icteria ...possibly not a true warbler)
    • Yellow-breasted Chat

American Sparrows (family Emberizidae)

Cardinals and allies (family Cardinalidae)

New World Blackbirds (family Icteridae)

Finches (family Fringillidae, subfamily Carduelinae)

Old World Sparrows (family Passeridae, genus Passer ...the bird that defines passerine-ness)