Introduction


This eBook was written with the hope of:


(1) Providing a quick photo guide to the common birds of Baja

(2) Helping the beginning birder by grouping birds as to type then size

(3) To encourage and inspire all birders with the beauty and grace of our birds

I hope that I have accomplished these goals.



The experienced birder will find that the "Common Name Index" will lead him to a photograph and some notes. For the less experienced birder there is another index to use. This index arranges the birds by type then size. Clicking on the Size and Type Index leads you to the first page of that group of birds. The photo sequence starts with the smallest bird in that group and progresses to the largest. You can flip pages to flocate the unknown bird in that group.

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Index

COVER - Great Blue Heron

DEDICATION

INTRODUCTION

AUTHOR'S NOTES

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

BIRD INDEX BY TYPE AND SIZE

BIRD INDEX BY COMMON NAME

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Type and Size Index

Shore and wading birds

Water birds and ducks

Herons and Egrets


Common Name Index

American Avocet

American Coot

American Wigeon

Belted Kingfisher

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Black-necked Stilt

Black-crowned Night Heron - Adult

Black-crowned Night Heron - Juv.

Brown Pelican

Cinnamon Teal

Double-crested Cormorant

Dunlin

Eared Grebe

Elegant Tern

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Greater Yellowlegs

Green Heron (mature)

Green Heron (immature)

Killdeer

Ibis

Least Grebe

Least Tern

Lesser Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs

Little Blue Heron

Long-billed Curlew

Magnificent Frigatebird

Marbled Godwit

Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler

Osprey

Pied-billed Grebe

Redhead

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-neck Duck

Ruddy Duck

Sanderling

Semi-palmated Plover

Short-billed Dowitcher

Snowy Egret

Spotted Sandpiper

Stork

Western Grebe

Western Gull

Western Sandpiper

White Pelican

Widgeon

Wood Stork



SHORE AND WADING BIRD PAGES



There are 16 pages of photos in this section.
These birds are found near the freshwater and saltwater lagoons
They are waders on dry shorelines or in shallow waters, seldom if ever swim.
Generally, listed from the smallest (6") to largest (24") in body size
Almost all of these shore and wading birds are migratory and are winter visitors.
Flip the page to start with the smallest shore/wading bird photos.

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LEAST SANDPIPER

SIZE = 5.5 To 6" Wings 10 to 12"
BILL= Length same as head, turns down at end
HEAD = Light colored eye stripe, spotted,streaked
BODY = Brown back, white belly
NOTES = Migratory winter visitor
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WESTERN SANDPIPER

SIZE = 6 to 7", wingspan 10 to 12"
BILL= slighlylonger than head, black, droops
HEAD = slight eye stripe, uniform brown
BODY = Dark back, white undersides
NOTES = Breeds Alaska, winte visitor
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SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER

SIZE = 6 to 7" Wings 10 to 12", pointy
BILL= Length of head. yellow in adult
HEAD = Solid dark crown, white chin
BODY = one chest band, brown back, white belly
NOTES = Migratory winter visitor
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DUNLIN

SIZE = 8" Wings 14 to 15"
BILL= Longer that head, stout, decurved
HEAD = uniform brown
BODY = dark browm back, white belly, gark legs.
NOTES = Migratory winter visitor.
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SPOTTED SANDPIPER

SIZE = 7 TO 8", Wingspan= 13 TO 14
BILL= short (head lenght), yellow w/pink tip
HEAD = Plain with white eye stripe
BODY = Brown back, Belly spotted in summer, clear winter
NOTES = Migratory wintwe visitor
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SANDERLING in winter Plumage

SIZE = 8" , Wingspan = 15"
BILL= short, dark blunt tip
HEAD = Dark in summer, white in winter
BODY = dark back and white belly
NOTES = Summers in arctic, winters west coast
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LESSER YELLOWLEGS

SIZE = 10", wingspan 19 to 22"
BILL= same length as head, straight, slender, dark
HEAD = light eyebrow, uniform gray/brown
BODY =Dark mttled back, white undersides, Yellow legs and feet
NOTES = Summers and breeds n. Canada, winter visitor
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KILLDEER

SIZE = 10 to 11", wingspan 19 to 20"
BILL= short, stubby, less than head length
HEAD = White chin collar, white eye spot
BODY = Brown back, light under, twin black 'bibs'
NOTES = Resident breeder
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SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER

SIZE = 11 to 12, wingspan 14 to 16"
BILL= Long 3 head lenghts, slender, dark
HEAD = very light eye stripe
BODY = Dark in summer, lighter in winter
NOTES = Breeds in arctic, winter visitor
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BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER - Semi-summer plumage

SIZE = 11 to 12", wingspan 22 to 24"
BILL= Head length, straight, black
HEAD = black face, white crown and nape
BODY = back is gray, brown and white marbled, belly black
NOTES = Arctic breeder, winter visitor
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WILSON'S SNIPE

SIZE = 11 to 12", wingspan 17 to 20"
BILL= long (3 times head length), heavy, dark
HEAD = White eyestripes on marbled brown
BODY = Back and sides mottled brown, belly white
NOTES = Breeds n. Canada, witer visitor
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BLACK-NECKED STILT

SIZE = 12 TO 14", Wingspan 24 to 27"
BILL= Long (two head lengths), slender, slight up-curve
HEAD = black with white eyebrow, white front and chin.
BODY = back black, under parts white. bright red legs
NOTES = Breeds in Oregon/Washington, winters Baja
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GREATER YELLOWLEGS

SIZE = 12 to 14", wingspan 23 to 27"
BILL= twice longer than head lenght, slight upcurve, slender
HEAD = dark with white eye ring, lighter in winter
BODY = Mottled brown, white belly, yellow legs
NOTES = Breeds in Canada, winter visitor
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AMERICAN AVOCET

SIZE = 18 TO 20", wingspan 24 to 26"
BILL= very long, slender, up-curved, black
HEAD = Uniform gray in winter, russet in summer
BODY = Light gray color with black wing bars
NOTES = Breeds north central Canada, winter visitor
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MARBLED GODWIT

SIZE = 18 TO 20, wingspan 32"
BILL= very long up-curved, pink base, black tip
HEAD = dark with white eye stripe
BODY = mottled brown, long legs
NOTES = Breeds central Canada, winter visitor
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LONG-BILLED CURLEW

SIZE = 23", wingspan 36 to 40"an
BILL= very long, slender, de-curved, dark
HEAD = uniform with light eye stripe
BODY = mottled brown with white spots
NOTES = Breeds northern US, winter visitor
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WATER BIRD PAGES



There are 23 pages of photos in this section. These birds are found in and around water
They are arranged in size order - smallest (8") to largest (50")
The types of birds are:
GREBES, which are smaller diving birds that catch fish underwater.
GULLS and TERNS which are shorebirds that catch fish by diving from the air
DUCKS which are diving feeders, some chase and catch fish while some are vegetarians.
PELICANS, KINGFISHERS and OSPREY that hower above the shallows and dive down to catch their fish prey from great heights.

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LEAST TERN

SIZE = 8 to 9" wingspan 24"
BILL= orange-yellow bill with black tip
HEAD = Black crown and nape, white ckeeks
BODY = slender, gray wings and black tail, light belly
NOTES = Resident breeding bird
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LEAST GREBE

SIZE = 9 to 10" wingspan 20"
BILL= small, slender dark, shorter than head
HEAD = uniforn dark color with golden eye color
BODY = short, squat, dark gray color
NOTES = Resident breeder
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BELTED KINGFISHER

SIZE = 11 to 14" wingspan 24"
BILL= Heavy, dark, as long as head
HEAD = Large head, ragged crest, gray color
BODY = Gray back, lighter below, color band ion female
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds in Canada
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EARED GREBE

SIZE = 12 to 13" wingspan 24"
BILL= Slender, dark up-turned, less than head length
HEAD = dark ish 'golden ears'
BODY = overall dark brown
NOTES = winter visitor, breed NW US
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PIED-BILLED GREBE

SIZE = 12 to 13" wingspan 24"
BILL= dark ring on short, stout bill
HEAD = white eye ring and dark eye color
BODY = dark body, lighter chest neck and head
NOTES = Resident breeder
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RUDDY DUCK (female shown)

SIZE = 14 to 16" wingspan 22"
BILL= Duck bill, blue color, short
HEAD = Black cap and nape, white cheeks, dark eye
BODY = Up-turned tail, uniforn russet color
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds western US
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CINNAMON TEAL

SIZE = 14 to 17" wingspan 34"
BILL= duck bill, dark, long, up-turned
HEAD = Long oval shaped, Russet-red brown color
BODY = Uniform russet red body color
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds across US and Canada
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RINGNECK DUCK

SIZE = 14 to 18" wingspan 36"
BILL= Light blue-gray with white ring and black tip
HEAD = "pointy' dark purple with golden eye
BODY = Black chest and back, gray sides
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds across Canada
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AMERICAN COOT

SIZE = 15" wingspan 23 to 25"
BILL= White, short and stubby
HEAD = Slate blaqck with red eye
BODY = Solid slate black color
NOTES = Resident breeder
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ELEGANT TERN

SIZE = 16 to 17" Wingspan 34"
BILL= Long, heavy, straight, red
HEAD = Black cap and nape, raqged crest
BODY = Light gray body and wings, breast white, short legs
NOTES = Resident breeder
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NORTHERN SHOVLER (female shown)

SIZE = 17 to 20" wingspan 32"
BILL= Extremely long and heavy duck bill
HEAD = Male head dark, female light
BODY = male russet sides black head, female mottled brown
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds western US to Alaska
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AMERICAN WIDGEON

SIZE = 18 to 24" wingspan 30"
BILL= duck bill, blue-gray with black tip
HEAD =White crowned dark, eye patch
BODY = Uniform brown with black and white wings
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds US and Canada
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REDHEAD

SIZE = 18 to 22" wingspan 32"
BILL= Duck bill, blue-gray bill with black tip
HEAD = Russet red with golden eye
BODY = dark gray fore and aft, light colored mid-body
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds western US
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BLACK BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK

SIZE = 19 to 22" wingspan 36"
BILL= duck bill, bright red color
HEAD = White eye ring, gray colored head
BODY = Light brown with white wing patches, long red legs
NOTES = Rare resident breeders
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RING BILL GULL

SIZE =18" wingspan 48"
BILL= Yellow with black ring near tip
HEAD = white with pale eye
BODY = White with light gray wings and tail
NOTES = Winter visitor- breeds Canada
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OSPREY

SIZE =21 to 24" wingspan 54 to 72"
BILL= Hooked, hawk like
HEAD = white with black crown and nape
BODY = White with dark gray wings and back
NOTES = Winter visitor - but a small breeding population.
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NORTHERN PINTAIL

SIZE =24 to 28" wingspan 36"
BILL= duck bill, light gray, up turned
HEAD = Round shaped, solid brown color
BODY = Uniforn light brown, white throat, with very long tail feathers
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds western US states
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WESTERN GREBE

SIZE = 23 to 29" wingspan 36 to 40"
BILL= long, slender, greenish-yellow
HEAD = Top half black, bottom half white, red eye
BODY = White neck and breast, back and nape black
NOTES = rare winter visitor
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WESTERN GULL

SIZE = 26" wingspam 36"
BILL= Yellow with red spot lower mandible
HEAD = solid white
BODY =White with black wings and tail
NOTES = Resident along Pacific coast
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DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT

SIZE = 32" wingspan 53"
BILL= long pointed, yellow color
HEAD =black with white earpatch during mating
BODY = solid black color, feet black
NOTES = Resident, all year
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MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD

SIZE = 37 to 41" wingspan 82 to 84" (7 ft !)
BILL= very long, hooked,gray color
HEAD = Black , dark eye color
BODY = Black bird with white brest, forked tail
NOTES = Resident breeder, called 'scissor-bird'
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BROWN PELICAN

SIZE =48" wingspan 84"
BILL=unique pouch 20" long
HEAD = mutli-colored in mating, brown and white
BODY = large, heavy, with brown back
NOTES = Resident all year
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WHITE PELICAN

SIZE = 50 to 53" wingspan 96 to 110" (9 feet !)
BILL= Unique pelican pouch, yellow
HEAD = Pure white, yellow eye
BODY = Solid white color, yellow feet
NOTES = rare winter visitor, breeds NW US states
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HERON-LIKE BIRD PAGES



There are 10 pages of photos in this section.
These large birds are found in and around water
The smaller heron (Green and Night) are often found in the trees in and around water, they feed by swooping down in shallow water after fish and other prey.
The larger herons are found in open water, either stalking or chasing their fish prey.

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GREEN HERON (immature)

SIZE = 18 to 22" wingspan 28"
BILL= long, brown and yellow bill
HEAD = Gray crown yellow eye patch
BODY = Chest striped, neck russet, body dark gray, orange legs
NOTES = Resident breeder
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GREEN HERON (Adult)

SIZE = 20 to 24" wingspan 34"
BILL= Long, brown and yellow bill
HEAD = gray crown with yellow eye patch
BODY = Gray and brown striped with russet color
NOTES = Resident Breeder
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BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (adult)

SIZE = 25 to 28" wingspan 44"
BILL= Heavy, long , yellow dark tip
HEAD = Black crown on white head, long 'pigtail' feather
BODY = White breast, undersides, black back and wings
NOTES = Winter visitor, Breeds all of US
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BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (immature)

SIZE = 24 to 26" wingspan 40"
BILL= Heavy light colored
HEAD = Streaked and spotted brown
BODY = heavy streaking on brest
NOTES = Winter visitoe
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SNOWY EGRET

SIZE = 22 to 27" wingspan 44"
BILL= long, black, pointed, yellow base
HEAD = White with yellow eye
BODY = Overall white with black legs and yellow 'feet'
NOTES = Resident breeder
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WHITE-FACED IBIS

SIZE = 20 to 26" wingspan 38"
BILL= very long (5 head lengths) very de-curved
HEAD = in winter plain brown, mating has white on head
BODY = Dark glossy body with long reddish legs.
NOTES = Winter visitor.
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LITTLE BLUE HERON

SIZE = 24 to 28 wingspan 40"
BILL= very long dark, slender
HEAD = Oval shaped head with light color eye
BODY = Overall blue-gray color, long greenish legs
NOTES = Resident breeder
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GREAT BLUE HERON

SIZE = 46 to 52" wingspan 80"
BILL= Long, heavy, pointed, yellow multi-color
HEAD = White faced, black crown
BODY = Striped fore neck, blue-gray body, yellowish legs
NOTES = Breeding resident and winter visitor
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GREAT EGRET

SIZE = 37 to 41" wingspan 44"
BILL= large , straight,pointed, yellow
HEAD = Uniform white
BODY = Uniform white, black legs and feet
NOTES = Winter visitor, breeds central US
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WOOD STORK

SIZE = 35 to 45" wingspan 65"
BILL= Very large and heavy,gray-brown ,decurved
HEAD = Bare gray head and upper neck
BODY = White body, juv. has black wing tips
NOTES = Very rare winter visitor
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Dedication


Birding has been my passion for more years than I care to admit. Birdwatching has led me into bird photography. Now when I 'hunt' birds, I get to 'shot' them and they fly away unscathed. The camera now has an image to share with others. Both the bird and I win. Life can't get better than this.

When I stop and remember the journey that brought me here, all those many friends that encouraged and guided me, I am humbled. Were it not for their teaching me the skills of birding, my life would be less full and happy. To so many, to all of you ... I owe so much.

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Author's Notes


Lots of birders maintain lots of lists ... life lists ... yearly lists ... daily lists ... by country ... by state ... these lists go on and on ... and on. At one time I was such a list keeper, and I had them all. I spent all my birding time checking ID's, making notes, marking checklists, looking in the guide ... in short I spent too much time doing 'things' instead of LOOKING at the bird. Isn't that really what our pastime is about? Looking at birds and not books and lists. Over the last ten years or so I've given up on 'birdwatching'. Instead I 'watch' birds through a camera lens instead of binoculars. I get to 'carry' these birds home with me, wrapped in a couple of megabits, often with motion and sound, photographed at speeds my eye can't follow, in details that never be seen throught a pair or 8X42's. In fact my camera lens beats the best spotting scope around. Often I use telephoto lenses that provide 500X magnification. A bird that I barely see with my binoculars is brought up close. So now, instead of a pen and paper list, I have a full color, detailed photo. A photo to share with friends, or with someone like you.

OK, I'm not a 'birder' in the pure sense ... I'm a bird photographer. When I get home I can scan the 15 photos that I took during the 10 seconds that the bird was in sight and after studying the photos can decide: that he really was a California Gnatcatcher, instead of the Black-headed Gnatcatcher. And out of those 15 photos there are probably 2 or 3 worth saving to share with friend and fellow birders.

I live in southern Baja, Mexico in a small village that still has dirt streets, cows and horses that wander about. A scant mile from beach, and the Sea of Cortez. It has been my habit to bird almost every morning for about 2 or 3 hours. I share my photos with an email list of about 180 friends. I'm now 82 years young (2013) and have just developed a mobility problem so getting out in the field each morning is getting harder and harder. In addition to birding near my home each year I plan a two or three week birding trip to another country. Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Guatamala and Africa are some of the countries I've visited in the last ten years. My hope is that I can continue birding/photographing until the day I can no long rise out of bed.


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Other books by this author


There are currently five other books written by John Spencer, available in the Kindle Bookstore.
BAJA BIRD GUIDE volume 1 - SMALL LAND BIRDS OF BAJA MEXICO HERE
BAJA BIRD GUIDE volume 2 - LARGE LAND BIRDS OF BAJA MEXICO HERE
BAJA BIRDS 101 - PHOTOS OF OVER 120 BAJA BIRDS HERE
The above books have color photos and therefore require a Kindle Fire or HD fire.

The remaining two books do not have photos and are available for all Kindles.
LETTERS FROM A SAILOR volume 1 - CRUSING MEXICAN WATERS HERE
LETTERS FROM A SAILOR volume 2 - SAILING THE SOUTH SEAS HERE
In addition to these books I also have a Blog site devoted to photos of birds and animals. HERE


Author's email address: john@bajabirder.com


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