Readers’ wildlife photos

January 16, 2022 • 9:00 am

It’s Sunday, and regular readers will know that this means a themed collection of bird photos from John Avise. His notes and IDs are indented, and, as with all embedded pictures, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

California Endangered Species

The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 was a landmark piece of Federal legislation that granted legal protection to taxa deemed to be at imminent risk of extinction.  Some states likewise have passed protective laws and compiled their own lists of threatened or endangered species within their respective jurisdictions.  For example, a California Endangered Species Act (CESA), originally signed into law in 1970, has been periodically revised and updated to reflect the changing status of nearly 200 kinds of rare animals and plants.

In today’s post, I share photographs of about a dozen threatened or endangered avian taxa that have been “listed” and thereby afforded special protection under the CESA.  I took all of these pictures in Southern California.

California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus):

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni):

American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum), juvenile:

Light-footed Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus):

Greater Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis tabida):

Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus):

California Least Tern (Sternula antillarum browni):

Least Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus):

Coastal California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica):

Belding’s Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi):

Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor):

California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus):

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. It must be a real treat to see a California condor flying overhead. Not too long ago, it seemed unlikely that anyone would ever see that again. Thanks for another great Sunday bird post.

  2. I believe the Brown Pelican has been removed from the endangered list both in California and at the Federal level.

    There may be others, but I know about the pelicans because of one of my blog posts.

    Beautiful photos.

    1. Right you are. The January 2022 list of the CESA considers the California Brown Pelican as SDR (species delisted, recovered). That’s a happy success story.

      1. When I was young, here in Minnesota, Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), were nearly extinct in the “lower 48”. Now, we have more than 20,000 nesting pairs in Minnesota every year and they are common to see (and hear!). Wonderful recovery story (among many others; of course, as some have pointed out previously, many other birds have declined terribly.)

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