Readers’ wildlife photos

June 5, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today’s Sunday: the day for John Avise‘s bird photos. Today he finishes a mini-series with the third installment of rare birds spotted in California. His IDs and text are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Rare-Bird Alert, Part 3

This is the third and final set of pictures of hotline (exceptionally rare or vagrant) birds that I have photographed in Orange County, California over the last 15 years.  Again, the photos are in a random order (much the way that new reports arrive on our local birding hotline).

Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens):

Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus):

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia):

Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius), female:

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus):

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), non-breeding plumage:

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris):

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus):

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), juvenile:

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis):

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster):

Brown Booby in flight:

Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula):

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. The rusty black bird interest me. I have been checking my feeders just in case. Even if it had arrived in sure I would have passed by.
    Love the hawks. Appears the ferruginous found you of interest.

  2. Really wonderful! Great photos.
    The Painted Bunting is gorgeous. I don’t see many colorful birds here in Southern California.

  3. Thanks again for sharing all these rarities you’ve captured on “film”. Again, I have to ask, any particular bird in this batch especially rare…or your favorite?

    1. The Burrowing Owl is a favorite of mine because it’s such a cutie. But the photo of the Harris’s Sparrow may be my proudest achievement of this batch because it took me three days of watching the hotspot area before this rarity finally came out of the brush for a portrait.

      1. Yeah, that Burrowing Owl is irresistible. Thanks for the added information. 3-days! Wow, it’s no wonder you have so many wonderful bird photos with that level of diligence.

    2. I would love to see Reddish Egret in the wild but I guess it would be even more exceptional for one to turn up in the UK than the one in Orange County, California! There are some great clips (Including by another contributor to this site, Tara Tanaka) of Reddish Egrets feeding in their natural range in SE US.

  4. These are fantastic! I once saw a burrowing owl at the High Desert Museum in Oregon – they are amazing little fellas.

    of rare birds

    As an aside, one of my favorite turns of phrase is to call someone or something a ‘rare bird’.

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