Birds Living in Ventura County’s Coastal Region

Birds living in Ventura County's coastal region

Common Raven

Ravens frequent the RVCT. They are large relatives of crows and are known for being very inquisitive and intelligent. Unlike crows, Ravens are mostly solitary and can be seen gracefully soaring above and among all habitat types found on the Trust. Their intelligence makes them both excellent predators scavengers and foragers targeting a multitude of different food sources from grains and berries to small animals and carrion . An interesting facts about these birds is that they are able to recognize individual humans, can work together to solve problems and are able to logicize cause and effect in a variety of situations.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbirds are an interesting resident of the RVCT. They are a medium sized songbird that have small heads, thin beaks a long tail and are gray-brown in color with dark gray wings and tail feathers. These birds are known to be very curious and fearlessly territorial, staking out from areas with a vantage point and while agressivley pursuing intruders of all sizes. As their name suggests, they have the ability to memorize and vocalize bird sounds. Some males can recite over two hundred different sounds throughout their lifetime and will sing nearly nonstop. Mockingbirds feeding habits change seasonally; in winter they are primarily eat fruits and switch to insects in the warmer parts of the year.

California Towhee

California Towhees are sparrow like birds that inhabit the arid regions of California and Baja California. They appear as a uniformly brown medium sized songbird with a long tail and short wings. They are typically found in low scrubs and riparian areas and oak woodland on the RVCT. An interesting fact about this bird is that they readily next in thickets of Poison Oak and use the plant’s berries as a food source. Additional food sources for the ground foraging bird include seeds, grasses acorns as well as bugs, caterpillars and snails.

 

House Finch

House finches are small finches with large beaks, short wings and long notched ails. Plumage on the males is bright red around the head and chest with other parts of the bird brownish. Females of this species are grayish brown with a streaked pattern on the body. These birds are commonly found living in sage scrub habitat oak and grassland on the RVCT. These birds are unique in the respect that they raise their chicks exclusively on a vegetarian diet, which is rare for birds. The adult birds are mostly vegetarian as well eating seeds, nuts berries, cactus, poison oak and domesticated fruits and vegetables.

Lesser Goldfinch

The lesser goldfinch is a distinctive species of bird with males having a bright yellow underside with a black head. Females have an greenish-grey back with a light yellow colored back. These birds are often found on the RVCT in large groups foraging for seeds in grassland, in thickets and in the tops of trees. They often make nests in willows or cottonwood trees. They are very vocal and often have a wide variety of different notes occasionally mimicking other birds.

House Sparrow

House sparrows are common visitors to the trust. These small bird males have reddish backs and wings, black beaks, grey caps and a white stripe on the shoulder. Females have grey underparts, a tan head and back and yellowish beaks. As their name implies this naturalized species prefer urban areas, yet still occur in substantial numbers on the borders of the RVCT and near structures, such as the RVCT office. They feed heavily on seeds in an organized pecking order, much like chickens, and will pursue bugs in the warmer months. An interesting thing about them is that they take frequent “dust baths” to rid themselves of parasites, such as mites.