Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life
Month:

Seasonal activities of selected
birds on the Central California Coast

Jump to:    Open-ocean birds     Coastal birds     Shore birds


Key to table shading:
Birds likely to be present Birds may be present Few or no individuals present

Open-ocean birds - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Common murre   (Uria aalge)
Leave MB for
rookeries
Nesting,
Laying
Brooding,
Hatching
Hatching,
Fledging
Return
to MB
     
Sooty Shearwater   (Puffinus griseus)
Migrating Arrive MBay Peak pops
in MBay
Peak pops
in MBay
Migrating Nesting in
S. hemi
Pink-footed Shearwater
        Arrive MBay Migrate
northward
Congregate
in MBay
Congregate
in MBay
   
Black-vented Shearwater   (Puffinus opisthomelas)
        Nest in
Baja Cal
  Arrive MBay Arrive MBay   Leave MBay
Red phalarope   (Phalaropus fulicaria)        Red-necked phalarope   (Phalaropus lobatus)
Begin to
Leave MB
Leave MB Migrate
to Arctic
Return
to MB
Peak pops
in MB
Rhinoceros auklet   (Cerorhinca monocerata)        Cassin's auklet   (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)
Peak pops
in MB
Begin to
Leave MB
Leave MB for
Farallones
Laying,
Brooding
Brooding,
Hatching
Feed
Offshore
Return
to MB
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec

 


Key to table shading:
Birds likely to be present Birds may be present Few or no individuals present

Coastal birds - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Western gull (Larus occidentalis)
Nest
building
Laying Brooding,
Hatching
Fledging        
Brandt's cormorant   (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)      Pelagic cormorant   (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
Double-crested cormorant   (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Courting,
Mating
Courting,
Nest-building
Nest-building,
Laying
Brooding,
Hatching
Hatching Fledging        
Pigeon guillemot
Early
arrivals
Arrive,
Nest building
Nesting,
Laying
Brooding,
Hatching
Hatching
fledging
Fledging Leave
coast
Leave coast At sea
Caspian tern   (Sterna caspia)
Early
arrivals
Nest
building
Laying Hatching,
fledging
Fledging Training
young
Leave  
Forster's tern   (Sterna forsterii)
Arrive Nest
building
Laying Hatching,
fledging
  Migrate
away
   
Brown pelican   (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Nesting in
Baja & S.Cal
Nesting,
Migrating
Arrive          
Horned grebe   (Podiceps auritus)        Eared grebe   (Podiceps nigricollis)
Surf scoter   (Melanitta perspicillata)        Black scoter   (Melanitta nigra)        White-winged scoter   (Melanitta fusca)
Begin
to leave
Migrating Nest in
subArctic
        Arrive
in Nov
Pacific loon   (Gavia pacifica)        Common loon   (Gavia immer)       
Red-throated loon
   (Gavia stellata)        Arctic loon   (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)
Leave Nest in
subarctic
Start to
return
Most return Common
inner MB
Western grebe   (Aechmophorus occidentalis)        Clark's grebe   (Aechmophorus clarkii)
peak in MB
then leave
Nesting
in prairie
Start
to return
Return
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec

 


Key to table shading:
Birds likely to be present Birds may be present Few or no individuals present

Shore birds - yearly timelines

Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
Snowy plover   (Charadrius nivosus)
Begin
nesting
Nesting
1st hatching
Nesting
1st fledging
Nesting Nesting
2nd hatching
Nesting
2nd fledging
Black oystercatcher   (Haematopus bachmani)
Flocking Courting,
mating
Courting,
mating
Laying Laying,
hatching
Hatching,
Fledging
Hatching,
Fledging
Fledging
Black turnstone   (Arenaria melanocephala)        Surfbird   (Aphriza virgata)
Peak
migration
Nesting
in Alaska
Peak
migration
Sanderling   (Calidris alba)        Western sandpiper   (Calidris mauri,)
Peak
migration
Nesting
in subArctic
Return
Western Willet   (Tringa semipalmata)        Marbled godwit   (Limosa fedoa)
Peak
migration
Nesting
in N plains
Peak
migration
Whimbrel   (Numenius phaeopus)
Peak
migration
Nesting
in subArctic
Peak
migration
End
migration
 
Jan/Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov/Dec
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