Surprise Field Office

Birds of the Surprise Field Office

Drawing of black-necked stiltThe Bureau of Land Management's Surprise Resource Area is located in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. The resource area is bordered by the Warner Mountains on the west and the state of Oregon to the north. BLM manages almost 1.3 million acres within this region.

Surprise Field Office Map                                                 Desert Survival Tips

The variety of habitats in the resource area supports a diversity of birdlife. Elevation ranges from 4200 to 8300 feet, and annual precipitation ranges from 6 to over 25 inches. Vegetation communities include a small amount of white-fir forest near the western edge of the resource area, shadscale and greasewood scrub at the lowest elevations, and sagebrush and juniper woodland at intermediate elevations. Aspen groves and patches of mountain mahogany are scattered throughout the area at higher elevations and springs, meadows, and streams provide riparian habitat. Shallow alkaline lakes, such as Massacre and the Alkali lakes, provide habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Many hold water throughout the year but some are intermittent, and are flooded only in spring and early summer. Consult a field guide to determine which habitats would likely support various species. Bird viewing enjoyment can be enhanced by visiting several different habitats.

Sources used to compile this list include observations of BLM biologists and local birders, bird lists from Modoc and Sheldon National Wildlife refuges, "Birds of the Great Basin" by Fred A. Ryser, "Birds of Nevada" by J. Roy Alcorn, and "A Field Guide to Western Birds" by Roger Tory Peterson.

The accuracy of this bird list will improve with additional observations. Observations should include the species, date, and specific location. Report bird observations to the wildlife biologist in the Surprise Field Office.

The following codes are used in the list:

PR = Permanent Residents. Species that remain in the resource area all year long.

SR = Summer Residents. Species that occur in the resource area in summer.

WR = Winter Residents. Species that occur in the resource area in winter.

M = Migrants. Species that use the resource area for short periods during migration.

*Neotropical migratory birds are species that breed in the United States and Canada, but all or significant portions of their populations winter south of the Mexican border. This group of species has received attention lately because many have suffered population declines in the past decade.

 

 

LOONS AND GREBES
_____ Common Loon (M)
_____ Pied-billed Grebe (*SR)
_____ Horned Grebe (M)
_____ Eared Grebe (*SR)
_____ Western Grebe (*SR)
_____ Clark's Grebe (*SR)

Drawing of pied-billed grebe

 

PELICANS AND CORMORANTS
_____ American White Pelican (*M)
_____ Double-crested Cormorant (*SR)

HERONS, EGRETS, BITTERNS AND IBIS
_____ American Bittern (*SR)
_____ Great Blue Heron (PR)
_____ Great Egret (*SR)
_____ Snowy Egret (*SR)
_____ Black-crowned Night-Heron (*SR)
_____ White-faced Ibis (*SR)

SWANS, GEESE AND DUCKS
_____Tundra Swan (M)
_____ Greater White-fronted Goose (M)
_____ Snow Goose (M)
_____ Ross' Goose (M)
_____ Canada Goose (PR)
_____ Green-Winged Teal (PR)
_____ Mallard (PR)
_____ Northern Pintail (SR)
_____ Blue-winged Teal (SR)
_____ Cinnamon Teal (SR)
_____ Northern Shoveler (SR)
_____ Gadwell (SR)
_____ American Widgeon (SR)
_____ Canvasback (SR)
_____ Redhead (SR)
_____ Ring-necked Duck (M)
_____ Lesser Scaup (SR)
_____ Common Goldeneye (M)
_____ Barrow's Goldeneye (M)
_____ Bufflehead (M)
_____ Hooded Merganser (M)
_____ Common Merganser (PR)
_____ Ruddy Duck (SR)

Drawing of duck in flight 

VULTURES, HAWKS AND EAGLES
_____ Turkey Vulture (SR)
_____ Osprey (SR)
_____ Bald Eagle (PR)
_____ Northern Harrier (PR)
_____ Sharp-shinned Hawk (PR)
_____ Cooper's Hawk (PR)
_____ Northern Goshawk (PR)
_____ Swainson's Hawk (*SR)
_____ Red-tailed Hawk (PR)
_____ Ferruginous Hawk (PR)
_____ Rough-legged Hawk (WR)
_____ Golden Eagle (PR)

FALCONS
_____ American Kestrel (PR)
_____ Merlin (*M)
_____ Peregrine Falcon (*M)
_____ Prairie Falcon (PR)

Drawing of perched falcon

 

PHEASANTS. GROUSE AND QUAIL
_____ Chukar (PR)
_____ Ring-necked Pheasant (PR)
_____ Blue Grouse (PR)
_____ Sage Grouse (PR)
_____ California Quail (PR)

RAILS AND COOTS
_____ Virginia Rail (*SR)
_____ Sora (*SR)
_____ American Coot (SR)

CRANES
_____ Sandhill Crane (*SR)

PLOVERS
_____ Black-bellied Plover (*M)
_____ Snowy Plover(*SR)
_____ Semipalmated Plover (*M)
_____Killdeer (SR)

AVOCETS AND STILTS
_____ Black-necked Stilt (*SR)
_____ American Avocet (*SR)

SANDPIPERS AND ALLIES
_____ Greater Yellowlegs (*M)
_____ Lesser Yellowlegs (*M)
_____ Solitary Sandpiper (*M)
_____ Willet (*SR)
_____ Spotted Sanpiper (*SR)
_____ Long-billed Curlew (*SR)
_____ Marbled Godwit (*M)
_____ Western Sandpiper (*M)
_____ Least Sandpiper (*M)
_____ Baird's Sandpiper (*M)
_____ Pectoral Sandpiper (*M)
_____ Dunlin (*M)
_____ Short-billed Dowitcher (*M)
_____ Long-billed Dowitcher (*M)
_____ Common Snipe (PR)
_____ Wilson's Phalarope (*SR)
_____ Red-necked Phalarope (*M)

GULLS AND TERNS
_____ Bonaparte's Gull (*M)
_____ Ringbilled Gull (*SR)
_____ California Gull (*SR)
_____ Herring Gull (*SR)
_____ Caspian Tern (*M)
_____ Forster's Tern (*SR)
_____ Black Tern (*SR)

Drawing of gull in flight

 

PIGEONS AND DOVES
_____ Rock Dove (PR)
_____ Band-tailed Pigeon (*SR)
_____ Mourning Dove (PR)

OWLS
_____ Barn Owl (PR)
_____ Flammulated Owl (*SR)
_____ Western Screech-Owl (PR)
_____ Great Horned Owl (PR)
_____ Northern Pygmy-Owl (PR)
_____ Burrowing Owl (*SR)
_____ Long-eared Owl (PR)
_____ Short eared Owl (*PR)
_____ Northern Saw-whet Owl (PR)

NIGHTJARS
_____ Common Nighthawk (*SR)
_____ Common Poorwill (*SR)

SWIFTS AND HUMMINGBIRDS
_____ Vaux's Swift (*M)
_____ White-throated Swift (*SR)
_____ Black-chinnned Hummingbird (*SR)
_____ Calliope Hummingbird (*SR)
_____ Broad-tailed Hummingbird (*SR)
_____ Rufous Hummingbird (*M)

 

These species occur irregularly in the Surprise Field Office Resource Area:

Least Bittern (*)
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron
Brant
Wood Duck
Eurasian Wigeon
Greater Scaup
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot (*)
Sanderling
Heermann's Gull
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (*)

 

Drawing of bittern

 

 

KINGFISHERS
_____ Belted Kingfisher (*SR)

Drawing of belted kingfisher 

WOODPECKERS
_____ Lewis' Woodpecker (SR)
_____ Red-naped Sapsucker (*SR)
_____ Red-breasted Sapsucker (PR)
_____ Williamson's Sapsucker (*PR)
_____ Downy Woodpecker (PR)
_____ Hairy Woodpecker (PR)
_____ White-headed Woodpecker (PR)
_____ Northern Flicker (PR)

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS
_____ Olive-sided Flycatcher (*M)
_____ Western Wood-Peewee (*SR)
_____ Willow Flycatcher (*SR)
_____ Hammond's Flycatcher (*M)
_____ Dusky Flycatcher (*SR)
_____ Gray Flycatcher (*SR)
_____ Cordilleran Flycatcher (*SR)
_____ Say's Phoebe (SR)
_____ Ash-throated Flycatcher (*SR)
_____ Western Kingbird (PR)

LARKS
_____ Horned Lark (PR)

SWALLOWS
_____ Tree Swallow (SR)
_____ Violet-green Swallow (*SR)
_____ Northern Rough-winged Swallow (*SR)
_____ Bank Swallow (*SR)
_____ Cliff Swallow (*SR)
_____ Barn Swallow (*SR)

JAYS, MAGPIES AND CROWS
_____ Gray Jay (PR)
_____ Steller's Jay (PR)
_____ Western Scrub-Jay (PR)
_____ Pinyon Jay (PR)
_____ Clark's Nutcracker (PR)
_____ Black-billed Magpie (PR)
_____ American Crow (SR)
_____ Common Raven (PR)

CHICKADEES, TITMICE AND BUSHTITS
_____ Mountain Chickadee (PR)
_____ Plain Titmouse (PR)
_____ Bushtit (PR)

Drawing of chickadee

 

NUTHATCHES AND CREEPERS
_____ Red-breasted Nuthatch (PR)
_____ White-breasted Nuthatch (PR)
_____ Pygmy Nuthatch (PR)
_____ Brown Creeper (PR)

WRENS AND DIPPERS
_____ Rock Wren (SR)
_____ Canyon Wren (PR)
_____ Bewick's Wren (PR)
_____ House Wren (*SR)
_____ Marsh Wren (PR)
_____ American Dipper (PR)

KINGLETS AND THRUSHES
_____ Golden-crowned Kinglet (PR)
_____ Ruby-crowned Kinglet (PR)
_____ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (*SR)
_____ Western Bluebird (PR)
_____ Mountain Bluebird (PR)
_____ Townsend's Solitaire (PR)
_____ Swainson's Thrush (*SR)
_____ Hermit Thrush (SR)
_____ American Robin (PR)

Drawing of goshawk

 

THRASHERS, PIPITS AND WAXWINGS
_____ Sage Thrasher (S)
_____ American Pipit (M)
_____ Bohenian Waxwing (WR)
_____ Cedar Waxwing (*WR)

SHRIKES
_____ Northern Shrike (WR)
_____ Loggerhead Shrike (*PR)

STARLINGS
_____ European Starling (PR)

VIREOS
_____SolitaryVireo(*M)
_____Warbling Vireo (*SR)

WARBLERS
_____ Orange-crowned Warbler (*SR)
_____ Nashville Warbler (*SR)
_____ Yellow Warbler (*SR)
_____ Yellow-rumped Warbler (*SR)
_____ Black-throated Gray Warbler (*SR)
_____ Townsend's Warbler (*M)
_____ Hermit Warbler (*SR)
_____ MacGillvray's Warbler (*SR)
_____ Common Yellowthroat (*SR)
_____ Wilson's Warbler (*M)
_____ Yellow-breasted Chat (*M)

TANAGERS, GROSBEAKS AND BUNTINGS
_____ Western Tanager (*SR)
_____ Black-headed Grosbeak (*SR)
_____ Lazuli Bunting (*SR)

SPARROWS AND ALLIES
_____ Green-tailed Towhee (*SR)
_____ Spotted Towhee (PR)
_____ American Tree Sparrow (WR)
_____ Chipping Sparrow (SR)
_____ Brewer's Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Vesper Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Lark Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Black-throated Sparrow (SR)
_____ Sage Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Savannah Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Fox Sparrow (SR)
_____ Song Sparrow (PR)
_____ Lincoln's Sparrow (*SR)
_____ Golden-crowned Sparrow (M)
_____ White-crowned Sparrow (*PR)
_____ Harris' Sparrow (WR)
_____ Dark-eyed Junco (PR)

BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES
_____ Red-winged Blackbird (*SR)
_____ Western Meadowlark (PR)
_____ Yellow-headed Blackbird (*SR)
_____ Brewer's Blackbird (*SR)
_____ Brown-headed Cowbird (*SR)
_____ Bullock's Oriole (*SR)

OLD WORLD FINCHES AND ALLIES
_____ Gray-crowned Rosy Finch (WR)
_____ Pine Grosbeak (PR)
_____ Cassin's Finch (*PR)
_____ House Finch (PR)
_____ Red Crossbill (PR)
_____ Pine Siskin (*PR)
_____ Lesser Goldfinch (SR)
_____ American Goldfinch (PR)
_____ Evening Grosbeak (PR)

OLD WORLD SPARROWS
_____ House Sparrow (PR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Kingbird (*)
Winter Wren
Varied Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (*)
Blue Grosbeak (*)
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Bobolink
Tricolored Blackbird
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll

Working Together for Wildlife

Across the west, BLM-managed land supports more than 3,000 species of wildlife. The BLM's Surprise Resource Area supports more than 250 species of birds. BLM manages approximately 270 million acres in 11 Western States and Alaska. There are approximately 1.3 million acres in the Surprise Resource Area.

Wildlife management is a cooperative business. State fish and wildlife agencies manage most populations of wildlife, but landowners, including the federal government, manage the habitat. Cooperation is imperative for successful wildlife management. BLM cooperates with many agencies, private land owners, and private organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy, to protect bird habitat.

BLM is one of many Federal agencies, state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies, non government organizations and private companies active in Partners in Flight - Aves de las Americas (PIF). PIF was formed to focus attention on the populations of declining neotropical migratory birds. The partnership is working to establish regional working groups, form international partnerships, and establish new resource monitoring and habitat conservation.

In addition to being active in PIF, BLM is implementing its own Nongame Migratory Bird Habitat Conservation Strategy Plan. Components include conserving populations of nongame birds through a variety of habitat management practices and promoting the value of nongame birds to wildlife viewing and natural heritage.

For more information contact: Bureau of Land Management, Surprise Field Office, P.O. Box 460, 602 Cressler Street, Cedarville, CA 96104 (530) 279-6101.