Skip to content

14 Marin Birds You Should Know

Marin County is home to a wide variety of bird species, many of which are unique to this region. Whether soaring high above the ocean, perched on a tree branch, or flitting through a garden, these feathered creatures can be found everywhere in Marin.

From iconic species such as the California Quail and the Western Bluebird to migratory visitors like the Snowy Plover and the Marbled Godwit, Marin is a birder’s paradise.

Bird watching is a popular activity for both locals and visitors alike, and there are many nature reserves and parks throughout the county where one can observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitats.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common birds found in Marin and learn about their unique characteristics and behaviors.

1. American Robin

American robin

The American robin is a migratory bird, belonging to the true thrush genus and Turdidae family.

It was named after its European counterpart due to the similar reddish-orange breast they both possess; however, they are not related closely.

This species can be seen through most of North America during winter months, as well as in parts of Mexico and Central America where it also breeds.

They have plump bodies with gray upperparts and white underparts that vary from yellow on their throats down to orange toward their bellies.

Robins feed on fruits such as berries or insects like worms which makes them an important part of ecosystems by helping disperse seeds naturally throughout these areas.Scientific classification:

SpeciesT. migratorius

Also Featured In: Most Common United States BirdsMost Common Winter Birds

2. House Finch

House finch

The House Finch is a species of finch native to western North America and has been introduced in the eastern half of the continent as well as Hawaii.

It’s an average-sized finch with adults measuring 12.5 – 15 cm (5 – 6 inches) long and having wingspans between 20 – 25 cm (8 – 10 inches).

The upperparts are brown, while its underparts range from pale grayish white to yellow depending on subspecies.

Its face is streaked or spotted with reddish coloration; males typically have brighter plumage than females due to sexual dimorphism.

They’re mostly found near human habitations such as farms and gardens where they feed on grains, fruits, insects etc., making them very popular among birders who want something colorful for their backyard.Scientific classification:

SpeciesH. mexicanus

Also Featured In: Birds That Live in ColoradoBirds Commonly Found in New York

3. Mourning Dove

Mourning dove

The Mourning Dove is a breathtakingly beautiful bird. It has stunning gray and brown feathers with white tipped wings, giving it an elegant appearance. Its long tail also adds to its graceful look in flight.

A symbol of peace and serenity, they are abundant across North America and can be found in gardens or open fields throughout the year.

As well as being popular game birds for hunters, they feed on grains such as wheat and millet providing important food sources for wildlife species including foxes, coyotes, skunks and raccoons.

These doves have a distinctive cooing sound that can often be heard echoing through woodlands during summer evenings making them one of nature’s greatest treasures.Scientific classification:

SpeciesZ. macroura

Also Featured In: Birds Live in ArkansasNew Hampshire Birds You Should Know

4. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna s hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird is a beautiful species of bird belonging to the Trochilidae family. Native to western coastal regions of North America, it was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.

In the early 20th century, these birds bred only in northern Baja California and southern California but due to ornamental plant transplanting they can now be found across much of Pacific Coast region.

They are medium-sized with bright emerald green feathers on their back and crowns as well as rose-red patches at the throat for males which makes them quite distinguishable from other birds.

Their diet consists mainly nectar from flowers although they will occasionally feed on insects or spiders too making them important pollinators that help maintain healthy ecosystems.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. anna

Also Featured In: Flight Birds You Should KnowBirds Commonly Found in Northern California

5. Hummingbirds


Hummingbirds are tiny birds found throughout the Americas, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Most species measure between 3-5 inches in length and weigh less than an ounce.

The smallest hummingbird is only 2 inches long. Hummingbirds have a unique ability of hovering by rapidly flapping their wings up to 80 times per second.

They feed on nectar and insects, with some species even able to drink sap or eat pollen directly off flowers.

Their vibrant colors make them instantly recognizable as they dart through gardens in search of food and mates.

Hummingbirds truly bring joy into our lives as they remind us that nature’s beauty can be seen around every corner if we take the time to look for it.Scientific classification:

FamilyTrochilidae Vigors, 1825

Also Featured In: Birds for Your Home GardenFamous Paintings Birds

6. Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn woodpecker

The Acorn woodpecker is a medium-sized bird with an average weight of 85 grams and 8.3 inches in length. It was first described by the English naturalist William John Swainson from a specimen collected in Mexico, back in 1827.

Its scientific name, Melanerpes formicivorus, combines Latin words meaning “ant” and “-vorous”.

This species has distinct black plumage all over its body except for some white patches on their wings and tail feathers which can be seen when flying or perched atop trees.

They are known to store acorns inside tree crevices as well as within bark cracks – often using them during lean times.

The acorn woodpecker is also socially active; they live together with other birds of their kind in groups called ‘granaries’. Their chirps are loud enough that they can easily be heard from afar.Scientific classification:

SpeciesM. formicivorus

Also Featured In: Birds that Live in the Grand Canyon National ParkBirds that Live in Yosemite National Park

7. American Avocet

American avocet

The American avocet is a stunningly beautiful bird found in North America. With its striking black and white plumage, long blue legs, and upturned bill it is an unmistakable sight.

It spends much of its time foraging around shallow water or mud flats searching for crustaceans and insects to feed on by sweeping its beak from side-to-side through the water.

The German naturalist Johann Friedr formally described this species back in 1789 as Recurvirostra americana – aptly named due to their habit of recurving their bills when feeding.

These graceful wading birds are truly a marvel of nature that deserve our admiration.Scientific classification:

SpeciesR. americana

Also Featured In: Most Popular Bird Species in North AmericaBirds that Live around Central Florida

8. Barn Owl

Barn owl

Barn owls are a beautiful and fascinating species of birds found around the world, with the exception of polar and desert regions, most of Indonesia and some Pacific Islands.

They have large eyes, thin legs and long wings that help them to hunt silently in low light conditions.

Their white colouring helps them blend into their surroundings making it easier for them to catch prey.

Barn owls are nocturnal hunters who use their impressive hearing capabilities to locate rodents moving within vegetation or tunnels beneath the ground.

They also feed on insects such as beetles, moths etc., which they can detect from high up in flight using their excellent vision even at night time.

The barn owl plays an important role in balancing ecosystems by controlling rodent populations which is why they should be protected wherever possible so that this vital service continues uninterruptedly.Scientific classification:

SpeciesT. alba

Also Featured In: Native Birds Of GermanyBelarus Birds You Should Know

9. Oak Titmouse

Oak titmouse

The Oak Titmouse is a small passerine bird of the tit family, Paridae. It has an overall grayish-brown plumage with a cream-colored undersides and its face is plain in coloration lacking any distinct patterning or markings.

The distinguishing feature of this species however, is the tufted crest on top of its head that gives it a unique appearance.

They are native to western North America where they inhabit oak woodlands and chaparral habitats at elevations between sea level up to 5500 feet above sea level.

These birds feed mostly on insects such as caterpillars but also consume seeds and fruits during colder months when insect prey becomes scarce.

In addition, they have been seen stealing food from other birds’ nests including acorn Woodpecker’s caches.Scientific classification:

SpeciesB. inornatus

Also Featured In: Chickadees BirdsCommon Southern Californian Birds

10. Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-crested cormorant

The double-crested cormorant is a majestic bird with an impressive wingspan, found across North America from the Aleutian Islands all the way down to Mexico.

Its black plumage stands out against its bright orange-yellow facial skin and some extended patches of white feathers on each side of its throat.

It measures between 28 – 35 inches in length and has webbed feet that enable it to swim gracefully through rivers and lakes, as well as coastal areas.

These birds are known for their voracious appetite for fish, sometimes diving over 100 ft deep into water looking for food.

Despite this reputation they also feed on crustaceans, amphibians and insects when available.

Cormorants have been part of many cultures throughout history due to their remarkable ability to fly long distances making them valued messengers or companions during fishing expeditions at sea.Scientific classification:

SpeciesN. auritum

Also Featured In: Cormorant SpeciesWater Birds Live around Us

11. White-Crowned Sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow is a species of passerine bird native to North America. It has a grey face and black and white streaking on its upper head, making it easy to identify.

This sparrow usually breeds in brushy areas located in the taiga, tundra, Rocky Mountains or Pacific coast regions of North America.

During winter months these birds migrate southward as far as Mexico and California where they can be found living amongst chaparral shrubbery or low bushes near open fields with plenty of seeds nearby.

The diet of this bird consists mainly of insects during summer while they switch over to eating grains like wheat & oats during colder months when bugs are scarce.

They are known for their characteristic chirp which sounds like “Oh sweet Canada Canada” drawing admirers from around the world.Scientific classification:

SpeciesZ. leucophrys

Also Featured In: Sparrows SpeciesMost Common Songs Birds that Live around You

12. Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned sparrow

The golden-crowned sparrow is a large New World bird found in the western part of North America. It belongs to the genus Zonotrichia, made up of five species and has no subspecies.

This bird is closely related to the white-crowned sparrow as studies show their mitochondrial DNA evolves at a similar rate.

The most recognizable feature on this beautiful creature are its distinctive yellow stripes near its forehead that appear almost like an orange crown when seen from afar.

Its plumage can range from grey browns in winter months, to dull yellows and oranges during breeding season which typically occurs between April and July.

These birds are often seen foraging through leaf litter or along grassy fields looking for seeds, insects and berries to eat while they sing sweet melodies throughout their habitat.Scientific classification:

SpeciesZ. atricapilla

Also Featured In: Birds That Live around SeattleBirds that Live in San Francisco Bay Area

13. California Scrub Jay

California scrub jay

The California scrub jay is a species of bird native to western North America. It can be found from southern British Columbia all the way down through California and western Nevada near Reno, up to west beyond the Sierra Nevada range.

This beautiful blue feathered bird was once categorized with Woodhouse’s scrub jay as the “western scrub jay” along with island scrub jays.

The California Scrub Jay has distinctive features such as its greyish-blue feathers on its head, wings and tail; white cheeks; dark bill; and strong legs for perching in trees which makes it stand out among other birds in its family.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. californica

Also Featured In: Common Californian BirdsBlue Birds You’ll Found around Us

14. California Towhee

California towhee

The California towhee (Melozone crissalis) is a medium-sized bird belonging to the family Passerellidae.

It can be found in coastal regions of Oregon, California and Baja California Sur in Mexico.

This species has been subject to taxonomic debate – some authors place it within Fringillidae instead.

The male Californian towhee are easily identified by their greyish brown plumage with black streaks on its back, tail and wings; while females have duller colors than males but still retain the same patterned feathering as them.

Additionally, they possess an orange-colored bill and legs which adds a pop of color to their otherwise dusky appearance.Scientific classification:

SpeciesM. crissalis

Also Featured In: Birds Live Near San DiegoBirds that Live in Chaparral

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *