Thursday, December 11, 2014

Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary

Let's be frank, your amateurnithologist is in over his head here. I never realized how difficult shorebirds could be until I visited the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary in beautiful Alameda, California. They are pretty much innumerable here.

That's a lotta birds. But not only that, dear reader, that's a lotta different types of birds.

When I visited, back in October, I kind of assumed I had see probably 4 or 5 different species of shorebirds. Once I started doing my research, I wasn't so sure. According to very reliable sources at, the Else Roemer Bird Sanctuary is home to no less than 147 species of birds. What??? I didn't even know there were that many birds.

Rather than attempt to profile all of them now, I'll share a few that I saw and share my current best guess. Did I egregiously mislabel a bird? Sound off in the comments! I promise I won't get mad at you.

Marbled Godwit

Elegant Tern (center)

OR Caspian Tern OR Royal Tern (distinguished based on size of tern and color of bill. But who knows, life is uncertain)

Black-bellied Plover
OR Pacific Golden Plover (could be really anything, apparently distinguishable by his "white rump", but your amateurnithologist is dubious)
Constantly looks annoyed, even when not

Also spotted at the sanctuary were our old friends
Long-billed Curlew (aka. Candlestick Bird)
Willet (ft. above in 2nd picture along with godwits)
Black Phoebe
& Snowy Egret
Among probably many others

We attempt to capture the utter bird chaos with the follow .gif

By the way, this bird sanctuary is named after a local conservationist, best known for her efforts to preserve the San Francisco Bay's natural salt marsh habitat, which was being drained and developed at a breakneck pace in her time. Her park now provides shelter for, the aforementioned 147 birds, including endangered species like Heerman's Gull and the California Clapper Rail, which is kind the ultimate reward for a fighter for birds, I suppose.

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