Black-crowned Night Heron with frog

Shipley Nature Center provides some of the best year-round birding in Southern California. The mix of Oak Woodland, Torrey Pines, meadows, Riparian, Sycamore-Alder Grove and Coastal Sage Scrub habitats make Shipley one of the best places in Orange County to spot a variety of songbirds. There are abundant numbers of California native plants which supply nectar to hummingbirds and wrens. Old groves of Redwood Forest and Coast Live Oak attract foraging raptors. Mature willows around the natural, freshwater pond draw grebes, herons, coots and ducks. The Great Egret Project by Madeline Austin

For the next generation of bird watchers and surveyors, we have purchased children’s binoculars as loaners during their experiences at Shipley to broaden their focus for bird identification and learning.  That has been made possible by a grant from The Los Angeles Breakfast Club in the amount of $1,500 for environmental education.

Shipley Nature Center Monthly Bird Survey

August 25, 2023

          Due to recent overcast mornings and temperatures rising, we decided to start the survey at 7:30 AM.

10 surveyors came out on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning with temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s. Betty Kanne (eBirder), Lena Hayashi, Terry Hill, Lauren Nivans, and Susan Schwartz made up Group 1, starting north of Blackbird Pond. Jan Wilson (eBirder), Debra Gala, Jim Kendall, and Dave and Sharon Telford made up Group 2, starting at the far northeast corner of Goldenwest.

          Hurricane Hilary did quite a bit of damage in Shipley, especially the willows.  Some trails are closed from fallen trees and branches.  Evidence of a lot of work clearing the trails was seen this morning thanks to the hard-working maintenance crew.  However, it was enchanting to walk in early and observe the maze of orb spider webs glistening with moisture from the morning sun. Unfortunately, photos don’t capture the enchantment well (see photo attached below).

          It seems all the young egrets fledged from the 13 nests observed last month except two individuals on different nests. One parent was seen trying to coax its young away from the nest. When the young egret resisted, the parent gave in and flew to the nest to feed it. It takes 6-7 weeks before the young can fly and feed themselves.  I guess the last two are just not ready to fly the coop yet! We did not see the other parent but can assume 4 Great Egrets are still occupying the trees at Shipley.

Below are two eBird lists, one from each group.  They are listed separately for logistical reasons and because photos credits from the various photographers can only be entered on the eBird list they participated in.  By giving you access to both lists, you can enjoy the photos from all the photographers when you click on the Trip Report:

Once on this site, look on the right side of the webpage and you will notice, in green, the number 1 or 2.  This indicates whether Group 1 or 2 saw the same species. By clicking on the number, the list or lists drop down and you can click on one or both and see how many of that species was seen by that group and if photos were added for that species. Also, to reinforce learning and repetition, you can click on the name of the species (in blue) and out pops information from Cornell and the Macaulay Library about that bird, from identification to sound to range, etc.

(Cornell uses algorithms to correct for the number of birds seen in the same area on the same day and time.)  Both groups enjoyed watching 2 families of Hooded Orioles, one group seeing 8 and the other seeing 4 of the 8.  Therefore, I have adjusted the number below. Other adjustments to the Trip Report count are:

3 Great Egrets

1 Downy Woodpecker

1 Warbling Vireo

8 Hooded Orioles

2 Spotted Towhee

2 Black-headed Grosbeaks

Group 1

Huntington Central Park–Shipley Nature Center, Orange, California, US
Aug 25, 2023 7:33 AM – 9:47 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.285 mile(s)
27 species

Cinnamon Teal  1
Mallard  4
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Allen’s Hummingbird  3
Great Egret  3     2 imm 1 a
Green Heron  3
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1     Imm
Downy Woodpecker  1
Nuttall’s Woodpecker  1
Black Phoebe  1
Warbling Vireo  1
American Crow  3
Bushtit  10
Swinhoe’s White-eye  20
House Wren  2
Scaly-breasted Munia  1
House Finch  8
Lesser Goldfinch  2
Song Sparrow  9
California Towhee  3
Spotted Towhee  2
Hooded Oriole  8
Orange-crowned Warbler  6
Common Yellowthroat  5
Yellow Warbler  2
Western Tanager  1
Black-headed Grosbeak  2

View this checklist online at

Group 2

Huntington Central Park–Shipley Nature Center, Orange, California, US
Aug 25, 2023 7:35 AM – 9:42 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.93 mile(s)
30 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  3
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)  5
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  3     1 adult
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  2
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  9
Swinhoe’s White-eye (Zosterops simplex)  3
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)  4
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  3
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)  4
Orange-crowned Warbler (Leiothlypis celata)  2
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  2
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  4     All immature female types in mixed flock.  One was trying to feed a second.
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  2

View this checklist online at

Lena Yee Hayashi

These fine people conduct the monthly bird survey. On average 37 species are observed.

Volunteers do a bird count on the last Friday of the month which is recorded on the bird board. There is also a Field Form for visitors to record sightings of birds. For information on volunteering for the bird surveys, visit our Volunteer page.

Swinhoe’s White-eye

Bell’s Vireo

Pied-billed Grebe

Norther Flicker

Red-shouldered Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Northern Flicker (red-shafted)

Downey Woodpecker

Western Wood-Pewee

White-tailed Kite

Tree Swallow

Song Sparrow

Blue Bird

Wilson’s Warbler


Anna’s Hummingbird Nest

Hutton’s Vireo

Orange-crowned Warbler

Great Egret in breeding plumage

Hermit Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Western Kingbird

Green Heron

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Canada Goose



Western Tanager

Black-headed Grosbeak