Duarte Historical Society & Museum
Duarte Historical Society & Museum

Bird Watching Events



     Don your binoculars and join the annual spring bird walk on Sunday, April 8, 7:30 a.m. sponsored by the Duarte Historical Museum.  Donuts and coffee will be served at 7.  Leader Kimball Garrett is the collections manager at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History and a noted ornithologist.  The walk is easy and will cover Encanto Park and some areas around the river bed.  Meet at the Museum, 777 Encanto Parkway.  Free.


Encanto Park, Los Angeles, California, US
Apr 8, 2018 7:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling 0.7 mile(s)
Comments:     Time: 0715-1030. Partly to mostly cloudy; calm; 60-62 deg F. Encanto Park, adjacent San Gabriel River from Puente Largo bridge upstream to the first drop. Walk sponsored by Duarte Historical Museum. 48 species (+1 other taxa)

Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  5
California Quail (Callipepla californica)  2
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  3     flying downstream
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1     juvenile
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  2
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  8
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  8
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  10
Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  3
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)  2
Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)  3
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  3
Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus/sasin)  2
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis)  2
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  5
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)  6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  6
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  4
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  50
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  5
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  6     perched together in a deciduous        tree just west of the park
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  8
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  1
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  45
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  8
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)  1
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)  8
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  4
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  5
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  8
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  4
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  4


This year's fall bird walk sponsored by the Duarte Historical Society yielded a rare sighting, and it wasn't exactly a bird!  The group of about 20 birders came upon a kettle.  Also known as a "lift" this meteorological phenomenon where air rises due to heat is used as an energy source by soaring birds (and aircraft). 
"It was about 15 total birds circling high up, so identification was based mostly on shape.  Most of the hawks were Swainson's but was a mixed kettle with probably a couple Red Tails and one Sharp-Shinned also in the group.  The whole kettle disappeared into the clouds after a few minutes. The Swainson's Hawk is one of those species that migrates great distances to South America during the northern winter," explains Chris Stahl.
The walk took in the Encanto Park bioswale trail, the Puente Largo Bridge and adjacent areas.  Another exciting find was a beautiful, bright green praying mantis, an insect which is found all over the world.  It is harmless to humans but very beneficial to the environment since it eats crop destroying insects.
Leaders Eleanor Osgood and David Bell have provided a list of birds spotted on the walk.

Encanto Park, Los Angeles County, California, Sun., Oct. 29, 2017, 7:46 AM

Duration: 1 hour(s), 2 minute(s)
Distance: 0.5 mile(s)
Observers: David Bell , Eleanor Osgood, Wendy Gordon, Claudia Heller
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.5.149

29 species (+1 other taxa) total


2 Mallard (Flyby)
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
3 Eurasian Collared-Dove
10 Mourning Dove
15 Anna's Hummingbird
15 Allen's Hummingbird
2 Nuttall's Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
4 Black Phoebe
2 Cassin's Kingbird
2 California Scrub-Jay
1 American Crow
2 Common Raven
10 Bushtit
1 House Wren
4 Bewick's Wren
1 Red-whiskered Bulbul
7 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
15 Northern Mockingbird
2 European Starling
12 Cedar Waxwing
15 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
15 Chipping Sparrow
10 Lark Sparrow
10 Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)
20 White-crowned Sparrow
1 California Towhee
10 House Finch
2 House Sparrow
1 estrildid finch sp. (Unidentified Juvenile with pale gape. Not seen well. Looked like a           munia in structure. Dark mask, white throat, brown back.)


Additional species seen by Eleanor Osgood:
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
1 American Coot
1 Belted Kingfisher
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Song Sparrow
1 Western Meadowlark

San Gabriel River Channel – Encanto Park bridge, Los Angeles County, California,

Sun., Oct. 29, 2017, 8:52 AM

Duration: 1 hour(s), 27 minute(s)

Distance: 0.7 mile(s)

Observers: David Bell, Wendy Gordon

Crossed bridge and up to first weir. 

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.5.149

32 species total


7 Mallard

1 Double-crested Cormorant

1 Great Blue Heron 

5 Turkey Vulture

2 Sharp-shinned Hawk 

10 Swainson's Hawk Group with vultures and red tailed hawks. 

2 Red-tailed Hawk 

1 American Coot Remove 

2 Killdeer Remove Species

10 Mourning Dove

10 Anna's Hummingbird 

5 Allen's Hummingbird 

1 Belted Kingfisher Remove Species

2 Northern Flicker

3 Black Phoebe

2 California Scrub-Jay

1 Common Raven Remove Species

10 Bushtit Remove Species

4 Bewick's Wren

2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

 2 Wrentit

5 Northern Mockingbird

1 Orange-crowned Warbler

5 Common Yellowthroat 45 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)

6 White-crowned Sparrow

5 Song Sparrow

1 Western Meadowlark

2 Red-winged Blackbird

20 House Finch

5 Scaly-breasted Munia 



      The list of species spotted was compiled by the leader, Kimball Garrett.  

Encanto Park, Los Angeles, California, US April 29, 2017, 7:15 AM - 9:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s)
Comments: Time: 0715-0940. Duarte Historical Museum bird walk around Encanto Park and across Puente Largo to east side of San Gabriel River Channel and upstream to the first weir. Mostly clear, wind N 5-8 mph, with some calm periods; 68-78 deg F. Much water coming down river (but after several drought years with little flowing water, the aquatic ecosystems seemed sterile). 46 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2     male, and a female with two downy young atop first weir north of bridge
California Quail (Callipepla californica)  3
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2     flying downstream around 0720 and 0740
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  4
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  15
Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  15
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)  2
Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)  3
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  4
Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)  2
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri)  2
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  1
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)  6
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  3
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  8
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  6
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  4
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)  1
California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum)  2
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  10
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  1
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  10
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  2     singing males in river
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  4
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  2
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  4
Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  2
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  2
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)  2
Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  6
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36394527

To join the Duarte Historical Society & Museum send 2017 dues to DHS&M, c/o Claudia Heller, 277 Opal Canyon Road, Duarte, CA 91010 (payable to Duarte Historical Society): family: $25; individual $15; seniors/teachers $10; other categories check website.



      The list of species spotted was compiled by the leader, Kimball Garrett.  

San Gabriel River Channel, Encanto Park, Los Angeles, California, US November 12, 2016
Protocol: Traveling 1.0 miles
Comments:  0715-0935. Partly cloudy, N wind 5-8, 65-68 deg F. Encanto Park, Puente Largo bridge across San Gabriel River and upstream to first weir. Water flowing down through river channel (but only in recent weeks; no mudflats or recent emergent vegetation). 
Bird walk for Duarte Historical Museum.
35 species (+2 other taxa)


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  35 - including a flock of about 30 flying west
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  2
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  10
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  12
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  6
Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus/sasin)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1 - yellow-winged bird, but not seen well enough to distinguish between "pure" Yellow-shafted and an intergrade
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  3
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  5
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  10
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  5
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)  2
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  4
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  20
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  25
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)  4
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)  20
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  5
Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)  3
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  4
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  10
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  6
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  4
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32508899




      The list of species spotted was compiled by the leader, Kimball Garrett.  After the walk part of the group caravanned up Highway 39 above Azusa to San Gabriel Dam to observe the immature bald eagle in its nest.

Encanto Park, Los Angeles, California, US May 1, 2016
Protocol: Traveling 1.5 miles
Comments:  Time: 0720-1000. Partly cloudy, mostly calm, 55-60 deg F. Encanto Park, Puente Largo across San Gabriel Riverbottom, then upstream to first weir and back down west side of river.
Bird walk for Duarte Historical Museum.
47 species


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
California Quail (Callipepla californica)  3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  5
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  1
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  2
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  8
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  8
Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  10
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)  1
Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)  5
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  6
Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)  4
Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)  2
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri)  2
Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis)  5
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  3
Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal) (Aphelocoma californica [californica Group])  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  5
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  40
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  20
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  4
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  1
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)  3
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  8
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  5
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  50
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)  4
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  4
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  1
Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  1
Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  4
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  2
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  3
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)  5
Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  12
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  6

View this checklist online at



Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Led by Ornithologist Kimball Garrett

Collection Manager at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History


Bird walks are one of the most popular activities sponsored by the Museum.  Led by Ornithologist Kimball Garrett, a prolific author of bird guides, and Collection Manager at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, the walk held last April not only produced a list of 52 species spotted, but the highlight was a brief glimpse of a Varied Bunting, putting Duarte on the birding map. The original sighting on March 26th, 2014 by Michael (Mickey) Long of a Varied Bunting flitting along the south side of the west end of the Puente Largo bridge had the effect of yelling “I found gold” during the gold  mining days.  Birders from near and far waded through the brush and spent hours awaiting a sign of the bird which Garrett has dubbed “The pride of Duarte.”


Fortunately on the April 13th, 2014 bird walk the trophy bird made a brief appearance and graced the binoculars of the excited birders.  Other species spotted included a Bell’s Vireo, a Belted Kingfisher, a Red-whiskered Bulbul and a Nutmeg Mannikin.


Garrett will lead a walk on Saturday, February 28th., 2015, leaving the museum at 7:30 a.m.  Donuts and coffee will be available before the walk in the Museum starting at 7:00 a.m.  The walk will include the bioswale trail in Encanto Park and the adjacent river area.  Binoculars are helpful.  Trip on rain or shine!





eBird Report - Encanto Park, Feb 28, 2015

Encanto Park, Los Angeles, US-CA
Feb 28, 2015
Traveling: 1.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Time: 0705-0950. Cloudy, calm to light breeze, 56-60 deg F. Encanto Park, adjacent San Gabriel River Channel from Puente Largo Bridge upstream to first weir. Bird walk for Duarte Historical Museum.
36 species


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  1
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  1
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  10
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  8
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  10
Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)  3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus)  23
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  2
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  1
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  6
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)  1
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  2
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)  1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  12
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  4
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  10
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  12
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  8
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22113550

With warnings of an impending rain storm, a group of brave birders gathered

in Encanto Park  in the early morning hours on February 28, choosing to ignore the

gloomy forecast in order to stroll along the bioswale and adjacent river areas and

raise their binoculars to thirty-six species of birds.


Rewarded, it turns out, with blue skies, the group, led by Kimball Garrett,

Collections Manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 

learned about our local birds, how the drought has affected their presence, and

dozens of tidbits about the calls, seasonable movements and feeding habits of local



Leading these trips semi-annually for the Duarte Historical Society &

Museum, Kimball is able to document trends and compare them year to year. 

Where are the swallows this year?  What is the status of the gnatcatcher?  When

was the last time a roadrunner crossed Encanto Parkway?  How has the drought

affected birdlife?  The answers fascinated us.

One bird sighted was the Red-Whiskered Bulbul, a bird that is lucky to be

around at all.  I call it the happy bird because when I hear its cheerful call it makes

me happy.  These birds are native to southern Asia, Pakistan and Southern China

and were introduced into North America as caged birds.  Escapees started turning

up in Florida, Hawaii and California.  Comfortable in rural and urban areas with so

many parks and gardens, they are a familiar sight around Duarte.   But their

existence was not always appreciated.


When these happy birds began to make themselves known in this area, there

were those who branded them a threat to agriculture because they feed on fruits,

buds and seedlings.  Thirty years ago an effort by the California Department of

Food an Agriculture to eradicate them stalled when Robert Middlekauff, director

of the Huntington Gardens,  refused to allow this effort on his property, thus

protecting bulbuls frequenting his gardens.  In the end, the posse abandoned the

chase and today, according to Kimball, these birds thrive while agriculture has

been defeated not by the birds, but by urban sprawl.


At one time not long ago, our San Gabriel River ran freely in a spreading

fashion, attracting shorebirds such as a variety of herons, egrets, Belted Kingfisher,

osprey, swallows, and even black-necked stilts, and ducks. Today the riverbed is

often dry, attracting homeless camps instead of wildlife.  Waterbirds were in very

short supply in the area.  Even when water is released from the dams upstream, it

no longer spreads but follows a cement channel.

“What a delightful, enjoyable bird walk” says Grace Clark of  Upland.   “I

especially appreciated Kimball's detailing bird characteristics and descriptions not

found in any of my field guides--for example, the Allen's Hummingbird's

predictive, distinctive flying maneuvers.  Birding with Kimball Garrett was a

unique and valuable experience.”


At the conclusion of the expedition, the birders gathered at the Museum to

recount their morning, listing the species they had spotted.   Details of the Fall bird

walk will appear in this website in the late summer.

In January 2014 this bird was spotted off the Puente Largo Bridge and put Duarte on the birding map.

Contact Us Today!

Duarte Historical Society & Museum

777 Encanto Parkway

Duarte, CA 91010

Phone: (626) 357-9419

Email: info@RanchoDeDuarte.org

Send Mail to: P.O. Box 263, Duarte, CA 91009

Print Print | Sitemap
© Duarte Historical Society & Museum, Rancho de Duarte