American Dickwood
This little dick is hard to see because he’s colored like leaf litter. That’s ok, though, because aside from its name, this woodcock is hardly worth mentioning. It’s got a small fat body, short legs, and a big fat head. The eyes are set way too far back, making this bird look extra stupid. Probably so it can see while it has its weird flexible bill jammed into the ground right up to its face trying to find worms. Color: dirt 

Fact: The American woodcock is colloquially referred to as a “timberdoodle”. People also call it a “bogsucker”, “mudsnipe”, or “Labrador steamer”. Nobody respects this bird.

Black-capped Prickadee
A lot of people consider this bird cute. Whatever. They are curious and have a habit of energetically investigating everything and everyone that might possibly be a bird feeder. Their black cap and white cheeks are almost as distinctive as their bright, “chick-a-dee dee dee” call. And “Dee Dee Dee Dee!” And also, “DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE DEEE!” Yeah, and I mean non-stop. If you have these little pricks in your yard, you’re getting no peace all summer. 

Dee Facts: The Black-capped chickadee is a non-migratory bird, so you can forget about enjoying fall, winter and spring, too.

Have you spotted black oystercatchers when visiting your West Coast national marine sanctuaries? 

Oystercatchers often are heard before they are seen. Their loud whistling wheep-wheep is shrill and carries above the sound of the surf. At low tide, these large shorebirds can be spotted foraging for mussels and other shellfish. These two were photographed in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

(Photo: Beach Watch/NOAA)