24 Types of Water Birds Found in California

Particularly when it comes to water birds, California is recognized for having a wide variety of birds. The state offers a paradise for avian enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike, ranging from beautiful herons to vibrant ducks.

In this article, we’ll dig into the fascinating world of California’s water birds and examine 24 Types of Water Birds Found in California.

Learn about their special traits, preferred habitats, and level of conservation. This article will offer helpful insights into the rich avian species that flourishes in California’s waterways, whether you’re an enthusiastic birdwatcher or simply fascinated by the beauty of these winged creatures.

24 Types of Water Birds Found in California

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

The Mallard is a medium-sized duck with a vibrant green head, a yellow bill, and a brownish-gray body. The male, or drake, has a glossy green head, a white collar around its neck, a chestnut breast, and a curled black tail. The female, or hen, has a mottled brown plumage.

Habitat:

Mallards can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, and even urban parks. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in both natural and man-made environments.

Diet:

Mallards are omnivorous and feed on a varied diet. They primarily consume plant matter such as seeds, grains, aquatic vegetation, and grasses. Additionally, they also eat insects, crustaceans, small fish, and amphibians.

Scientific NameAnas platyrhynchos
Physical AppearanceMales have a glossy green head, white collar, chestnut breast, and curled black tail. Females have a mottled brown plumage.  
IdentificationVibrant green head, yellow bill, curled black tail (males); mottled brown plumage (females)  
DietSeeds, grains, aquatic vegetation, grasses, insects, crustaceans, small fish, amphibians  
HabitatPonds, lakes, rivers, marshes, urban parks

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird with a long, S-shaped neck, a grayish-blue body, and a long, pointed yellow bill. It has a white face, a black stripe above its eye, and long, thin legs. During breeding season, it develops plumes on its chest and back.

Different Types of Water Birds

Habitat:

Great Blue Herons can be found in a variety of habitats, including marshes, swamps, lakeshores, riversides, and coastal areas. They prefer areas with shallow water where they can hunt for fish.

Diet:

Great Blue Herons primarily feed on fish, but they also consume amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and insects. They are skilled hunters, patiently waiting by the water’s edge or wading slowly through the water to catch their prey.

Scientific NameArdea Herodias
Physical AppearanceLarge wading bird with a grayish-blue body, long S-shaped neck, pointed yellow bill, white face, black stripe above the eye, and long thin legs. Breeding adults develop plumes on the chest and back.  
IdentificationGrayish-blue body, long S-shaped neck, pointed yellow bill, white face, black stripe above the eye  
DietFish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects
HabitatMarshes, swamps, lakeshores, riversides, coastal areas

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

The American White Pelican is a large water bird with a white plumage, a long orange bill, and a wingspan of up to 9 feet (2.7 meters). During the breeding season, it develops a prominent horn-like projection on its bill and its eyes turn bright blue.

Habitat:

American White Pelicans can be found in freshwater habitats such as lakes, marshes, and reservoirs. They prefer areas with shallow water where they can forage for fish.

Diet:

These pelicans are primarily piscivorous, feeding mainly on fish. They use their large throat pouches to scoop up fish from the water’s surface. They also consume amphibians, crustaceans, and occasionally small birds.

Scientific NamePelecanus erythrorhynchos
Physical AppearanceLarge water bird with a white plumage, long orange bill, and a wingspan of up to 9 feet. Breeding adults develop a horn-like projection on the bill and their eyes turn bright blue.  
IdentificationWhite plumage, long orange bill, large wingspan
DietFish, amphibians, crustaceans, occasional small birds
HabitatFreshwater lakes, marshes, reservoirs

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

The Western Grebe is a large water bird with a long neck, a slender body, and a pointed black bill. It has a black cap on its head and a white face, neck, and underbelly. During breeding season, it develops striking red eyes and a beautiful display of long, fluffy, black-and-white plumes on its head and neck.

Habitat:

Western Grebes can be found in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and coastal areas along the western coast of North America, including California. They prefer open water habitats where they can engage in their unique courtship displays.

Diet:

These grebes primarily feed on small fish, such as minnows and perch, but they also consume crustaceans, insects, and aquatic vegetation.

Scientific NameAechmophorus occidentalis
Physical AppearanceLarge water bird with a long neck, slender body, pointed black bill, black cap on the head, and white face, neck, and underbelly. Breeding adults have red eyes and develop long, fluffy, black-and-white plumes on the head and neck.
IdentificationBlack cap on the head, white face, neck, and underbelly, long slender body
DietSmall fish, crustaceans, insects, aquatic vegetation
HabitatFreshwater lakes, reservoirs, coastal areas

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The Black-crowned Night Heron is a medium-sized heron with a stocky build, short legs, and a thick neck. It has a black cap on its head, a grayish-black back, and a white underbelly. During breeding season, it develops long, white plumes on its back.

Habitat:

Black-crowned Night Herons can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, and estuaries. They are predominantly nocturnal birds and are often seen perched in trees or bushes near water during the day.

Diet:

These herons feed primarily on fish, frogs, crustaceans, and small mammals. They are patient hunters and use their sharp beaks to snatch prey from the water or land.

Scientific NameNycticorax nycticorax
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized heron with a stocky build, short legs, and thick neck. It has a black cap on the head, grayish-black back, and white underbelly. Breeding adults develop long, white plumes on the back.  
IdentificationBlack cap on the head, grayish-black back, white underbelly
DietFish, frogs, crustaceans, small mammals
HabitatMarshes, swamps, estuaries

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

The Snowy Egret is a medium-sized heron with a slender body, long legs, and a distinctive S-shaped neck. It has all-white plumage, a black bill, and striking yellow feet. During the breeding season, it develops elegant plumes on its head, neck, and back.

Habitat:

Snowy Egrets can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, ponds, and coastal areas. They prefer areas with shallow water where they can wade and forage for fish and other small aquatic creatures.

Diet:

These egrets primarily feed on fish, frogs, small crustaceans, and insects. They are skilled hunters and use their sharp beaks to quickly strike and capture their prey.

Scientific NameEgretta thula
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized heron with a slender body, long legs, and S-shaped neck. It has all-white plumage, a black bill, and yellow feet. Breeding adults develop elegant plumes on the head, neck, and back.  
IdentificationAll-white plumage, black bill, yellow feet
DietFish, frogs, small crustaceans, insects
HabitatMarshes, swamps, ponds, coastal areas

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

The Hooded Merganser is a small-sized duck with a distinctively shaped head. The male has a black head with a large white patch, a crest, and a black and white body. The female has a brownish crest, a cinnamon-colored head, and a grayish body.

Habitat:

Hooded Mergansers can be found in freshwater habitats such as marshes, lakes, and rivers. They prefer wooded areas near water bodies where they can nest and find shelter.

Diet:

These mergansers feed primarily on small fish, crustaceans, insects, and amphibians. They are skilled divers and use their sharp bills to catch prey underwater.

Scientific Name               Lophodytes cucullatus
Physical AppearanceMales have a black head with a large white patch, crest, and black and white body. Females have a brownish crest, cinnamon-colored head, and grayish body.  
IdentificationBlack and white head with large white patch (males); cinnamon-colored head (females)
DietSmall fish, crustaceans, insects, amphibians
HabitatMarshes, lakes, rivers

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

The Pied-billed Grebe is a small water bird with a plump body, a short neck, and a unique bill that has a black band around it. It has brownish plumage, a black throat, and a distinctive white patch on its bill during the breeding season.

pied billed grebe

Habitat:

Pied-billed Grebes can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, including lakes, ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers. They are excellent divers and spend much of their time underwater.

Diet:

These grebes primarily feed on small fish, crustaceans, insects, and aquatic vegetation. They catch their prey by diving underwater and using their sharp bills.

Scientific NamePodilymbus podiceps
Physical AppearanceSmall water bird with a plump body, short neck, and a unique bill with a black band. It has brownish plumage, a black throat, and a white patch on its bill during the breeding season.
IdentificationBrownish plumage, black throat, distinctive bill with a black band
DietSmall fish, crustaceans, insects, aquatic vegetation
HabitatLakes, ponds, marshes, slow-moving rivers

California Gull (Larus californicus)

The California Gull is a medium-sized gull with a white body, gray wings, and a yellow bill with a red spot. During breeding season, it develops a black hood on its head. Immature gulls have more mottled plumage.

Habitat:

California Gulls can be found along the coastlines, beaches, estuaries, and lakeshores of California. They are also known to inhabit inland areas during the breeding season.

Diet:

These gulls have an omnivorous diet. They feed on a variety of food including fish, insects, crustaceans, small mammals, and also scavenge for human food waste.

Scientific Name               Larus californicus
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized gull with a white body, gray wings, and a yellow bill with a red spot. Breeding adults develop a black hood on the head. Immature gulls have more mottled plumage.
IdentificationWhite body, gray wings, yellow bill with red spot
DietFish, insects, crustaceans, small mammals, scavenged human food waste
HabitatCoastlines, beaches, estuaries, lakeshores, inland areas

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)

The American Avocet is a distinctive shorebird with a long, thin, upward-curved bill. It has a white body, long blue-gray legs, and a black-and-white pattern on its wings. During breeding season, it develops cinnamon-colored head and neck feathers.

Habitat:

American Avocets can be found in shallow wetlands, salt pans, mudflats, and marshes. They prefer habitats with open water where they can use their long bills to forage for small invertebrates.

Diet:

These avocets primarily feed on aquatic insects, small crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They sweep their bills from side to side in the water to catch prey.

Scientific NameRecurvirostra americana
Physical AppearanceDistinctive shorebird with a long, thin, upward-curved bill. It has a white body, long blue-gray legs, and a black-and-white pattern on its wings. Breeding adults develop cinnamon-colored head and neck feathers.
IdentificationUpward-curved bill, black-and-white wing pattern, cinnamon-colored head and neck feathers (breeding season)
DietAquatic insects, small crustaceans, invertebrates
HabitatShallow wetlands, salt pans, mudflats, marshes

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

The Northern Pintail is a medium-sized duck with a slender body and a long, pointed tail. The male has a chocolate-brown head and neck, gray body, and a white breast with a distinctive white stripe extending up the neck. The female has mottled brown plumage.

Habitat:

Northern Pintails can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, ponds, lakes, and coastal estuaries. They prefer open water areas with abundant vegetation for nesting.

Diet:

These pintails primarily feed on plant matter such as seeds, grains, and aquatic vegetation. They also consume small invertebrates and insects.

Scientific NameAnas acuta
Physical AppearanceMales have a chocolate-brown head and neck, gray body, and a white breast with a white stripe extending up the neck. Females have mottled brown plumage
IdentificationPointed tail, chocolate-brown head and neck (males), mottled brown plumage (females)
DietSeeds, grains, aquatic vegetation, small invertebrates, insects
HabitatMarshes, ponds, lakes, coastal estuaries

Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)

The Western Sandpiper is a small-sized shorebird with a short, straight bill and long, thin legs. It has a brownish back, a white underbelly, and a slightly curved black bill. During breeding season, it develops rusty-red plumage on its head, neck, and breast.

Habitat:

Western Sandpipers can be found along coastal mudflats, beaches, and salt marshes. They also frequent inland areas such as freshwater marshes and flooded fields during migration.

Diet:

These sandpipers primarily feed on small invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They use their bills to probe the sand and mud for food.

Scientific NameCalidris mauri
Physical AppearanceSmall-sized shorebird with a short, straight bill and long, thin legs. It has a brownish back, white underbelly, and a slightly curved black bill. Breeding adults develop rusty-red plumage on the head, neck, and breast.  
IdentificationShort, straight bill, brownish back, white underbelly, slightly curved black bill  
DietInsects, crustaceans, mollusks
HabitatCoastal mudflats, beaches, salt marshes, freshwater marshes, flooded fields during migration

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

The Bufflehead is a small-sized diving duck with a compact body and a large, round head. The male has a striking black and white plumage, with a glossy green-black head and a large white patch on the back of its head. The female has a mostly grayish-brown plumage with a smaller white patch on the back of the head.

Habitat:

Buffleheads can be found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. They prefer small, wooded lakes, ponds, and marshes. During the winter, they can also be seen along coastal areas and estuaries.

Diet:

These diving ducks primarily feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish. They dive underwater to forage and use their agile swimming skills to capture prey.

Scientific NameBucephala albeola
Physical AppearanceMales have a black and white plumage, glossy green-black head, and a large white patch on the back of the head. Females have a mostly grayish-brown plumage with a smaller white patch on the back of the head.  
IdentificationBlack and white plumage, glossy green-black head (males), mostly grayish-brown plumage (females)
DietAquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks, small fish
HabitatFreshwater and saltwater habitats, small wooded lakes, ponds, marshes, coastal areas, estuaries

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

The Double-crested Cormorant is a large water bird with a long neck, a long, hooked bill, and a streamlined body. It has dark brown to black plumage with a slight iridescent sheen. During breeding season, adults develop double crests of long, white feathers on their heads.

Habitat:

Double-crested Cormorants can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas. They often perch on rocks, trees, or other structures near the water to dry their feathers.

Diet:

These cormorants primarily feed on fish, especially small and medium-sized species. They are skilled divers and can swim underwater for extended periods, using their webbed feet and strong wings to pursue and capture prey.

Scientific NamePhalacrocorax auritus
Physical AppearanceLarge water bird with a long neck, long hooked bill, and streamlined body. It has dark brown to black plumage with a slight iridescent sheen. Breeding adults develop double crests of long, white feathers on their heads.
IdentificationDark brown to black plumage, slight iridescent sheen, double crests on the head (breeding adults)
DietFish
HabitatLakes, rivers, estuaries, coastal areas

Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)

The Least Tern is a small-sized bird with a white body, a black cap on its head, and a distinctive forked tail. It has a yellow bill and yellow legs. During breeding season, adults develop a black line on their forehead.

Habitat:

Least Terns can be found along coastal areas, including sandy beaches, salt marshes, and mudflats. They also inhabit riverbanks and lakeshores during the nesting season.

Diet:

These terns primarily feed on small fish, such as anchovies and minnows. They dive from the air into the water to catch their prey, and they can also forage in shallow waters.

Scientific NameSternula antillarum
Physical AppearanceSmall-sized bird with a white body, black cap on the head, and a distinctive forked tail. It has a yellow bill and yellow legs.
IdentificationWhite body, black cap on the head, forked tail, yellow bill and legs, black line on the forehead (breeding adults)
DietSmall fish, such as anchovies and minnows
HabitatCoastal areas, sandy beaches, salt marshes, mudflats, riverbanks, lakeshores during nesting season  

American Coot (Fulica americana)

The American Coot is a medium-sized water bird with a dark gray to black body, a white bill, and a distinctive white frontal shield above the bill. It has lobed toes instead of webbed feet, which enable it to walk on land more easily.

Habitat:

American Coots can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including lakes, ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers. They are often seen in large groups and are strong swimmers.

Diet:

These coots primarily feed on aquatic vegetation, such as algae, grasses, and submerged plants. They also consume small invertebrates, insects, and occasionally small fish.

Scientific NameFulica americana
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized water bird with a dark gray to black body, white bill, and a distinctive white frontal shield above the bill. It has lobed toes instead of webbed feet.
IdentificationDark gray to black body, white bill, white frontal shield above the bill, lobed toes
DietAquatic vegetation, small invertebrates, insects, occasionally small fish
HabitatLakes, ponds, marshes, slow-moving rivers

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

The Black-necked Stilt is a medium-sized shorebird with long, thin legs and a long, straight black bill. It has a black-and-white plumage, with a black head, neck, and back, and white underparts. The legs are long and pink.

Habitat:

Black-necked Stilts can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, mudflats, and salt pans. They prefer shallow waters with abundant vegetation.

Diet:

These stilts primarily feed on small aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They use their long bills to probe the mud or water for prey.

Scientific NameHimantopus mexicanus
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized shorebird with long, thin legs and a long, straight black bill. It has a black head, neck, and back, and white underparts. The legs are long and pink.  
IdentificationLong, thin legs, long straight black bill, black head, neck, and back, white underparts, long pink legs  
DietSmall aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, mollusks
HabitatMarshes, mudflats, salt pans

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

The Green-winged Teal is a small-sized dabbling duck with a compact body and a short, stubby bill. The male has a brownish-gray body with a distinctive green patch on its wing, a chestnut head with a vertical white stripe, and a yellowish rear end. The female has a mottled brown plumage.

Habitat:

Green-winged Teals can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, ponds, and shallow lakes. They prefer areas with dense vegetation and ample food sources.

Diet:

These teals primarily feed on plant matter, such as seeds, aquatic vegetation, and grains. They also consume small invertebrates and insects.

Scientific NameAnas crecca
Physical AppearanceSmall-sized dabbling duck with a compact body and a short, stubby bill. Males have a brownish-gray body with a green patch on the wing, chestnut head with a vertical white stripe, and yellowish rear end. Females have a mottled brown plumage.
IdentificationShort, stubby bill, brownish-gray body, green patch on the wing (males), mottled brown plumage (females)
DietSeeds, aquatic vegetation, grains, small invertebrates, insects
HabitatMarshes, ponds, shallow lakes

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

The Common Goldeneye is a medium-sized diving duck with a round head, a short neck, and a compact body. The male has a black and white plumage, with a glossy greenish-black head, a white crescent-shaped patch on its face, and a yellow eye. The female has a mostly brown plumage with a lighter face and a dark eye.

Habitat:

Common Goldeneyes can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. They prefer areas with open water surrounded by forests or vegetation.

Diet:

These diving ducks primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They dive underwater to forage and use their serrated bills to capture prey.

Scientific NameBucephala clangula
Physical AppearanceMales have a black and white plumage, glossy greenish-black head, white crescent-shaped patch on the face, and yellow eye. Females have a mostly brown plumage with a lighter face and a dark eye.  
IdentificationBlack and white plumage, glossy greenish-black head (males), mostly brown plumage (females), white crescent-shaped patch on the face (males), yellow eye (males)
DietAquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, mollusks
HabitatLakes, rivers, coastal areas

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

The Western Bluebird is a small-sized thrush with a stocky body, a short tail, and a thin, straight bill. The male has a vibrant blue plumage on its head, back, and wings, with a rusty-orange breast and throat. The female has a duller blue-gray plumage with a lighter orange-brown breast.

Habitat:

Western Bluebirds can be found in a variety of open habitats, including meadows, grasslands, and woodland edges. They often nest in tree cavities or birdhouses.

Diet:

These bluebirds primarily feed on insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They also eat berries and fruits, especially during the winter when insects are scarce.

Scientific NameSialia mexicana
Physical AppearanceMales have a vibrant blue plumage on the head, back, and wings, with a rusty-orange breast and throat. Females have a duller blue-gray plumage with a lighter orange-brown breast.  
IdentificationStocky body, short tail, thin straight bill, vibrant blue plumage (males), rusty-orange breast and throat (males), duller blue-gray plumage (females), lighter orange-brown breast (females)
DietInsects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, berries, fruits
HabitatMeadows, grasslands, woodland edges

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

The Marbled Godwit is a large shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill and a long, grayish-brown body. During breeding season, it has a reddish-brown head and neck, while the non-breeding plumage is more grayish overall. It has long legs, and its wings display a bold black and white pattern during flight.

Habitat:

Marbled Godwits can be found in a variety of coastal habitats, including sandy beaches, mudflats, and salt marshes. During migration, they may also be seen in inland wetlands.

Diet:

These godwits primarily feed on invertebrates, such as worms, insects, and crustaceans. They use their long bills to probe the sand or mud for prey.

Scientific Name               Limosa fedoa
Physical AppearanceLarge shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill and a long, grayish-brown body.
IdentificationLong, slightly upturned bill, reddish-brown head and neck (breeding), grayish-brown plumage (non-breeding), bold black and white pattern on wings during flight
DietInvertebrates, such as worms, insects, crustaceans
HabitatSandy beaches, mudflats, salt marshes, inland wetlands during migration

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)

The Red-necked Phalarope is a small wader with a slender body, long wings, and a thin, needle-like bill. The breeding plumage of the female is more vibrant, with a reddish-brown neck, grayish back, and black cap. The male has a duller plumage.

Habitat:

Red-necked Phalaropes can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, ponds, and coastal areas. They are often seen swimming and spinning in circles to create whirlpools to bring food to the surface.

Diet:

These phalaropes have a unique feeding behavior. They feed on small invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and small aquatic organisms, by picking them from the water’s surface or by swimming and pecking underwater.

Scientific NamePhalaropus lobatus
Physical AppearanceSmall wader with a slender body, long wings, and a thin, needle-like bill. Female has a reddish-brown neck, grayish back, and black cap in breeding plumage. Male has a duller plumage.
IdentificationSlender body, long wings, thin needle-like bill, reddish-brown neck (female, breeding plumage), grayish back (female, breeding plumage), black cap (female, breeding plumage)
DietSmall invertebrates, insects, crustaceans, small aquatic organisms
HabitatLakes, ponds, coastal areas

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

The Ring-billed Gull is a medium-sized gull with a white body, gray wings, and a yellow bill with a black ring near the tip. During the breeding season, it develops a dark ring around its neck. Juveniles have mottled brown feathers.

Types of Water Birds Found in California

Habitat:

Ring-billed Gulls can be found in a variety of habitats, including coastal areas, lakes, rivers, and landfills. They are adaptable and can thrive in urban environments as well.

Diet:

These gulls have a diverse diet that includes fish, insects, small mammals, and even carrion. They are also known to scavenge for food in garbage dumps and picnic areas.

Scientific NameLarus delawarensis
Physical AppearanceMedium-sized gull with a white body, gray wings, and a yellow bill with a black ring near the tip. Develops a dark ring around the neck during the breeding season. Juveniles have mottled brown feathers
IdentificationWhite body, gray wings, yellow bill with a black ring, dark ring around the neck (breeding season), mottled brown feathers (juveniles)
DietFish, insects, small mammals, carrion
HabitatCoastal areas, lakes, rivers, landfills

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)

The White-faced Ibis is a medium-sized wading bird with a long curved bill and long legs. It has a dark brown body with iridescent green and purple hues. During the breeding season, it develops red facial skin and a white patch on the face.

white face ibis

Habitat:

White-faced Ibises can be found in marshes, wetlands, and flooded fields. They prefer areas with shallow water and dense vegetation.

Diet:

These ibises primarily feed on insects, crustaceans, and small aquatic invertebrates. They use their long bills to probe in the mud or water to find their prey.

Scientific NamePlegadis chihi
Physical AppearanceDark brown body with iridescent green and purple hues. Develops red facial skin and a white patch on the face during the breeding season.  
IdentificationLong curved bill, long legs, dark brown body with iridescent green and purple hues, red facial skin (breeding season), white patch on the face (breeding season)
DietInsects, crustaceans, small aquatic invertebrates
HabitatMarshes, wetlands, flooded fields

Conclusion

Many different types of water bird species can be found in California. These birds, which include magnificent herons, beautiful egrets, as well as colorful ducks and gulls, beautify the state’s water bodies and breathe life into its wetland environments. They are intriguing organisms to see and study because of their distinctive looks, habitats, and feeding habits. The protection of these stunning water birds and the maintenance of the ecological balance depend on safeguarding and protecting their habitats.

Also Read:

30 Different Types of Water Birds

Top 6 Longed Billed Water Birds

25 Types of Water Birds Found in Texas

Are all water birds in California migratory?

No, not all water birds in California are migratory. While some species are migratory and travel long distances during certain seasons, others are resident birds that stay in the region year-round.

How can I attract water birds to my backyard?

To attract water birds to your backyard, you can create a water feature such as a small pond or birdbath. Planting native vegetation and providing food sources like bird feeders can also attract these birds.

Can water birds swim and dive underwater?

Yes, many water birds are excellent swimmers and divers. They have adaptations such as webbed feet and streamlined bodies that allow them to navigate through water and dive for their prey.

Are water birds protected by law in California?

Yes, many water bird species in California are protected by state and federal laws, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is important to respect these laws and ensure the conservation of these birds and their habitats.

Can water birds be harmful to humans or cause damage?

Generally, water birds do not pose significant harm to humans. However, in certain situations, such as nesting areas near residential areas, they may become territorial and display defensive behaviors. It is important to maintain a safe distance and avoid disturbing nesting sites.

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