#467 Black-chinned Hummingbird at Santiago Oaks

I’ve been visiting Santiago Oaks Regional Park about once a month for over a year now. There’ve been some good life birds there including Rock Wren and Lazuli Bunting, but two regulars have persistently eluded me: Black-chinned Sparrow and Black-chinned Hummingbird. Well, last Sunday April 5 on Linette Lina’s monthly walk we finally found a Black-chinned Hummingbird:


This is a tough one because it’s relatively quiet, and looks a lot like the more common Anna’s Hummingbird unless you see it in really good light. Plus it’s much more skittish of people than an Anna’s or an Allen’s. However it does tend to hover a little more than an Anna’s does, and this one was relatively cooperative.

There are only a couple of non-pelagic birds resident in Orange County to try for. Black-chinned Sparrow is one. Common Poorwill is another. For that I’ll have to go out at night and listen. Canyon Wren is also possible if I go deep back into the mountains. Western Screech Owl should also be out there somewhere. However according to eBird I have now seen 56.8% of the species known to occur in Orange County. Most of what’s left are either pelagic species or occasional vagrants. There’s a Pine Warbler at Estancia park I’ve now missed twice. Maybe I’ll try for that next.

This was a good week for county birds, though. Besides the Black-chinned Hummingbird, I picked up Townsend’s Solitaire at the Blue Jay Campground on Saturday, though I missed the Black-chinned Sparrows I was looking for. After the Santiago Oaks trip, I drove up to Yorba Regional Park and added Mandarin Duck, an exotic species (though I can actually count that one for my life list since I saw it in its native range in China last year.) Finally on Tuesday I spotted a completely unexpected Nashville Warbler practically in my back yard in Mason Park. It’s an Eastern vagrant that I’ve only seen previously in Prospect Park on the other side of the country. I’m not sure if this is the same individual that was reported earlier in the year or not.

One Response to “#467 Black-chinned Hummingbird at Santiago Oaks”

  1. Neil Gilbert Says:

    Try Irvine Regional Park right after dusk for both the Common Poorwill and Western Screech-Owl. For the screech-owls, look in the sycamores and oaks across the wash from the main part of the park. For poorwills, listen from the far end of the road that loops around the wash. They are usually up in the hills, so don’t expect to see them.

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