November Great for Birding in Shoshone

by Len Warren

What an amazing fall season for birds and birdwatchers in Shoshone! The highlight of the month was a Wood Thrush, an Eastern North American forest bird.It stayed in Shoshone Village for 2 weeks and posed for a close up video! A Wood Thrush in California is extremely rare, this is the 27th state record.

Dusky-Capped Fly Catcher Shoshone Village, California
Dusky-Capped Fly Catcher

Coming in at second place for rarity was the brief appearance of a Dusky-capped Flycatcher for the video camera.

A female Baltimore Oriole also became a desert movie star while drinking at a dripper in the garden.

I will miss the Wood Thrush who ate oranges and meal worms at the feeder, and was rare enough and reliable enough to attract dozens of birdwatchers, many who traveled great distances for close up views and photos and were not disappointed.

However my spirits were lifted as a lovely female Varied Thrush took over Wood Thrushes spot in the garden , and a huge Ferruginous Hawk gave me great views as it flew over the Village. This was the second Ferruginous Hawk sighted in the same week, possibly the same individual.

Varied Thrush Shoshone Village, California
Varied Thrush
Lawrence's Goldfinches a small flock with at least 3 males was reported on Nov 8 around the old catfish pond. 15-20 Bushtits continue to be seen around town and out on the wetlands.

Phainopeplas are now here in force, and I would estimate 40-60 individuals in Shoshone.They spend a great deal of time defending their patch of Desert Mistletoe against Western Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, American Robins, and Cedar Waxwings.

Sage Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows are common in the open fields.

Red-naped Sapsucker Shoshone Village, California
Red-naped Sapsucker
Crissal Thrasher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Verdin, and Bewick's Wren are year round residents and hold loose winter territories throughout Shoshone Wetland.

Raptors like,Cooper' s Hawks, Northern Harriers,Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels, and Red-tailed Hawks are regularly seen. Long-eared Owls and Great Horned Owls can be observed by the most patient or lucky birdwatchers.

American Pipits, Western Meadowlarks, and Juncos (several types) feed throughout the day on the lawns of the Village. Red-naped Sapsuckers, and Northern Flickers are often found in the larger trees. A lone Cactus Wren sings all year round, but appears to be unpaired since 2008. Please let me know if anyone sees 2 Cactus Wrens at the same time!

The Shoshone Village birding trails are open for self guided nature paths along the Amargosa River and Shoshone Wetlands. ON December 18th Shoshone will host the first Amargosa Christmas Count. Audubon Christmas counts are annual events that help keep a permanent record of bird populations worldwide. Please help and enjoy Amargosa birding by participatng in our Christmas count!

FREE BIRD-WALK Every Sunday at 8AM Meet at the Crowbar Restaurant in Shoshone.

Happy Birding!




Len Warren is the Staff Naturalist for Shoshone Village and an avid Birder. You can visit his blogsite Here: Len Warren's Blogsite


  • Reserve Today by Calling: 760.852.4224