eWestern Birds

The Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists

Vol. 42, No. 1
March 2011
Western Field Ornithologists


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An Outpost for Desert Birds on the Coastal Slope of Southern California
Kenneth L. Weaver

ABSTRACT: Aguanga, California, is located on the Pacific slope of Riverside County and has no direct connection to the Colorado Desert. However, isolated populations of birds associated with the desert occur in the arid shrublands surrounding this small community. Even more unexpectedly, three of these desert species coexist with closely related counterparts on the coastal slope: Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) occurs with the California Quail (C. californica), the Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris) occurs with Nuttall’s Woodpecker (P. nuttallii), and the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura) occurs with the California Gnatcatcher (P. californica). My observations near Aguanga document range extensions for a number of species in an area that has received little ornithological attention.

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