Baja California Peninsula: Year 2022

Year 2022: 1 Jan–31 Dec

Richard A. Erickson

Gerardo Marrón

Enrique D. Zamora-Hernández

Recommended citation:

Erickson, R. A., G. Marrón, and E. D. Zamora-Hernández. 2023. Year 2022: Baja California Peninsula. <> North American Birds.

Observer coverage of the region continued to improve in 2022 based on eBird data, and the number of species recorded increased in kind. At 417, the total number for the region was more than in the previous two years (405, 402). The same was true for Baja California Sur (343 compared to 316 and 336), but the number for Baja California was actually down from the previous year (378 compared to 380). Hawaiian Petrel was confirmed for the first time in the region—and all of Mexico—replacing Hawaiian/Galapagos Petrel on the Mexican list. The other most outstanding rarities found were Red-necked Grebe, Tahiti Petrel, and (continuing) Great Kiskadee. Very rare in Baja California Sur were Black Scoter (two, the first for the state), Canada Goose, Allen’s Hummingbird (continuing), Philadelphia Vireo, and American Goldfinch. Hurricane Kay and the continuing drought affected many species.

We reiterate our statement form last year concerning specific dates and places. With the continued dominance of eBird in North America, and the easy and intuitive access to its bird distribution data, we are comfortable easing our approach to presenting specific localities and dates, and to listing individual records, i.e., we will write our reports less specific in nature, knowing that interested readers can easily expand their understanding by consulting eBird records on their own. Important information not obtained from eBird will continue to be presented in greater detail.

Table 1. Summary of naturally occurring species recorded in the Baja California Peninsula in 2022.

Baja California Peninsula

Baja California

Baja California Sur

Total Species Recorded




Rare and Uncommon Species1 Unrecorded

Black Rail, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Buller’s Shearwater, Hammond’s Flycatcher

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Lark Bunting

Guadalupe Murrelet, Arctic Tern, Black-footed Albatross, Grasshopper Sparrow

1   as defined in the appendix to this report

Abbreviations: BC (Baja California); BCP (Baja California Peninsula); BCS (Baja California Sur); Mcp. (municipio); Is. (Islas); ph. (photograph); † (description).

Geese through Hummingbirds

By recent standards, it was a good year for Snow Geese, during both winter seasons. A flock of 33 that arrived at Nopoló 10 Nov (ph. Tom Haglund) helped usher in a flurry of goose activity in southern BCS at the end of the year. Two by two by two Cackling Geese reached La Paz, Todos Santos, and Estero San José. And two Canada Geese at Todos Santos 19 Dec–19 Feb (ph. Jorge Cristerna et al.) established the second state record. In BC, the long-staying Canada Goose remained in Mexicali throughout the year and 65 Aleutian Cackling Geese at sea southwest of Is. Coronado 13 Oct (ph. Philip Fiorio; Table 2) established a new high count for the region. And yet, Greater White-fronted Geese made the biggest impression. First reported on the north coast on 11 Oct, they had reached the south end of the peninsula by 25 Oct. The largest numbers were in northwestern BC, where they were seen through 4 Feb. Record high counts came from at sea southwest of Is. Coronado (100 on 13 Oct; ph. Philip Fiorio; Table 2), and Estero Punta Banda: 450 on 30 Oct and 370 on Jan 25 (Jonathan Vargas, et al.). On another level, a Greater White-fronted Goose present continuously in Tijuana since 2005 was aggressively defending a domestic goose on a nest 22 Mar (ph. R. A. Erickson, Peter A. Gaede, Eric R. Lichtwardt), ostensibly establishing the first nesting record of the species in Mexico.

The lone Wood Duck seen was on the Maneadero Plain 14 Oct–26 Jan (Adrian W. Hinkle et al.). Spatula ducks were present in unprecedented numbers near La Paz late in the year, with 600 Cinnamon Teal, 350 Blue-winged Teal, and 300 Northern Shovelers estimated on 31 Dec (Jack Bushong, Ryan Bushong). Once again, the world-class wetlands around Guerrero Negro apparently proved hard for ducks to leave. Notable high counts in the summer of 2022 included 23 American Wigeons 20 Jun, and 211 Northern Pintails and 17 Lesser Scaup 11 Jun (Sara Alcalá Jiménez et al.). Also present on the latter date, and rare in the state, was a Mallard (ph. Sara Alcalá Jiménez, Karla Reyes Dávila). Another rare summer duck for BCS was the Ring-necked Duck at San Ignacio May 14–Sep 4 (Kurt A. Radamaker, ph. Enrique Flores García). Three White-winged Scoters were seen on the n. coast of BC, but the least expected ducks were all farther south: White-winged Scoter at the Guerreo Negro saltworks 23 Nov (Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez et al.), Black Scoters at Laguna San Ignacio 19 Jan (ph. Jonathan Vargas) and Punta Abreojos 13 May (Cindy Radamaker, †Kurt A. Radamaker), and Long-tailed Duck in the BC portion of Laguna Guerrero Negro 22 Jan (ph. Jorge Cristerna). Black Scoter was previously unconfirmed for BCS.

A Least Grebe in the Sierra San Francisco 30 Mar–6 Apr (Logan Q. Kahle et al.) was just north of the previous northernmost locale for the species in the region. Additional details were provided by Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos et al. (2023, Western Birds 54: 87-90). Remarkably, two Red-necked Grebes were found (as there are only two previous regional records): Bahía San Quintín 25 Jan (ph. Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez, Jorge Cristerna) and El Sauzal 26 Nov (†Jonathan Vargas).

The endemic Band-tailed Pigeon of BCS, Patagioenas fasciata vioscae, is a sedentary resident of the mountains of the Cape District, and is essentially unknown elsewhere. It is less surprising then, that a Band-tailed Pigeon at Estero San José 28 Nov (Poncho Lizárraga, Emer García, ph. Alfonso Lizárraga) had a strong dark tail band, indicating it had come from outside the region. The only similar record in BCS is from the Sierra Cacachilas in Jan 2015 (North American Birds 69: 297). Inca Doves continued to press their limits to the northwest, with up to seven in Tecate during the year and one in Tijuana 31 Mar (†Saúl Saldaña Martínez), establishing the first municipio record there. What may prove to be an ephemeral population of Groove-billed Anis at Estero San José persisted throughout the year, with a maximum of five seen there 27 Dec (Jack Bushong, Ryan Bushong). Two Allen’s Hummingbirds (first confirmed for BCS and reported previously) first found 27 Nov 2021 remained to 10 Mar (ph. Tom Haglund). Broad-billed Hummingbird was well represented with reports from four of the five BCS municipios.

Shorebirds through Stork

Maintaining the species’ trace presence in the Gulf of California were single Black Oystercatchers at Bahía de los Ángeles 18 Apr (Tom Castro) and the Bufadora wetland, Bahía la Ventana 23 Feb–19 Mar (ph. Gary J. Strachan; present since at least 2009 and paired with an American Oystercatcher since at least 2013). Five Pacific Golden-Plovers were found, all on the Pacific coast of BCS: four in Mar and one in Nov. Our lament for the Mountain Plover continues; the only one seen was at Laguna Figueroa 10 Dec (ph. Jonathan Vargas, Mark L. Hoffman). The year’s least expected shorebird was a Ruff on the Maneadero Plain 4–10 Sep (ph Ben Stalheim et al.), accompanied by a Semipalmated Sandpiper 4–6 Sep (ph. Nicole J. Desnoyers et al.). One other Semipalmated Sandpiper was near La Paz 3 Sep (Gerardo Marrón, Jorge Cristerna), where expected. Other shorebird highlights for the year included a spring Pectoral Sandpiper at Estero San José 4 Apr (Nate Ruden), high counts of 26 Pectoral Sandpipers at rain-swollen Laguna Chapala 12 Oct (Logan Q. Kahle, Adrian W. Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle) and nine Baird’s Sandpipers near La Paz 8 Sep (ph. Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez, Nallely Arce), and BC’s first winter Solitary Sandpiper, on the Maneadero Plain 25 Dec–3 Jan (ph. Roberto Pineda, ph. Álvaro San José). Stilt Sandpipers wintered around Guerrero Negro with high counts of six on 24 Feb (Nelson González Infante) and four on 23 Nov (ph. Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez et al.). The only other one seen was near La Paz 25–26 Jul (ph. Carlos Lim et al.).

A Franklin’s Gull at Punta Abreojos 27 May (†Kurt A. Radamaker) and a Short-billed Gull at Lagunita El Ciprés 29 Jan–27 Feb (E.D. Zamora-Hernández et al.) were the only ones seen. Becoming routine, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen, three in BC and two in BCS. The gull highlight was a Glaucous Gull at Bahía de los Ángeles 5 Jan (ph. George Flicker, Mary Flicker). More Least Terns than ever were found on the lower Río Colorado and Río Hardy, all below Campo Mosqueda, 7 Apr–4 Aug (Benito Rocha Brambila). At least ten were seen on the last date. A Gull-billed Tern at Estero Punta Banda 6 Dec (ph. Jonathan Vargas, ph. Mark L. Hoffman) was unexpected on that date and at that place. Red-throated Loon is the rarest loon in summer, but was the only species found this year, with two at San Roque, BCS, 17 Jun (†Álvaro San José).

In a year when species such as Black-footed Albatross was unrecorded in BCS and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel was unrecorded altogether, there were still pelagic highlights to report. With just five previous regional records, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel overperformed. One southwest of Punta Banda 17 Jul (ph. Andrés Morales, Álvaro San José, Stefanny Villagomez) was followed by at least ten in the same general area 3 Sep (ph. Justyn T. Stahl, ph. Nicole J. Desnoyers, ph. Ben Stalheim et al.). Since its fairly recent recognition as a full species, the endemic Ainley’s Storm-Petrel has received considerable research attention. A paper by Fernando Medrano et al. (2022) showed GPS tracking of the species throughout much of the waters off BC, and possibly even into the northernmost waters of BCS. Another paper by Desmond E. Sieburth et al. (2023) discussed possible specimen records from BCS. Northern Fulmars were widely reported, especially Jan–May, but again Oct–Dec. An Hawaiian Petrel approximately 290 km sw of Cabo San Lázaro, BCS, 2 Feb (ph. †Yann Muzika, ph. Kirk Zufelt, ph. Hiroyuki Tanoi et al.) established the first confirmed record for Mexico. A Dark-rumped Petrel southeast of Cabo San Lucas 24 Aug 2004 was not identified to species (Hawaiian vs. Galapagos; North American Birds 59: 154). Another only slightly less extraordinary gadfly petrel sighting was of one or two Tahiti Petrels southeast of Cabo San Lucas 19 Oct (†Chris Harbard et al.) Rounding out the tubenose observations were two Wedge-tailed Shearwaters off Punta Eugenia on the unexpected date of 30 Jan (Yann Muzika et al.). The species has yet to be confirmed in BC waters.

An adult Wood Stork seen at La Paz 1–11 Jan (Gerardo Marrón et al.) and Cabo San Lucas 20 Feb (Ashlyn Herron) is believed to be the same individual present in the Cape District since Sep 2017.

Hurricane Kay

Hurricane Kay peaked as a category 2 hurricane in the tropical Pacific Ocean 6–7 Sep, weakened to a tropical storm by the time it crossed the Vizcaíno Peninsula on 8 Sep, and eventually veered out to sea and dissipated far off the coast of Baja California 10–12 Sep. Along the way, it generated wind and rain along the entire Pacific coast of the peninsula. The only species clearly displaced by the storm were Least Storm-Petrel (at least 25 seen from shore along the coast between La Fonda and Ensenada 9–11 Sep) and Magnificent Frigatebird (3 in the same area 9–10 Sep). The same two species were also displaced in s. California (McCaskie and Garrett 2022).

Drought Effects

Along with most of the sw. United States, much of the peninsula continued to suffer under lingering drought conditions through the middle of 2022. Common Gallinule, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, and White-faced Ibis were unreported from most of southern BC, presumably a result of impacts on wetlands. Among landbirds, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Phainopepla, and California Towhee were unreported on the Vizcaíno Peninsula during the fall vagrant season, when normally seen. Chipping Sparrow was again unreported anywhere from mid-Apr through early Aug. Lazuli Bunting was not seen in Jun or Jul.

Table 2. Non-marine species seen from cruise ships off the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula in 2022.


2 Jun

5 Oct

13 Oct

17 Oct

18 Oct

Greater White-fronted Goose


Cackling Goose


White-winged Dove


Mourning Dove




Burrowing Owl


Tropical Kingbird


Barn Swallow


Sage Thrasher


House Sparrow


Chipping Sparrow


Brewer’s Sparrow


White-crowned Sparrow


Savannah Sparrow


Western Meadowlark




Bullock’s Oriole



Red-winged Blackbird


Brown-headed Cowbird





Nashville Warbler


Kentucky Warbler


Palm Warbler


Yellow-rumped Warbler




Black-throated Gray Warbler


Wilson’s Warbler




2 Jun, off Ensenada, Ensenada Mcp., Hailey Brown

5 Oct, off central BC, San Quintín Mcp., Guillaume Calcagni

13 Oct, off Ensenada, Tijuana Mcp., Philip Fiorio

17 Oct, off El Rosario, San Quintín Mcp., Chris Harbard, Martin Renner, Steve Stevens

18 Oct, off central BCS, Comondú Mcp., Steve Stevens

Hawks through Finches

It was a slow year for Broad-winged Hawk with only one in Jan and two in Oct. Sapsuckers unexpected in BCS were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Estero San José 23 Jan (ph. Steven G. Mlodinow) and a Red-breasted Sapsucker at San Antonio de la Sierra 6 Dec (ph. Beata Milhano). Up to seven Lewis’s Woodpeckers remaining northwest of Ensenada through at least 10 Apr, up to eight in the Sierra Juárez 9 Oct–19 Feb 2023, and up to three in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir 15 Nov–9 Dec (all ph. Jonathan Vargas et al.), made for an exceptional showing. Two Downy Woodpeckers were found, both in coastal Tijuana Mcp. in fall.

Brown-crested Flycatcher is surprisingly rare on the peninsula and remains unconfirmed in BC. One at San Ignacio 14 May (†Kurt A. Radamaker, Cindy Radamaker) established the northernmost record. Otherwise, rare migrant flycatchers were split between fall vagrants (see Table 3) and wintering birds: Least Flycatcher for its second year in Bahía Asunción 8 Oct+ (Logan Q. Kahle et al.); Eastern Phoebes at Tijuana, 5 Mar (ph. Jonathan Vargas) and Estero San José 12–23 Jan (ph. Howie Nielsen, ph. Steve Keith); Great Kiskadee at Estero San José 6 Feb (†Isain Contreras, Rafael Calderón Parra; present since Nov 2020); and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers at Maneadero Plain through 13 Mar (ph. Yuriko Kuwabara, ph. Laura Ibarra), Ciudad Constitución 26 Jan (Greg Homel, Sue MacKnight), and Todos Santos 25 Mar (ph. Logan Q. Kahle).

Our understanding of the summer status of the Solitary Vireo complex (specifically Cassin’s and Plumbeous Vireos) in the mountains of Baja California has a troubled history. Grinnell (1928) [A distributional summation of the ornithology of Lower California. University of California Publications in Zoology 32: 1–300 ] considered Cassin’s a “fairly common” breeder in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir and made no mention of Plumbeous or the Sierra Juárez. Wilbur (1987) also made no mention of Plumbeous or the Sierra Juárez, but stated that Cassin’s “almost certainly does not nest” in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir. Since Wilbur’s publication, Cassin’s has been found regularly and confirmed nesting in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, and has been suspected of nesting in the Sierra Juárez. Except for a few ambiguous reports from the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Plumbeous has been unreported previously from the mountains. This year, the only mountain reports were from the Sierra San Pedro Mártir in May, where a single Cassin’s was surpassed by a territorial pair of Plumbeous Vireos 23 May (†Nick Lethaby). The breeding range of Plumbeous Vireo has been expanding westward since at least the 1960s (Johnson 1994), so the species may yet be confirmed nesting in Baja California.

Mountain Bluebirds were widespread in Nov and Dec. Most notable were 20 near Bahía Tortugas 26 Dec (ph. Mario Fernando Arvizu Valenzuela). Single birds in Jan 2010 and Dec 2020 represent the only previous records for BCS. A remarkable 515 Purple Martins concentrated on the Magdalena Plain southwest of Ciudad Constitución 4 Oct (ph. Brian Gibbons) established a record count, at least for recent years. Exceptional in winter, a Cliff Swallow was in Mexicali 23 Dec (ph. Julio Ruiz). It was a good year for vagrant vireos in the fall (Table 3). In addition, a Red-eyed Vireo was at El Pescadero 28 May (†Stuart Johnston) and a Philadelphia Vireo at La Paz 16 Dec (†Gerardo Marrón et al.) established the second record for BCS. A widely-seen Golden-crowned Kinglet in Ensenada 5 Dec–1 Apr 2023 (ph. Jonathan Vargas et al.) was the first found in the region since 2018. Topping that was a Brown Creeper at Rancho Meling 22 Nov (ph. Álvaro San José), the first since 2011. Unlike the bird listed in Table 3, a Gray Catbird at Cañón de Guadalupe 19 Feb (†Sangeet Khalsa) was unexpected. Likewise, three Red-throated Pipits (including at least one adult still showing a partial red throat) at Bahía San Quintín 29 Oct–4 Nov (ph. Daniel Garza Tobón et al.) fit the species’ established pattern, but one in the foothills of the Sierra de La Laguna 5 Oct (ph. Brian Gibbons) was at an unusual location. An American Goldfinch at Guerrero Negro 12 Oct (†Adrian W. Hinkle) was at the same place as the only previous confirmed record for BCS.

Table 3. Selected vagrant passerines seen, and unseen, on the Baja California Peninsula in autumn 2022. All individuals were recorded in October except as noted. Exceeding expectations were Blue-headed Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler, and especially Tennessee Warbler (cf. McCaskie and Garrett 2022). The Blackpoll Warbler’s demise continues; the species has not been recorded in Baja California Sur since 2013.


Baja California

Baja California Sur

Least Flycatcher


Eastern Phoebe


Eastern Kingbird


Blue-headed Vireo



Philadelphia Vireo


Red-eyed Vireo

Yellow-green Vireo



Gray Catbird




Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Oriole




1; Table 2

Prothonotary Warbler


Tennessee Warbler



Lucy’s Warbler


Virginia’s Warbler

Hooded Warbler


Cape May Warbler

Northern Parula


Magnolia Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler



Blackburnian Warbler


Chestnut-sided Warbler



Blackpoll Warbler


Black-throated Blue Warbler


Palm Warbler

5; Table 2

Yellow-throated Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler


Canada Warbler


Scarlet Tanager



Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Indigo Bunting


Painted Bunting


3; Table 2




* Yellow-green Vireo, 27 Sep

* Northern Parula, 1 on 25 Sep

* Bay-breasted Warbler, 13 Nov

Longspurs through Dickcissel

Two Lapland Longspurs at Bahía San Quintín 29 Oct–4 Nov (Sean Rovito et al.) and three Chestnut-collared Longspurs at El Socorro 29 Oct (Logan Q. Kahle, Jonathan Vargas, R. A. Erickson) were the only ones found. A Fox Sparrow at Misión Santa Gertrudis 21 Mar (ph. Logan Q. Kahle) and a White-throated Sparrow at Santa Rosaliíta 20 Nov (ph. Brian Sandstrom, Kelsi Black) were at the s. end of BC. The former remains unrecorded in BCS, and there is only one record of the latter there. Baird’s Junco exhibits limited and irregular downslope movements from the mountains of southern BCS. Except for one at El Triunfo >100 years ago (Grinnell 1928), one at San Bartolo 12 Feb (ph. Neil Boyle, Nancie Dohan) was farther astray than any record we are aware of.

Fall vagrant icterids are summarized in Table 3. Streak-backed Oriole was found again in BCS in winter: one at Caduaño 25 Jan (†Steven G. Mlodinow) and one at La Purísima 29 Mar (ph. Logan Q. Kahle.). Tricolored Blackbird was not recorded south of the Maneadero Plain, but otherwise did not lose ground in 2022. At the only known nesting site still active, Rancho Ciénega Redonda, 340 adults were estimated on 15 Apr and many fledglings were present among 400 birds estimated present a month later (ph. R. A. Erickson). Three hundred birds roosting at Ciénega Redonda 13 Nov (ph. Kurt A. Rdamaker) was more than ever recoded there in the non-breeding season. There are still very few records of Great-tailed Grackle for the Cape District, so one near San José del Cabo 10 Mar (†Jim Nachel) was noteworthy.

As usual, most of the year’s warbler excitement was in October (Table 3). Several unusual species seen later in the fall may have attempted to winter, in Tijuana (Northern Parula 21–27 Nov [ph. René Valdés et al.]; Bay-breasted Warbler 27 Nov–4 Dec [ph. Jonathan Vargas et al.]; Chestnut-sided Warbler 13 Dec [ph. Jorge Montejo, Amy E. McAndrews]), and Ensenada (Black-throated Blue Warbler 1–8 Dec [ph. Oscar Jiménez et al.]). Others were definitely believed to be wintering: Louisiana Waterthrush at La Laguna 8 Mar (ph. Osiel Alejandro Flores Rosas), Hooded Warbler at San Dionisio for its second and third seasons 27 Feb and 18 Dec–21 Jan 2023 (ph. Osiel Alejandro Flores Rosas), Cape May Warbler at Punta Banda 6 Oct–16 Dec (ph. Logan Q. Kahle et al.); Blackburnian Warbler and Grace’s Warbler in the Sierra de La Laguna 26–27 Jan (Steven G. Mlodinow, Gerardo Marrón, Javier Eduardo Alcalá), Yellow-throated Warblers at Loreto 2 Mar (†Cloyce Hedge) and San Antonio de la Sierra 17 Nov (Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez et al.), and Prairie Warbler at Guerrero Negro 4 Oct 2021–4 Apr (ph. Sara Alcalá Jiménez et al.). Spring vagrants were a Kentucky Warbler at sea off Ensenada 2 Jun (ph. Hailey Brown; Table 2) and a Grace’s Warbler at Punta Abreojos 10 May (ph. Kurt A. Radamaker, Cindy Radamaker; photo in North American Birds 74(1): 50).

Fall vagrant cardinalids are summarized in Table 3. Additional Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were in Ensenada (19 Nov–4 Feb 2023 and 30 Nov; ph. Álvaro San José et al.) and Punta Abreojos 27–29 May (2; ph. Kurt A. Radamaker, Cindy Radamaker). Two Indigo Buntings were in the Cape District (Jan, Mar), as was a less-expected Painted Bunting (Cabo San Lucas 10 Feb; ph. Emer García, Joaquín Corrales, Víctor Sánchez González). An early Dickcissel at La Rumarosa, 5 Sep (†Alán Jesús Palacios Vázquez, Ricardo Rivera) was the first for Tecate Mcp.

Exotic Species and Historical Record Documentation

Swinhoe’s White-eye, first found in Mexico in 2021, was seen again in Tijuana in 2022. Burrowing Parakeets were also seen by many in Tijuana.

Important observations not reported in detail by us previously include a Glossy Ibis at La Paz 13 Nov 2019 (ph. L. Ernesto Pérez Montes; first for the region) and a Yellow-throated Vireo at Is. Coronado 30 May 2016 (ph. Gustavo Ramón Lara; first for Baja California.

Preliminary Status Codes for the States and Municipios of the Baja California Peninsula

In our last report we included a list of all species recorded in each of the municipios on the peninsula. Here (download spreadsheet) we update those lists and add season and abundance codes for all. The same information is shown for Baja California, Baja California Sur, and for the two states combined.

But as we neared completion of this annual report, we became aware that the municipio of San Felipe is now recognized by the Mexican government agency CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad), the authority that we follow in these matters, as does eBird. Minor adjustments to the Tijuana and Tecate polygons have also been made. We will adopt all of these changes in the future, but it was too late in the process to include those changes here. This spreadsheet is based on the municipios that we recognized and mapped in our last report. Thankfully, Kurt Radamaker continues to show online GIS versions of the old map (2021) and the new map (2022; only portions of which have yet to be adopted by eBird), where users can zoom in on areas of particular interest to them.

The spreadsheet is preliminary for several other reasons as well. This is the first time that this great amount of information has been compiled, so there will be errors that we missed in our preparation and review. Although we have tried for consistent treatment in all situations, inconsistencies are bound to be present. The codes used here were originally used at the state level (Erickson, R. A., R. Carmona, G. Ruiz-Campos, M. J. Iliff, and M. J. Billings. 2013. Annotated Checklist of the birds of Baja California and Baja California Sur, second edition. North American Birds 66: 582-613.), and downscaling to the municipio level is problematic. Although a species may be labeled as rare for the state (“rare, but annual or nearly so”) and be distributed equally throughout the state, it becomes harder to reach the nearly annual threshold in smaller regions such as municipios. And the municipios themselves vary greatly in size. This was also a problem in distinguishing between “extremely rare” and “very rare.”

Observer coverage continues to be light on the peninsula. Consider the number of complete eBird checklists submitted in 2022 compared to the number submitted for the same period in adjacent (much smaller) San Diego County: 8165 to 53,692. As a result, in many cases we had to speculate on a particular species’ status in a particular municipio, rather than relying on actual data. This was especially true for areas at sea.

A bias in greater analysis for rarer species is also acknowledged here. We were more inclined to show multiple seasonal roles for rare species (e.g., fall and winter) than for common ones, where we might simply lump multiple roles as “winter.”

As mentioned last year, future editions of this spreadsheet will include various subspecific entries, e.g., “Oregon” and “Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Juncos and more. Adding accurate nesting codes for each municipio will continue to be hard, but it is our long term goal.


Shaded cells indicate species recorded in that state or municipio during 2022.

Darker shading indicates species recorded for the first time in that area in 2022.


We abbreviate Baja California Peninsula as BCP, Baja California as BC, and Baja California Sur as BCS. The codes used here follow Erickson et al. (2013, op. cit.), which were modified from Howell et al. (2001; Howell, S. N. G., R. A. Erickson, R. A. Hamilton, and M. A. Patten. An annotated checklist of the birds of Baja California and Baja California Sur, pages 171-203 in: Birds of the Baja California Peninsula: Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy. Monographs in Field Ornithology No. 3.).

Abundance Codes

c common

u uncommon

r rare, but annual or nearly so

vr very rare: less than annual but more than five records

x extremely rare: five or fewer records

esc. records only involve birds judged to be escapees by eBird definition

Seasonal Codes

R confirmed or presumed breeding resident

S breeding summer resident

W winter visitor

T transient migrant in spring and fall

Sp spring transient migrant; depending upon the species involved, this period may begin as early as January or end as late as July

F fall transient migrant; depending upon the species involved, this period may begin as early as June or end as late as December

V non-breeding visitor; present up to all year (mainly seabirds)

[ ] use of brackets indicates former status, generally >40 years ago for species now considered historical only, but may be as few as 10-12 years for declining species

Breeding Codes (used at state level and above only)

* confirmed breeding species: nests, eggs, dependent young (except some waterbirds, e.g., begging juvenile terns, which may travel with adults for hundreds of km), adults nest building (except woodpeckers, wrens, and Verdin), which may drill/build roost nests), adult(s) carrying food/fecal sac, adults entering nest cavity, birds collected in breeding condition by reliable collectors (cf. Binford, L. C. 1989. A distributional survey of the birds of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Ornithological Monographs 43: 68).

*? probable breeding: adult(s) singing, courting, displaying, territorial and/or agitated as if nest and/or young nearby, in season and in range/habitat

+ possible breeding: adult(s) in season in range/habitat

( ) irregular and/or former (confirmed, probable, or possible) breeding, e.g., waterbirds dependent on ephemeral water conditions

[ ] former (confirmed, probable, or possible) breeding, i.e., species considered extirpated or extinct

Documentation Codes (used at state level and above only)

S unqualified sight record

SP sight record published with adequate supporting documentation

S! sight record; written documentation archived (cf. Hamilton, R. A. and S. N. G. Howell. 2001. Log of bird record documentation archived at the San Diego Natural History Museum, pages 242-253 in: Birds of the Baja California Peninsula: Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy. Monographs in Field Ornithology No. 3. )

SoP sonogram published

PP identifiable photographic record published, includes stills captured from video tape

# specimen record, including eggs


In addition to the observers cited above, we wish to thank the following individuals for uncited observations or other assistance provided during the year: Jack Crawford,

Mike Danzenbaker, Nadine de Jong, Andrew Engilis, Daniel Galindo Espinoza, Michael P. Force, John F. Garrett, Kimball L. Garrett, Robert A. Hamilton, Adriana Hernández Álvarez, Meredith Honig, Steve N. G. Howell, Marshall J. Iliff, Paul E. Lehman, Jimmy McMorran, Robert McNab, Robert J. Meese, Isabel Raymundo González, Michael L. P. Retter, Wendy Schackwitz, Thomas S. Schulenberg, Eduardo Soto Montoya, Shoko Tanoi, Philip Unitt, Jorge Valdez Villavicencio.

Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 24 Jul 2023.

Photos–Baja California Peninsula: Year 2022

One wonders where all of our urban park’s hybrid domestic x wild geese come from. This Greater White-fronted Goose at Parque Morelos, Tijuana, Baja California, may provide a partial answer. The bird was believed to be present at the park year-round since 2005 and on 22 March 2022 was aggressively defending a domestic goose on its nest. Photo © Richard A. Erickson.

This White-winged Scoter at the Guerrero Negro saltworks 23 November 2022 was the second to be photo documented in Baja California Sur. Photo © Víctor O. Ayala-Pérez.

Even rarer in Baja California Sur than White-winged Scoter, this male Black Scoter at Laguna San Ignacio 19 January 2022 was the first to be documented in the state. Photo © Jonathan Vargas.

An endemic subspecies of Band-tailed Pigeon is found in the mountains of Baja California Sur, but this bird on the coast at Estero San José 28 November 2022 showed the strongly-banded tail of migratory subspecies such as Patagioenas fasciata monilis of western North America. Photo © Alfonso Lizárraga.

This Ruff, only the fifth for Baja California, was seen by many on the Maneadero Plain 4–10 September 2022. Photo 10 September 2022 © Stefanny Villagomez.

Semipalmated Sandpiper has been recorded remarkably few times in Baja California. This one accompanied the Ruff on the Maneadero Plain 4–6 September 2022. Photo 4 September 2022 © Justyn T. Stahl.

At the south end of its Pacific coast range in North America, Glaucous Gull has been recorded with decreasing frequency in Baja California in recent years. This one at Bahía de los Ángeles 5 January 2022 was the southernmost since 2009. Photo © George Flicker.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrels made a record showing in Baja California waters in 2022. This one was one of at least ten off Ensenada 3 September 2022. Photo © Nicole J. Desnoyers.

A bonus for a boatload of international seabirders in search of rare west Mexican tubenoses was this Hawaiian Petrel southwest of Cabo San Lázaro, Baja California Sur 2 February 2022. It was the first to be confirmed in Mexican waters. Photo © Kirk Zufelt.

Hawaiian Petrel southwest of Cabo San Lázaro, Baja California Sur 2 February 2022. Photo © Yann Muzika.

Hawaiian Petrel southwest of Cabo San Lázaro, Baja California Sur 2 February 2022. Photo © Kirk Zufelt.

All sapsuckers other than Red-naped Sapsucker are unexpected in Baja California Sur. This Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was at Estero San José 22 Jan 2022. Photo © Steven G. Mlodinow.

Another sapsucker rare in Baja California Sur was this Red-breasted Sapsucker at San Antonio de la Sierra 6 December 2022. Photo © Beata Milhano.

In Mexico, Downy Woodpecker is generally restricted to extreme northwestern Baja California, where this one was in Tijuana 24 November 2022. Photo © René Valdés.

This Blue-headed Vireo at La Bufadora was part of of an extraordinary fallout of vagrants on the north coast of Baja California 6 October 2022. Photo © Adrian W. Hinkle.

Another Blue-headed Vireo—this one at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur 12 October 2022—helped to create a memorable experience for the visiting Hinkle twins. Photo © Christopher Hinkle.

Late 2022 ushered in a banner season for Mountain Bluebird in Baja California. No record was more impressive, however, than the 20 birds near Bahía Tortugas, Baja California Sur, 26 December 2022. Photo © Mario Fernando Arvizu Valenzuela.

Streak-backed Oriole is a rare visitor to the Baja California Peninsula. This one at La Purisima, Baja California Sur, 29 March 2022 was the first to be found in Comondú Municipio. Photo © Logan Q. Kahle.

Bay-breasted Warbler in Tijuana, Baja California 27 November 2022, one of three found on the Baja California Peninsula in 2022. Photo © Roberto Pineda.

There were many reports of Burrowing Parakeet in Tijuana, Baja California, including this one on 22 November 2022. Photo © René Valdés.

Glossy Ibis has expanded its range into western North America this century, but this one at La Paz, Baja California Sur, 13 November 2019 was the first for the Baja California Peninsula and one of very few recorded in all of west Mexico. Photo © L. Ernesto Pérez Montes.

Another exotic newcomer to Mexico is Swinhoe’s White-eye, which has expanded southward from southern California to Tijuana Municipio, where this one was seen on 21 November 2022. Photo © René Valdés.

This Yellow-throated Vireo at Islas Coronado 29 May 2016 established the first record for Baja California. Photo © Gustavo Ramón Lara.