Monday, April 4, 2016

Birding the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is located in El Chorro Regional Park, across from Cuesta College and the Dairy Creek Golf Course.  Yesterday morning Bullock's Oriole and Hooded Oriole were seen in the garden.  

The morning was damp and foggy as I entered the Botanical Garden, not ideal conditions for birding.  Did I get a slight glimpse of an Oriole? No, though I did see 25 other bird species.  (See bird list at end of blog)
The American Robin was looking especially perky this morning, with its deep rufus (orange/red) breast and charming behavior of head tilting to find a worm.  Until recently I thought the Robin was listening for worms; raise your hand if you have had that same thought.  Instead of listening for worms, they are looking for them.  Bird eyes are located at the side of their head; unlike a human eye, a bird's eye does not move.  The Robin's classic head tilt directs the eye.  We are much like Robins.  When we see see a worm out of the corner of our eye; what do we do, we move our head to get a better view.

After birding the Botanical Garden, checked out nearby Dairy Creek and the campground which abuts the golf course.  The Dairy Creek Golf Course has become a habitat for our North American "Big Bird," the Wild Turkey. 
 I had  progressed only a few feet along the golf course path when I heard the first gobble.  For several minutes experienced birding nirvana as I observed the courting behavior of a colorful, male, Wild Turkey, gobbling his heart out while posing and strutting on the Golf course.  Unfortunately for this lone male, no female turkey was in sight. (above photo by Len Blumin)

Coincidentally, a few days ago, at MontaƱa de Oro, I recorded a Wild Turkey gobbling from his perch in a Eucalyptus tree.  (Yes, they can fly short distances.) The terrain was such that I could not get a view of the Gobbler, but he definitely sounded lonely.  At the moment of the recording I am about 1/2 way down Horse Camp road.

The various habitats of El Chorro Park and the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden offer some of the best birding on the Central Coast.  Spring is a special time to bird. Dust off your binoculars and get out and about.

Bird list - Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Scrub Jay, Western Bluebird, American Robin, Wrentit, Bushtit, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Anna's Hummingbird, Eurasian Dove, Mourning Dove, Brewer's Blackbird, California Quail, Song Sparrow, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Cedar Waxwing, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Wild Turkey


  1. Thanks for the easy explanation and nice info Joyce !

  2. Lina, thank you for your comment.