The Digital Harbor Park Bird List Key-Legend
How to Read the Legend and Understand the Codes

This "Harbor Park Digital Bird List" is not to be confused with the definitive, hard copy which is currently being published (June, 2005).

This list is more about the degree of documentation of species at the park. The hard copy checklist will be more about status and occurrence.

Note: If you wish to download or print the Key-Legend page to make reviewing the bird list on your screen easier, please feel free to do so. You will see a link available for a printable version of the key-legend.

This is an effort to make an accessible reference of bird species known or believed to have naturally occurred in the park, with some indication of status and/or degree of documentation.

The list includes the Wilmington Drain, the waterway that feeds the park/lake and is biologically intrinsically intertwined with the park (adds 2 sps.). With the parks 241 acres, thus approx. 250 acres total area. Well over 300 species are known from this site.

KMHRP is between the 110-Harbor Fwy. and Vermont, and Pacific Coast Hwy. and Anaheim St., in southern Los Angeles - City and County - in the communities of Wilmington and Harbor City.

About the records and references used ...
The overwhelming majority (90%+) of the birds cited here are from previously published reports. These include the historical literature such as Grinnell & Miller’s 1944 Distribution of the Birds of Calif., and Dawson & Willett’s earlier works. Most modern records have been in one of four places. First, R. Bradley’s Avifauna of Palos Verdes area treatise (in Western Birds, Vol.11, #1, 1980); second, LA Audubon’s bird columns in their "Western Tanager" newsletter; third, PV Audubon’s Hummin’ newsletter bird columns; and lastly, the journal variously known as Audubon Field Notes, American Birds, then Field Notes (these 3 published by Nat. Audubon Soc.), and currently, No.Am. Birds, published by the Am. Birding Assoc., Loveland, CO.

Some species are included that are known only from sight records. The codes will tell you which ones, and to what degree the rarities have been seen and-or documented. Most single observer sight records of 'statewide rarities' however, are relegated to the hypotheticals after the main list.

Historical references often use names other than those popularly known today, such as Bixby Slough, Machado Lake, "the N-word" Slough, Harbor Lk. or Pk., and others. Locale has also been cited as Wilmington, San Pedro, Harbor City, and Los Angeles.

Key - Legend - Codes

Number Codes -
CA Bird Record Committee sanctified records

1 - Multiple observer sight record, accepted by CBRC
2 - Single observer sight record, accepted by CBRC Unsubmitted or unaccepted reports (NS or NA)
3 - Multiple observer sighting, NS or NA
3M - Multiple, multiple observer reports, NS or NA
4 - Single observer sight report, NS or NA
4M - Multiple, single observer reports, NS or NA
5 - Photographic record from park (for rarities only)
6 - Extirpated from park - formerly occurred regularly as breeder, winterer, or resident; current status drastically changed from historical status, now absent, except as migrant or vagrant, generally rarely.
7 - Old historical records only; no recent/modern sighting
8 - No record or report in last 15 years

Letter Codes -
UPPER CASE: species status

BR - Breeds regularly - nests at park
BI - Breeds irregularly - has nested in last decade
FB - Formerly bred * without #6 = still occurs
NN - Nests nearby, feeding here while doing so
TE - Is or has been on State or Federal Threatened
or Endangered species list
SC - State listed species of special concern
SS - multiple subspecies are known from site visual or audio clues might be detected

lower case: primary occurrence at park

r - resident - lives at park, always there
as - may occur at any season - records throughout year
s - summers at park, generally May to September
m - migrant - occurs chiefly as regular migrant, spring and fall, annually
sm - primarily spring migrant - mostly April and May
fm - primarily fall migrant - September to November
w - winters at park or records in winter -
mostly October to March
v - vagrant - not annual - out of normal range or habitat (e.g. marine sps.)
mv - migratory vagrant - vagrant during migration (some noted fv or sv)
wv - vagrant during winter season

Sequence used will be:
lower case, number, upper case Commas ( , ) will separate each occurrence or status

1) As many codes as apply may be used,
2) Indented names are considered subspecies of the species above it by current taxonomy.
3) All non-native species are at end of list.
4) Many species have multiple subspecies present, but when field ID is unlikely, they are not mentioned

Interpreting the legend codes ...
Once you learn the codes it will be easy for you to ascertain or understand at a glance the status of most species listed. First, as a general rule, most regularly occurring species will have lower case letter codes, and rarely occurring species will have number codes. To help you get started, here follow some examples with interpetation ...

Little Blue Heron (fv, 1, 3, 4) is a fall vagrant with CBRC accepted sight record, and there are both single and multiple observer sightings that were not submitted.

Fulvous Whistling-Duck (6, 8, FB) is extirpated with no record in last 15 years, and it formerly bred at site.

Tundra Swan (6, 7) used to be present, but no longers occurs; has not been seen since "the old days" at site.

Clapper and Black Rails (6, 7, FB, TE) both are extirpated with no recent records, formerly bred, and are on State or Federal Threatened or Endangered lists. The same goes for Snowy Plover and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Brown-crested Flycatcher (1, 4, 8) has CBRC accepted multi. obs. sighting, unsubmitted single obs. sighting, and is unrecorded in last 15 years.

N.Rough-winged and Barn Swallows are (s, m, BR, NN) present in summer and migration, breed regularly, and many nest nearby using park while doing so.

Black-throated Green Warbler has (1, 4, 5, 8,) multi. obs. accepted sight record, unsubmitted single obs. sightings, and is photographed in park, but not in last 15 years.

Anomalous records are not included in the primary status. For example a Townsend’s Warbler summered (!) at the park a few years ago. No "s" code should alert an observer if they find one, to document the occurrence, and/or get others to see it. Likewise, Warbling Vireo has both summered and wintered once in last decade. No mention of presence at these seasons should again alert observer of the need for documentation or corroboration.

Vagrants differ from migrants in that they are not annual in occurrence, though some may be nearly so. A "v" without seasonal designation indicates it has occurred at more than one season and when preceded by an "f" or "s" means occurrence mostly in fall or spring.

s, m = occurs in summer and as migrant
sm = spring migrant (no comma separating letters)

Keep in mind too that most resident or any season species have populations in several roles at the site. For instance, Yellow Warbler nests, winters, and is a migrant at the site. (With probably 4 subspecies not likely to be field ID'd involved)

Though they may be found year-round there, they are not the same individual birds year-round. Some resident species are innundated in winter by migrant congeners from more northerly parts of their ranges, like Coots.

I welcome any information on records or reports not included, or any other suggestions for changes, additions, or corrections.

Printable Bird List Key-Legend