Wildlife in Barron Park neighborhood of Palo Alto CA


The below listing are of animals seen in the neighborhood by the people who have contributed to this page. Currently, it is heavily biased toward the Matadero Creek corridor.
Animals listed in small font (this is small font) are ones known to be present in the greater Palo Alto (sometimes SF Bay) area, but not (yet?) identified as inhabiting Barron Park.
To contribute to this list (additions and corrections), send e-mail to the address listed at the bottom of this page.


Other Resources

Local telephone numbers are included (where known and available) in addition to links in case you are working from hard copy or the organization's web page is unreachable.


The organization and naming scheme of this list will roughly follow that of Peterson's A Field Guide to Western Birds, which was selected because it is the most popular (= widely used) field guide. This guide was also used as one of the major sources of the following information.

In the below listing, notice how many of these birds favor riparian habitats (riparian: along creeks, rivers, ponds, ...), and how many favor the mature oak and redwoods that can be found in our neighborhood.

Birds that have nesting requirements that can be helped by residents are listed (work-in-progress).

Herons, Egrets

Wading birds
Food: fish, frogs, other aquatic animals; occasionally small rodents (eg, mice), insects


Hawks, Kites, Falcons




Food: flower nectar, small insects, spiders Other Resources:



Nest: hole in tree (occasionally a birdhouse; common conjecture is that they have strong perference for holes that they have excavated themselves)
Food: mainly tree-boring insects; some berries, acorns, seeds, sap

Tyrant Flycatchers

Food: mainly flying insects; some fruit, reptiles, ...


Most easily seen in the Strawberry Hill section of Bol Park (an open field - the obvious environment for swallows)

Jays, Crows, Ravens

Food: omnivorous, including the eggs and young of other birds

Chickadees, Titmice, Bushtits

Food: insects, seeds, acorn masts, berries


Nest: hole, crevice, cranny, birdhouse
Food: insects, spiders

Mockingbirds, Thrashers

Food: insects, fruit

Thrushes, Bluebirds

Food: insects, worms, snails, berries, fruits



Food: berries, insects


Habitat: oak scrub
Food: mainly insects


Food: mainly insects

Blackbirds, Orioles


Grosbeaks, Finches, Towhees, Sparrows, Buntings, Juncos

Food: seeds, insects, small fruits







Some people swear by the WoodCrete line of birdhouses (manufacturer: Schwegler (Germany)). Alternate spellings: "wood crete" or "wood-concrete" Instead of being built from wood, they use concrete with wood chips mixed in to provide breathe-ability. These birdhouses are durable (they don't rot like wood does), and their weight makes them stable in high winds, and provides "thermal mass" (they smooth out the daily temperature swings).
Disadvantage: hard to find. Do not know of any local stores that carry this line, and know of only two potential mail-order source in the US: Kinsman Company and Nature House Catalog
I prefer, and have good experience with, the "predator-proof" models.

Predator control: Not just cats and raccoons - crows and jays actively seek out nestlings as food.

Suggestions on how to position:

Height: different birds prefer different heights. For example, chickadees prefer the hole to be 6-12 feet high in woodlands, and higher (10 to ?) feet in yards. Some woodpecker prefer a minimum of 20 feet. ** To be expanded at some future time**

Bumblebees over-wintering in birdhouses

Advice on Birdhouses for:

Cavity Nesters Recovery Program of the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the Audubon Society (SCVAS): Placing birdhouses for cavity nesters, and tracking success rates.

Other Resources (Birds, General)





Amphibians (Frogs, Salamanders, Newts)

Others of note

Data collected by:

Version Info: $Revision: 1.35 $ $Date: 2004/08/19 07:14:12 $
Copyright 1997-2004 by the Barron Park Association
Permission to make digital or hard copy of part or all of this work for (a) personal use, (b) classroom use, or (c) use by not-for-profit community organizations (for example, neighborhood associations, natural habitat preservation/restoration groups) is granted without fee provided that (a) copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, (b) the copyright notice, the URL of this WWW page, and its date appear, (c) notice is given that copying is by permission of the Barron Park Association. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists requires prior specific permission and/or fee.

Note: a "copyleft" is anticipated to replace this copyright statement.