• A section of the bowsprint and figurehead on the bow of BALCLUTHA.

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

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  • Hyde Street Pier Closed Mondays through Thursdays (July 24 - August 20)

    For public safety, Hyde Street Pier will be closed mid-pier Mondays - Thursdays from July 24 - August 20 during replacement of Eureka's mooring piles. There is no access to the historic ships. The visitor center, Maritime Museum & Aquatic Park are open. More »

The Ten Most Common Birds

Three brown pelicans floating on the water.

Brown pelicans


At San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

American Crow All-black with a black bill. 18″(inches)Year-round.
Fun Fact: Very intelligent!

American Robin Distinctive red breast. 9 - 11″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: Because it forages mostly on lawns, it can be poisoned by insecticides.

Anna's Hummingbird Male: rose-colored throat. Female: rose-colored spot on throat. 3 ½ - 4 ½″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: The male Anna's has an elaborate dive display, subjecting it to 10-Gs of force. Consult www.allaboutbirds.org to learn how to feed hummers.

Brewer's Blackbird Iridescent black with yellow eyes. 8 - 10″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: Lives in open and urban areas.

Brown Pelican Large with yellow head and pouch; dark belly. 48″ March - December.
Fun Fact: Its pouch holds a fish for easy eating.

Double-crested Cormorant Black with yellow-orange throat pouch. 30 - 35″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: To get dry, it holds its wings out.

European Starling (Exotic) Glossy, dark, speckled bird. 9″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: European Starlings in North America descend from 100 birds set free in New York City in the early 1890s.

Rock Pigeon or Pigeon (Exotic) Can be blue-gray, black, red, or white. 13 - 14″ Year-round.
Fun Fact: Pigeons were brought to this country by early European settlers.

Western Grebe Black with very long neck and long, yellow-green bill. 23 - 28″ October - May. Fun Fact: Its bill is a built-in spear for catching fish.

Western Gull White head with dark gray back, pink legs, and yellow eyes. 24 - 26″ Year-round. Fun Facts: Gulls can desalinate salt water for drinking, but prefer fresh. Did you know that "seagulls" can be found living far inland; that's why "gull" is the proper term.

What are "Exotics?"

Exotic birds originate in other locations. Once established, they can crowd out native birds. For instance, the European Starling often competes successfully with native birds for nest cavities.

Some Less Common Birds

Allen's Hummingbird
Barn Swallow
Black-crowned Night Heron
Black Phoebe
Clark's Grebe
Common Loon
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
House Finch
House Sparrow (Exotic)
Belted Kingfisher
Mew Gull
Northern Mockingbird
Parrots (Exotics)
Red-breasted Merganser
Ring-billed Gull
Snowy Egret
Surf Scoter
White-crowned Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Did you find other bird species at the park? List them here:

By Leslie A Graham & Carol A Kiser 10/2010

A western gull sitting on a railing along Hyde Street Pier.
Can you guess which bird this is?
NPS cab

Did You Know?

A white marking painted on the port side of Balclutha with letters and lines.

This "Plimsoll Mark" is painted on the port side of Balclutha and named for Samuel Plimsoll, an Englishman who fought to pass the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876. Before this law, many ships were dangerously overloaded and many sank. These “coffin ships” claimed the lives of many sailors. More...