Nature - Birds

The trails of Coal Mine Ridge Nature Preserve are a wonderful place to watch or look for birds.  Species vary with season and location, and regular visitors will discover their own "hot spots" for viewing.

Please remember that except for Toyon Trail, all of the Nature Preserve’s trails are open to equestrians, who have right-of-way.   Please step aside for hikers, as well, as they may not expect a stationary observer in the middle of a trail.

Below are pictured just a few of the more than 100 species observed in the Coal Mine Ridge area.  The Portola Valley Ranch Bird List was compiled by residents of Portola Valley Ranch based on their observations.

Want to learn more?  Learning to identify birds by their songs and calls is a skill that takes time and practice.  

If you’re not sure what you hear, stand still and listen.

Now can you identify the bird? 

  • Can you pinpoint the location? (High or low, near or distant?)

  • Can you follow the sound to find the bird?

  • Is there just one bird, or more than one?

  • Is it singing, or just “chipping" (one or two note call) calling out to another bird?

There are phone apps and websites than can help.  Click a button below to find some great Phone Apps and Websites, or examples of birds you might see in given season.

California Quail

(Callipepa californica)

Female Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Red-tailed Hawk

(Buteo jamaicensis)

Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica)

Lesser Goldfinch

(Spinus psaltria)