This habitat is typically diverse in structure both vertically and horizontally, with a mix of hardwoods, conifers, and shrubs. The shrub component is typically composed of several species that tend to be clumped, with interspersed patches of Annual Grassland. Woodlands of this type generally have small accumulations of dead and downed woody material and relatively few snags, compared with other tree habitats in California. Blue oak and foothill pine typically comprise the overstory of this habitat, with blue oak usually most abundant. Stands dominated by foothill pine tend to lose their blue oak, which is intolerant of shade (P. M. McDonald, pers. comm.). Coast Range species are the coast live oak, valley oak, and California buckeye (Griffin 1977).

At lower elevations, where blue oaks make up most of the canopy, the understory tends to be primarily annual grasses and forbs. At higher elevations where foothill pines and even interior live oaks sometimes comprise the canopy, the understory usually includes patches of shrubs in addition to the annual grasses and forbs. Shrub species include Ceanothus spp. Mariposa manzanita, whiteleaf manzanita, Parry manzanita redberry, California coffeeberry, poison-oak, silver lupine, blue elder, California yerbasanta, rock gooseberry, and California redbud.


Year-round Residents: California Quail, Mourning Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird, Killdeer, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Black Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, California Scrub-Jay, Common Raven, Oak Titmouse, Bushtit, Wrentit, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick’s Wren, California Thrasher, Western Bluebird, Phainopepla, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Brewer’s Blackbird

Winter Visitors: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Summer Visitors: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Violet-Green Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, House Wren, Bullock’s Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak.