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Identifying Vertebrate Pests

On this page
  • White-crowned sparrow
  • Horned lark
  • Brewer's blackbird
  • House finch
  • Ground squirrel
  • Cottontail rabbit
  • Pocket gopher
  • Voles

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

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All areas
House finch
White-crowned sparrow
Identification tip: Three white and four black stripes mark the head of the white-crowned sparrow.
House finch
Horned lark
Identification tip: About 6 to 7 inches long. Brown to gray with a distinctive pattern of yellow, black, and white bands on the face and throat.

Brewer's blackbird
Brewer's blackbird
Identification tip: The male ranges from 8 to 10 inches long and is an iridescent black with purple and green highlights. The female (not shown here) is a dull gray-brown.

Red winged blackbird
Red winged blackbird
Identification tip: The male is about 7 to 9 inches long and black with red shoulders. The female (not shown here) is brown and striped over entire body.

White-crowned sparrow
House finch, adult male
Identification tip: This small bird is brown with a bright red breast and forehead. Females (not shown here) lack the red color.

Ground squirrel burrow
Ground squirrel burrow
Identification tip: Burrow openings are about 4 inches in diameter, but can vary considerably.

Central valley

Cottontail rabbit
Cottontail rabbit
Identification tip: Twelve to 15 inches long and weighs between 1-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds. Has pale gray fur with yellow tints.

Pocket gopher
Pocket gopher damage
Identification tip: Crescent-shaped mound and plugged burrow opening of a pocket gopher.

Vole runways
Voles (meadow mice) damage
Identification tip: Runways connect numerous shallow burrows.

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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