The California QuailCallipepla californica with it's top knot definitely classifies as a "cute" bird, even more so with a set of 10 chicks in tow. It is almost indistinguishable from the Gambel's Quail but fortunately they have distinctive ranges. These were photographed at Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, CA.
The Peacock or Common PeafowlPavo cristatus is easy to photograph since it is common in the Arboretum, Arcadia and even spills over into the lawns of neighboring homes.
Another exotic bird flying free in the Arboretum is the Red-crowned ParrotAmazona viridigenalis. They are often seen in flocks of 20 or more throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA. Their loud squawking announces their presence from afar.
Another exotic the Egyptian GooseAlopochen aaegyptiacus was just standing there one time on the mudflats of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine CA. I have not seen it since.
In the wild, Sparrows are not always easy to get close to, but while walking on the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, CA, this Song SparrowMelospiza melodia California Coast variant and Savannah Sparrow stayed around long enough to get their picture taken.
In August birds (except Hummingbirds) may be sparse in the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Reserve. However, as we drove along one of the roads we came upon thousands of Cliff Swallows Petrochelidon pyrrhonota loading every branch of three large trees.
One of the striking features of Mono Lake at Lee Vining, CA are the tall, exposed tufa towers. These are perfect roosting places for the Violet-green SwallowTachycineta thalassina.