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Field Guides Tour Report
Arizona Winter Specialties 2019
Dec 28, 2019 to Jan 3, 2020
Chris Benesh

A couple of Sandhill Cranes coming in to roost at Whitewater Draw, a memorable conclusion to the tour. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

This season’s Arizona Winter Specialties tour coincided with some unseasonably cold weather, but our hardy group weathered the cold and were treated to some wonderful birds. Cold is a relative term, of course, and high temps between 45 and 55 degrees can hardly compare with true winter cold.

We started things off in Phoenix, spending our first afternoon visiting Granada Park to take in some Rosy-faced Lovebirds and to take note of the burgundy neck-rings of the Ring-necked Ducks there. The following morning we headed west of Phoenix to the Arlington Valley near Buckeye, exploring the “thrasher spot” there. We did track down some thrashers there too, with good views of Bendire’s, Crissal, and the highly sought after LeConte’s. There was a memorable moment when, over the course of 10 minutes or so, three different species climbed up into the same bush and began to sing. Wow! We also tracked down a few Bell’s and Sagebrush sparrows, lookalikes formerly considered Sage Sparrows. From there we headed over to Hazen Road where the kind homeowner allowed us to visit her property to see some Ruddy Ground Doves wintering there, a rare treat. After a bit more poking around the valley, we headed to the Glendale Recharge Ponds and the Crystal Parkway.

The following morning we headed first to the Gilbert Water Ranch, which had a nice variety of species (including some displaying Green-winged Teal), and a stealth Greater Scaup hanging out with the rest of the ducks. We checked a few more ponds as we headed south to the Santa Cruz Flats, an expansive agricultural area between Phoenix and Tucson. Some of our targets proved elusive, but we saw some wonderful Crested Caracaras, Mountain Bluebirds, Burrowing and Great Horned owls, and a Lewis’s Woodpecker.

The last day of the year found us venturing down to Green Valley and into the Santa Rita Mountains, visiting Florida Canyon and Madera Canyon. Black-capped Gnatcatchers and Golden Eagles highlighted our visit to Florida, and the feeders at the Santa Rita Lodge were wonderful for a variety of species. We also paused for a moment to enjoy the largest Mexican Blue Oak in the country.

We started the New Year birding along the Santa Cruz River near Tubac, where a stunning male Bullock’s Oriole and furtive Rose-throated Becard were among the highlights. We spent some time at Patagonia Lake, where we saw a nice mix of birds including Gray and Hammond’s flycatchers. We also visited the Paton Center for Hummingbirds and saw three hummingbird species, as well as a popular Lazuli Bunting.

The final day of the tour included a visit to Tucson Mountain Park for Gilded Flicker, Kennedy Park for Williamson’s Sapsucker and Bronzed Cowbird, Reid Park for Greater Pewee, and then an afternoon in the Sulphur Springs Valley, visiting Willcox and finishing up with Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw.

Thanks to all of you for coming along and sharing in some fine winter birding in southern Arizona. I look forward to birding with you again and wish you the best in birding in the meantime. — Chris

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Our gang posing with the giant Mexican Blue Oak in Madera Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
SNOW GOOSE (Anser caerulescens) – There was a young bird hanging out at Reid Park in Tucson.
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – Mainly in the Phoenix area.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – We had a single bird at Willcox.
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – Several seen, including a brightly colored male at Whitewater Draw.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos)
MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi) – There was one decent looking one at Reid Park, and an additional five at Willcox. This species was recently split by eBird but has yet to be adopted by the American Ornithological Society (AOS).

One of the several Ferruginous Hawks seen during the tour. This is the largest of the Buteos. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – This handsome species was seen well at Whitewater Draw on the final afternoon of the tour.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis) – Some big flocks seen at Glendale, the Gilbert Water Ranch, and Whitewater Draw. At Gilbert, males were giving seldom heard display vocalizations.
CANVASBACK (Aythya valisineria) – We had four at the Lower River Road ponds in the Arlington Valley and another three at Reid Park in Tucson.
REDHEAD (Aythya americana) – Three small groups seen on the tour.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – A fair number seen at various locations. There were a lot at Granada Park and we were able to appreciate their burgundy colored neck rings.
GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila) – Generally considered rare away from the Colorado River in Arizona; we had a female at the Gilbert Water Ranch, and two males at Patagonia Lake.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – Just a handful seen.
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola) – There was a big flock of some 40 something birds seen at the Glendale Recharge Ponds.
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula) – We managed to pick out at least three of these at the Glendale Recharge Ponds.

A couple of Ruddy Ground Doves eating corn with Inca Doves southwest of Phoenix. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – A few really big flocks around, with 130+ in Glendale and 40+ at Kennedy Park in Tucson.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – We came across a big covey of these on the road into the Twin Lakes Golf Course.
GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii) – Our best encounter was at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – Quite a few were present at the Santa Rita Lodge. These birds are considered to be Gould's Wild Turkey, belonging to the subspecies mexicana.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – Seen at four different sites during the tour, this species is generally scarce in southeast Arizona.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – There were 20+ at the ground dove stakeout site on Hazen Road south of Phoenix. A single bird was seen in the Santa Cruz Flats the following day.

Bing Yang Tan spotted and then photographed these two handsome Burrowing Owls near the Evergreen Sod Farm.

COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina) – We saw a single one along Hazen Road near the ground dove site.
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – One of the rarer species seen on the trip; we had at least four of these in the dove flock off of Hazen Road.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – Always a treat to see this iconic bird. Our first was west of Phoenix.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis) – We had a big flock of these feeding out over the fields near Hazen Road, and we had another three fly past us at Patagonia Lake.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – There were two hanging out at the feeders at the Santa Rita Lodge.
BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris) – Two birds were visiting feeders at the Paton Center.

Kathy spotted this spectacular western Great Horned Owl in the Santa Cruz Flats. Photo by guest Bing Yang Tan.

VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia violiceps) – The Paton Center is a traditional site for this species in southeast Arizona, though not always reliable in winter. Thankfully, we had one show well for us.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – We saw two of these at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Quite a few seen, with our biggest numbers coming from Willcox.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis) – One of the highlights of the trip was seeing so many together at Whitewater Draw.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Quite a few of these were present at the Gilbert Water Ranch, and another was on the pond with all of the cormorants and egrets.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – We counted thirteen of these at our visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus) – This prairie nesting species winters in flat lowland areas in winter, and we encountered quite a few on this tour, including an estimated 150 in the Arlington Valley.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – There were nearly 60 of these at the Glendale Recharge Ponds. This is the common wintering peep away from coastal areas.

Two of the raptors we saw: A Merlin on the left, note that it's perched on a wire, which is unusual, and a Prairie Falcon on the right. Photos by guide Chris Benesh.

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Two were seen west of Phoenix.
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – Good views of this species at the Glendale Recharge Ponds and again at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A common wintering sandpiper in Arizona, we had as many as 30 on one pond in the Santa Cruz Flats.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – Only two seen at the Glendale Recharge Ponds.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Quite a few seen in the Gilbert area, including a breeding colony that was already getting active.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – There were about 66 of these on the roadside pond near Gilbert. An impressive sight!
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Kathy spotted the stakeout Lewis's Woodpecker in the Santa Cruz Flats which we all enjoyed. Photo by guest Bing Yang Tan.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – The only one seen was at Kennedy Park in Tucson.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Very local in southern Arizona; we had 12 at the Lower River Road ponds in Arlington Valley and another 12 along South River Road and another at Patagonia Lake.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – A couple were seen around Phoenix and another was at Kennedy Park in Tucson.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos) – There were a pair of these seen while we were in Florida Canyon.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

Here is one of the Black-capped Gnatcatchers that showed so well for us in Florida Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – One was at the Glendale Recharge Ponds, and another immature bird was seen perched on an irrigation pipe the following day.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – Our only ones were some stakeout birds in Willcox.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (Buteo regalis) – We saw a small number of these in the agricultural areas south of Phoenix and in the Santa Cruz Flats.
Strigidae (Owls)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Kathy spotted one perched in a large tree in the Santa Cruz Flats. Another was hooting at Whitewater Draw.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Bing Yang spotted a pair of these in the Santa Cruz Flats that were a real treat!
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) – We saw the female wintering at Kennedy Park in Tucson.
RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) – The only one seen was at the Paton's.
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis) – We had a nice study of one in the Santa Cruz Flats feeding on pecans.

Bing Yang Tan got this great image of the Hammond's Flycatcher at Patagonia Lake. You can really appreciate its short bill and long primaries in this shot.

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – A comical and charismatic species well seen in Madera Canyon.
GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis)
ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Dryobates arizonae) – Good looks at this species at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders where it took advantage of the suet.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)
GILDED FLICKER (Colaptes chrysoides) – We tracked down a pair of these on the final morning of the trip in the Tucson Mountains.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – About a dozen of these were seen in the Santa Cruz Flats. This species was formerly considered rare in the state until it was discovered that good numbers winter in this area.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – Three seen in total, two of which were seen perched on wires, a behavior they seldom engage in.

This Greater Pewee was spending the winter in the lowlands of Tucson at Reid Park and put on a good show for us. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – It was a crazy trip for this species with at least seven seen over two days!
PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus) – We had one in flight at Granada Park, and two more in the Santa Cruz Flats.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSY-FACED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis roseicollis) – Well established in the Phoenix basin. [I]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – We had a female put in a brief appearance in Tubac, but unfortunately she did not reappear for us.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Great looks at this stakeout at Reid Park, one of the first birds we laid eyes on after stepping out of the van. A small number overwinter in lowland areas away from the mountains in which they breed.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – We had one really sharp looking bird at Patagonia Lake.
GRAY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax wrightii) – A couple of these were in hanging out at Patagonia Lake. We were able to note their distinctive tail-dipping behavior.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

A Black-throated Sparrow perched in a cholla cactus, an iconic pairing in the Sonoran desert. Photo by guest Bing Yang Tan.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A handful seen during the tour. This species has increased in recent decades in the state.
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – Seven seen in the town of Patagonia; this was a good number for winter.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – We saw a few individuals in Florida Canyon, and along Sonoita Creek and the Santa Cruz River.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Always a crowd pleaser, we had four in the Santa Cruz Flats and singles elsewhere.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi) – We saw a few of these in Florida Canyon and had excellent studies at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders.
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus) – We saw our only ones at Las Cienegas and Willcox.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – This attractive species was well seen around Patagonia and the Santa Ritas.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps) – Small numbers seen throughout the tour.

One of the Bronzed Cowbirds seen at Kennedy Park. This species was formerly known as Red-eyed Cowbird. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – Quite a few of these were seen in flocks in the Santa Cruz Flats.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – There were about a dozen of these foraging over the Glendale Recharge Ponds.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – We tallied four at the Glendale Recharge Ponds.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – We spotted one flying around the sheep farm at the southwest corner of the Santa Cruz Flats, where it is considered rare.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – Quite a few seen and it was one of the most common species at Patagonia Lake during our visit.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis nelsoni) – We saw and heard this species at several spots around the Santa Rita Mountains. This species has a complex distribution and is comprised of a few distinctive populations that differ in voice and plumage, and that may constitute good species.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – Our only one was at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura) – Several of these were foraging at the thrasher spot, one was in Green Valley, and another pair was at Kennedy Park.
BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila nigriceps) – A recent colonist to Arizona since the 1970's; we had nice looks at this species in Florida Canyon. Another was present at Patagonia Lake.

One of the highlights of the trip was this Olive Warbler that showed well in Madera Canyon. Not a warbler and not olive, some have hoped it will get a makeover with a new name. Photo by guest Bing Yang Tan.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – A few heard. [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – There was one hanging out at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders and a couple more at Patagonia Lake.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) – A few heard, though the only one seen was at Whitewater Draw.
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) – This species was present around Sonoita Creek and Patagonia, as well as in Florida Canyon.
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – Despite being the Arizona State Bird, this species was not overly conspicuous, and our best looks came near the end of the tour.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre) – Quite a few seen and heard over the course of the tour; some of the best sightings being those at Kennedy Park. This species is notably absent from the thrasher spot.
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei) – We had nice studies of a few of these at the thrasher spot and again in the Santa Cruz Flats.
LECONTE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma lecontei) – It took quite a bit of walking around before we encountered our first pair of birds near Buckeye, and then we had another one close to the van later on.

We had a great look at Rufous-crowned Sparrow in Madera Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale) – We had a couple of good studies of this species at the thrasher spot west of Phoenix.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides) – Quite a sight to see a tree full of these colorful birds while cruising the Santa Cruz Flats!
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens) – Nearly every mistletoe laden tree on the road to Madera Canyon had an attendant Phainopepla.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – We had a couple of elusive ones in Florida Canyon, and later a much more cooperative one at the Santa Rita Lodge.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens) – We encountered a big flock of these in the Santa Cruz Flats.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)

Juncos were thick at the Santa Rita Lodge, with two species and several additional forms present. This is the Yellow-eyed Junco. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – There was a big flock hanging out at the Santa Rita Lodge and a couple more were at the Paton's.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Widespread in various habitats, most common at the Paton's feeders.
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW (Peucaea carpalis) – We called one into view on the road toward Madera Canyon. This species is a common resident in the mesquite-palo verde woods there.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – There was a big flock of these at the ground dove stakeout, but otherwise seen mostly in singles.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – Quite a striking species and one that we didn't bump into until our final morning at Tucson Mountain Park.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
LARK BUNTING (Calamospiza melanocorys) – It was a treat to see a few wintering flocks of this distinctive species. It tends to form very tight flocks in winter.
DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis) – The Santa Rita Lodge was the perfect place to study this species at length and begin to appreciate the variation present there. We saw several forms, including several Oregon, a few Pink-sided, some Gray-headed, and a Slate-colored. There was also what is known as Cassiar Junco, felt to be part of a hybrid swarm of Oregon x Slate-colored birds.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – Great studies of this species at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders.

Here is what is known as Cassiar Junco, a Dark-eyed Junco that is intermediate between Oregon and Slate-colored and occurs commonly where those two populations come together. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (GAMBEL'S) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) – Relatively low numbers of this normally abundant wintering species.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis) – We saw the stakeout bird at the Paton's feeders.
SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis) – We studied a couple of these more heavily streaked "Sage" sparrows at the thrasher spot.
BELL'S SPARROW (CANESCENS) (Artemisiospiza belli canescens) – The identification of this subspecies away from its breeding grounds is tricky, but we came across a couple of birds that were very lightly streaked, falling toward the Bell's side of the bell curve.
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus) – We saw this large species both in the Santa Cruz Flats and again at the Golf Course in Willcox.
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis) – It was a terrible year for this species in southern Arizona. We recorded only three on the trip.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – Seen at a few different spots, with the greatest number at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii) – An attractive species that we saw at a few scattered locations.
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)

One of the Arizona Woodpeckers that put in an appearance at the Santa Rita Lodge. Photo by guest Bing Yang Tan.

ABERT'S TOWHEE (Melozone aberti) – Seen at a few different spots, with our best views being at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps) – Great studies of this species at the Santa Rita Lodge.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus) – Three were seen in total, with one in the Santa Cruz Flats and the other two in the Santa Rita Mountains.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – We had a tree full of these east of Phoenix and a huge flock of them at Whitewater Draw late in the day there.
WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta) – This was the common species seen on the trip. It is generally absent from much of southeast Arizona in summer.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (LILIAN'S) (Sturnella magna lilianae)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – A beautiful male was hanging out quietly along the Santa Cruz River in Tubac.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – Great looks at a small flock of this species at Kennedy Park in Tucson.

This cute Yellow-nosed Cotton Rat peers out at us at the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) [*]
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens) – We saw a couple of these on the trip, with one in Florida Canyon and another near Tubac.
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – A stunning warbler, a few of these overwinter in the state. We saw a couple in Florida Canyon.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Unfortunately, it took off before most of us arrived at the Santa Rita feeders.

We witnessed this beautiful sunrise on the last day of 2019 north of Green Valley! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – We bumped into a small number of these on the trip.
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus) – A small number of these desert cardinals were seen.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – We had a beautiful male bird at the Paton's place.

DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)
ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis) – A regional endemic species seen along a few of the riparian areas.
YELLOW-NOSED COTTON RAT (Sigmodon ochrognathus) – One of these was spotted in the grasses at the Santa Rita Lodge.
COYOTE (Canis latrans)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)


Totals for the tour: 165 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa