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Field Guides Tour Report
Arizona: Birding the Border I 2019
May 10, 2019 to May 19, 2019
John Coons

The mouth of Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains is the portal to one of the best known birding sites in North America. Photo by guide John Coons.

When Arizona is mentioned, many people think of hot temperatures and that is often the case, especially in the afternoons, even in May. But not this year. We experienced a quite unusual string of cool days that kept birding activity going for most of the day. Some mornings were a bit chilly when we first headed out, but quickly warmed to be very comfortable. We also had to detour around a few bouts of rain and even hail while we birded the desert outside of Portal. Was that really snow or just hail we saw higher in the Chiricahuas?

All of this helped us to do very well with the birds in general and the southeast Arizona specialties specifically. On our first afternoon, we had wonderful views of Gilded Flickers amongst the saguaros of the Sonoran Desert, as well as Rufous-winged Sparrow, Purple Martins which were likely nesting in the saguaros, and a Burrowing Owl next to a busy street. Heading east the next morning, we stopped at Willcox where we saw a pair of Harris's Hawks, Tropical Kingbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and a slew of waterbirds at the lake. Climbing into the Chiricahuas that afternoon we got our first taste of mountain birding. At our first stop, we saw a pair of beautiful Red-faced Warblers, Grace's Warbler, and Hepatic Tanagers.

The Chiricahuas were our home for the next three nights and each evening found us heading out for nightbirding. During these evenings, we enjoyed a wonderful Spotted Owl, close views of the very difficult Flammulated Owl, Mexican Whip-poor-wills, a group of Lesser Nighthawks flying around us, Common Poorwill, and a tiny Elf Owl poking his head out of a hole. We also had nice looks at Whiskered and Western screech-owls, Great Horned Owls, and Northern Pygmy-Owls during the day. Our first morning here found us walking up beautiful Cave Creek Canyon where we found a brilliant male Elegant Trogon with a female nearby. During the rest of our stay we tracked down Crissal and Bendire's thrashers, the very local Mexican Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatches, Olive Warbler, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Greater Pewee, Thick-billed Kingbird, Lazuli and Indigo buntings, as well as Hooded, Bullock's, and Scott's orioles.

Leaving the Chiricahuas, we headed to Sierra Vista and the Huachuca Mountains. We spent time at hummingbird feeders and had looks at the two largest, Rivoli's and Blue-throated. Black-chinned Sparrows, Gray Flycatcher and Virginia's Warbler were seen in Hunter Canyon and we had close views of Buff-breasted Flycatchers in Carr Canyon.

We made two visits to the Ash Canyon Preserve to see wonderful male and female Lucifer Hummingbirds making repeated visits, and Mary Jo Ballator invited us back the next evening to see Montezuma Quail. The following week I heard the tragic news that Mary Jo had passed away from medical issues that was causing her to go to Tucson two days after our visit. She had been very welcoming to our groups for many years, and our group in particular this year. She will be missed.

Our final destination was the Nogales area, but on the way we stopped around Patagonia. Violet-crowned Hummingbird put on a lengthy show at the Paton Center, as did Abert's Towhee, and a very nice Yellow-breasted Chat visited an orange. A stop at the famous Patagonia Roadside Rest found a pair of Thick-billed Kingbirds. Our goal at Patagonia Lake was seeing the quite rare Black-capped Gnatcatcher but we were interrupted by a surprise Common Black-Hawk that came flying out of a cottonwood tree right in front of us, followed by a Gray Hawk carrying a baby coot. We then got a great look at a family of four Black-capped Gnatcatchers. The next morning found us headed to California Gulch, the most reliable spot for seeing Five-striped Sparrow. We had great views of this specialty, as well as a male Varied Bunting. On our way out, we spotted a Crested Caracara flying next to the road. On our last day we walked up the Santa Cruz river bed and enjoyed a leisurely time watching a pair of quite rare Rose-throated Becards at a nest. Our last major stop was Madera Canyon, where we had close views of a Botteri's Sparrow in the grasslands and spent time at the feeders following a close view of a Painted Redstart.

It was great fun birding with all of you in this part of Arizona that included great scenery in many of our locales. I hope to see all of you again on another birding adventure. John

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

We had great views of this male Elegant Trogon along the South Fork trail in the Chiricahua Mountains. Photo by participant Robert Gerdts.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – We saw a few of these at Willcox where it is not a common bird.
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – A few of these beauties were on the lake at Willcox.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – There were a couple of males at Willcox.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – At least two individuals were hanging around with Mexican Ducks at Willcox.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) – There were a couple at Lakeside Park in Tucson that we saw on our first morning.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos)
MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi) – A recent split from Mallard; we had a handful at various places.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) – There were two at Willcox.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – We saw a few here and there during the week.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – We flushed a pair along the edge of the road at Willcox, then moved closer and saw them walking through the grass.
GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii) – Most of our sightings were early in the week.
MONTEZUMA QUAIL (Cyrtonyx montezumae) – A pair came to the feeders at Ash Canyon Preserve. Some of us got a good view, while others were mostly blocked by a log.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – We saw a good number of these bizarre birds, including a male in full display to a group of about eight hens.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – We saw a breeding plumaged individual at Willcox with gold head plumes.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – At Portal we saw about 100 birds on the power lines.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – This species has declined in numbers in recent years throughout our route, but they have increased in the Portal area, where we had a nice view of a calling bird.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – A pair was showing well at San Pedro House.

At about 6500 ft in elevation, our group enjoyed birding the pine/oak woodland in the Chiricahua Mountains. Photo by participant Christine Kooi.

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – This icon of the southwest was seen several times during our travels.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – On our first evening of night-birding in the desert below Portal, we saw at least ten individuals flying about us, many close to the ground.
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) – We heard a handful on our first evening but finally got a look a couple of nights later when we had a close fly-by in the light.
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae) – A fair number were singing loudly in the higher elevations of the Chiricahuas. We got one in the light a couple of times as it perched on a log and again on a tree limb.
Apodidae (Swifts)
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – We saw one flying over Portal with a group of Violet-green Swallows. This is a rather rare spring migrant through most of Arizona.
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – We saw several of these large hummingbirds in the Chiricahua and Huachuca mountains.
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – Most of our sightings were in the Chiricahua Mountains.
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer) – We had great looks at this very local species at the Ash Canyon Preserve, where we saw a brilliant male or two, and a female.
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – We saw a couple of these in the Chiricahua Mountains area.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – This mountain species was seen several times with, perhaps, our best views in the Huachucas.
BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris) – This was the most common hummingbird we encountered at several of the feeder locations we visited.
VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia violiceps) – A very local species in Arizona; we had great views of an individual at the Paton Center in Patagonia that even perched for a scope view.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – A pair was seen at Willcox.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – Several individuals were present at Willcox.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – A single individual was one of the few small shorebirds present at Willcox.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – There were at least 100 individuals at Willcox, including many females in colorful breeding plumage.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – We saw one flying around at Willcox.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – This is the more likely cormorant that is seen in many areas of Arizona today. We saw a couple at Lakeside Park on our first morning and several more at Patagonia Lake.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – A single bird was at the edge of the lake at Willcox.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) [*]
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – There were several seen around the pond at Lakeside Park.

One doesn’t think of Hepatic Tanager as a feeder bird, but this one showed nicely at Madera Canyon. Photo by participant Nancy Hedgespeth.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Many of those at Willcox were in nice breeding plumage.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – We only saw these in the Nogales area.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – We ended up having nice views of this bird about 3-4 times, with some perched for scope views.
COMMON BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus anthracinus) – It was a surprise to have this rather uncommon species fly out of a tree at Patagonia Lake and right at us as we walked the birding trail.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – Cruising through Willcox, Christine spotted one, then another, along the roadside where we ended up getting scope views.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – We ended up seeing several including one at Patagonia Lake that was carrying a baby coot!
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – A handful of these mostly western raptors were seen well.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – It took some work, but we ended up with a great view of this dainty little owl in the Chiricahua Mountains. This is always a tough one to see well.
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – We had a nice scope view of one in a hole along the road in the Chiricahua Mountains. It seemed to be there each time we drove past.
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii) – After hearing one calling that abruptly got quiet, we had nice views of one the following morning peeking out of a nest hole.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – An adult with two fair-sized young were sitting right over the road in downtown Portal.
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium gnoma) – After hearing one that wouldn't budge, we had a nice scope view of a calling individual higher in the Chiricahuas.
ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) – This smallest of all the owls poked its head out of a nest hole a couple of times near dusk in the Chiricahuas. A very cute little owl, and we saw a quick food exchange between the male and female that you would have missed if you blinked.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – We watched a single bird near a nesting hole right in Tucson and next to a rather busy street. it certainly feeds on moths that are attracted at night to the nearby lights.
SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis) – We had great views of this wonderful bird as it even vocalized above us in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans) – We heard one calling in the Chiricahuas and soon had great views of a male right above us over the road. We watched if for several minutes before a female was spotted nearby. This was the 500th North American bird for Christine! Yip! Yip! Yip!
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – We saw these almost everday of the trip.
GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis) – We had good views of many including individuals at nest holes in saguaro cactus on our first afternoon.

At Patagonia, we were fortunate to find a perched Violet-crowned Hummingbird that sat still for a few minutes. Photo by participant Robert Gerdts.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus) – A couple of individuals were seen in the Rustler Park area in the Chiricahuas.
ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Dryobates arizonae) – Another specialty of southeast Arizona. We had nice views in the Chiricahuas and then had two at the feeders at Madera Canyon on our last day.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)
GILDED FLICKER (Colaptes chrysoides) – Essentially an endemic bird of the Sonoran Desert; we had great looks in the desert outside of Tucson on our first afternoon.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – It was a surprise to see one fly by at Amado. This is a species that is mostly restricted in the spring to areas west of here.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Our only sighting was a male that was harassing a Red-tail near Nogales.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – We had good views in Portal of one that was near a nesting site. This is a quite unusual species for this area of the state. We also heard a couple of others in the last few days of our trip.
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Often a rather uncommon species in the mountains we visited, but we ended up getting nice looks at two individuals in the higher elevations of the Chiricahuas where we also heard a few more.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)
GRAY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax wrightii) – We saw one along the trail on our way down Hunter Canyon.
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) – We saw and heard a handful, mostly in the Chiricahua Mountains.
BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons) – Another quite local species; we ended up with great views at the top of Carr Canyon.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – We saw a few with one hanging around the clearing at SWRS.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – We saw quie a few of these through the week. It's a real dazzler, especially for a flycatcher.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – We had a few nice looks at this smaller Myiarchus on the day we drove into California Gulch.
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – This large flycatcher was seen a few times including on our first afternoon in the Sonoran Desert, where they were probably nesting in a saguaro cactus.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – We saw a silent individual at the pond near the golf course at Willcox.

We enjoyed nice looks at this Whiskered Screech-Owl peering out of its hole in the Chiricahuas. It was there each time we passed the tree. Photo by participant Nancy Hedgespeth.

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – We saw these just about everywhere except in the low desert.
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – Our first was a single bird in Portal, then we saw a pair at the famed Patagonia Roadside Rest and another in California Gulch.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – We had wonderful looks at a pair of these rare birds visiting a nest along the Santa Cruz River. We heard two pairs in the area but we only saw the two individuals as they brought vegetative matter to the nest.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Bob spotted one on a wire south of Patagonia. It was surprising that we did not see more of these earlier in the tour.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii) – We had good views on our first morning near St. David. The song is the best thing about this species, as it is pretty dull in plumage.
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – This pine-oak specialist showed well in Hunter Canyon.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – We saw a good number and heard many more in all of the mountain areas we visited.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – A couple of curious birds showed well at Rustler Park.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (WOODHOUSE'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii woodhouseii)
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi) – These were nearly a daily sighting.
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – At the pond at Willcox, we got one in the scope as it was walking about on the sandy flat.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – We saw our only one at the Amado wastewater pond.
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – It was a bit of a surprise to see two early birds in the Sonoran Desert, where they nest in woodpecker cavities in saguaros.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – These were seen each day in the Chiricahuas.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – We had a nicely marked individual flying about Pesqueira Pond.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – We saw several, including those nesting on the side of our motel in Nogales.

We had nice looks at a handful of Lazuli Buntings, including this male that was still molting. These were rather late migrants that were still hanging around. Photo by participant Nancy Hedgespeth.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – This species is essentially only seen in the higher elevations of the Chiricahua Mountains and we had a great view.
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – This sharply marked species showed well a few times in riparian areas.
JUNIPER TITMOUSE (Baeolophus ridgwayi) – We are just at the edge of the range of this species in SE Arizona so it isn't really common. We had nice views of this plain titmouse along the Paradise Road outside of Portal.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps) – A true desert species; we saw a handful and heard a lot more.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis)
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – These small nuthatches were seen a couple of times in the pine forests of the higher reaches of the Chiricahuas.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – We finally got a look at this species in California Gulch.
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – A great songster that we heard a lot, and we saw one singing from the roof of a shed in Portal.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – The largest North American wren; we had nice looks on our first afternoon.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura) – This was one of the early birds we saw on our first afternoon in the Sonoran Desert.
BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila nigriceps) – A Mexican rarity that has been becoming a bit more regular in SE Arizona in recent years. We had great views of a pair with two fledglings in the mesquite woods at Patagonia Lake.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – As we were scoping a Dusky-capped Flycatcher along Ruby Road, an Eastern Bluebird was perched in the same tree.
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi) – A rather late migrant that was still hanging around. We had scope views of this interesting species at the Paradise cemetery.
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – We heard many giving their beautiful songs in the early morning and evening in the Chiricahuas. We saw our first in Pinery Canyon and later had a scope view of a singing individual in South Fork.

On our last morning, we enjoyed nice views of this grassland specialist, Botteri’s Sparrow, just below Madera Canyon. Photo by guide John Coons.

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre) – This was the most widespread and frequently seen thrasher we encountered.
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei) – Another local specialty, and we had great views of a close bird right next to the road in the desert below Portal.
CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale) – Always a tough one to see in May, but we had a brief view of one at the 4-Bar Cottages, then we saw two individuals along the desert wash just outside of Portal that we scoped for a short time.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – There were a handful feeding on mulberries in St. David on our first morning.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens) – A quite unusual species. We started seeing them when we got to the Patagonia and Nogales areas.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – It took some looking, but we finally found a calling bird in the Chiricahua Mountains. This was a young male that had more yellow than orange on its head.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – A few were heard flying about and we saw some at thistle feeders in the Portal area.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW (Peucaea carpalis) – On our first afternoon we had great views of a singing individual in the Sonoran Desert outside of Tucson. This is a species that has expanded its habitat in recent years.
BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii) – One of our last new birds; we had a quite close individual in the grasslands below Madera Canyon on our last day. This is a species that becomes much more conspicuous when the summer rains begin and they start singing.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW (Spizella atrogularis) – After a brief view outside of Portal, we had a nice look at one along the trail on our way up Hunter Canyon.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – One of the most sharply-marked sparrows. We had a few nice looks including those at the feeders.
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW (Amphispiza quinquestriata) – This species is one of the most range-restricted nesting species in North America. We ended up seeing at least three different individuals at California Gulch. It was worth the bumpy ride in.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – This species was quite common in the Chiricahua Mountains including a handful that were just outside our cabins at SWRS.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ORIANTHA) (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) – A few late migrants were still around.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii) – A single bird was seen in the brush pile near the feeders in Madera Canyon.
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)
ABERT'S TOWHEE (Melozone aberti) – A few individuals were seen in the Sonoita Creek and Santa Cruz areas.
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps) – A sparrow of the foothill slopes; we saw a few during the week.
GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus) – A single late-migrant was coming to the seed on the ground at the Ash Canyon Preserve.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)
Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – Now a member of its own family, we saw a few here and there, but had our best look at one feeding on an orange at the Paton Center.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – We saw four individuals at the lake in Willcox where they were getting quite late to be around. Most had already headed north.

One of the least common of the breeding birds in Arizona is the Lucifer Hummingbird, but we saw a couple of males and a female at Ash Canyon Preserve. Photo by participant Nancy Hedgespeth.

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (LILIAN'S) (Sturnella magna lilianae)
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – We had a few nice looks in our first couple of days of this mostly desert species.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – An overall quite colorful species; we saw a handful throughout the week.
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) – This very handsome oriole with a great song showed well several times, including visiting feeders a couple times.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – We saw our first at the 4 Bar Cottages, then another that was drinking out of puddle in the road on our way in to California Gulch.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One was calling from a dense thicket of vegetation at the 4 Bar Cottages but it wouldn't come out. [*]
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae) – We improved our views at the end of the week of this mostly desert species.
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis virginiae) – We saw one in Hunter Canyon and again the next day in Carr Canyon, where we also heard it singing.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – These were quite common in riparian areas with tall cottonwood trees.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – We saw one or two in the higher elevations of the Chiricahuas.
GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae) – A pine habitat specialist; we saw a fair number in the higher elevations.
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A species that is still heading north at the time of our tour; we saw a few.
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – A pair in Pinery Canyon seemed to be in nesting mode. We had great views of this beautiful specialty of the Arizona mountains.
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – We saw our first near the Elegant Trogon site in South Fork but then had a quite close individual along the trail at Madera Canyon.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Another specialist of the pine-oak forests. We saw a few, including both males and females.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – We saw more of these at the end of the week.
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – We saw this species nearly every day, including those on the breeding grounds in the mountains and individuals still migrating in the lowlands.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus) – Our best views of this desert cardinal were at Bob Rodriguez's feeders, where we saw males and females right next to Northern Cardinals.
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – We saw a couple of good males and females including one that really showed for Genie.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – Several late-migrants were around at Bob Rodriguez's feeder. We saw some gorgeous males and females.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – A single colorful male was at Bob Rodriguez's feeders.
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – We were fortunate to find an early arrival in California Gulch. This is one of the later breeders to get back to Arizona. This male has about five different shades of blue on it.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus) – These were seen a handful of times in the mountains.
DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii) – This was the smaller rabbit seen in the lower deserts.
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus) – Most of our sightings were along State Line Road below Portal.
CLIFF CHIPMUNK (Tamias dorsalis)
HARRIS'S ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus harrisii) – This is the small rodent with its tail curled up over its back.
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus) – We saw lots of these common squirrels.
ROUND-TAILED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus tereticaudus) – We had one or two along the roadside on our last morning.
MEXICAN FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus nayaritensis) – We saw two individuals in the Chiricahuas, which is essentially the only place this species occurs in the U.S.
ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis) – Nearly endemic to Arizona; we had good views in Hunter and Carr canyons.
BOTTAE'S POCKET GOPHER (Thomomys bottae) – This is the mammal that made all the holes in the ground around the clearing at SWRS. We watched one excavating its burrow pushing dirt up from its tunnel and even coming completely out in the open.

This Burrowing Owl was surveying his domain, which in this case was a busy street in Tucson, where it certainly hunts for insects at night attracted by the lights. Photo by participant Nancy Hedgespeth.

COYOTE (Canis latrans) – We heard one near Portal then had one dash across the road in front of us near Rio Rico on our last morning
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – This odd species was seen a few times.
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus) – A few were seen in the low desert outside of Portal.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – We saw a lot of these in the mountains in various locales.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana) – We saw one looking at us over a hill in the grasslands north of Douglas.
ROCK RATTLESNAKE (Crotalus lepidus) – A couple of us saw this small rattlesnake in Hunter Canyon that another hiker found and showed to us.
AMERICAN BULLFROG (Lithobates catesbeianus) [I*]
ZEBRA-TAILED LIZARD (Callisaurus draconoides) – This was the small lizard we saw on the Sonoran Desert that was waving its striped tail back and forth.
COMMON LESSER EARLESS LIZARD (Holbrookia maculata) – We saw one at Patagonia Lake.
YARROW'S SPINY LIZARD (Sceloporus jarrovii)
SONORAN SPOTTED WHIPTAIL (Aspidoscelis sonorae) – This is likely the whiptail that we saw a few times near the end of our trip.


Totals for the tour: 188 bird taxa and 15 mammal taxa