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Field Guides Tour Report
Arizona: Birding the Border (Private Tour for Oakland, MI Audubon) 2019
May 17, 2019 to May 26, 2019
Dave Stejskal

This beautiful Red-faced Warbler was one of the favorite birds on the trip. We found him up at Barfoot Park high in the Chiricahuas. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

It's always a big ask to get birders to leave their home turf during spring migration – it's often the most exciting birding of the year – and the last half of May can be incredible in the the Great Lakes region. But I sure am glad that all of you decided to join me and Don on this special Arizona: Birding the Border tour for Oakland Audubon! It was a blast for me and hope it was for all of you, too!

The last half of May in s. Arizona is usually terrific for weather and we were lucky that the heat hadn't set in yet during our trip. In fact, it was quite a bit cooler than I anticipated it would be – a real plus for birding at this season. Wind can also be an issue in the spring here, but we never really got anything that made birding a challenge on this one.

This trip was the first birding trip to the West for some of you, and the first birding trip to Arizona for most. This part of the world has a lot to offer to a visiting birder with many widespread Western species and a large number of Neotropical species that reach their northern limits in the mountains, deserts, and valleys of s. Arizona. We had quite a few birds on our 'list of things to do', and I think that, together, we pulled off a fine trip to the borderlands of S.E. Arizona. We always miss a few, but now you've got a reason to come back!

Every spring tour here is always punctuated with a number of highlights, and this tour was no different. Nightbirds are often one of the major components of the highlights during the spring, and who will ever forget that pair of Spotted Owls in the Chiricahuas or the Common Poorwill that landed right at my feet? Hummingbirds are often on visiting birders' wish lists, and we did well those, too, seeing an impressive nine species. Our Elegant Trogon experience in Cave Creek Canyon was awfully memorable, too, finally tracking down a calling male for some lovely scope looks. Our 'Mexican' bird haul was a little underwhelming this trip, but we did well with Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Five-striped Sparrow, and Rose-throated Becard on this trip. Warblers were a favorite on this tour for many of you, and we ended up scoring on Painted Redstart and Olive, Red-faced, Grace's warblers. There are plenty more highlights in the list that follows, so read on!

Thanks again to each of you for joining me on this private tour – I really did have a great time showing all of you the birds in my 'back yard'! Thanks especially to Don Burlett – your fearless Oakland Audubon president – for getting this one into my busy tour schedule more than two years ago and delivering a fine group of eager birders from Oakland Audubon! I really hope that Field Guides and Oakland Audubon can team up again for another tour someplace else in the U.S. or outside of our borders. All the best for the remainder of 2019 and I hope our paths cross again! Cheers – Dave

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

Five-striped Sparrow is a rare breeder in the US, but we found this beauty on our first day. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – Just about all of our ducks were found on a couple of visits to Willcox. One of the ducks that we saw at Willcox appeared to be a drake Blue-winged Teal X Cinnamon Teal (or N. Shoveler?) hybrid. [b]
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) [b]
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) [b]
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) [b]
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos)
MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi) – This was finally re-split by the folks at Cornell and eBird, and we saw plenty of them this year at Willcox and elsewhere. They seem to be spreading northward and westward - but maybe folks are just looking at female-plumaged "Mallards" now.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) [b]
CANVASBACK (Aythya valisineria) – A couple of very late females at the Benson sewage ponds. [b]
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) [b]
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – The birds that we saw on the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl road were far to the west of where I usually see them in the state.
GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii) – We had a number of sightings of this one, but none more memorable than seeing a pair with almost a dozen tiny newly-hatched chicks in tow just across the New Mexico line. [N]
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) [I]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

Broad-billed Hummingbirds were the most common of the nine hummer species that we saw. Photo by participant Sharon Korte.

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – A few lingering birds at Benson and Willcox. [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Finally got 'em perched!
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Decidedly scarce now in Arizona; their decline started around the turn of the century.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – We recorded this one on 2/3 of our birding days.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – The birds flying around the lights in Green Valley that first night were pretty great!
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) – I was about ready to give up on this one along the Paradise Road near Portal...
BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus ridgwayi) – One of our more frustrating experiences on the tour was this dastardly bird, but it turned out to be #600 for Jeff! [*]
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae) – Outstanding views of this one, which was rather recently split from the familiar Eastern Whip-poor-will.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis) – The only swift species expected in the state this late in May.

Participant Katie-Anne McLinsky got this photo of some of the group at a stream crossing.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – The splitting of Magnificent Hummingbird recently resurrected this fine old name for this gorgeous hummer.
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – Now called the Blue-throated Mountain-Gem (all of the other Lampornis south of here are called Mountain-Gems).
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer) – A stake-out nest near Madera Canyon was fun to see on that first afternoon! [N]
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – The Western replacement species for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – This one isn't very common once you get east of Tucson.
COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte costae) – A single male sat up for us at Patagonia Lake.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – Surprisingly scarce on this year's tour.
BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris) – Probably the most common hummer of the tour this year.
VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia violiceps) – At least two of these local hummers were coming to the feeders in Patagonia this year.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – With few exceptions, our shorebirds were seen at Willcox on our two stops there.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – Several birds appeared to be sitting on eggs. [N]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – This one is a rarity at pretty much any season in Southeast Arizona. Our three birds at Willcox were all in breeding plumage. [b]
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

This tiny Elf Owl was another Day 1 treasure; we found it in Madera Canyon. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa) – Late spring at Willcox usually sees one or two of these lingering Western migrant shorebirds. [b]
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – Unlike most other birds, in general, it's the female phalaropes that are the pretty ones. Numbers of this one had really dwindled at Willcox by the time of our group's tour. [b]
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Late May is close to the peak of spring migration for this one in Southeast Arizona. [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A single bird on our second visit to Willcox was getting pretty late for this migrant. [b]
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Of the 24 cormorants that we saw at Patagonia Lake SP on Day 3, 23 of them were this smaller species. Numbers of this species in central Arizona have recently exploded!
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – Any pelican in Southeast Arizona is always a bit of a surprise! [b]
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – One of these continued at Willcox from earlier in the spring.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – We still had plenty of these ibises moving through during the tour at Willcox. [b]
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – This one has a rather local distribution in the state.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Black-capped Gnatcatcher was one of three gnatcatcher species we saw on the tour. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – Easily the most common and expected Accipiter at any season here.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – Our encounter with this one was brief, but a number of folks got a look at this one as we exited the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl road on Day 2.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – Expanding its range and increasing in abundance in Arizona.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – All of the birds that we saw, as expected here, were light-morph birds
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Mike alerted the group of this bird's presence up in Carr Canyon one morning.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – Darn it! I couldn't get this bird to repeat its earlier performance for us in the Chiricahuas. [*]
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – One of the post-dinner prizes that we had in Madera Canyon on Day 1. This one likes the denser pine and oak forests of the mountain canyons in S.E. Arizona (the only place you can count on seeing it within the US)
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii) – Thanks to the hospitality of the host, we all enjoyed super views of this one at a nest box just west of the New Mexico state line. [N]
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Both of our sightings of this were at active nests. [N]
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium gnoma) – This one took a lot of patience and re-positioning, but we all finally got great looks in the scope of a calling bird along the South Fork Trail in the Chiricahuas. These southern double-noted birds (nominate G.g. gnoma here) are sometimes split from single-noted birds to the north and west of here.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – It may have been about 25 years since I was able to show this species to an Arizona tour group! Woo Hoo!!
ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) – Another one of the prizes from our Day 1 owling after our picnic dinner in Madera Canyon. The smallest owl in the world!
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Easily seen at its stakeout location in front of the Chase Bank.

Crissal Thrasher can be a real skulker, but this one posed nicely for us! Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis) – We came up empty-handed on our first try, but our second attempt, at dusk, proved to be the way to go with this charismatic species. [N]
Trogonidae (Trogons)
ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans) – This one teased us along the road. but a walk up the South Fork Trail got us the looks that we craved. This widespread species (it occurs south to n.w. Costa Rica) reaches its northern limit here in S.E. Arizona.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Don and I missed seeing this one while we went back to retrieve the vans for the group. Another species that's right at the northern edge of its range, this small kingfisher breeds in s. Arizona when the stream conditions are good.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – A common denizen of the wooded mountain canyons throughout Arizona.
GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis) – The default woodpecker in the Greater Tucson area.
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Dryobates scalaris) – Recorded daily on this tour.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus) – Our breeding race in the mountains here is much darker that what you're used to seeing in Michigan.
ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Dryobates arizonae) – A couple of nice looks at this specialty woodpecker.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)
GILDED FLICKER (Colaptes chrysoides) – A Sonoran Desert specialty.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A nice surprise was seeing a couple of these essentially tropical raptors along the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl road. Quite local in Arizona.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – Another widespread tropical species reaching its northern limit here in s. Arizona. Nice looks along the Santa Cruz R. and in Portal (where it's quite scarce).
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – A couple of northbound migrants along the way. [b]

In the US, the Yellow-eyed Junco is a specialty of the mountains in southeastern Arizona and adjacent New Mexico. Photo by participant Sharon Korte.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Carr Canyon in the Huachucas is a very reliable place for this one at this season.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – Easily the most common and widespread of the 'pewees' in S.E. Arizona during the breeding season.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – This species is often the last of the spring migrant Empids to pass through the region. [b]
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) – This one is the common breeding Empidonax of the region. This one used to be lumped with the Pacific-slope Flycatcher as the Western Flycatcher (it may yet revert to that, given some recent genetic work – that would make my life easier!).
BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons) – Nice studies up at Carr Canyon in the Huachuca Mts.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – The Western replacement species for the Eastern Phoebe.
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – This widespread phoebe breeds from central Mexico north to Arctic Alaska and Canada.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – I never tire of this beauty!
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – This is the smallest of the three breeding Myiarchus in the state.
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – This one is the most widespread, and the dullest, of the breeding Arizona Myiarchus, being found in nearly every habitat from the lowest, hottest deserts in the s.w. corner of the state up to the cool pine forests of the north.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – The state's largest Myiarchus, this one breeds in towns and cities throughout the southern (mostly) one-half of the state, as well as 'lush' desert habitats and middle-elevation canyons..
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – These highly migratory flycatchers had just arrived on the Arizona breeding grounds from western Amazonia.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – We had four species of kingbirds on Day 2 of our tour, with this pair obliging us at the entrance to Arivaca Creek in the Buenos Aires NWR s.w. of Tucson. An incredibly widespread species in the Neotropics, this one reaches its northern limit here in Arizona.
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – The only kingbird species that we recorded daily on the tour.

This handsome Black-throated Gray Warbler was another species we found in the Chiricahuas. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – Part of our four kingbird day on Day 2, we found a responsive pair of these at the Arivaca Creek trailhead at Buenos Aires NWR – right where we found our first Tropical Kingbirds.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – The only regular member of the tropical family Tityridae that reaches the U.S. This species is just now reclaiming some of its former Arizona range after the species all but disappeared from the state in the early 2000's.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Still doing well here in the West. [N]
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii) – Certainly a common bird by voice, we didn't wrap this one up for the group until our final morning!
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – This nondescript bird looks more like a kinglet than a vireo.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – Part of the old "Solitary" Vireo before it was split up into three species, and the only one of that group that breeds here.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Still some late migrants moving through the lowlands during the tour.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – We finally caught up with this fancy jay on our final drive through the high Chiricahuas.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (WOODHOUSE'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii woodhouseii) – Great looks, after a little fruitless searching, of a couple of birds along the Portal-Paradise road.
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi) – Almost always the most common jay along this route.
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus) – Greatly outnumbered by the next species.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

We had a very nice look at this lovely Hepatic Tanager. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – Conspicuously scarce in the Chiricahuas this year.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) [b]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – The birds that were nesting on the side of our Nogales hotel were the Southwestern race P.p. melanogaster with a dark forehead.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – Great looks on our last morning up high in the Chiricahuas.
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – An endearing species that's common in all middle elevation riparian habitats in the region.
JUNIPER TITMOUSE (Baeolophus ridgwayi) – It took a few tries, but we got 'em! Formerly known as the Plain Titmouse until it was split from the coastal birds.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps) – Nearly ubiquitous in the hot desert lowlands.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus) – Numbers of this one fluctuate from year to year, but this year they were pretty easy to find. The race here in the interior Southwest, P.m. plumbeous, is different enough from the coastal populations that it might warrant a split in the future.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis) – Our most widespread nuthatch. I don't know if anything will ever come of the proposed split of this one into three species, but the race here, S.c. nelsoni, sounds different than the Pacific Coast birds and the birds of the East.
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – Easy to find in the Chiricahuas, once we got high enough.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana) – At least thirteen subspecies make up this one from Alaska south to Nicaragua, and the major groups all sound a little different from one another – there may be some splitting warranted for this species in the future. The breeding race in S.E. Arizona is C.a. albescens.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Good looks right next to the road on our first afternoon together.

This Western Screech-Owl posed near its nest box. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – The one hanging out at the Portal Peak Lodge made things easy for us. What a great song!
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) – Probably the most common species of wren on the tour.
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – Arizona's state bird.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura) – We found a responsive one just outside Portal.
BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila nigriceps) – We struck out on this one at some traditional spots, but found a confiding family group just after we exited the vans in Montosa Canyon in the Santa Rita Mts. This one has really expanded its range northward since it was first found in Arizona in 1971.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – The breeding race here is big and pale compared to the birds in Michigan.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – Not as common or widespread as you might think...
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre) – In most places in s. Arizona, this is the default thrasher species, occurring in towns and cities and nearly all arid habitats away from the mountains. [N]
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei) – Stateline Rd. near Portal is usually very reliable for this local species.
CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale) – We were really fortunate to be able to see this one at the feeding station near Portal – it can be a real pain to try to get a look at out in 'the wild'!
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]

Participant Sharon Korte got a nice shot of one of the Violet-crowned Hummingbirds we saw at Patagonia.

Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – A few late migrants lingering in the town of Portal. [b]
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens) – The first few days of the tour were best for this distinctive species. For much of the year, this one relies on mistletoe berries for its survival.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – I really didn't expect to miss this one in the Huachucas, but I knew we had another very good shot at it in the Chiricahuas (where we saw it well). Now in its own family.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – I think that the only one that we saw as a group was at the feeders in Patagonia. Numbers had really dropped in the region since my earlier tour. [b]
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Almost always the 'default' goldfinch in the region. [N]
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW (Peucaea carpalis) – Easily seen along the road into the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl spot s.w. of Tucson. This one has expanded its range and increased in abundance in Arizona recently.
BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii) – The spot we picked to look for this one near Patagonia Lake SP proved to be a winner!
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) [*]
BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW (Spizella atrogularis) – This species is uncommon and local in S.E. Arizona, so we were lucky to get it where we did in Carr Canyon (a new site for this one for me).
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – Certainly one of the most attractive of all of the sparrows in the state. [N]
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW (Amphispiza quinquestriata) – We scored with this one on our first afternoon south of Tucson (though it wasn't at the spot where I'd seen it just recently). This general area (Box Canyon in the Santa Rita foothills) has been super for this one this year!
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus) – Inexplicably scarce during our tour.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – This is the only species of junco that breeds in S.E. Arizona, being replaced just north of the region by the "Red-backed" Junco – a bird that's rather intermediate between Yellow-eyed and Dark-eyed juncos.

We just found this single Varied Bunting, but it was a beautiful male, and we saw him well! Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ORIANTHA) (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) – A single late adult at the feeders near Portal. This is the race that breeds in n. Arizona (rarely) and in the s. Rocky Mts. [b]
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – A very pale, rusty race here. [N]
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca) – Rather similar to the next species, but there are very few places in Arizona where the two species overlap (Abert's is mostly a riparian obligate species).
ABERT'S TOWHEE (Melozone aberti) – Nice looks of this big sparrow along the Santa Cruz R. and along Sonoita Creek/Patagonia L.
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps) – Our best look was along the S. Fork Trail in the Chiricahua Mts.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus) – I still have a tough time not calling this one the Rufous-sided Towhee!
Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – A very common breeder in all of the lowland riparian areas of the region.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – A single bird at Willcox was a good find there for the date.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (LILIAN'S) (Sturnella magna lilianae) – Visiting birders are always a little dismayed to learn that the only expected meadowlark here at this season is this species, and not Western.
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – This one is the primary host species for the Bronzed Cowbird.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – Including a couple of lovely adult males.
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) – Stunning!
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – For a cowbird, pretty attractive!

Rufous-winged Sparrow is uncommon, but we had a nice view of this one southwest of Tucson. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Eighty years ago, this species wasn't even known from Arizona; it's found throughout the West today.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae) – Our widespread and common breeding lowland warbler in s. Arizona.
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis virginiae) – Some got a very brief look up in Carr Canyon. After early May, this one gets very difficult to see.
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) [b*]
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – Rather surprisingly, we only had this one at Patagonia Lake SP.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – Nearly all of the migrants had gone north and we were left with a few breeders high in the Chiricahuas. It may not happen this year, but this Western form will again be split from the Eastern "Myrtle" Warbler.
GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae) – Nicely in the Chiricahuas. A pine specialist.
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens) – Excellent views of this attractive species in the Chiricahuas.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – One of the only migrant warblers still coming through on our tour. [b]
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – We all caught up with this beauty – one of my favorites – at Barfoot Park high in the Chiricahuas on our final day together.
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – Another fav of mine, this one is delightfully common in the mountain habitats of S.E. Arizona.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Another widespread Neotropical species that ranges south to Argentina (though it probably involves more than one species). [N]

We had some good owl sightings, including this Northern Pygmy-Owl. Photo by participant Jeff Stacey.

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Common in all of the lowland and middle elevation riparian areas along our route.
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – We still had plenty of migrants heading north in the lowlands during the tour. Western Tanager is one of the last of the migrants to make it through to the northern breeding grounds.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Subspecies C.c. superbus here.
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus) – A gorgeous twist on the Cardinal theme.
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – This beautiful grosbeak replaces the familiar Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the West.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – The bulk of the migrants had just arrived in the state just prior to the start of our tour.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – A single female-plumaged bird at Patagonia Lake SP was the only one detected – they had been at all of the feeders about a week-and-a-half earlier. [b]
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Sonoita Creek is a good place to find this one in S.E. Arizona during the breeding season. This primarily Eastern species is widespread in the state, but it isn't common anywhere.
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – Mid-May is generally when this species arrives back in Arizona – our timing was good, but we found just one.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus) – This is the cottontail that occupied the upland habitats in S.E. Arizona.
DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii) – Confined to the low, flat desert habitats.
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus) – This one's found throughout the state – it even gets up into the mountains.
ANTELOPE JACKRABBIT (Lepus alleni) – Much more local than the above species and much larger, too, without the black in the pelage.

We also experienced some of the spring flowers, such as this Cholla in bloom. Photo by participant Katie-Anne McLinsky

CLIFF CHIPMUNK (Tamias dorsalis) – The only chipmunk species found in the mountains of S.E. Arizona.
HARRIS'S ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus harrisii) – Often confused with chipmunks, we had some great encounters with it at the Portal feeders.
SPOTTED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus spilosoma) – At least one of these was on the Arizona side of Stateline Road near Portal.
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus) – Not a true tree squirrel (Sciurus), but it's often mistaken for one.
ROUND-TAILED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus tereticaudus) – Nice looks along the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl road.
MEXICAN FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus nayaritensis) – This attractive species is, like the Mexican Chickadee, found only in the Chiricahuas within the U.S.
ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis) – A very local species within the U.S.
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – Some of us had a brief look at night in the Chiricahuas.
COYOTE (Canis latrans) [*]
BOBCAT (Lynx rufus) – Spence (and maybe others?) saw this one on our final day together.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – Like a lot of the birds that we saw on our tour, this mammal is a widespread Neotropical species that reaches its northern limit in Arizona.
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus) – In southern Arizona, this species is primarily a lowland desert species, occurring lower than the similar White-tailed Deer.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – The race here, O.v. couesi, is the second-smallest race in N. America – second only to Key Deer.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana) – The Sonoita Grasslands are a good place to see this characteristic Western species.
AMERICAN BULLFROG (Lithobates catesbeianus) [I]
ZEBRA-TAILED LIZARD (Callisaurus draconoides) – Similar to the next species, this one has visible ear openings and slightly different dorsal and ventral patterns. Seen along the road to the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
GREATER EARLESS LIZARD (Cophosaurus texanus) – This one was seen along the same road as the above Zebra-tailed Lizard.
ORNATE TREE LIZARD (Urosaurus ornatus) – A very common lizard throughout our route.
SOUTHWESTERN FENCE LIZARD (Sceloporus cowlesi) – We saw this one in Portal on our final day.
SONORAN SPOTTED WHIPTAIL (Aspidoscelis sonorae) – We found a few of these along the Anza Trail near Tubac on Day 2.
DESERT GRASSLAND WHIPTAIL (Aspidoscelis uniparens) – In the desert east of Portal.
TIGER WHIPTAIL (Aspidoscelis tigris) – Common in the Tucson area and along the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl road.


Totals for the tour: 192 bird taxa and 18 mammal taxa