A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Arizona: Birding the Border I 2022

May 6-15, 2022 with John Coons guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the rarer birds of the trip was this male White-eared Hummingbird which was visiting the feeders at Beatty’s Guest Ranch in the Huachuca Mountains. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

We had a great time birding in southeast Arizona. This area has a slew of birds that just get into the U.S. as their ranges are mostly in Mexico, so it is a must-see destination for any North American birder. We did very well on these birds as we explored the deserts, mountains, foothills, riparian areas, and yes, even sewage ponds, south and east of Tucson. We had to deal with some strong winds in our early days in the Chiricahua Mountains and some hot temperatures that eased off as the trip progressed.

Highlights of our trip were many and included displaying Wild Turkeys in a few locations, a Mexican Whip-poor-will showing nicely, a male and female Lucifer Hummingbird at close feeders, a stunning and rare White-eared Hummingbird, spinning groups of Wilson's and Red-necked phalaropes, close soaring Harris's Hawks, great views of both Whiskered and Western screech-owls, a tiny Elf Owl, a calling Northern Pygmy-Owl at dusk, an exposed male Spotted Owl, fantastic views of Elegant Trogon, Green Kingfisher, a female Rose-throated Becard making frequent visits to its large nest, colorful Vermilion Flycatchers, the mega-rarity Nutting's Flycatcher, very local Thick-billed Kingbirds, our wonderful Canyon Wren coming in closely, nice looks at Bendire's and Crissal thrashers, the out of place Wood Thrush, Rufous-winged and Botteri's Sparrows in their restricted habitats, great views of our Five-striped Sparrow, Red-faced Warblers at a nest, Painted Redstart, and colorful Hepatic, Summer, and Western tanagers, among many others.

It was wonderful to stay at the Southwest Research Station after they had just reopened after two+ years of closure due to Covid. The setting is fantastic with birds right outside the door and amazing cliff faces all around in a relaxing atmosphere.

It was so nice to share all of our experiences with each other and I look forward to the next time we get together.


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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

On our second visit we found nine individuals on the pond near a golf course at Nogales.

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We had great looks at Whiskered Screech-Owl, a denizen of pine-oak woodlands in the Sky Islands, in the Chiricahua Mountains. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

SNOW GOOSE (Anser caerulescens)

We saw one at Lakeside Park, a "Blue Goose" form, that had been lingering since the winter.

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

A couple of individuals were at Willcox on our first morning.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

A handful of these quite handsome ducks were encountered at Willcox.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

We saw a couple of these during our birding stints.

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)

About 20 birds were at Willcox.

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos)

MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi)

We saw several of these scattered around during the week.


REDHEAD (Aythya americana)

We saw one late individual at Canoa Pond or our last day of birding.

RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

One was at the sewage pond at Amado.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

We saw a few at the Benson WTP and then again at Willcox on our first morning.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata)

We ended up with quite nice views of these at Deborah's yard just outside of Portal.

GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii)

We saw this species just about every day.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)

Several were seen, with a few displaying males courting females. This is a remarkable bird when you really look closely at it.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

A nice breeding-plumaged bird was at Benson.

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A pair of Thick-billed Kingbirds have been frequenting Portal for the last few years and we managed to find them on our second attempt. Photo by guide John Coons.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)

We saw a handful in Portal and a couple more later in the week.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)

This small dove showed well a few times.

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

Seen daily.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus)

We saw our first sunning itself from the top of a juniper in the morning outside of Portal. This may be the most iconic bird of the southwest.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis)

We ended up with pretty good views of those flying around in the desert outside of Portal as it was getting dark.

COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)

One flew past us outside of Portal and we had it in the light briefly while it perched on the ground.

MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae)

We enjoyed nice views of this specialty flying past us. It perched on a tree limb for a nice look.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)

We saw more of these later in the week as they soared around the cliff faces in a couple of canyons.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens)

We saw several of these large hummingbirds, with more at the feeders at Miller Canyon than any other locale.

BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae)

This species has declined in numbers in recent years. We had a nicely perched individual along South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon.

LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer)

A female and at least one beautiful male made a few visits to the feeders at the Ash Canyon Sanctuary. This species has a very limited range in Arizona.

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)


We saw a fair number of males and females at all the feeder areas we visited.

COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte costae)

A young male showed pretty well at Montosa Canyon.

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)

This higher elevation species was mostly encountered early in the trip.

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We saw an unusually high number of Steller’s Jays in the higher elevations of the Chiricahua Mountains. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris)

Many were seen in various plumages.

WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Basilinna leucotis)

A nicely plumaged bright male came to the feeders at the Beatty's in the Huachuca Mountains. This is a Mexican species that is very rare in North America.


We saw this area specialty a few times at Felipe's feeders in Patagonia. I think there were two individuals involved.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

We saw our first at Lakeside Park then many more at Willcox.

AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)

Willcox was home to a fair number of these nice looking shorebirds.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)

We estimated about 120 individuals at Willcox.

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)

There were five of these swimming by themselves in a corner of the lake at Willcox.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

We saw one with the Ring-billed Gulls at Willcox.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)

Six individuals were at Willcox which is the only likely spot for gulls on the trip.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

There were six perched on logs on the far side of Patagonia Lake.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

We saw one at Willcox.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

There were a lot of these at Lakeside Park in Tucson on our first morning.

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It took some looking before we found our Red-faced Warbler, which was right next to the road near Rustler Park in the Chiricahuas. Photo by participant Imre Sziebert.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

Many of these were seen.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

These are usually seen in the Nogales area, so it was a bit of a surprise to see a couple near Tucson on our first afternoon.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

We watched one flying about at the west end of Patagonia Lake.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)

Bill spotted our first of three at the edge of Willcox. We saw these beauties soaring about directly overhead.

GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus)

A few were seen in the latter part of the trip. Another area specialty.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

Several were seen flying and a couple were seen perched throughout the trip.

ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)

Surprisingly, we only had a couple of distant views.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

Strigidae (Owls)

WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis)

We enjoyed great views of this local specialty in the Chiricahua Mountains.

WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii)

A calling bird let us walk right up to it in the desert below Portal. Later we saw the head of one peering out of a roost hole at the San Pedro House.

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) [*]

NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium gnoma)

A calling bird gave us great views at dusk in the Chiricahua Mountains.

ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi)

The smallest owl; we got a nice look in the lower canyon in the Chiricahuas. This is really a tiny little guy.

SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis)

After seeing a female sitting low on a nest in the Chiricahua Mountains, we had great views of the male that was perched in the open in a fir tree a little ways off.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans)

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing a male in South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon during our first morning in the Chiricahuas. Then on our last day, armed with some recent info, we waited at a site in Madera Canyon and ended up with nice looks at a male coming to a nest hole before it flew right above us for even better views.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

All, except me, got a nice view of this rare species for Arizona as it came flying along the Santa Cruz River and right past us.

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Known in the U.S. only from the higher elevations in the mountains of extreme SE Arizona and SW New Mexico, this Mexican Chickadee showed nicely for us. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)

The fancy looking woodpecker was seen just about every day of the trip.

GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis)

Mostly a desert species; we saw it on all days except the couple at higher elevations in the Chiricahuas.


The desert version of Downy Woodpecker; we saw a handful during our time in SE Arizona.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)

ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Dryobates arizonae)

This specialty gave us very nice views along the lower part of Cave Creek Canyon. We heard a few more at mid-elevations in various locales.

NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)

This is a fairly common species in mid-elevations throughout and in some of the riparian areas we visited.

GILDED FLICKER (Colaptes chrysoides)

Our only one was a distant individual perched atop a saguaro. It got away before we could get a good view. I think hot weather and wind deterred us from finding more.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

Bill spotted this great falcon as it passed over us in Montosa Canyon.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae)

Along the Santa Cruz River, we saw a female make about 6-7 visits to its large nest over about a 40 minute period. A male has not been seen so far this year. This is one of the true specialty birds for SE Arizona.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)


The smallest North American flycatcher; we saw our first along Harshaw Canyon then a couple more in Montosa Canyon.


A gentleman staying with us at the research station in the Chiricahua Mountains stopped our van and pointed out this migrant perched atop a nearby tree.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax)

A large flycatcher with a distinctive call; we had a nice scope view at the top of Carr Canyon.

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)

A fairly common species that was surprisingly quiet this year; we saw several in the mountains and a couple more as migrants.

PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER (Empidonax difficilis)

A late-ish migrant was seen in Montosa Canyon.

CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis)

A close relative of the preceding species; we had a few nice views in the Chiricahuas.

BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons)

Another quite local species; we finally got nice looks at the top of Carr Canyon. Then like the pickle jar, we saw a few more quite easily.

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)

A pair were perched on the fence under the bridge along the Santa Cruz River.

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At Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary, we had a few nice views of a male Lucifer Hummingbird as well as this female that was feeding on an ocotillo blossom. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

We had several, with one nesting under the porch of one of the cabins at the research station.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

A fair number of these were seen, including a family with recently fledged young at Whitewater Draw.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

The smallest of the four Myiarchus flycatchers we encountered; we saw and heard several.

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)

NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus nuttingi)

A Mexican species that is very rare in North America. We went to a site near the Rincon Mountains on our last afternoon and saw a presumed female that has been going to a cavity in a sycamore. This species is tough to separate from Ash-throated Flycatcher visually but has a distinctive call that we heard. This was the last new bird of our trip.

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

Another large flycatcher; we saw a few and heard more.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

A pair of these local specialties were right above us along the Santa Cruz River near Tubac and we had nice scope views.

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)

After only hearing this bird for the first few days, we ended up seeing several later in our trip.

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris)

We had nice views of a pair at the edge of Portal, where this species was only known from a record or two before about five years ago when these birds appeared. Later in the trip we saw another pair in Harshaw Canyon.

WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii)

Another species that you hear many more than you see. We had nice views of one on our first afternoon at Sweetwater Wetlands. We had more good views in Montosa Canyon.

HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)

A rather drab species; we saw a couple in the Huachucas.

PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)

We saw several in the Chiricahua Mountains and a few more in the Huachucas.

WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)

At Montosa Canyon, we saw a couple of these which are migrants in this part of southern Arizona.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)

There were an unusual number of these seen in the Rustler Park area of the Chiricahuas. We estimated about 15 seen.

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (WOODHOUSE'S) (Aphelocoma woodhouseii woodhouseii)

Our first was seen perched up in a juniper in the early morning along the Paradise Road then we had a couple more in Carr Canyon.

MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi)

These were seen whenever we were near oaks, which was almost everyday of the trip.

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Five-striped Sparrow has one of the most restricted ranges of any North American bird. We had great views of this species in Montosa Canyon. Photo by participant Imre Sziebert.

CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus)

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Seen daily.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri)

A confiding individual showed well right in front of us. The higher elevations of the Chiricahuas are the only place to see this very local species in Arizona.

BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi)

A very handsome species; we saw them on a few occasions.

JUNIPER TITMOUSE (Baeolophus ridgwayi) [*]

Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)

VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)

A true desert species; we had them several days of the trip.

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

A few along the road and shore of the lake at Willcox gave us nice views.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

A few were at Whitewater Draw and a few more at the ponds at Amado and Canoa Ranch.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

This is the high elevation swallow in southern Arizona.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

These were nesting on the walls of our motel in Nogales.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)

We saw a few groups of these, including one that visited a suet feeder at Ash Canyon Sanctuary.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis)

These were fairly common at mid to upper elevations.

PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea)

A tiny little nuthatch; we had good views near Rustler Park in the Chiricahuas.

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana)

We saw a few of these.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura)

A couple showed very well on our first afternoon in the saguaro desert outside of Tucson.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)

This great bird was performing its beautiful song on a cliff face at Montosa Canyon. We saw it quite well.

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This tiny Elf Owl was calling right in front of us in Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)

These showed up most days of the trip.

CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

The largest wren in the U.S. We had a few nice looks in the desert.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)

A quite rare species in SE Arizona; we saw one that visited a jelly jar at a feeding station in Portal.

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)

I think we saw these every day of the trip.

BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei)

At Willcox, we enjoyed great views of this uncommon and local species as it sat up, first on a wire then in a shrub, while another worked its way around on the ground under a Desert Broom.

CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale)

We had to look a bit for this one before getting a scope view of it in the top of a mesquite in the desert below Portal. This species is much more readily seen earlier in the year when they are more prone to be up singing.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

This is another species we saw just about everyday.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)

We saw one near Portal then another in Montosa Canyon. A few individuals are seen some years and in other years they are pretty much absent in mid-May.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)

This is another species we only encountered at the higher elevations where we heard a few singing.

WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina)

A very rare species in Arizona, this bird had been hanging out at a feeding station in Portal for a few days where it was eating meal worms provided by the kind hosts. It was present for the whole 20-30 minutes we were watching the feeders.

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)

Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)

PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens)

We were teased by a few flying across the road early in the trip but they became rather common in the Patagonia and Nogales areas.

Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)

OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus)

We saw an immature male that was vocalizing in the Chiricahua Mountains and another singing bird in Carr Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. Formerly a "real" warbler, this odd bird is now the sole member of its family.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)


PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)

One popped in to the feeding station in Portal where we saw the Wood Thrush.

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After a nice look of our first Elegant Trogon in the Chiricahua Mountains we scored even better views in Madera Canyon with this fabulous male. Photo by participant Bill Thompson.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

We sure saw a good number of these.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW (Peucaea carpalis)

A desert species; we had nice looks at a couple of birds on our first afternoon.

BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii)

After last year's heavy drought it was great to get a wonderful look at this grassland species south of Hereford.

FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW (Amphispizopsis quinquestriata)

A species with a quite limited range; we ended up with a fantastic view of this distinctive sparrow in Montosa Canyon.

CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)

BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata)

This species, sometimes called Desert Sparrow, is aptly named.

LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)

Another distinctive sparrow; we saw a couple near Portal.

YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)

This higher elevation species showed well in the Chiricahua Mountains and in Carr Canyon.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ORIANTHA) (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha)

A few were still hanging around at feeders from the winter.

SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)

We saw this familiar sparrow at Sweetwater Wetlands then a few in the Nogales area at the end of the trip.

CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)

ABERT'S TOWHEE (Melozone aberti)

This species is mostly restricted to riparian areas in Arizona and we ended up seeing several.

RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps)

After some views of this rocky slope species at Hunter Canyon we saw it again in Montosa Canyon.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

Our best views were at Carr Canyon where we had one sitting up and singing.

Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)


Surprisingly, we saw this usual skulker several times and right in the open, with most of these sightings in the Patagonia area.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (CHIHUAHUAN) (Sturnella magna lilianae)

Our first was at the Benson Sewage Treatment Plant then we had a nice look in the grasslands south of Hereford. We got word during the trip that this form had "just" been split and was now a full species but it has not yet been named. Stay tuned.

HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus)

Our only one was at Sweetwater Wetlands on our first afternoon in Tucson.

BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)

This species showed well several times and visited some of the hummingbird feeders as well.

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Perhaps the most numerous of the hummingbirds we encountered, this Broad-billed posed well for Imre. Photo by participant Imre Sziebert.

SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum)

A great songster and brilliant bird; we saw a few and heard more during our time.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)

BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)

We saw a pair of these, with our first on the lawn at the Four Bar Cottages.


GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

These were essentially all seen in the more urban areas of the trip.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

LUCY'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis luciae)

We saw one sitting right out in the open on our first morning in the field.

VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis virginiae)

A quite uncommon species in SE Arizona; a couple of us saw one in the Chiricahua Mountains then we saw a singing bird at Carr Canyon.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)

One or two showed at Sweetwater Wetlands on our first afternoon.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

We saw these just about every day of the trip.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)

We had nice views in the Chiricahuas.

GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae)

A higher elevation species; we had a few nice looks in pines.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

Several were seen well in the juniper and oak woodlands.

TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)

We had more encounters with this migrant than usual. All were seen at the higher elevations we visited.

HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)

This migrant was seen well in the Huachuca Mountains in the same tree with a Townsend's Warbler.

WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)

We saw a few of these migrants in the latter part of the trip.

RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons)

One of the great looking warblers; we looked quite a bit for this species in the Chiricahua Mountains before finding a pair going to a nest pretty close to the road.

PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus)

We had a nice views of a few along Cave Creek in the Chiricahuas and another that approached the feeders at the Beatty's in Miller Canyon for a close view.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw a good number of Acorn Woodpeckers in several of the areas we visited, including this male. Photo by guide John Coons.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava)

A few, both males and females, showed well and we saw a pair at a nest near the bridge in South Fork.

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

Several made appearances during our time.

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

We saw a good number of these colorful birds on the breeding grounds in the mountains and as migrants at lower elevations.

NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)

A surprisingly good number were seen.

PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus)

We had a nice male near Deborah's house outside of Portal.

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

A male showed up in a tree and wanted to come to the water bath at the Four Bar Cottages. This eastern species is a rare but regular visitor to SE Arizona in the spring.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

These were quite common throughout.

BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)

We saw a few during the week.

LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena)

A fair number were lingering as late migrants still heading north. A couple or three were nicely colored males with the others being dull brown individuals.


EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)

We saw one in the Huachuca Mountains at a higher elevation than the following species would occur.

DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)

These were seen several days of our trip.

BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)

We saw a few of these large rabbits in the Portal area.


This grassland species was along the roadside on the way up to Montosa Canyon.

HARRIS'S ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus harrisii)

We saw a few of these small squirrels in the desert.

ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)

Seen almost daily.

ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis)

This species is restricted to riparian areas in Arizona and we saw them in the Patagonia area.

COYOTE (Canis latrans)

One was spotted next to the road on our nightbirding excursion near Portal.

STRIPED SKUNK (Mephitis mephitis)

One was spotted walking around at the edge of the golf course in Willcox on our first morning. It was unusual to see this well known mammal out during the day.

Field Guides Birding Tours
On our first morning in the Chiricahuas, we hung out for a spell at the bridge in South Fork where we encountered many species for the first time, including our Elegant Trogon. Photo by participant Imre Sziebert.

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

This small race is known as "Coue's" deer and they are restricted to the sky islands of SE Arizona. We saw a lot.

PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)

We saw one lying on the old railroad bed south of Portal as it surveyed the territory then a handful more in the Sonoita grasslands.


GREEN RATSNAKE (Senticolis triaspis)

COACHWHIP (Masticophis flagellum)

RAMSEY CANYON LEOPARD FROG (Lithobates subaquavocalis)

AMERICAN BULLFROG (Lithobates catesbeianus) [I]

POND SLIDER (Trachemys scripta) [I]

The red-eared forms we saw are a subspecies of this species.

DESERT SPINY LIZARD (Sceloporus magister)

CLARK'S SPINY LIZARD (Sceloporus clarkii)

Totals for the tour: 188 bird taxa and 11 mammal taxa