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Field Guides Tour Report
Arizona Nightbirds & More I 2018
May 3, 2018 to May 7, 2018
Tom Johnson

On our final evening together, we kicked off our nightbirding with some very cooperative Common Poorwills. This is the smallest nightjar found in the US. Photo by participant Scott Harvell.

This short and sweet tour runs during the overlap between spring migration and the peak of activity for many owls and nightjars of Arizona's sky islands. We did very well, seeing 9 species of owls and 4 nightjars including such gems as Elf Owl, Flammulated Owl, Spotted Owl, Buff-collared Nightjar, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. Some of the "night" birds put on all-star performances at night (Elf Owl, Flammulated Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Mexican Whip-poor-will, etc) while others gave us great views on day roosts (Whiskered Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Spotted Owls).

Day birding was also very kind to us, and we took in a wide spectrum of regional specialties including Rivoli's Hummingbird, Greater Pewee, Thick-billed Kingbird, Lucy's Warbler, and Mexican Jay. We were also lucky to see a Slate-throated Redstart, a vagrant from Mexico, as well as some eastern rarities like Harris's Sparrow, Gray Catbird, and Northern Waterthrush.

Thanks for your camaraderie and energy, which certainly helped us persist on the final evening to track down that fantastic Flammulated Owl.

Until next time,


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)
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – We saw 2 of these big familiar geese on the golf course at Willcox. This species is actually rare in SE Arizona, and especially so in May.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – Six at Willcox.
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – Eight at Willcox in comparison with the Blue-winged Teal.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – Five at Willcox.

These Mexican Spotted Owls were roosting for the day in the Chiricahuas. Big thanks to Rose Ann Rowlett for spotting them and alerting us to their location! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – Two at Willcox.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) – We saw 17 during our check of Willcox.
MALLARD (MEXICAN) (Anas platyrhynchos diazi) – These were the two dark Mallards that we saw at Willcox.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis) – Ten at Willcox.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – Two were at Willcox with other ducks.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Fourteen of these stifftails were sleeping on the lake at Willcox.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – Good views of these "cotton tops" in the desert grasslands east of Portal.
GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii) – We got to see a family group with tiny chicks in the Rodrigues yard near Portal. Others were along Stateline Road and in Willcox.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – Several sightings in the middle and upper elevations of the Chiricahuas.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – One was hiding in a flock of sleeping Ruddy Ducks on the lake at Willcox.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – About 16 of these "pink-faced" ibis were foraging along the edges of the lake at Willcox.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Widespread.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – A few sightings, including one flyover on our first evening near California Gulch.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (Accipiter gentilis) – These rare and impressive hawks were nesting at an accessible spot in Miller Canyon. We got to see the nest and one of the adults as it wheeled around through the forest.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – A short detour near Willcox netted us one of these fine hawks perched and in flight.

This Slate-throated Redstart was an outstanding rarity that we saw in Pinery Canyon in the Chiricahuas. Though the species is widespread south of the border, this was the only individual found in the USA this year! Photo by participant Scott Harvell.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – These long-winged Buteo hawks were common in grasslands (and we even saw one soaring over the high Chiricahuas!).
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One cruised over us above Onion Saddle, but it disappeared pretty quickly.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Common and widespread.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – We saw about 25 on the ponds and lake at Willcox
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Two were at Willcox.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – Six were sweeping their bills through the water in the lake at Willcox.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – A few were on the edges of the lake at Willcox.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Five at Willcox - in lovely orange-bellied breeding plumage.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – There were about 70 of these odd shorebirds spinning in the water on the lake at Willcox.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – The five that we saw were all bobbing along the edge of the lake at Willcox.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – One at Willcox.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common in towns.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – A few group members glimpsed a handful of these big pigeons as they shot overhead in Portal.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – Widespread around humans.

Participant Alan O'Heron photographed this perched Mexican Whip-poor-will one evening in Cave Creek Canyon.

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – About five of these small, long-tailed doves were in Portal.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Common.
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Common.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – Several roadside sightings throughout the tour.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – An early morning excursion on our final full day set us up to see this bird near Rodeo, New Mexico.
Strigidae (Owls)
FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) – We spent plenty of time on this small owl, with a great payoff on our final evening. We heard several of these little tooters in the Chiricahuas before we finally tracked one down along the Catalina Highway above Tucson. Great views in the flashlight beam!
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii) – Close views of a pair on our first evening near California Gulch.
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – The day-roosting bird along Cave Creek Canyon just upslope from Portal allowed some great studies.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – We saw large fluffy chicks and some watchful adults in a hayshed near Rodeo, New Mexico.
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium gnoma) – It took a bit of whistling in different places, but we finally got a response. This bird sang its double-toot song back to me and we found it perched in a pine for extended scope views.
ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) – A pair showed off near a nest site below California Gulch on our first evening.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – A few sightings along the way. First, we saw a family in an urban setting in Tucson; later, one was perched on top of a kangaroo rat mound south of Rodeo.
SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis) – What luck! While we didn't see the typically reliable birds in Miller Canyon, we received a hot tip from the Grebe - a.k.a. Rose Ann Rowlett - about the whereabouts of a day-roosting pair in the Chiricahuas. They were snoozing and no doubt plotting their next assault on the local wood rat population. Thanks Grebe!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – We pulled over at a well-lit border patrol checkpoint (with the permission of the attending officers) on our first evening together to check out these graceful insectivores feeding on light-attracted bugs.
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) – Spectacular views on our final evening at a mid-elevation site in the Catalina Mountains.
BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus ridgwayi) – We headed down past California Gulch on our first evening to search for these local Mexican nightjars. We heard their loud songs and saw these insectivores foraging along the thornscrub-covered hillsides after darkness fell on the border.
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae arizonae) – A male gave us a real show near the Southwestern Research Station above Portal.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis) – These fast aerialists zoomed over at higher montane sites.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – These big hummingbirds showed well at Miller Canyon.
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – We had a few quick looks at this BIG hummingbird in the Portal area.
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – A common small hummingbird in mountain canyons.

We spotted this Thick-billed Kingbird perched up on the outskirts of Portal, where the species is rare. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – We saw these widespread western hummers around Tucson and in Miller Canyon.
COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte costae) – A female appeared in the canyon bottom on our first evening near California Gulch.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – Fairly common in the higher mountain forests. We frequently heard the zinging sound of the wings of males as they flew past. A few were at the Portal Peak Lodge feeders.
BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris) – Common in canyons.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis) – The one at the Cave Creek Ranch in Portal was a rare sight for this season. The species is a scarce wintering bird in the area, but they're almost always gone by this time of the spring.
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – Common in mountain canyons with oaks.
GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis) – We saw a few during our drive across Tucson on the final evening.
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides scalaris) – Widespread in desert habitats.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) – A few sightings up high in the Chiricahuas above Barfoot Junction.
ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Picoides arizonae) – Nice views in Miller Canyon.
NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer) – We found these in Miller Canyon and the Chiricahuas.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – One was perched surprisingly low to the ground in the high Chiricahuas.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – Widespread in the mountains.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – These migrant Empidonax were fairly common - ours were in Miller Canyon and at several sites in the Chiricahuas. Their sharp pip calls helped us to identify them.

Certainly one of the big stars of our trip - this Flammulated Owl perched out in an open pine above us and gave great views on our final evening together. Photo by participant Scott Harvell.

PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER (Empidonax difficilis) – One gave its characteristic slurred position note in lower Miller Canyon. This species is a migrant through AZ, but it is so poorly differentiated from Cordilleran Flycatcher that it might be lumped again in the future (as "Western Flycatcher").
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) – Just after seeing the pair of Spotted Owls in the Chiricahuas, we had great views of this breeding Empidonax. This is the interior-breeding form of "Western Flycatcher."
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – We saw these common flycatchers along water at South Fork and at the golf course in Willcox.
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – We saw ours in the open orchard at Beatty's in Miller Canyon.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – These spectacular flycatchers were near California Gulch and also at Willcox.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Good views in Miller Canyon and the Chiricahuas. This was the slim Myiarchus with the mournful whistled call.
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – A few of these pale Myiarchus flycatchers were in the desert habitats east of Portal.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – One showed its large bill and gave its loud, raucous calls from the big trees in "downtown" Portal.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – One was along the edge of the golf course ponds at Willcox.
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans) – The fairly widespread kingbird in SE AZ with the darker gray head and whitish throat.
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – One of these impressive kingbirds perched in a sycamore above us in Portal, where the species is rare (though a pair has nested there for a few years in a row).
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis) – Nice views of this widespread bird on the fences and wires at Willcox.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Seen a few times while driving.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii) – These talkative vireos were near California Gulch and also at the Rodrigues yard outside Portal.
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) – This kinglet-like vireo was in Miller Canyon during our hike.
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii) – One of these migrants showed its nice lemony flanks in Miller Canyon. It was much more colorful than the Plumbeous Vireos that breed in the canyon.

Scott Harvell took a nice profile photo of this Mexican Chickadee, showing off its extensive black on the head and rather gray sides.

PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – The drab Solitary Vireo that breeds in montane forests here. A few nice views in Miller Canyon.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Two were in mixed species flocks during our hike in Miller Canyon.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – A few of these big, lovely jays were up high in the Chiricahuas.
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma woodhouseii) – A few people saw one on a couple of occasions from the parking lot at the Portal Peak Lodge.
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi) – Common in Miller Canyon and in Cave Creek Canyon.
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus) – A few of these small ravens were calling for us in the grasslands south of Rodeo.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – Widespread, especially in the mountains.
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – A few were walking around near our Burrowing Owl sighting south of Rodeo, NM,
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – At least four were with the swallow flock at Willcox.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – One was with other swallows at Willcox.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – One flew over buzzing during our hike in Miller Canyon.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – These long-distance migrants were with other swallows at Willcox.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Fairly widespread during our travels.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – The Chiricahuas are known as the best place to find this grayish chickadee in the United States. We had some excellent views between Onion Saddle and Barfoot Junction, and again in the side canyon that hosted the Slate-throated Redstart.
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – Scattered sightings in mountain canyons with oaks.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps) – A few of these small desert songbirds showed up in Bob Rodrigues's yard in Portal.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus) – Small, bouncing flocks were in Miller Canyon and at Gordon Hirabayashi Campground in the Catalinas.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – We heard one in Upper Miller Canyon, and saw another in the high Chiricahuas.

This Northern Pygmy-Owl tooted out in the open, mid-morning, on the east side of the Chiricahuas. Photo by participant Scott Harvell.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis nelsoni) – Fairly widespread in the Chiricahuas.
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – A noisy flock of 8 birds appeared in trees over our heads near Barfoot Junction in the Chiricahuas.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (ALBESCENS/ALTICOLA) (Certhia americana albescens) – A few nice sightings in the mountains - best look was near Barfoot Junction.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – Nice, close views in Upper Miller Canyon along the edge of the trail.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – Common in the mountains.
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) – Widespread; seen or heard every day.
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – Good views of these big wrens at a few spots around Portal, including right outside the lodge.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – A few were with a Bridled Titmouse and some Bushtits near our picnic dinner site on the final evening.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – We found 4 in the high Chiricahuas.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana) – A few were near Barfoot Junction.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – One of these migrants hopped on the ground near the stream in Miller Canyon.
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – Fairly common in the mountains.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – Common in the Chiricahuas.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis) – One of these vagrants was in the pond-side willows at Willcox - the same spot also hosted a Northern Waterthrush.

This day-roosting Whiskered Screech-Owl showed off nicely along Cave Creek near Portal. Check out the ginger coloration in the face and the dull yellow-green bill. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre) – This is the common desert thrasher in southern Arizona, and we saw it well on multiple occasions.
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei) – One showed nicely during our early morning expedition to the Stateline Road east of Portal. The mostly straight bill with a pale base, and yellowish eye helped us to identify it.
CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale) – We had to check several spots, but eventually had some nice looks at this big, sickle-billed thrasher perched up outside of Portal.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – A few sightings in the desert, including at Willcox and Portal.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Ours were in Tucson on the final afternoon.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens) – These nomadic silky-flycatchers were common in the California Gulch area - at least 7 were taking advantage of fruiting mistletoe there.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – Lovely views just below Barfoot Junction in the Chiricahuas.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One sang and then sashayed around in the willows at the Willcox golf course. This is a rare species in Arizona.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – One was just outside of Portal, mixed with a group of desert migrants.
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae) – We saw a few on our first evening in the California Gulch area.
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) – A few calling migrants showed only poorly.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Several were in lush areas of the desert.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – Fairly common in songbird flocks in the Chiricahuas.
GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae) – A few were singing and mixed in with other songbirds in pine forest in the Chiricahuas.
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens) – Common in middle elevation forest in our travels, including areas with oaks and junipers.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – We saw two of these migrants in Miller Canyon; another was in the Chiricahuas.
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis) – A few really nice views between Miller Canyon and the Chiricahuas.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – Common migrant; seen daily.
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – Excellent views of this stunner in Miller Canyon and in the Chiricahuas.

This Northern Waterthrush popped up along the edge of the golf course at Willcox (along with a Gray Catbird!). Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – Repeated sightings of this flashy warbler in mountain canyons.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Excellent. This Mexican vagrant returned to a nesting site in Pinery Canyon in the Chiricahuas, where it has apparently been paired up with a Painted Redstart. We had excellent views as it danced around above a rock wall with spread tail and spread wings.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – A small handful were in Portal.
BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri) – Our time along the state line south of Rodeo, NM led us to 4 of these subtle sparrows in open desert scrub.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – Especially good views at the Rodrigues feeders near Portal.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus) – Scattered sightings in arid grasslands. A few were in a flock at the rest stop near Amado on our first evening, and more were outside of Portal and Willcox.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – These regional specialties are common in the higher reaches of the Chiricahuas.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ORIANTHA) (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) – These dark-lored, pink-billed mountain White-crowned Sparrows were at the Rodrigues feeders with Gambel's White-crowned Sparrows.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (GAMBEL'S) (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) – During our tour, we saw plenty of this pale-lored, orange-billed subspecies attending feeders near Portal.
HARRIS'S SPARROW (Zonotrichia querula) – This rarity was attending the feeders of Bob Rodrigues in Portal.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – One sang from the wetland ponds at Willcox.
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca) – A couple of sightings of these brown towhees in mountain canyons and desert grasslands.
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps) – Great views on our first evening at the California Gulch/ Warsaw Canyon confluence.

Participant Alan O'Heron captured the lovely face pattern of this Bridled Titmouse, a frequent companion in canyon flocks in southern Arizona.

GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus) – Great views of these striking sparrows at the Rodrigues feeding station.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus) – A few showed in the mountains, especially in Miller Canyon.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Several sightings in mountain canyons, including South Fork and the redstart side canyon.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Common in riparian areas.
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – A common migrant in most habitats.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Great sightings near California Gulch and in Portal.
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus) – Fairly common (alongside Northern Cardinals) in the Portal area.
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – Widespread in montane forests at middle elevations.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – Splendid views at feeders in Portal.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – Two perched up high in a tree along the edge of the marshy ponds at Willcox.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (LILIAN'S) (Sturnella magna lilianae) – One was at Willcox, and we saw a few others during our drives through desert grasslands.
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – One perched up above the Portal Peak Lodge during breakfast one morning.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – One appeared for a few minutes at the feeding station in the Rodrigues yard near Portal.

This adult and juvenile Great Horned Owl were hanging out in a hayshed near Rodeo, New Mexico. Photo by participant Scott Harvell.

SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) – Good views of this yellow and black beauty in Portal.
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater) – Ten showed up at the Rodrigues yard feeders.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – A few sightings in developed habitats between Willcox and Tucson.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) – Common in desert habitats and at feeding stations.
CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii) – We saw 3 at the Rodrigues feeders and 2 up high at Rustler Park in the Chiricahuas. This species is irruptive in SE Arizona, and several lingered late into the spring. A rare treat!
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – Common in Portal.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Common and widespread.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Only around humans.

DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii) – This was the common bunny we found in grassland and desert habitats away from mountain canyons.
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus) – A few were in desert grasslands during our nocturnal expeditions.
ANTELOPE JACKRABBIT (Lepus alleni) – One showed off its giant ears near our picnic spot near California Gulch on our first evening together.
CLIFF CHIPMUNK (Tamias dorsalis) – This is the only species of chipmunk that we found - a few were running around near Portal.
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus) – We saw a few of these grizzled squirrels along the of the road in the Chiricahuas.
MEXICAN FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus nayaritensis) – This was the large, rusty squirrel that we saw in Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas.
ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis) – We saw a few in Miller Canyon above Beatty's.
COYOTE (Canis latrans) – A few sightings in desert grasslands. One was just east of the state line south of Rodeo, NM.
NORTHERN RACCOON (Procyon lotor) – One was along the side of the road at night in the Chiricahuas.
AMERICAN BADGER (Taxidea taxus) – This stocky mammal trundled across Hwy 80 as we drove north toward Rodeo, New Mexico.
SKUNK SP. (Mephitidae sp.) – We saw a skunk walk off the side of the road near Portal at night, but couldn't see it well enough to identify it.

We found the fantastic Red-faced Warbler on several occasions in mountain canyons. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus) – A few sightings in desert grasslands.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – These were the small gray deer that we found in mountain canyons.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana) – A small herd was along the side of Hwy 80 near the AZ/ NM border south of Rodeo.


Totals for the tour: 169 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa