A Field Guides Birding Tours Report


April 27-May 1, 2023 with Cory Gregory guiding

It is often the nightbirds of Arizona that lures birders to the desert washes, riparian corridors, and high mountain slopes at this time of year. After all, where else in the States could one see such an impressive variety? This short-but-busy trip focused on nightbirds, such as owls and nightjars, but also allowed us time to get out during the day to see what else these well-known hotspots had to offer. It's amazing what we were able to pack into this fun jaunt through SE Arizona!

Our first day, for example, was a great mix of specialties. Although we had a blast seeing the diminutive Elf Owl peering out of its hole in Madera Canyon, we also added some eye-candy there like Painted Redstart and Bridled Titmouse. Of course, all of that was after we had point-blank looks at Five-striped Sparrow in Box Canyon. Not a bad way to start the trip!

The second day took us up and over to Portal but not before we visited one of the birdiest hotspots in Arizona, the famed Willcox area. Imagine our surprise when we heard that there was a White Wagtail there just waiting for us! Not only did we add that mega rarity to our checklist, but also a slew of ducks, shorebirds, and even the recently split Chihuahuan Meadowlark. Once in the mountains, our luck continued with one of the major targets of the trip—the secretive Spotted Owl! We all enjoyed beautiful scope views of this quiet predator high up on a dayroost. Meanwhile, the day-birds were well-represented too including an incredible encounter with one of the flashiest Arizona targets: the Red-faced Warbler. Additionally, the less flashy (but more range-restricted!) Buff-breasted Flycatcher sang nearby.

The third night found us in the Chiricahuas where we heard Flammulated and Whiskered-Screech owls and saw Common Poorwill and Lesser Nighthawk extremely well. The feeders in Portal kept us busy too, where we saw Green-tailed Towhee, Pyrrhuloxia, and a fantastic trio of orioles. Our final day even found us in the Huachucas where we enjoyed a fantastic lunch, saw a day-roosting Western Screech-Owl nearby, and watched the rare Lucifer Hummingbird attending feeders near Sierra Vista.

All in all, although it was a fast trip, we packed a lot in and ended with more than 150 species. Thank you all for joining me on this Arizonan adventure! A major thanks to Caroline who helped us with logistics and had everything nicely laid out for us.

Until the next time we bird together, good birding to owl of you!

—Cory (The Curlew)

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)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

One of the many species of ducks we had at Willcox included this distinctive dabbler.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

It was a treat to see these a couple of times sporting their dark rust-colored plumage.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

Fairly common at Willcox.

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

Although not abundant, these were tallied from Benson and Willcox.

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)

There were at least 80 of these on the pond at Benson during our visit.

MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi)

There was at least one good-looking bird at Willcox during our visit.

GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis)

Like most of the other ducks we tallied on this tour, this tiny dabbler was seen at Willcox.

REDHEAD (Aythya americana)

A rather rare bird for this tour, this diving species was scoped at Benson STP on our first morning.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Good numbers of these were on the pond at Willcox. Some of them were looking pretty sharp too!

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata)

These adorable "cottontops" were seen at Willcox including a fearless one along the road.

GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii)

Common and seen most days.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)

Tallied daily.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

Both the pond at Benson and Willcox hosted this slender, dark grebe. They were looking pretty sharp this time of year.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Usually seen around urban areas.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

Common around Willcox and Portal.

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)

This small, scaly-looking dove was seen around Portal including at some feeders.

WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

Abundant, seen daily.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Common, tallied each day.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus)

Our only encounter technically occurred in New Mexico, not Arizona. One was seen running down a driveway along Gin Road.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis)

One of our evenings downhill from Portal netted us this nightjar. Shortly after dusk, we could see these swooping around overhead.

COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)

It was fantastic to actually be able to see one of these! We were driving on dirt roads in lower Cave Creek when we stopped dead in our tracks... the "rock" in the road was actually this tiny nightjar.

MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae arizonae)

Although they weren't easy to spot, this nightjar was quite common and we heard them at most of our after-dark birding spots. We eventually saw one up the slope but it was mostly by the distinctive eyeshine.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)

Dozens were swirling high overhead while we birded along South Fork in Cave Creek.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

RIVOLI'S HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens)

Surprisingly scarce for us on this short trip, our only encounter was with one that came into Dave Jasper's feeders.

BLUE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis clemenciae)

The loud and persistent calls from this huge hummer gave away their presence. We eventually got very nice views of some "wild" ones away from feeders in Portal.

LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer)

Success! It took several attempts but we were eventually rewarded with stupendous looks at a male coming into feeders in Ash Canyon on our final afternoon.

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)

Common at most of the feeders we visited.


Only seen at Ash Canyon on our final afternoon.

COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte costae)

Our very first birding stop as a group, on Day 1, netted us this tiny and attractive species as it foraged below us in Box Canyon.

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus)

Only one or two were seen around Portal.

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)

A fairly-common species for us around Portal and up in the mountains.

BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris)

These red-billed hummers were common at feeders in Portal.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Tallied from Benson and Willcox.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

At least a couple of these long-legged shorebirds were seen at Willcox during our quick visit there.

AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)

Like the previous species, this tall shorebird was seen nicely at Willcox. At least 8 were present and sporting their nice spring colors.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)

It was good to catch up with this small plover at Willcox. Not common, just one was seen.

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Seen both at Benson and Willcox, unsurprisingly.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

A few of these tiny peeps were at Willcox along with all the other shorebirds.


This is typically a pretty rare species on this trip. We found one of these short-billed peeps feeding at close range as we drove around the pond at Willcox.

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)

Fairly common at Willcox.

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

Dozens upon dozens of these were probing the mud at the Willcox pond.

WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)

These strange shorebirds were seen a couple of times, both swimming. First were a couple at the Benson STP pond and then again at Willcox.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Fairly common both at Benson and Willcox.

WILLET (WESTERN) (Tringa semipalmata inornata)

At least 8 of these big and sturdy shorebirds were along the shore of the Willcox pond.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)

A singleton was spotted at Willcox where we were able to study the bill length through the scope.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

It wasn't a surprise to find these at Willcox given the oasis effect that the pond has.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Common, tallied daily.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

Most of us got binoculars on this large raptor high overhead at Box Canyon on our first afternoon.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)

We were lucky to have one of these circling right overhead at the Benson pond on our first full day.

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

Bigger than the previous species, one of these was tallied on our first full day.

GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) [*]

These were nesting out of view at Ash Canyon but we still managed to hear them calling once or twice.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

This was a great trip to see this sleek and slender Buteo. We had great looks and pictures from lower Cave Creek as well as from Benson and Willcox.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

This classic Buteo was seen most days.

Strigidae (Owls)

FLAMMULATED OWL (Psiloscops flammeolus) [*]

The late spring, cold temps, and wind probably hurt our chances to see this tricky owl. We did end up hearing one clearly above Portal but it stayed put.

WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) [*]

Like the previous species, all the ones we heard stayed put. Still, we got to hear this specialty many times including both in Madera Canyon and again near Portal.

WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii)

It took a bit of scrambling but we eventually got eyes on this species at the San Pedro House while it was roosting at the entrance to its hole.

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) [N]

We found a very photographic adult on a nest as we approached the Chiricahuas. Turns out, this huge species was nesting right by our lodge in Portal and we ended up seeing the chicks daily.

ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) [N]

What a way to start off the tour! We were in Madera Canyon where we got to witness this tiny species waking up and peering out of its hole. It eventually came out and began to forage. Elf Owls ended up being quite common for us although they often remained hidden.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

It was fun getting to add this owl to the list at the last second on our final day below Portal.

SPOTTED OWL (MEXICAN) (Strix occidentalis lucida)

Of all the nightbirds in Arizona, this large and hard-to-find species dominates the wish lists of visiting birders. We ended up having a magical midday with a roosting bird on our first full day! It roosted quietly while we set up a scope and had fantastic views of it.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans)

This might be the quintessential target for birders in Southeast Arizona. And for good reason! We tried our luck with it on our final day in Cave Creek and came away with some very memorable moments. Not only did we see a male, we watched it singing and even watched it fly down and closer to us! This was a magical experience and one I'll remember for a long long time.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)

We chanced into one of these perched along a stream in the Chiricahuas on our third day.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)

Of all the species we tallied, this one may have taken me more by surprise than the others. We had fantastic looks at a female high up in the Chiricahuas on our third day.

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Common and tallied in the mountains each of our days.

GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis)

This species favors more of the dry, desert habitats but we still tallied it at the start and end of our tour.


Fairly common including at Dave Jasper's feeders in Portal.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)

Seen by some in the Chiricahuas on our 2nd day.

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

This big woodpecker wasn't particularly common but we did see one well in the Chiricahuas on our third day.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

Seen with prey as we drove by on the 2nd day.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

We paused our long drive on the final day to hop out and to watch two of these powerful falcons circling overhead.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)


A couple folks heard one of these tiny flycatchers calling from the Portal Peak Lodge.


At first I thought this was the following species but once we got a scope on it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was this big and stocky Contopus. Sharing that genus with the other wood-pewees, this species is a bit more distinctive than most pewees.

GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) [*]

It was fantastic to be able to hear these singing so frequently high up in the Chiricahuas. In some ways, I think hearing the song is more fulfilling than seeing these big pewees. Still, they always remained out of view.

BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons)

Excellent! We got good looks at this very range-restricted species while we birded high up in the Chiricahuas. They were calling nonstop too which was interesting to witness for so long.

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) [*]

We heard one of these water-loving flycatchers singing but somehow it remained out of view for us.

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

This long-winged and attractive phoebe is fond of wide open landscapes and we ended up seeing them in the grasslands below Portal.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

This stunner was seen right off the bat on our first full morning at Benson.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

Vocal and rather common during our time in Madera Canyon and the Chiricahuas.

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

These big Myiarchus make quite a racket when they're around. They were common around Portal including right where we'd have our picnic breakfasts.

CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)

Common and tallied daily. At times, we had a good study of this species and how it differs from Western Kingbird.

THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris)

A few years ago, this range-restricted species started to nest in Portal. When we visited, we were able to confirm that the pair was back for another year.

WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

Common in open and arid country.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

BELL'S VIREO (ARIZONA) (Vireo bellii arizonae) [*]

Typical for this species, it remained out of view despite us hearing it many times.

HUTTON'S VIREO (INTERIOR) (Vireo huttoni stephensi)

This vireo, which resembles a stocky kinglet, was fairly common up in the Chiricahuas.

PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)

This species, which was once part of the Solitary Vireo complex, was fairly common in the Chiricahuas where it sang incessantly.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

This black-and-white predatory species was tallied daily in open and arid habitat.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Distinctive and common once we were high up in the Chiricahuas.

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma woodhouseii)

A few visited Dave Jasper's feeders in Portal.

MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi)

Fairly common in both Madera Canyon and throughout the Chiricahuas.

CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus)

We crossed paths with a swarm of these as we approached Willcox from the west.

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Common, seen daily.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri)

This range-restricted specialty is always high on our target list. We encountered them several times including some great looks below Onion Saddle.

BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi)

What a striking titmouse. This distinctive species was tallied on our first afternoon in Madera Canyon. In fact, it was trying to distract us from our picnic dinner.

Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)

VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)

Singletons were seen feeding on jelly in Dave Jasper's yard in Portal.

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

Seen along the road on the backside of Willcox.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

Seen both at Benson and Willcox.

TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)

Half a dozen were seen foraging over the pond in Willcox.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

There were a couple of moments when this species was swirling overhead as we birded in South Fork. Unfortunately, they were always moving and so tough to study.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

This fork-tailed swallow was seen a couple of times including at the Texas Rest Area and again at Willcox.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (INTERIOR) (Psaltriparus minimus plumbeus)

These tiny fluffballs made appearances a couple of times including along the road down from Onion Saddle.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

Fairly common in the Chiricahuas.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis nelsoni)

This nuthatch was also rather common in the Chiricahuas. It's always a good idea to note the subspecies of this potential split.

PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea)

Heard and then seen way up while we were at Pinery Canyon.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) [*]

We heard the wheezy call notes as we birded along the road in the Chiricahuas.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) [*]

Heard only as we birded in Box Canyon.

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

Fairly common in the mountains but it was more often heard than seen.

BEWICK'S WREN (MEXICANUS GROUP) (Thryomanes bewickii eremophilus)

A curious one crawled under my chair and was foraging next to my boot while we were at Ash Canyon!

CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

This big, desert-loving wren would show up at feeders in Portal and we'd hear their grating song when we were birding in the lowlands.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)

Common, tallied daily.

BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei)

We had looks at this subtly different species along Gin Rd in New Mexico. Compared to the previous species, these have a shorter, straighter bill among other things.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

Seen every day.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana)

Our only encounter was high up above Onion Saddle.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)

We encountered one of these just once, on our second day, in the Chiricahuas.

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)

Fairly common in the pine forests up in the Chiricahuas.

Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)

OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus)

This strange "warbler," which is in its own family, was seen well when we birded above Onion Saddle on our third day.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba)

Woah, really?! Yes, a White Wagtail was found in Arizona! Lucky for us, it was found at Willcox just one day before our scheduled visit there. When we arrived, we went straight to the bird and managed to eventually spot this mega rarity. Not only is it rare for Arizona, it's rare for the entire Lower 48!

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)

Fairly common, tallied most days.

CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii)

The abundance of this species varies from year to year and this past winter was a great year for them. In fact, they were still lingering in Portal where they were attending feeders.

PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)

Common at feeders in Portal.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

These dark-backed finches were common at feeders in Portal.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii)

This is a secretive species with a very limited range in the US. Lucky for us, we had a singing bird in the grasslands below Portal and boy, what a view we had!

CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)

One of these was spotted on our third full day in the Portal area.

FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW (Amphispizopsis quinquestriata)

Of all the Arizona specialties, this one is one of the most range-restricted! We tried for these our first afternoon in Box Canyon and were extremely lucky when one popped up, point-blank, along the roadside. Yahoo!

BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata)

A handsome species of the deserts.

YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus)

This specialty was seen along the roads high up in the Chiricahuas. For some reason, I think they always look a bit mean with that glaring yellow eye.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Common at feeders in Portal.

SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)

A couple of these were foraging at the edge of the water at Willcox during our visit.

CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)

Not uncommon at feeders around Portal.

GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus)

Seen a couple of times during our visits to Dave Jasper's feeders in Portal.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

Seen occasionally, usually along the road on the brushy slopes of the upper Chiricahuas.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

One of these was foraging on the golf course in Willcox.

CHIHUAHUAN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella lilianae)

A recent split from Eastern Meadowlark. These were common around Willcox where we saw half a dozen.

HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus)

Common around Portal where they attended feeders.

BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)

This was another flashy oriole that we encountered at feeders in Portal.

SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum)

This yellow-and-black oriole put on a great show with all the encounters we had in the Chiricahuas. I honestly can't remember seeing so many on a single tour.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)

A few were seen at the San Pedro House and Ash Canyon.


Just one was spotted at the San Pedro House right after we arrived.

BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

It was a bit of a surprise to see this species at the Willcox Golf Course. It's not one that is usually still present at this time of year.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Seen a couple of times at various spots on about half our days.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

LUCY'S WARBLER (Leiothlypis luciae)

This is a tiny, cavity-nesting warbler that we encountered a couple of times in Portal. Although they're relatively plain in plumage, I still find them adorable.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) [*]

Although it stayed out of view, we all heard the distinctive song of this warbler at the Willcox Ponds.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) [*]

This was another warbler that we heard on the final afternoon.

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

These handsome warblers were rather common and seen most of our days. This subspecies usually has a yellow throat, unlike the more widespread Myrtle subspecies.

GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae)

It took a bit of work but we all eventually had nice looks at these in the pines high up in the Chiricahuas.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

Not especially common, this distinctive warbler was seen in the roadside brush high up in the Chiricahuas.

RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons)

I'm not sure I'll ever forget the experience we had with this lovely warbler near Pinery Canyon. Absolutely stunning!

PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus)

Fairly common in Madera Canyon where our first encounter occurred during our picnic dinner. We went on to see several more in the Chiricahuas.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava)

We were waiting for dusk to set in in Madera Canyon when we heard and then saw this southwestern tanager.

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

This all-red tanager was not very common for us, the only encounter occurred during our final breakfast in Portal.

NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Common around Portal where we'd hear them sing every morning.

PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus)

We had nice looks at these "Desert Cardinals" in Portal where they were attending Dave Jasper's feeders.

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

An uncommon visitor in SE Arizona, one of these was spotted at Dave Jasper's feeders in Portal during both of our visits.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

Rather uncommon, seen only the final couple days around Portal.


DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)

This was the common cottontail in the lower elevations.

BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)

We spotted one of these taking a nap in the shade on our second day.

HARRIS'S ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus harrisii)

Common at feeders in Portal.

SPOTTED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus spilosoma)

Not particularly common, the only encounter was the final morning in Portal.

ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)

Common but only seen on our second day.

MEXICAN FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus nayaritensis)

This is an extremely range-restricted specialty of the Chiricahuas. We saw them well on our second day as we drove to Portal.

ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis)

A big guy was seen at the Ash Canyon feeders on our final day.

MERRIAM'S KANGAROO RAT (Dipodomys merriami)

Mostly nocturnal, we only encountered it once in the desert below Portal.

ARIZONA COTTON RAT (Sigmodon arizonae)

At least one was fond of Dave Jasper's feeders and it would show up there from time to time.

COYOTE (Canis latrans)

Seen on our second day.

COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)

You better watch out if you're in Portal, a gang of these might follow you around after dark.

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

Common in Chiricahuas. Seen daily.


GOPHERSNAKE (Pituophis catenifer)

We saw a big guy crossing a road on our second day.


Although it was a tiny one, and we were safely in our van, it was still exciting to pull up next to this venomous snake.

Totals for the tour: 154 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa