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Field Guides Tour Report
Arizona's Second Spring II 2017
Jul 29, 2017 to Aug 7, 2017
Chris Benesh

The monsoon building up as we make our way south to Sierra Vista. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

This year’s second Arizona’s Second Spring tour was a great success, with a wonderful assortment of birds and other critters, and a terrific group. We got off to a moist start, as Tucson was experiencing a particularly active monsoon. We opted to hit Mt. Lemmon in order to pick up some high country birds that potential road closures in the Chiricahuas threatened to take off the table. It all worked out for the best, but it got us off to a great start. The runaway winner for trip favorite was the stakeout Tufted Flycatcher up in Carr Canyon. A crowd-pleaser in any context, seeing this mega rarity in all its cuteness in soft morning light knocked it out of the park. We had some other rarities as well scattered through the itinerary. Watching Rose-throated Becards constructing a nest along the Santa Cruz River was remarkable, and seeing two Rufous-capped Warblers in upper Hunter Canyon was a treat. Our our discovery of a singing Yellow-green Vireo put the local birding community in a state of excitement. Slightly more common, but no less exciting, were Green Kingfisher and Black-capped Gnatcatchers at Patagonia Lake. The award for best-placed bird had to be the Great Horned Owl that Doug spotted along the Ruby Road in a spectacular rock cave in the Atascosa Mountains. Other highlights specifically mentioned included the iconic Greater Roadrunner, Montezuma Quail, Elegant Trogon, Varied Bunting, Whiskered Screech-Owl, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Phainopepla, and Gambel’s Quail.

I want to give special thanks to all of you for making this trip so much fun to guide, some terrific spotters, lots of good laughs, and a great chemistry. Until next time, all the best! — Chris

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

Alpenglow on the mountains of Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Good views of this species at the Amado Pond, including a bird with several chicks.
MALLARD (MEXICAN) (Anas platyrhynchos diazi) – The population of hen-like mallards that breed in Arizona are perhaps best considered a full species, as some recent genetic studies have shown that the green headed mallard is not its closest relative.
CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera) – Seen at Willcox and at Willow Tank.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis) – We had a single female at Willow Tank. This species is scarce this early in the fall.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Great to see some colorful males too!
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – We saw this species in Willcox and again out by Willow Tank.
GAMBEL'S QUAIL (Callipepla gambelii)

Glowing morning light on the stakeout Tufted Flycatcher in Carr Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

MONTEZUMA QUAIL (Cyrtonyx montezumae) – Nice view of a male alongside the road in the Chiricahuas. Always a treat to see this magical bird.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – We had several at Mary Jo's place near Ash Canyon and another couple the following day in Huachuca Canyon.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – One was hanging out at the Amado Pond.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – There was one stealth bird at the Amado Pond.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – An immature bird was at the Amado Pond. This species is a scarce post-breeding disperser to Arizona from the Sea of Cortez.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – One of the very last new birds of the trip, there were a couple at Pena Blanca Lake.

A cryptic Great Horned Owl tucked in to the most splendid of caves. Doug's spot of the trip! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – A few on each visit to the Willcox golf course.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Steve spotted a few at Willcox.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Seen only in the vicinity of Nogales.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos) – A great spot of Steve's on way back from California Gulch!
MISSISSIPPI KITE (Ictinia mississippiensis) – We lucked into a few of these in the town of St. David at the western edge of this species range.
NORTHERN HARRIER (AMERICAN) (Circus cyaneus hudsonius) – Now a full species separate from the birds in Europe. We saw one hunting at Willcox.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

A majestic Golden Eagle soaring overhead did not escape Steve's sharp eyes. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – Doug spotted one on the east side of Tucson shortly after departing Mt. Lemmon, which turned out to be the only one we saw!
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – Several good views of this species which is on the increase in Arizona.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – Always nice to see this handsome grassland species.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Several fun sightings, including a close bird on Mt. Lemmon, a begging youngster in Carr Canyon, and a close flyover at Patagonia Lake.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SORA (Porzana carolina) – Heard near the golf course in Willcox. [*]
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Two or three of these were hanging out in Willcox.

One of the many great views we had of Zone-tailed Hawk, this one from Patagonia Lake. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – There were three of these on one of our visits to Willcox.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – Several of these were present on our second visit to Willcox.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – A couple of these at Willcox, where this species is rare but regular.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – A small number on our first Willcox visit.

A Gray Hawk perched along busy Highway 90 in Sierra Vista. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – One was hanging out on a small pond near the golf course in Willcox.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Steve was the only one to see this species in the Chiricahuas.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – This species has become alarmingly common in recent years here in Arizona. [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Very local in southeast Arizona, we saw them in Portal and Patagonia.

A gorgeous male Elegant Trogon calling next to its nest in Huachuca Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Seen while searching for Rose-throated Becards.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – One of the most iconic birds of the southwest, we had some wonderful encounters.
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – Only glimpsed and heard.
Strigidae (Owls)
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops kennicottii) – Great looks at this species near Portal.
WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops trichopsis) – We had a wonderful encounter in Miller Canyon.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – One of the most memorable sightings of the trip, Doug spotted one roosting in a spectacular cave formation in the Atascosa Mountains.

One of the Five-striped Sparrows that rewarded us on our journey down the road to California Gulch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium gnoma) – We had two together in upper Hunter Canyon.
ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) – Sadly we could not spot it in the dense juniper it was calling from. [*]
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Nice looks at a couple of birds in Tucson, one of the very first birds of the tour.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – A few seen late on the first evening of the tour in Tucson.
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) – A few nice looks at this species in the Huachucas and the Chiricahuas.
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae arizonae) – Good flight views of one in the Chiricahuas.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – Now known as Rivoli's Hummingbird after a split involving birds in Central America.

A male Black-capped Gnatcatcher grabs a quick bite at Patagonia Lake. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – The Chiricahuas was the place to see this species. We had our best looks at the Cave Creek Ranch.
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer) – Mary Jo's place was host to a couple of males during our visit there.
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – Quite a few at Mary Jo's.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus) – Best looks were at Beatty's in Miller Canyon.
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus)
CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus calliope) – We had a female at Beatty's.
BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Cynanthus latirostris)

A female Green Kingfisher showed nicely for us along Sonoita Creek at Patagonia Lake. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia violiceps) – Well seen at the Paton's Center. Also one was coming to a feeder below Huachuca Canyon.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
ELEGANT TROGON (Trogon elegans) – We had great looks at a male perched next to a nest hole in Huachuca Canyon. What an eyeful.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – We had some good luck with this species at Patagonia Lake where a female showed well for us.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)
GILA WOODPECKER (Melanerpes uropygialis)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus)
ARIZONA WOODPECKER (Picoides arizonae) – Seen in Huachuca Canyon and in the Chiricahuas. This name amuses me, as only a very tiny percentage of its range is in Arizona.

A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet appeared for us in Portal during a morning outing. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

NORTHERN FLICKER (RED-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus cafer)
GILDED FLICKER (Colaptes chrysoides) – Some good looks on our first morning west of Tucson. This is the common flicker in the Sonoran desert.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – We had one flying over Gates Pass near Tucson.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – We had a good look at one in Portal where this species is quite scarce.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (MEXICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus tenuirostris) – A highlight of the tour for many, we had great looks at this Arizona rarity in Carr Canyon, glowing in the morning light.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – Good look at one in Carr Canyon below the Reef Townsite Campground.
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – A good look at one in the Chiricahuas near East Turkey Creek. A second was at Barfoot Park.

This photo illustrates just how cryptic Montezuma Quail can be much of the time. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) [*]
GRAY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax wrightii) – One of the last new birds of the trip, this one was looking rather ragged but was still showing its characteristic tail dip.
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) – A couple of these were seen on Mt. Lemmon and then again in Barfoot Park.
BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons) – Great looks at this species in Carr Canyon.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A fair number seen in scattered locations.

A Western Screech-Owl seen along the Paradise Road. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – The smallest of the North American Myiarchus, we saw several beginning in Huachuca Canyon.
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens) – One seen along Stateline Road and another near Nogales.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – This is an impressive flycatcher. We had our best looks in Huachuca Canyon.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – A couple of these were near the golf course pond in Willcox and more were at the Amado Pond and Kino Springs.
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris) – Seen at the Paton's Center and the Roadside Rest in Patagonia and heard on Blue Heaven Road.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

A high flying Thick-billed Kingbird showing off its massive bill. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – Wow, great to see this species breeding in Arizona again. We had some great luck with this species. Thanks to Matt Brown for showing us where the new nest was being built!
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii) – A common sound in the riparian areas around Patagonia and Nogales.
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus) – A few encountered, including several together on the Paradise Road.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – A couple seen.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – Perhaps the biggest surprise of the trip, we came across a singing bird on our way in to see the becards in Tumacacori. There are fewer than 15 records for Arizona.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – This is the common jay that is found in the more heavily wooded mountains of the west. Our first were at Incinerator Ridge.

A male Rose-throated Becard ready to head back to its nest. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma woodhouseii) – A recent split of another recent split. As Western Scrub-Jay was further divided into two species, birds here in Arizona have become Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays, though that doesn't really roll off the tongue.
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi)
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus) – Seen in St. David and again in Willcox.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – We had a couple of encounters with the saguaro breeding birds of southeast Arizona. First off were some at Tucson Mountain Park and another down near California Gulch.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – Seen along the Paradise Road and again from Bob Rodrigues's yard.

One of the Rufous-capped Warblers that put on a show in Hunter Canyon. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli) – Some good views of this species on Mt. Lemmon, which is at the southern edge of this species' range in Arizona.
MEXICAN CHICKADEE (Poecile sclateri) – Good views of this species at various spots in the high country of the Chiricahuas.
BRIDLED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus wollweberi) – An attractive titmouse which we had in the Chiricahuas and around Patagonia and the Santa Cruz River.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (INTERIOR) (Psaltriparus minimus plumbeus) – We had a big flock along the Herb Martyr Road in the Chiricahuas.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – One in Carr Canyon and another at Barfoot Park.

We celebrated the elevation of Yellow-breasted Chat to its own family, the Icteriidae! Makes perfect sense as there is nothing else quite like them. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis) – Fairly widespread in wooded areas along the tour route.
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – Seen up high the the Catalinas and again high up in the Chiricahuas.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana) – Most were in the Chiricahuas with another sighting on Mt. Lemmon.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – A couple seen at a stop in the Atascosa Mountains west of Nogales.
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – A wonderful song and a colorful wren enjoyed a few places.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – The state bird of Arizona.

A poor shot of the Yellow-green Vireo that we discovered on our way in to see the becards near Tumacacori. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura)
BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila nigriceps) – A wonderful encounter with a couple of birds at Patagonia Lake. This species has colonized Arizona in recent decades.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana) – We had a couple of these along Incinerator Ridge.
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – A couple of these were in Carr Canyon.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre) – Interesting to hear the varied call types at different locations.
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei) – After some searching we eventually spotted this species along Stateline Road.

A Mexican Fox Squirrel peers out at us in the Chiricahuas, the only US home to this species. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

CRISSAL THRASHER (Toxostoma crissale) – Sadly we could never spot any of the calling birds. [*]
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Thankfully scarce. [I]
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens) – An elegant looking species seen in upper Hunter Canyon and then more plentifully in the Patagonia-Nogales region.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – We saw one that first misty morning on Mt. Lemmon that ended up being the only one we locked on to.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae) – We had our best views at Patagonia Lake and Kino Springs.
VIRGINIA'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis virginiae) – A few good studies of this species on Mt. Lemmon on the first full day of the trip.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) [*]

A Tassel-eared (Abert's) Squirrel bounding around the feeders at in Summerhaven. This species was introduced here from northern Arizona as far back as the 1940's. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
GRACE'S WARBLER (Setophaga graciae) – Seen in Carr Canyon and again in the Chiricahuas.
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis) – As many as six were at Incinerator Ridge.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Perhaps the toughest 0.7 miles any of us had hiked, but we were rewarded with nice views of two Rufous-capped Warblers in upper Hunter Canyon.
RED-FACED WARBLER (Cardellina rubrifrons) – We had some great studies of this species on Mt. Lemmon and again in the Chiricahuas.
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – This is one species I never grow tired of seeing.

This Elf butterfly was a real treat. Once a mega-rarity in Arizona, it is still highly sought after by naturalists. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – Now rightfully in its own family, the Icteriidae! Common around Patagonia and Nogales.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW (Peucaea carpalis) – Seen early on in the tour near Tucson, and again on the final days of the trip. This species is restricted to Mesquite-Palo Verde woodlands in southern Arizona south through to northern Sinaloa.
BOTTERI'S SPARROW (Peucaea botterii) – Seen along Stateline Road.
CASSIN'S SPARROW (Peucaea cassinii) – A wonderful songster which we had at Willcox and again along Stateline Road.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW (Spizella atrogularis) – We had a super view of one along the trail in Hunter Canyon. Another was heard on the Paradise Road.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – One of the more attractive sparrows anywhere and thankfully fairly common in southeast Arizona.
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW (Amphispiza quinquestriata) – We saw them in the wilds of the confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon which took us through some of the most spectacular country in southern Arizona. Days later, some territories were discovered close to Green Valley and Tucson, making it a remarkable summer for this species.

A gorgeous male Filagree Skimmer was working the stream on the road into California Gulch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus) – Most were seen at Willcox and various spots in the Chiricahuas. Also at Pena Blanca on the last morning.
LARK BUNTING (Calamospiza melanocorys) – A small flock was along Stateline Road.
YELLOW-EYED JUNCO (Junco phaeonotus) – See in all of the open pine forests we visited.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)
ABERT'S TOWHEE (Melozone aberti) – Seen at a few spots with the first being those in St. David.
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps)
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

And this little purple damsel is a Tonto Dancer, one of the specialist damsels of the sky islands. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – We had our best views of this species on Mt. Lemmon.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Many birders coming out west for the first time or surprised to see cardinals. Yet this species is native here.
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus) – This desert cardinal was a favorite of many.
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – This species was seen on virtually every day of the tour except for the first.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – This colorful species seemed to be everywhere.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – A few seen in the Patagonia area.

During our night outings we did a little searching for scorpions. This is one of the Stripe-tailed Scorpions we found. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Seeing two males cavorting in the Beatty's orchard in Miller Canyon was quite a sight as this is a scarce breeder in the state.
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – Some really stunning looks at this gorgeous species beginning with a male along the Paradise Road.
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris) – A beautiful male was at Willow Tank and several others saw another male right in Portal.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (LILIAN'S) (Sturnella magna lilianae) – Pale, short-tailed birds here are sometimes considered a separate species, Lilian's Meadowlark.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)

This is Velvetpod Mimosa, one of my favorite plants of the monsoon season in Arizona. A familiar sight in the rocky country west of Nogales. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – A few good views in scattered locations.
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – Seen in the flats east of the Chiricahuas.
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) – Seen briefly at the Tucson Mountain Park and again along the Paradise Road.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra) – It was quite a good crossbill show in the Chiricahuas this year. Sorting out which form(s) are involved is a task that is ongoing, as there are some call types that are not clear cut.
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – Seen visiting feeders on Mt. Lemmon and in the Chiricahuas.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Seemingly everywhere!
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

And finally, this Striped Plateau Lizard is the lizard equivalent of the Mexican Chickadee. Its tiny range in the United States is restricted to the Chiricahuas, as well as the adjacent Peloncillos and Animas mountains of New Mexico. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)
DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus) – A few of these majestic hares seen.
CLIFF CHIPMUNK (Tamias dorsalis) – We had outstanding views at Summerhaven, but also seen elsewhere.
HARRIS'S ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus harrisii) – A few quick looks at this species around the Portal area.
SPOTTED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus spilosoma) – This small species was seen in Willcox.
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)
MEXICAN FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus nayaritensis) – This species has a really restricted range in the US being limited to the Chiricahuas. This species occurs throughout the mountains of western Mexico as far south at Colima.
ARIZONA GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus arizonensis) – This was the squirrel seen in the Huachucas and Patagonia. This species has a restricted global range, being found along the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona adjacent New Mexico and a few sky islands in southern Arizona and northern Sonora.
ABERT'S SQUIRREL (Sciurus aberti) – A few of these clambering around on the porch and feeders on Mt. Lemmon. Also known as Tassel-eared Squirrel. [I]
HOODED SKUNK (Mephitis macroura) – One seen during a night drive in the Chiricahuas.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – A couple of these seen near Portal.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)


A very partial list of other critters seen include:

Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus )

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Striped Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus virgatus)

Clark's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii)

Sonoran Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis sonorae)

Sonoran Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense)

Stripe-tailed Scorpion (and perhaps closely related species)

Various Odonata including:

Filagree Skimmer

Tonto Dancer

Sooty Dancer

Totals for the tour: 199 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa