This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on December 16, 2016; the next update will be made on
December 23. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to
rarebirdalert AT tucsonaudubon.org.
SEVERAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS follow the sightings, including information
on temporary closures and rules for access to other important birding
areas. Abbreviation "m.ob." =3D multiple observers. An asterisk (*)
preceding a species name in the list indicates that it merits careful, full
documentation. A pound sign (#) indicates that brief corroborating details
are warranted. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the most recent
edition of Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona". More
information including updates may be found here:
http://tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/fbi.html. For additional
sightings in the region, please see the The Arizona-New Mexico Birding
For more information about Tucson Audubon field trips, lectures and
educational opportunities, please see www.tucsonaudubon.org.
SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:
#"Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily at the Foothills Road
(aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 12/14 (Bob Rodrigues).
A #GRAY CATBIRD was reported again at Cave Creek Ranch on 12/11 (Lesa
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 12/10 (m.ob.) in the West Fork past the dam.
Directions: About 400 yards from parking lot is a metal gate, and just past
the gate the canyon forks. The main trail follows the East Fork, but most
sightings have been in the West Fork to the right. About 125 yards up the
rough trail in the West Fork is a large water tank and a low dam. The oak
grove is about 1/3 mile past the dam. Note: The trail for the West Fork can
be difficult to find, and is steep and rough in places. If you see the sign
with distances to Florida Saddle, Madera Canyon, etc you've missed the
turn. It is not necessary, recommended or permissible to enter the research
station to see these birds. #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in Florida
Canyon on 12/15 (Thor Manson); they've been seen near the Florida Canyon
parking area and a short distance up the trail.
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER was
reported again on 12/4 (Ken Blankenship) in the upper canyon about 0.7
miles up the trail from the end of Hunter Canyon Road just as the trail
enters the grove of trees.
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the San
Pedro River on 12/14 (m.ob.); last year one frequented the area between
trail markers #7 and #8.
A #BROWN THRASHER was reported on 12/16 (Robert Behrstock) in a yard in
lower Ash Canyon.
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), two #GREATER SCAUP
were reported on 12/16 (m.ob.). A #GREEN KINGFISHER and #EASTERN PHOEBE
continued at the east end on 12/16 (m.ob.). Two #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
were reported along the Birding Trail on 12/16 (m.ob.). A #GRAY CATBIRD was
reported again near the beginning of the trail on 12/16 (m.ob.). A #PACIFIC
WREN was reported on 12/15 and a #WINTER WREN was reported on 12/16;
observers are encouraged to note or record the calls to help separate this
pair of species.
In Patagonia, a #GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW continued from the Paton Center for
Hummingbirds (Patons' Yard) on 12/16 (Diane Holsinger).
Another #GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was photographed in Sycamore Canyon in the
Patagonia Mountains on 12/15 (Joshua Stewart, et al).
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was photographed along Sonoita Creek on the
Patagonia CBC on 12/15 (Chris Benesh et al); where it was seen is private
property, but the Patagonia Roadside Rest Area offers a good spot to view
the creek. Please do not cross the fence! An #EASTERN PHOEBE, six
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a Five-striped Sparrow were photographed as
well, but access is granted only for the CBC.
A #GREATER SCAUP continued at the Amado STP on 12/13 (Diane Holsinger).
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A #HORNED GREBE continued at Arizona City Lake on 12/11 (Louise
A #"HARLAN=E2=80=99S" RED-TAILED HAWK was reported along Curry Rd on 12/15 =
Two #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBINS and a #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued on 12/15 (Doug
Jenness) at the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. They have been
seen near the tan house on Wheeler, which is possibly occupied (please be
sensitive to any potential occupants or neighbors); the pomegranate tree is
a good place to start looking.
A #"HARLAN=E2=80=99S" RED-TAILED HAWK was reported again at the El Rio Open=
on 12/16 (Andrew Core). Annotated map: http://goo.gl/5vIQSb
#CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were reported along the Santa Cruz River north of El
Camino del Cerro Rd on 12/14 (Keith Kamper, Patty Tersey) and at the old
Orange Grove Pond (Laurens Halsey et al).
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued this week
(m.ob.); one wintered here the last two years but ranged widely. A #BROWN
THRASHER was reported on 12/10 (Ken Murphy).
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A #WHITE-EYED VIREO was reported on 12/14 (Jim Carlson) north of Palo
Parado Rd (exit 25 on I-19). It was along the de Anza Trail about 1.5 miles
north of the Richard Williams trailhead, and about 50 yards past a green
gate tied with rope.
An #OVENBIRD was photographed along the Santa Cruz River just north of
Clark Crossing Rd on 12/15 (Karen Kluge, Terry Rosenmeier).
The revised 8th edition of Tucson Audubon's Finding Birds in Southeast
Arizona is available here: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/
publications/fbi.html and updates to the 8th edition can be found here:
TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands
from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays during the warmer months (usually March -
November). The gate will open when operations are finished. Due to
long-term construction, Roger Road WRF is closed. See our Sweetwater page (
or http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater for details.
The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department security
procedures are subject to change any time. Please see the "bird watching"
link on this page for important information regarding access:
EL RIO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the dirt lot
along the south edge near the berm, not in the neighborhood to the west.
Annotated map: http://goo.gl/5vIQSb
RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON B&B: open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk.
Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead=
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property
is under new ownership.
FORT HUACHUCA - access requirements are posted on its official webpage at
http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/accesscontrol.html. The Visitor
Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. The fort is an
active military installation and will suspend your driving privileges on
Post for 30 days on your first offense for talking or using a cell phone
while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements
(subject to change without notice): US citizens must pass a background
check and should be prepared to show photo ID for everyone in the vehicle
at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as
well. Foreign nationals must be accompanied by an approved military escort;
contact the base (520.533.7111), or possibly the Sierra Vista Visitor's
Bureau (520.417.6960) well in advance. ACCESS NOTE: apparently some states
driver's licenses do not meet federal requirements for base entry (IL, MN,
MO, NM, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs for details.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Management at the Evergreen Turf Sod Farm has asked
birders not to drive into the property (i.e., the 2750 road); birding from
perimeter roads (i.e., Tweedy or Pretzer) is still fine.
BAIRD'S SPARROW HILL AND THE VACA RANCH CORRAL in the San Rafael Valley is
off limits to birders due to the thoughtless actions of a few birders. DO
NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY. A sign has been posted previously stating that
"stopping within 0.25 mile of the corral is prohibited."
AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open 7AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger,
you will be locked inside).
GREEN VALLEY WRF: use the call box at the gate, sign in and out at the
office, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment.
ROGER ROAD WRF: Closed.
CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: Closed.
NOGALES STP: Closed.
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ
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