Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Three Over-reported Species

Dear Counters,

The following three species probably have been "overcounted" in recent years on the Tucson Valley CBC. These won't pass without thorough documentation:

Chihuahuan Raven

Bendire's Thrasher

Eastern Meadowlark

I personally have seen Chihuahuan Raven once within the circle in all my 18 years of birding here, and neither of the others.

Bendire's Thrasher is a permanent resident here. The closest ones to the circle are in the flats of Marana and on Mile-wide Road. There is a chance that a pair occurs somewhere within Area 7, but there might be too much cholla in that area (which means that Curve-billed Thrashers dominate).

Eastern Meadowlarks in SE Arizona are also permanent residents, staying year-round on their high-elevation native grasslands. There is a very small migratory population from north-central Arizona that could be wintering somewhere around here...but they are outnumbered a million to one by the migratory Western Meadowlarks that infiltrate this part of the state.

The biggest problem is that these are tough IDs. See my blogs at the Atascosa Highlands CBC website for ID tips on these. (Use the search field in the upper left hand corner.)

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