Thursday, December 12, 2013

Have You Seen These Birds?

The Wilson's Snipe has never been missed in the 41 years of the Tucson Valley CBC. Yet some years only one was reported, and the last one reported from with the circle to eBird this year was November 15.

You might notice the newer BirdTrax gadget to the right. These are all the species that people have posted to eBird within the Tucson Valley CBC circle (actually a slightly smaller circle of only 12 km in radius) within the past 12 days.

The 145 species fall a bit short of last year's total of 153 (which was an all-time record by the way!), so I was curious what's missing. What have eBirders not reported that should be in the circle?

I compared last year's CBC list with the eBird list from BirdTrax, and I found 3 categories of birds that have not been eBirded yet.

1. Vagrants from last year that are quite possibly not even in the circle this year. Most of these were staked out, though the ibis (probably a White-faced but seen only in flight by two different teams) was a complete surprise.
American Redstart
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Northern Parula
Plegadis sp.
Solitary Sandpiper
Yellow-throated Warbler

2. High-elevation species that have a very good chance of being reported by the teams hiking into the Catalina Foothills (one team going all the way to Mount Kimball).
Arizona Woodpecker
Crissal Thrasher
Mexican Jay
Olive Warbler
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Western Scrub-Jay
Whiskered Screech-Owl
Yellow-eyed Junco

3. Those species that aren't exactly rare here but also aren't common. Some vary in numbers greatly from year to year and others are just scarce enough to be overlooked, even by 100 birders combing the Tucson Valley.
HAVE  YOU SEEN THESE? Please eBird if so!
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Brewer's Sparrow
Bronzed Cowbird
Hooded Merganser
Horned Lark
Neotropic Cormorant
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Pine Siskin
Red Crossbill
Savannah Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Wilson's Snipe
Wood Duck

While we don't have any of the vagrants from last year's list staked out, some of them might be found on count day – American Redstart, Northern Parula, and Chestnut-sided Warbler are in particular are good possibilities. Furthermore, we do have some rarities staked out that we also got last year – Common Merganser, Summer Tanager, Wilson's Warbler, Pime Warbler, and Yellow Warbler for example.

And then considering what has been seen lately but missed last year, we might be in for a whopper of a CBC this year!

Barn Swallow
Black Scoter
Burrowing Owl
Common Goldeneye
Fox Sparrow
Golden Eagle
Greater Pewee
Greater White-fronted Goose
Louisiana Waterthrush
Lewis's Woodpecker
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Western Screech-Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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