Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Total 2016 CBC Analysis

The 45th Tucson Valley Christmas Bird Count was held on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. One hundred seventeen field observers in twenty-seven areas and eight feeder watchers tallied an impressive 156 species and 62,488 individuals. While we fell short of our amazing total of 166 species from two years ago, this number is our third highest total ever.
The resident Tucson Vermilion Flycatcher population has been exploding. Read on to find out how many were seen this year.
These past five years have been a very rewarding time for me as the compiler, and I am especially in awe at all the time and effort that so many area leaders and participants have put into making this CBC a success. When I took it over I redesigned the area boundaries significantly with the goal of increasing participation. By creating manageably-sized areas with well-drawn maps and notes to help area leaders effectively cover their areas, I hoped to make the CBC more interesting and more fun. It worked – participation has nearly doubled over the previous 10-year average. My efforts weren’t without detractors. One observer complained that bird numbers were too high and must be overcounted (the evidence is that we actually still undercount them), and another was so disgruntled that his old CBC area had been broken up that he tried sabotaging the CBC – he abandoned the team he had promised to lead with no warning, birded on his own all day, told birders in several areas that they were in his area, and he turned in a completely useless data sheet at the end of the day. There have been other minor headaches, but overall I’ve been extremely heartened by the response of the participants.

And then there’s an amazing side effect of the redrawn areas – more birds, more species, and more interesting species being discovered. This year’s total was the third highest ever, and in fact, the past five years have tied or surpassed the species totals of all previous 40 years since the circle center was relocated to its current location near River and Oracle roads. While it used to be considered a good year to surpass 140 species, the new normal is in the 150’s, and it still remains to be seen if 170 species can be done. But the time has come for me to pass on the baton. I expect the new area boundaries and area notes (in a few cases greatly improved by the area leaders) will continue to reap their rewards as Luke Safford takes charge of deciding future dates of the count and recruits area leaders. I wish him as much fun in coordinating people and crunching the numbers as I have had.

Now for that number crunching:

Four species were seen during the three days before or after count day, noted as count-week (CW) birds: Blue-winged Teal, Zone-tailed Hawk, Barn Swallow, and Lazuli Bunting. There were also three species that we get most years and almost certainly were within the circle on count day, just missed due to bad luck: Wilson's Snipe, Crissal Thrasher, and Vesper Sparrow. Two species were reported from count day that I did not accept due to lack of documentation and written details to support the reports: Violet-green Swallow and Lawrence’s Goldfinch. That makes a total of nine species that under different circumstances might have brought us to 165, one short of tying the record. And who knows what unknown rarities are still lurking along the Santa Cruz River, in alleys, well-wooded apartment complexes, or up in the difficult-to reach pine-oak woodlands of Mount Kimball?
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays were found in good numbers in the foothill canyons.
Birds missed were far outnumbered by unexpected finds and exciting rarities. This year’s biggest surprises included two additions to the all-master list. The Birky team was near the Starr Pass golf course and looked up at 1:30 p.m. to see three Black Vultures flying south. It was a great find, but not totally unexpected – from the Area Notes that I composed five years ago: “Anywhere near the western edge of the circle keep an eye out for Black Vultures, a very few of which inhabit the Tucson Mountains and may drift over your edge of the circle from time to time.” The other new species was Rufous Hummingbird, with two present at feeders on opposite side of the Pusch Ridge foothills. We have had Rufous/Allen’s three times over the past 45 counts, but this is the first time that any have been convincingly identified to species, thanks to Larry Norris, expert hummingbird bander.

The list of other rarities was impressive. A Western Grebe on Silverbell Lake had been there for a few days. A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet near the bottom of the Finger Rock trail was a last-minute lucky find. A single Hammond’s Flycatcher along the Santa Cruz river was where it could be expected even if rare, while a well-documented Dusky Flycatcher was more of a surprise in Pima Canyon. Three Cassin’s Kingbirds were found, and this is the seventh year in a row for this species, now come to be almost expected. Mind-blowing were two Bell’s Vireos; surprising was that these were both discovered on the day of the count, while a third in Pima Canyon (probably there for its third winter) couldn’t be relocated that day. A Juniper Titmouse pair was very close to where a single bird had been found just four days earlier on the slopes of Mount Kimball. Eastern Bluebirds are making news, with one at McCormick Park, while the ones at the Tucson Country Club first found three years ago intriguingly appear to have been present all year. Three Mountain Bluebirds in Oro Valley were a surprise. The Santa Cruz River always produces a few semi-hardy vagrants from the east, which this year included single Northern Parula, Townsend's Warbler, and Black-and-white Warbler, while two Clay-colored Sparrows were found along the river as well. Summer Tanagers were found at Reid Park and Evergreen Cemetery, while Sweetwater Wetlands managed to reproduce staked out Yellow Warbler and the Baltimore Oriole back for its fourth winter (and this time coaxed to stick around for the CBC for only the second time with several orange feeders that I built and hung around the area).
This Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet was recorded for only the 8th time in 45 counts.
Looking at numbers of individuals counted, I’m not going to try any meaningful trend analysis, as to be honest that would require some statistical massaging of the numbers using effort data. Of course with so many more observers doing a more thorough job we’re bound to be observing more birds in any event, but I have to mention two species that clearly are increasing in numbers. Our 64 Broad-billed Hummingbirds and 392 Vermilion Flycatchers are not only new highs for our count, but will also be new all-time national highs. It was only six years ago that we first just barely broke the century mark with this ruby beauty, and the Kingsville, Texas record of 116 in 2003 still seemed only a long shot. The most amazing thing about this unprecedented population explosion from what used to be a very tiny number of resident birds is that it remains completely unstudied and the cause utterly unknown. With this relatively common, easy to observe, and easy to identify species, our Christmas Bird Count data actually has some tangible value. 
Our 64 Broad-billed Hummingbirds is a new all-time national high.
Another twelve species and subspecies had new high numbers for our count, and I’ll mention only the three that are relatively common permanent residents, indicating a likely real increase in their local population that could warrant further investigation: 87 Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, 209 Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, and 42 Rufous-winged Sparrows. It will be interesting to see if other regional CBCs shows similar increases.

One statistic I like to keep track of for the fun of it is how many species for which Tucson Valley holds the national high. One year we were second in the nation with 17 species. We won’t know for sure until all compilers have uploaded their data to the National Audubon CBC website (and even then many don’t make the February 28 deadline). It’s worth mentioning that Cooper’s Hawk may have leveled out after almost annual increases over the past several years, but our 110 is almost certainly the national high, in addition to the uncontestable record highs we had of Vermilion Flycatcher and Broad-billed Hummingbird. Other species for which Tucson should keep the title for include Gila Woodpecker – 623, Verdin – 824, and Yellow-headed Blackbird – 27856. We’re also contenders for House Finch, Phainopepla, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, and Rock Pigeon, and our two Bell’s Vireo will not likely be matched by any other CBC. Sometimes Tucson gets the high for the following, but other CBC’s have already reported higher numbers of them: Mourning Dove (Phoenix-Tres Rios), Curve-billed Thrasher (Green Valley-Madera Canyon), Lesser Goldfinch (Auburn, California), Cassin’s Vireo (Hassayampa), and Black-throated Gray Warbler (Long Beach-El Dorado, CA).
Thirteen Black-throated Gray Warblers were found in seven areas.
While such high numbers are fun, it’s even more important to keep an eye on species that appear to be declining, and most revealing numbers are those of our relatively common resident species. Inca Doves continue to limp along, and our five this year ties our record low. Cactus Wren numbers are either steady or declining, and while Canyon Towhee numbers appear to have rebounded from last year’s low at first glance, that number was probably affected by the weather, and their numbers are still low compared to the long-term averages. House Sparrow numbers also seem to be low compared to the long term. Other species showing their lowest total in the past five years include Gambel's Quail, Harris's Hawk, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), and Gilded Flicker, all species to keep an eye on. Abert's Towhee presents a bit of a mystery, with this year’s total being the fifth highest count in the circle’s history. In fact, the species does seem to have increased its urban population in recent years. But despite the ideal birding conditions and near record-number of participants this was actually the lowest total in the five years since the circle was redesigned. Is that a real decline or just a hiccup in the numbers? Time may tell, but it would be nice to have someone doing serious research on all of these species during the whole year.
It would be interesting to know whether a real trend in Cactus Wren can be seen.
Numbers of migrants that winter here are much harder to interpret and many more questions are raised instead of answered. For example, we set a record high number of Lincoln’s Sparrows, but is that because of an actual population increase or were other areas they prefer to winter in not as good this year, bringing more to our circle? We certainly get Rock Wrens wintering here in addition to our resident birds, but does this year’s low number reflect a real population change in the migrants or our residents – or both? We seem to have Phainopeplas year-round, but their migration is poorly understood. So is our record number of 523 (far surpassing the previous high of 471 set back in 1982) reflective of a local population explosion or did birds come to winter here from elsewhere for an unknown reason? Already with bated breath I look forward to participating in next year’s Tucson Valley Christmas Bird Count to see what the numbers will show.

Simple Species Totals 2016

2016 Tucson Valley [AZTV] Christmas Bird Count
123 Number of Participants
156 total number of species
62487 total number of individuals
2 Snow Goose
8 Canada Goose
1 Wood Duck
116 Gadwall
1533 American Wigeon
413 Mallard (Northern)
12 Mallard (Mexican)
3 Mallard (Mexican intergrade)
cw Blue-winged Teal
4 Cinnamon Teal
772 Northern Shoveler
17 Northern Pintail
85 Green-winged Teal
12 Canvasback
8 Redhead
84 Ring-necked Duck
9 Lesser Scaup
13 Bufflehead
1 Common Goldeneye
5 Hooded Merganser
2 Common Merganser
117 Ruddy Duck
391 Gambel's Quail
48 Pied-billed Grebe
4 Eared Grebe
1 Western Grebe
8 Neotropic Cormorant
11 Double-crested Cormorant
14 Great Blue Heron (Blue form)
7 Great Egret
3 Snowy Egret
5 Green Heron
21 Black-crowned Night-Heron
3 Black Vulture
1 Golden Eagle
11 Northern Harrier
10 Sharp-shinned Hawk
110 Cooper's Hawk
6 Accipiter sp.
9 Harris's Hawk
cw Zone-tailed Hawk
126 Red-tailed Hawk
3 Virginia Rail
6 Sora
1 Common Gallinule
410 American Coot
2 Black-necked Stilt
28 Killdeer
13 Spotted Sandpiper
65 Least Sandpiper
4591 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
505 Eurasian Collared-Dove
5 Inca Dove
19 White-winged Dove
4070 Mourning Dove
39 Greater Roadrunner
5 Barn Owl
6 Western Screech-Owl
7 Great Horned Owl
14 White-throated Swift
443 Anna's Hummingbird
83 Costa's Hummingbird
2 Rufous Hummingbird
1 Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird
64 Broad-billed Hummingbird
19 hummingbird sp.
8 Belted Kingfisher
7 Acorn Woodpecker
623 Gila Woodpecker
3 Red-naped Sapsucker
87 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
60 Northern Flicker (total)
1 Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
59 Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
7 Gilded Flicker
4 Northern/Gilded Flicker
88 American Kestrel
2 Merlin
5 Peregrine Falcon
2 Prairie Falcon
1 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
1 Hammond's Flycatcher
2 Gray Flycatcher
1 Dusky Flycatcher
32 Black Phoebe
54 Say's Phoebe
392 Vermilion Flycatcher
5 Ash-throated Flycatcher
3 Cassin's Kingbird
7 Loggerhead Shrike
2 Bell's Vireo
7 Plumbeous Vireo
1 Cassin's Vireo
1 Plumbeous/Cassin's Vireo
14 Hutton's Vireo
5 Steller's Jay
8 Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay
19 Mexican Jay
50 Common Raven
25 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
cw Barn Swallow
10 Bridled Titmouse
2 Juniper Titmouse
824 Verdin
67 Bushtit
12 White-breasted Nuthatch
31 Rock Wren
34 Canyon Wren
37 House Wren
9 Marsh Wren
34 Bewick's Wren
160 Cactus Wren
38 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
209 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
227 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
6 Eastern Bluebird
132 Western Bluebird
3 Mountain Bluebird
17 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
181 Curve-billed Thrasher
173 Northern Mockingbird
1876 European Starling
18 American Pipit
6 Cedar Waxwing
523 Phainopepla
1 Black-and-white Warbler
52 Orange-crowned Warbler
4 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Parula
1 Yellow Warbler
794 Yellow-rumped Warbler (total)
3 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
781 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
10 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle x Audubon's)
13 Black-throated Gray Warbler
1 Townsend's Warbler
42 Rufous-winged Sparrow
230 Chipping Sparrow
2 Clay-colored Sparrow
31 Black-chinned Sparrow
118 Brewer's Sparrow
115 Black-throated Sparrow
31 Lark Sparrow
16 Lark Bunting
60 Dark-eyed Junco (total)
11 Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)
16 Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided)
33 Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed)
9 Yellow-eyed Junco
2190 White-crowned Sparrow (total)
3 White-crowned Sparrow (oriantha)
2187 White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's)
3 Savannah Sparrow
56 Song Sparrow
349 Lincoln's Sparrow
5 Swamp Sparrow
26 Canyon Towhee
361 Abert's Towhee
37 Rufous-crowned Sparrow
13 Green-tailed Towhee
28 Spotted Towhee
2 Summer Tanager
59 Northern Cardinal
48 Pyrrhuloxia
cw Lazuli Bunting
1775 Red-winged Blackbird
11 Western Meadowlark
27856 Yellow-headed Blackbird
1496 Brewer's Blackbird
596 Great-tailed Grackle
41 Bronzed Cowbird
36 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
4 blackbird sp.
3208 House Finch
1089 Lesser Goldfinch
1116 House Sparrow

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Non-natives Worth a Second Look

You’re going to find the best bird diversity in native vegetation, no doubt about it.  Native plants have insects (read: bird food!), due to relationships that have been evolving in this place for a very long time. Non-native plants are often free of such insects, and therefore free of birds. But in an urban area like Tucson, we’re stuck with lots of non-native vegetation, and to increase our species count on the Christmas Bird Count, it pays to learn how to selectively check it for birds. Some, like the non-native ash trees (Fraxinus sp.) in so many apartment complexes, are utterly birdless. Others might actually be worth checking carefully.

Kurrajong, Brachychiton populneus, in the mallow family, is an Australian native that Red-naped Sapsuckers (very common in the native oak woodlands at higher elevation around us, but scarce in the Tucson Valley) seem to find a reliable source of tree sap. The sapsuckers are very quiet, but you can look carefully up into each tree and perhaps find one.

The SEINet data portal lists as many as 17 species of Eucalyptus in Pima County. Red River Gum (E. camaldulensis) and Coolibah (E. microtheca) are the two most planted and can have birds if they are blooming, including hummingbirds, tanagers, orioles, and warblers. Here’s a Coolibah which can also have Red-naped Sapsucker.

Here are two blooming Eucalyptus species that I haven’t identified yet, which I recently saw at the Vista del Norte mobile home park in north-central Tucson. Rare warblers to look for in these trees could be Cape May, Northern Parula, and Tennessee. In fact, one blooming Eucalyptus (probably a Red River Gum) in this residential area had Arizona’s second winter record of Calliope Hummingbird.

These trees seem to bloom erratically and unpredictably, and information on where trees are blooming is valuable. Go birding in your area and let us know if you are finding blooming eucalyptus.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Tucson Valley CBC Circle Map

On December 14, all bird observations will be compiled and summed up for the Tucson Valley Christmas Bird Count. But for anything to count in the totals, it must be observed within the boundaries of this 15 mile-diameter circle, which was defined in its current location centered near or at Oracle and River Roads in 1971 (though it has been wiggled around several times since then)

To browse this map online and see details, click on this link to Google maps:,-111.0324409,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1s1BruvwGqHc_uI5zM7LLv_f-hdLtc

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Next Tucson Valley CBC: Wednesday December 14, 2016

Also, this year Luke Safford will be helping out as a co-compiler and will be primary compiler for the 2017 count.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Summary of the December 14, 2015 Tucson Valley CBC

Cooper's Hawk
There seems to be no end to the increase in Cooper's Hawks numbers on the Tucson Valley CBC

There’s no other birding event like a Christmas Bird Count. Yes, there are other ways one can help census birds and monitor their populations, ranging from the Breeding Bird Survey, the Great Backyard Bird Count, the North American Migration Count, and of course just by using eBird. But none of those bring together a huge group of people on one day and force them to count birds all within 15 miles of each other and in places they’d never think of birding, such as cemeteries, golf courses (something like 20 in the Tucson Circle), desert washes, mobile home parks, and even homeless camps – and then get together for a species countdown in the evening. It’s like a cross between a birding festival and a bird survey, and amazing things happen.

This year we were beset with a fast-moving cold front that presented no sign at the beautiful and relatively warm dawn. It even looked like the weather forecast had been horribly wrong, but it wasn’t. By late morning it was drizzling in most places in the circle, and if it wasn’t raining, it was snowing. Some groups were caught miles up the Santa Catalina foothill canyons during the middle of the front’s passage. But after the 2-3 hours of squalls ended, the remaining hours were lively and bright, and those birders who didn’t quit early were rewarded with some excellent afternoon birding.

So while our species count of 153 sounds low compared to last year’s all-time Arizona high of 164, it’s actually the third highest count in 44 years, well above the average of 139. And thanks to the preparation of birders ready to count the departing roosts of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, we tallied the second highest number of individual birds ever on this CBC: 79,934 (almost half of those Yellow-headed Blackbirds). Subtract those blackbirds, and we still tallied more individuals than two-thirds of all previous counts. One can only imagine the numbers we might have had were it not for the weather.

Rare bird highlights were three new species for the all-time list. A juvenile Gray Hawk had been found by Keith Kamper and Patty Tersey while scouting before the CBC, and it was still present on the CBC day. So more surprising was a second bird found a few miles downstream by Laurens Halsey and Andrew Core. A Bonaparte’s Gull was flying around for Chris McCreedy, Michael Lester, and Homer Hansen at Silverbell Lake. Another big surprise was a Gray Catbird first heard then seen by Andrew Core and Laurens Halsey.

There were other rarities that weren’t new for the list but have been seen only once before. The stakeout Rufous-capped Warbler was in upper Ventana Canyon just beyond the circle’s edge for a while, then it came down just into the circle. A male Blue Grosbeak was big surprise south of Speedway on the Santa Cruz River. Not seen on this CBC since 1978 was Montezuma Quail, when three were flushed from upper Finger Rock Trail.

A Louisiana Waterthrush on the Santa Cruz was likely the same bird that had been there the two previous winters, while we had Pine Warbler and Neotropic Cormorant for only the 4th time each. The latter is certainly increasing and can’t be considered a rarity any more, but who knows what the future holds.

Finally, there were a lot of rare to rarish species seen that we’ve only had on a third or fewer of the past 43 CBCs. If you go out birding around here on your own, you’d consider yourself lucky to find just one or two of these gems. So it’s worth remembering that these were all seen on the same day by an amazing team of volunteer counters. They are:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Clay-colored Sparrow
Ring-billed Gull
Hooded Oriole
Eastern Bluebird
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Parula
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Summer Tanager
Cassin’s Kingbird
Barn Swallow
Common Merganser
Snowy Egret
Greater Pewee
Wilson’s Warbler
Ash-throated Flycatcher
American Goldfinch

Summer Tanager
This Summer Tanager was found at Evergreen Cemetery by Gavin Bieber

Of note is that we had multiple Clay-colored Sparrows for only the second time ever (the first was last year), a ridiculous record high 4 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and two Greater Pewees for only the second time ever.

The numbers we tallied always provides for some interesting data to mine. We tallied new high counts for 14 species, but Cooper’s Hawk in particular stands out, as we broke the all-time national high last year by a fair margin with 136. This year we had an astounding 152.

Additional new highs for this particular circle are listed below. The first number in the parentheses is our previous high count, and the second is the year in which that number was recorded.

Common Merganser 13 (7 – 2004)
Neotropic Cormorant 22 (2 –2012, 2014)
Eurasian Collared-Dove 617 (327 – 2013)
Barn Owl 6 (5 – 2011)
Costa’s Hummingbird 73 (56 – 2014)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4 (2 – 2014)
Merlin 5 (5 – 2014)
Peregrine Falcon 16 (14 – 2014)
Greater Pewee 2 (2 – 1998)
Gray Flycatcher 4 (3 – 2014)
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 176 (169 – 1991)
Chipping Sparrow 505 (455 – 1977)
Brewer’s Sparrow 749 (727 – 1999)
Yellow-headed Blackbird 39,725 (19,055, 2014)

I always like to look for birds for which we might get the national high each year. We didn’t see our own record high for the following species, but there are often more of these on the Tucson Valley count than any other. The final results will be known only after all compilers have submitted their lists.

We most certainly had the national high of Vermilion Flycatchers with 311, but true numbers might have been hampered by the birding conditions.

Rock Pigeon 5779
Mourning Dove: 6137
Broad-billed Hummingbird: 37
Gila Woodpecker: 538
Vermilion Flycatcher: 311
Plumbeous Vireo: 13
Cassin's Vireo: 10
Verdin: 652
Black-throated Gray Warbler: 19
Louisiana Waterthrush: 1
House Finch: 3636
Lesser Goldfinch: 2267
Greater Pewee: 2

I looked at species for which we had low counts as well, making a note of those that are below 25% of the long-term average.

Northern Pintail 4
Least Sandpiper 39
Wilson’s Snipe 1
Inca Dove 12
Northern Flicker 20
Canyon Towhee 4
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 4
Spotted Towhee 6
Brown-headed Cowbird 4

The Canyon Towhee numbers were especially shocking, and we nearly missed Brown-headed Cowbird for the first time. Inca Dove seems to be holding steady. But looking at birds that did poorly last year, Gilded Flicker and Loggerhead Shrike numbers are up a bit, but Cactus Wren has dropped a bit.

Then there are our misses. There were six species which were seen during the three days before and after count day and most certainly were in still in the circle. In fact, the Baltimore Oriole suddenly reappeared weeks later.

Blue-winged Teal
Black-necked Stilt
Dusky Flycatcher
Eastern Meadowlark
Baltimore Oriole
Pine Siskin

The following were also reported on eBird within a couple weeks of the count and probably were in the circle, but you can never see them all.
Long-billed Dowitcher
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Bullock’s Oriole
Brown Thrasher
Bell’s Vireo
White-throated Sparrow
Wood Duck

Then there are those residents we know are in the circle but were missed almost certainly because of the weather.
Golden Eagle
White-throated Swift
Acorn Woodpecker
Arizona Woodpecker
Western Scrub-Jay

Total Species List:
Snow Goose 1
Gadwall 62
American Wigeon 1377
Mallard (Northern) 327
Mallard (Mexican) 2
Mallard (Mexican intergrade) 3
Cinnamon Teal 15
Northern Shoveler 366
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 73
Canvasback 24
Redhead 2
Ring-necked Duck 95
Lesser Scaup 17
Bufflehead 7
Hooded Merganser 2
Common Merganser 13
Ruddy Duck 94
Gambel's Quail 498
Montezuma Quail 3
Pied-billed Grebe 51
Eared Grebe 15
Neotropic Cormorant 22
Double-crested Cormorant 12
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 18
Great Egret 20
Snowy Egret 4
Green Heron 5
Black-crowned Night-Heron 24
Northern Harrier 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk 12
Cooper's Hawk 152
Harris's Hawk 24
Gray Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 119
Virginia Rail 4
Sora 5
Common Gallinule 5
American Coot 785
Killdeer 135
Spotted Sandpiper 8
Least Sandpiper 39
Wilson's Snipe 1
Bonaparte's Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 1
gull sp. 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 5779
Eurasian Collared-Dove 617
Inca Dove 12
White-winged Dove 53
Mourning Dove 6137
Greater Roadrunner 13
Barn Owl 6
Western Screech-Owl 4
Great Horned Owl 11
Anna's Hummingbird 279
Costa's Hummingbird 73
Broad-billed Hummingbird 37
hummingbird sp. 16
Belted Kingfisher 9
Gila Woodpecker 538
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Red-naped Sapsucker 5
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 75
Northern Flicker (total) 20
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 20
Gilded Flicker 23
Northern/Gilded Flicker 1
American Kestrel 87
Merlin 5
Peregrine Falcon 16
Prairie Falcon 4
Greater Pewee 2
Gray Flycatcher 4
Black Phoebe 23
Say's Phoebe 62
Vermilion Flycatcher 311
Ash-throated Flycatcher 2
Cassin's Kingbird 2
Loggerhead Shrike 16
Plumbeous Vireo 13
Cassin's Vireo 10
Hutton's Vireo 7
Mexican Jay 6
Common Raven 60
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 11
Barn Swallow 1
swallow sp. 2
Bridled Titmouse 6
Verdin 652
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 1
Rock Wren 46
Canyon Wren 10
House Wren 25
Marsh Wren 15
Bewick's Wren 25
Cactus Wren 146
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 21
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 176
gnatcatcher sp. 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 425
Eastern Bluebird 4
Western Bluebird 53
Hermit Thrush 13
American Robin 6
Gray Catbird 1
Curve-billed Thrasher 96
Crissal Thrasher 2
Northern Mockingbird 145
European Starling 1940
American Pipit 62
Cedar Waxwing 8
Phainopepla 258
Louisiana Waterthrush 1
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 86
Common Yellowthroat 9
Northern Parula 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (total) 1340
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 1336
Black-throated Gray Warbler 19
Rufous-capped Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Rufous-winged Sparrow 15
Chipping Sparrow 505
Clay-colored Sparrow 3
Black-chinned Sparrow 5
Brewer's Sparrow 749
Black-throated Sparrow 54
Lark Sparrow 60
Lark Bunting 165
Dark-eyed Junco (total) 63
Dark-eyed Junco (unknown type) 12
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 39
Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided) 8
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed) 3
Yellow-eyed Junco 1
White-crowned Sparrow (total) 2127
White-crowned Sparrow (oriantha) 5
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) 2122
Vesper Sparrow 8
Savannah Sparrow 6
Song Sparrow 68
Lincoln's Sparrow 130
Canyon Towhee 4
Abert's Towhee 401
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 4
Green-tailed Towhee 7
Spotted Towhee 6
Summer Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 51
Pyrrhuloxia 28
Blue Grosbeak 1
Red-winged Blackbird 1168
Western Meadowlark 54
Western/Eastern Meadowlark 1
Yellow-headed Blackbird 39725
Brewer's Blackbird 1811
Great-tailed Grackle 1009
Bronzed Cowbird 85
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
Hooded Oriole 1
blackbird sp. 200
House Finch 3636
Lesser Goldfinch 2267
Lawrence's Goldfinch 21
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 1076

Total species:153
Total  individuals: 79934

Friday, December 11, 2015

Count Week Begins!

Today is the first day of Count Week – the three days before (and after) the Tucson Valley CBC. We'll be keeping track of any species seen on those days but missed on this coming Monday's CBC.

Here's a list of moderate rarities which are very missable. If we get all the rarities that we know are in the circle, if we find some surprises we didn't know about, if we don't miss any expected species, AND if we don't miss any of these moderately rare birds, we might get a new high count. If you find any of these in the next three days, please post to the AZ-NM list or eBird them.

Double-crested Cormorant
Snowy Egret
Black-necked Stilt
Long-billed Dowitcher
Barn Owl
Lewis's Woodpecker
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Cassin's Kingbird
Steller's Jay
Barn Swallow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Summer Tanager
White-throated Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Meadowlark
Red Crossbill