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A Report from

SE Arizona: May 15-21, 2006,

Stephen Janko

Went on a trip to SE Arizona using Tucson as a base.  Did a some additional touring as well as birding.  Tallied more than 60 species including over 40 new lifers.  Though the list is extensive, it is by no means exhaustive.  Was led one full day by Melody Kehl who owns Outdoor Adventure and is a professional guide in the area.

Books used:  A Birders Guide to Southeastern Arizona; American Birding Association, Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman.

Places Visited:

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Catalina State Park, Catalina Mountains
Cochise Stronghold
Tucson Botanical Gardens

May 15: Flew to Tucson via Chicago from New York.  Not long after checking into my hotel room upon arrival at the La Quinta Hotel where I stayed, I heard some cheerful singing outside amongst the trees.  Upon investigating, found a beautiful House Finch perched atop a tree.  It was my first bird of the trip.

May 16: A morning was spent at the Desert Museum just outside of Tucson.  Upon entering the grounds, spotted a Cactus Wren perched atop a Saguaro Cactus, it was my first life bird.  Additional birds spotted on the grounds were the ever plentiful (and noisy) Gila Woodpecker and Bronze Cowbird.   But the real find was a pair of Pyrhulloxia, outside and not far from the aviary.

May 17:  This was not a birding day. But did enjoy the museums at the University in town.

May 18: Picked up at 7:30am by Melody Kehl.  As it was already getting hot by 8:00am, we headed to a Christopher Columbus Park, a local park with a paved path and picnic tables before heading to the Catalina’s and the Mt Lemmon area.  The local park, which was in an area of ranchlands, birds seen here included Western Kingbird, Purple Martin and Curve-billed Thrasher.   We then ascended the road stopping at numerous points in order to get species in the various zones.  Several Warbler, Vireo and Flycatcher species were tallied here.  Virtually all were new life species for me.  Standouts included the Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler, Mexican Jay and Western Bluebird.  On the way back into town, we spotted a Harris Hawk perched atop a telephone pole. Great.

May 19:  This wasn’t really a birding day, but did hear what I believed to be a Scaled Quail and spotted a Swainsons Hawk, Identified by the habitat, color and wings.

May 20: Spent a glorious morning in the Tucson Botanical Gardens where great looks of Gambels Quail, Hooded Oriole and Broad Tailed Hummingbird were had in addition to the flowers and cacti.

May 21:  Departed early for my flight home.  End of a great trip.

Bird List:  (This list is organized according to the official Checklist of the Tucson Audubon Society)

  1. Turkey Vulture
  2. Mallard
  3. Harris Hawk
  4. Swainsons Hawk
  5. Zone Tailed Hawk
  6. Red Tailed Hawk
  7. Gambels Quail
  8. Band-tailed Pigeon
  9. White Winged Dove
  10. Mourning Dove
  11. White-throated Swift
  12. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  13. Magnificent Hummingbird
  14. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  15. Acorn Woodpecker
  16. Gila Woodpecker
  17. Arizona Woodpecker
  18. Hairy Woodpecker
  19. Northern Bearded Tyrannulet
  20. Greater Peewee
  21. Western Wood-peewee
  22. Cordilleran Flycatcher
  23. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  24. Ash-throated Flycatcher
  25. Western Kingbird
  26. Bells Vireo
  27. Plumbeous Vireo
  28. Cassins Vireo
  29. Hutton’s Vireo
  30. Warbling Vireo
  31. Mexican Jay
  32. Common Raven
  33. Purple Martin
  34. Violet-green Swallow
  35. Bridled Titmouse
  36. Cactus Wren
  37. Bewicks Wren
  38. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
  39. Black-capped Gnatcatcher
  40. Western Bluebird
  41. Hermit Thrush
  42. American Robin
  43. Northern Mockingbird
  44. Curve-billed Thrasher
  45. Phainopepla
  46. Lucy’s Warbler
  47. Black-throated Gray warbler
  48. Townsend’s Warbler
  49. Graces Warbler
  50. Wilson’s Warbler
  51. Red-faced Warbler
  52. Painted Redstart
  53. Hepatic Tanager
  54. Western Tanager
  55. Aberts Towhee
  56. Rufous-winged Sparrow
  57. Yellow-eyed Junco
  58. Northern Cardinal
  59. Pyrhulloxia
  60. Blacked-headed Grosbeak
  61. Great-tailed Grackle
  62. Bronzed Cowbird
  63. Hooded oriole
  64. House Finch
  65. Lesser Goldfinch

In addition to all those listed, there were the ever present House Sparrows, Rock Doves and Starlings.


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