This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on February 17, 2017; the next update will be made on
February 24. 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." = 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:
#"Yellow-shafted" Northern Flicker
#"Red" Fox Sparrow
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily (though sporadically) at
the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 2/17 (James Bunn).
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in Portal on 2/14 (Greg Ward) at Cave Creek Ranch.
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW continued in Whitetail Canyon on 2/14 (Rick Taylor).
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW was reported at Faraway Ranch in Chiricahua NM on 2/16
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued
on 2/16 (m.ob.) 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.
A #ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was reported behind the Walmart on Martin Luther King,
Jr. Parkway on 2/11 (Katherine Cudney).
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the San
Pedro River on 2/14 (Robb Welch); last year one frequented the area between
trail markers #7 and #8. A #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported near marker
#11 on 2/17 (Leo Miller).
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 2/17 (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 this week (m.ob.); they've been seen near the Florida Canyon parking
area and a short distance up the trail.
In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
continued along Proctor Rd on 2/11 (m.ob.).
In Montosa Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/8L8tv) #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHERS continued on 2/15 (Bill Lisowsky) near the culvert, upstream
of the concrete stream crossing.
WILLCOX & the SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
A male #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf
Course on 2/16 (Judith Ellyson).
A #ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was reported from milepost 332 on I-10 on 2/10 (Rick
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), #GREATER SCAUP
continued through 2/16 (m.ob.). A #GREEN KINGFISHER continued at the east
end of the lake on 2/12 (m.ob). A #"YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN FLICKER,
#EASTERN PHOEBE, #WINTER WREN, #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a #GRAY
CATBIRD all continued along the Birding Trail this week (m.ob.). observers
are encouraged to note or record the calls of the wren to help separate
this from the very similar Pacific Wren.
Three #RUDDY GROUND-DOVES continued along the De Anza Trail in Rio Rico
about 200-300 yards southeast of the Guy Tobin Trailhead on 2/15 (m.ob.). A
bright blue plastic water bottle and an old refrigerator are good landmarks
for the spot.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
At the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. a #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN
continued through 2/16 (m.ob.) and a #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued through
2/14 (Richard Fray). They have been seen near the tan house north of the
intersection 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 #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the Santa Cruz River at Sasco Rd
on 2/16 (m.ob.).
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued along the De Anza Trail between the Tubac
Bridge and Clark Crossing Road on 2/13 (Al Ports).
A #BROWN THRASHER continued at Santa Gertrudis Lane this week (m.ob.)
across from #12. It was reported just north of the De Anza trail gate on
2/17 (Mary Freeman). Remember to park along the frontage road and walk in.
A #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN continued along the de Anza Trail north of the
crossing on 2/12 (Brian Walsh).
A #WINTER WREN continued at Cienega Creek Preserve (permit required) on
2/11 (m.ob.) just upstream of the confluence with Davidson Canyon on the
north side of the creek. NOTE: This area is accessible from the Gabe
Zimmerman Davidson Canyon Trailhead. A special advance permit is required
to visit this preserve; see:
http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=1515 and annotated
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued on 2/12 (Mark
Stevenson, Molly Pollock); one wintered here the last two years but ranged
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: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/
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 paved lot in
the southwest corner or along the south edge near the berm. Construction
may hinder access for the next few months. Annotated map:
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 (KY, ME,
MT, PA, SC, MN, MO, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs or
http://huachuca-www.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html 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: under construction, access uncertain. When open, 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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