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Old Wednesday 16th July 2003, 14:41   #1
Katy Penland
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Arizona

Southeast Arizona ((generically referred to as the Tucson area) is one of the premier birding areas in the USA. We have a state list of around 600 species and varied habitats.

A great listserv to join and monitor if you're planning a trip here is the AZ-NM Birding Forum. The URL to join this list (it's free) is:

http://listserv.arizona.edu/archives/birdwg05.html

There are frequent postings of species lists, as well as directions to specific areas in southern Arizona and into New Mexico as well.

For the northern part of the state, where I live, there's another bird forum that specializes in those areas and species. It's also free to join, and its URL is:

http://nazas.org/sightings/

Of course, if I can help answer any questions, just yell! I've also just logged the 95th species in 20 months for our back yard, and we're at 7,000 ft. in mixed conifer forest. It's a great state for birding!

Katy Penland
Overgaard, AZ
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Old Wednesday 16th July 2003, 17:49   #2
ArnelGuanlao
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Hi Katy,

I've got the Lane guide to birding in SE Arizona, but I can't seem to find anything for northern Arizona. Have you got any good spots to recommend? Some day (SOME day), I intend to make a road trip down there.

Thanks,
Arnel Guanlao
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Old Wednesday 16th July 2003, 19:34   #3
Katy Penland
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The only two published field guides I know for the northern end of the state (but nothing for the northeast/White Mountains area) are the Guide to Birding Flagstaff and Bird of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Both are highly praised by locals, but I've never had the opportunity to use them. The first book on Flagstaff is also updated periodically online by the authors at the No. AZ Audubon Society chapter's website, which is I believe an unprecedented resource for ANY field guide. (EDIT Sept 05: David Sibley's guides are also updated online as new taxonomic/naming info is made available.) The URLs for the Flagstaff and Sedona books are, respectively:

http://nazas.org/BirdingFlagstaff.htm

http://nazas.org/book.htm

You can order both of these books directly from NAAS.

As for the White Mountains area, I'll have to ask some of the local birders for favorite spots, as there are no guides/directions yet put together. The bulk of the tourist traffic never comes to this part of the state, since the Grand Canyon and Sedona, in the northwest and north-central regions, are the big draws. I've done USFS bird surveys in my little area and know the FS roads pretty well, but it's frankly not worth the drive since you can see all the same birds in greater abundance and in less time elsewhere. I'll start asking some of the locals here about directions and spp lists at some of their favorite spots, but I know a lot of this info can be found at the No. AZ bird forum URL, already posted. Two people, especially, Donna and Gary, who live in the White Mountains, are superb birders, know ALL the spots, and are frequent posters.

Hope this is a start. We're just not as organized up here in the NE as the central northerners are insofar as birds are concerned! We'll get there! :-)

Let me know when/if you head over here. If I'm around, I could meet up with you. Always nice to meet new birders! I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Sunnyvale for years. I'm a native Californian myself (but from LA).

Best,

Katy

Last edited by Katy Penland : Friday 2nd September 2005 at 16:54.
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Old Wednesday 16th July 2003, 21:44   #4
Charles Harper
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Thanks for starting a thread on a GREAT birding state, Katy!
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Old Wednesday 16th July 2003, 22:47   #5
ArnelGuanlao
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Thanks for the information, Katy. If I ever make it into your area, I'll drop you a line. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing more information on Arizona birding in this space!

Arnel Guanlao
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Old Thursday 17th July 2003, 00:08   #6
Katy Penland
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This is just an embryonic listing of information that can be found on the internet about the great birding in the state of Arizona. It's split into two geographic areas because the state itself is split by the Mogollon (Tonto) Rim, which has a direct impact on numbers and types of birds to be found in the various habitats, particularly during migration (passage). Arizona has everything from low desert to high alpine habitat and species, and everything in between -- except a saltwater coastline.

Please -- post any of your own experiences with areas, recommendations for particular sites or accommodations. I certainly claim no expertise on any of this, just some limited experience and a whole lot of enthusiasm for birding around this amazing state. I will continually add more information as it becomes available to me or is recommended by others. I hope to have recommendations for accommodation and tour guides in the near future.

All links were working as of this date. Always an important point! :-)

Great Birding!

Katy Penland
Overgaard, AZ
(at 7,000 ft. on the Mogollon Rim)


ARIZONA BIRDING IN GENERAL

Here's the URL for the Arizona Bird Committee site, which has the state's checklist, review species, and other info for birders:

http://ghrosenberg.home.comcast.net/index.html


SOUTHEAST ARIZONA BIRDING

A truly fabulous website for getting details on species, maps, and habitat is Birding Southeast Arizona. Aside from it being a beautiful site, it is just jammed with local info and links to other sites.

http://portalproductions.com/bsa/


The Southern Arizona Bird Observatory is another unimpeachable source of bird info for the desert southwest. The second link listed below is also on SABO's site, called "Trip Planning," and has many pages of info for the birding traveler.

http://www.sabo.org/
http://www.sabo.org/birding/tips.htm


The Southeast Arizona Birding Trail is actually a huge collaborative project of agencies and environmental groups to promote and protect the 50 hottest birding spots in the southeast part of the state. It has a detailed map and a downloadable version of all the hotspots and directions to finding them. Should be stapled in the back of everybody's favorite field guide!

http://www.seazbirding.com/


It goes without saying that the Tucson Audubon Society has a terrific website, but I'll say it anyhow! Here's their link:

http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/birding/


And for the most recent sightings in southern Arizona and into New Mexico, this very active listserv is indispensable for anyone even thinking of headed to that part of the US:

AZ-NM Birding Forum
http://listserv.arizona.edu/archives/birdwg05.html



NORTHERN ARIZONA BIRDING

There's not nearly as much published info about this part of the state as there is the Mecca of the Southeast, but between the White Mountain Audubon Society and Northern Arizona Audubon Society websites, the northern part of the state gets well covered for sites, species, habitats and other info visiting birders will find useful. Their respective URLs are:

http://www.wmonline.com/audubon/
http://nazas.org/


A specialty site for northern Arizona's raptors is Falcons, Hawks and Eagles of Northern Arizona. While this site only covers raptors, it has some general information on Arizona topography, habitat, and climate, indispensable for understanding the variability of the state's biosphere and very interesting. Great maps.

http://www.dcaccess.com/~gnealon/


There are two great field guides to the northern part of the state, both of which are very popular, and the Flagstaff guide even offers periodic free online updates!

Guide to Birding Flagstaff

http://nazas.org/BirdingFlagstaff.htm


Bird of Sedona and the Verde Valley

http://nazas.org/book.htm



The most active birding forum for this part of the state keeps everyone abreast of recent sightings:

Northern Arizona Bird Forum
http://nazas.org/sightings/

Last edited by Katy Penland : Thursday 21st April 2005 at 01:08.
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Old Thursday 17th July 2003, 18:18   #7
Katy Penland
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Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Harper
Thanks for starting a thread on a GREAT birding state, Katy!
You're quite welcome, Charles! Have you been here? You sure seem to have been all over the world, from your posts! Color me green with envy! :-)

Katy
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Old Thursday 17th July 2003, 20:32   #8
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Been through AZ (16-19 September 2000), mainly collecting pine cones, but a bit of birding as well - got these in my notes:

Golden Eagle - roadside somewhere between CA border on US10 and Prescott; 1st/2nd year bird soaring
White-throated Swift - about 30-40 mobbing the GE!
Phainopepla - several, Prescott area
Hermit Warbler - San Fransisco Mts nr Flagstaff
'Gray-headed' Junco - common, ditto
Green-tailed Towhee - in junipers beside US17 between Flagstaff & Phoenix
Gila Woodpecker - near Tucson
Loggerhead Shrike - by entrance to Chiricahua Nat. Mon.
Cassin's Kingbird - ditto
Gray-breasted Jay - Chiricahua Nat. Mon.
Band-tailed Pigeon - ditto
Bridled Titmouse - Chiricahua Nat. Forest
Swainson's Hawk - between Portal & Rodeo (NM) on fall migration

Probably plus a few more which I'd already seen commonly in CA and didn't bother to note down again

Annoyingly it was a rotten cone crop that year, several I didn't manage to get

Michael

Last edited by Michael Frankis : Friday 18th July 2003 at 07:35.
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Old Friday 18th July 2003, 01:30   #9
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Whoa, I would've had two lifers on your list: Swainson's hawk and gray-breasted jay! Very cool, Michael.

Where specifically were you in Arizona?

Hey, what kind of cones are/were you looking for? I can ship you crates of the stuff from myyard! LOL! We're also going to have a good cone crop this year from several of our ponderosas that are closest to the backyard water. And juniper berries, too, so the robins'll be happy.

Katy
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Old Friday 18th July 2003, 07:21   #10
Michael Frankis
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Hi Katy,

I'll edit the locations into the post above; the Swainson's was a passage bird, last thing before crossing the border into NM (and several more in NM)

Many thanks for the cones offer! - I'll PM later today

Michael
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 03:29   #11
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Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona

If you want to see some of the southern Az. species, but not so far south. Try this road south of Flagstaff to Sedona, it is really great. I had good luck seeing birds like red-faced warbler, painted redstart, bridled titmouse, lots of hummingbirds, pygmy nuthatch, dipper, and many others. The town od Sedona has numerous motels that cater to birders and have feeders.

Good luck.. Van
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 05:42   #12
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That's very true, Van, good suggestion. The Verde Valley sort of pipes migrants north and south from the Tucson area up to Flag and back. And there are lots and lots of birding hot spots in the Camp Verde and Sedona areas.

I'm hoping to get over there this fall since I've never been there. Only 5 hours away, can you believe it?!?! We're never tourists in our own back yards. :-)

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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 15:08   #13
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Katy visited Arizona couple of years back brilliant birding,Ramsey Canyon,Maderia Canyon the Chiucchua? Mts superb,too many birds to highlight but the Zone Tailed Hawk was pretty smart

John
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 16:02   #14
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Post

Most of the birds cited in this thread would be lifers for me. And I live here! And then again, I've yet to dedicate a solid weekend in the Tucson area.

I wish there were more resources, both print and online, for Arizona's most populous area -- Maricopa County, centered around Phoenix.

I have a hunch that Arizona's southwestern area has good birding, too. The Colorado River spills into Baja's Gulf of California.

So many birds, a daunting state for beginning birders.

~roadrunner
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 17:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadrunner
I wish there were more resources, both print and online, for Arizona's most populous area -- Maricopa County, centered around Phoenix.
~roadrunner
Actually if you'll subscribe to the AZ-NM list (URL details in one of my above posts), you can ask onlist about specific Phoenix places to bird. When I did this in January while housesitting there for 3 weeks, not only did I get several responses, but two different sets of people met me and showed me several places. Unfortunately, not being famliar with Phoenix, I couldn't even begin to give you detailed directions (although I'll try to find the two posts to two water treatment facilities that were wonderful -- I know there's one in Gilbert and one in the 91st Ave area west of Phoenix, as well as a reservoir in the Chandler area, all worth visiting). And of course, the Lower Salt River outside of Mesa, as well as the Boyce Thompson Arboretum are spectacular. And there's always Tempe Town Lake and the green ASU campus where something fun can be found, especially the lake.

Hey, maybe all of us caught between Tucson and Flag should compile a book on "Central Arizona" birding! :-)

Katy
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 17:34   #16
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Originally posted by jthatch555
Katy visited Arizona couple of years back brilliant birding,Ramsey Canyon,Maderia Canyon the Chiucchua? Mts superb,too many birds to highlight but the Zone Tailed Hawk was pretty smart

John
Whoa, that's a great bird! Haven't gotten that one yet on MY lifelist!

Are you thinking of the Chiricahua (Cheer-uh-kah-wah) Mountains? There's another range down there that starts with an "H" - Huachuca? - something like that. LOL! Obviously I need to get down to the southeast more often. I have yet to get into the Canyons like Madeira and Ramsey, and especially French Joe, but I understand you need a high-clearance, 4WD for that one.

I was just in Wales and got to do a day's worth of birding on the island of Anglesey thanks to another Birdforum member, and talk about brilliant! But while we were there, he kept getting these pages about birds in Norfolk. Now THAT's where I'm birding next time I'm in the UK! LOL!

Katy
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Old Monday 28th July 2003, 23:12   #17
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I've birded Maricopa County since 1970 many times. There are lots of great areas. Seven Springs is one of my favorites (n. of Phoenix), 91st Avenue along the Verde is Great for migrants, water and riparian species, Saguaro Lake is good year round and below on the Verde has great riparian habitat, South Mountain areas is good for desert species, the Mezadnals (Sp.?) nw of Scottsdale are great for foothill and mountain species, and many other areas. Including the zoo and parks. The Maricopa Audubon chapter has many field trips and many beginners to advanced birders that can help. Good luck. Van
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Old Tuesday 29th July 2003, 09:06   #18
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katy thank you for the correct spelling of Chiricahua,I drove in a normal hire car and only once did i turn back as i was climbing a canyon,it got really "hairy" and i some how managed to turn the car round.what was annoying i have a good list of american warblers,but i "dipped" on a common Arizona bird the Red Face Warbler,they tend to fly through with other flocks of tits and warblers and i arrived as they had just left.

John
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Old Wednesday 19th November 2003, 20:34   #19
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We recently discovered a new locale called the Gilbert Water Ranch Riparian Preserve (a mouthful, I know). It's a 100 acre man-made habitat built over several percolation ponds in the town of Gilbert (a suburb of Phoenix). It's a rather substantive body of water - given the region - and thus draws in many migrating (and of course, non-migrating) birds. Here is a list from our first visit in November of last year:

Turkey Vulture, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, American Coot, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Burrowing Owl, Anna's Hummingbird, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Tropical Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, American Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch, House Sparrow, Peach-faced Lovebird.


Granted that at the time we were new to birding, which made many of these birds new to us, but it was still quite a thrill to see so many birds, in such a wide variety, ensconced in such an accessible area, over so short a time-span. Highly recommended if anyone ever makes a trip to this neck of the woods.


FYI: The website is http://www.riparianinstitute.org


EDIT - an update on some additional birds seen here over time:

Cinnamon Teal, Neotropical Cormorant, White-faced Ibis, American Golden-Plower, American Avocet, Semipalmated Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Wilson's Snipe, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Brown-Crested Flycatcher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Bell's Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, Lucy's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird

Last edited by crispycreme : Monday 25th April 2005 at 23:49.
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