Tucson Audubon Society

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home SEAZ Rare Bird Alert


This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast Arizona was made on November 21, 2014. The next update will be made on November 28.

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 at http://www.azfo.org/gallery/1main/whatIsABC.html.

Where directions are not given, they can be found in the EIGHTH EDITION of Tucson Audubon's Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona. 


#Surf Scoter

#White-winged Scoter


#Green Kingfisher

#Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

#Red-breasted Sapsucker


#Eastern Phoebe


 American Dipper

#Black-capped Gnatcatcher

#Rufous-backed Robin

#Chestnut-sided Warbler


#Louisiana Waterthrush


#Clay-colored Sparrow




At Patagonia Lake State Park (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs) a *GLAUCOUS GULL was photographed on 11/17 (Alan Schmierer), but was seen flying off to the west and not relocated. An #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported along the Birding Trail and the east end of the lake and the Brown Pelican continued on 11/20 (Jim Lawrence).

A *YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continued in Patagonia on 11/15 (Robin Baxter) near the intersection of 4th Ave and Pennsylvania Ave.

At the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve (annotated map:http://goo.gl/maps/0pXsd) a #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN was reported on 11/21 (Sue Trevathan) along the Railroad Trail at its downstream end where the old concrete bridge abutment is next to Sonoita Creek.


An *AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was photographed at a water feature in a yard just south and west of the Sunsites Golf Course on 11/17 (Laurin Richey) and seen briefly the following day, but subsequent efforts to find it were unsuccessful.

Two #WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Willcox on 11/18 (Gary Rosenberg, Chris Benesh).


A *LEAST FLYCATCHER and a *WINTER WREN were reported from San Bernardino NWR on 11/20 (Richard Webster). The flycatcher was “in the tall mesquites where a side track turns into Minckley Ponds – after the main road heading east crosses Black Draw, bear left or north, and the first dirt road left or west goes a short way to Minckley Ponds; the bird was at this junction.” The wren was where a large, dead cottonwood has partly fallen apart along the north edge of Mesquite Pond (one of the ponds 150m NNE of the previous Minckley pond junction).  There were also two separate #CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS – one near Mesquite Pond, and another at the southwesternmost ponds closest to Slaughter Ranch.

A #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER was photographed in Guadalupe Canyon on 11/15 (Doug Gochfeld).


A *BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued sporadically at Sweetwater Wetlands this week (m.ob.); it has been seen in several spots along the river in the past few weeks. A Black-and-white Warbler continued on 11/18 (Tyler Loomis), and a late Thick-billed Kingbird was reported on 11/18 (Joseph Hanson).

The #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and the #RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER continued at McCormick Park this week (m.ob.).

A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued at the Sabino Canyon dam on 10/19 (Jean Hengesbaugh) and about ¼ mile above the dam on 11/20 (Marty Herde).

Two #CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were reported along the south side Rillito River multiuse path between Swan Rd and Columbus Blvd on 11/18 (Mark Stevenson).

The Brown Pelican continued at Lakeside Park through 11/15 (Mark Stevenson), when it was seen flying off into the distance; it was not reported subsequently.


A *WINTER WREN was reported from the Cluff Pond #3 nature trail at Cluff Ranch WMA on 11/17 (Jeff Coker), about 200 yards from the parking area.

A #SURF SCOTER was photographed at Roper Lake SP on 11/15 (Jeff Coker).


At the San Pedro House, a #GREEN KINGFISHER continued along the San Pedro River between trail markers #6 and #8; a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued near marker #7, a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was reported at marker #8, and a #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported about 100 yards east of the house on 11/17 (Larry Norris, Brian Walsh). An #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported just south of the Black Phoebe Pond on 11/21 (John Broz).

A Black-and-white Warbler was reported about ½ mile above the 1.7 mile parking area in Huachuca Canyon on 11/18 (Robert Behrstock).


In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a #RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER continued at Whitehouse Picnic Area on 11/20 (Ron Friesz).


An AMERICAN DIPPER was photographed along Turkey Creek at the intersection of FR42 and FR42B on 11/16 (Doug Gochfeld).



Addendum to Finding Birds in SE Arizona 8th Edition (2011) is now available at: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/359-fbiaddendum8th.html.

TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays.  The gate will open when operations are finished. Roger Road WRF was closed as of 1/10/2014 and it is uncertain when access will be allowed again.

GREEN VALLEY WWTP - Protocol for visiting: use the call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment.

MILLER CANYON - fire and floods have changed Beatty's Guest Ranch; see http://seazhummingbirds.com for more information.

RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is open; it is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

ASH CANYON - Ash Canyon B&B is open; parking is limited to six spots.

BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property is under new ownership.

PATAGONIA - The Patons' yard remains open to birders.

FORT HUACHUCA - 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 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.

SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Managers at the Evergreen Turf Farm (vicinity of Tweedy and Pretzer Rds) have requested that anyone birding there on the weekends please leave by 5:00 PM. This is due to security issues experienced by the Sod Farm. Birders are still welcome here at other times.

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."

The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department is currently revising security procedures and the following rules are subject to change any time. Please see this link for important information regarding access: http://www.pima.gov/wwm/about/pdf/birdwatching.pdf. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open at 6AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger, you will be locked inside).




Good birding!

Andrew Core
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ



Important Phone Numbers

General Info: 520 629-0510
University Nature Shop: 520 629-0510 x1
Rare Bird Alert: 520 629-0510 x3
Education: 520 629-0510 x7012
Membership: 520 629-0510 x7002
Agua Caliente Nature Shop: 760-7881
Executive Director: 520 629-0510 x7001
FAX: 520 623-3476

Sick or injured birds, please call:
Tucson Wildlife Center at 520-903-1104

Additional numbers



A must-have for any SEAZ birding trip!

Learn more or buy one today!


Donate to Tucson Audubon

saguaro_sunsetKeep your quality of life and support our natural world with a donation to Tucson Audubon. There are many ways to donate. Check them out!

See the details


Report Sightings

Phone: 520-629-0510 x3

E-Mail: rarebirdalert

Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted to AZFO.

The Arizona-New Mexico Birding ListServ

Directions to Birding Sites
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the newest edition of Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona, published by and available from Tucson Audubon Nature Shop. Changes in site access since the publication of this guide can be found by going to our Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona Online Addendum.

Methodology of this Report
The sequence of sightings in this report is not random. Species are listed by order of overall rarity within locality. The first locality mentioned contains the rarest species seen during the reporting period. Within that locality, species are mentioned in relative-rarity order or in taxonomic order, if relative rarity is the same, within sub-locality. When the sightings for a locality are complete, the rarest remaining species dictates which locality is mentioned next, and so forth. At any point when 2 or more species are of the same relative rarity, taxonomic order then determines the sequence in which the localities are covered. Consequently, the order in which localities are mentioned will vary from one report to the next.

Contributors are listed in the text. The spelling of names given over the phone is not guaranteed to be accurate. Any errors or omissions are unintentional.


Tucson Audubon's
Mason Center

Birds & Business Alliance

BaBA_logo_genericSupport Tucson Audubon with your "green" business!