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Home SEAZ Rare Bird Alert


This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast Arizona was made on August 22, 2014. The next update will be made on August 29.

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. 



#White-eared Hummingbird

#Plain-capped Starthroat

#Lucifer Hummingbird

#Black-capped Gnatcatcher

#Painted Bunting




A *SHORT-TAILED HAWK was reported again on Mt. Lemmon on 8/17 (m.ob.). This one was seen briefly over Mt Bigelow Rd just east of the Mt Lemmon Hwy.


A *BOBOLINK was reported from the Green Valley WWTP on 8/21 (Laurens Halsey) in a mixed flock of blackbirds feeding in the grasses around the third pond on the west side. To access: use the call box at the first gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment. Park by the two small trees near the gates after signing in, and stay along the main north-south road that bisects the basins. Hours: 7-3:30pm. Also in Green Valley, a Brown Pelican was photographed just after landing at a pond at the Desert Hills Golf Club on 8/19 (Donald Sanderson).

In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT continued near the Madera Picnic Area on 8/19 (Laurens Halsey); 1-2 #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROATS continued uphill in Santa Cruz County at the Santa Rita Lodge this week (m.ob.). A #WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD was photographed on 8/15 (Nancy Christensen) and continued through 8/19 (m.ob.).

In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in multiple locations –along the trail, near the dam, and from the intersection of FR62A and FR481, about 400 yards downstream from the Florida Canyon parking area.

In Montosa Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/8L8tv) #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued on 8/17 (m.ob.); they've been seen near the big culvert recently.


The #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT continued at the Foothills Road (aka Jasper/Rodrigues yard) feeders through 8/21 (Bob Rodrigues). The bird has been visiting the feeder on the right side of the trail before reaching the picnic table. Use caution at the creek crossing; if it's flooded, try another time. Several vehicles have gotten stuck recently.

As of 8/22, the road to South Fork was closed due to flood damage (Helen Snyder).


#LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRDS continued this week (m.ob.) at Ash Canyon B&B. Be aware that a hybrid Lucifer x Costa's Hummingbird is also frequenting the feeders.

A possible Scissor-tailed Flycatcher X Western Kingbird hybrid was reported along Del Valle Rd south of the San Pedro House on 8/18 (Ann & Alan Miller).


A #PAINTED BUNTING continued at Kino Springs on 8/16 (m.ob.) in the ponds near the clubhouse.


A #PAINTED BUNTING was reported at the Paton's yard on 8/16 (Sara Pike, Nancy Christensen).


A #PAINTED BUNTING was reported at Arivaca Lake on 8/16 (m.ob.).



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



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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.


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