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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 April 18, 2014. The next update will be made on April 25.

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. 



#Red-shouldered Hawk

#Broad-winged Hawk

#Least Tern

#Ruddy Ground-Dove


#Black-capped Gnatcatcher



#Worm-eating Warbler



 Evening Grosbeak



At Pena Blanca Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/zBbzl), a LEAST GREBE continued on 4/16 (m.ob.); it prefers Thumb Rock Cove and Pena Blanca Cove at the south end of the lake.


The Brown Fire (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3834/) has resulted in the closure of several canyons, including Ramsey, Brown, Garden and Huachuca. Be prepared for other closures.

In Huachuca Canyon on Ft. Huachuca, the *SINALOA WREN continued through 4/14 (Laurens Halsey).  It has been seen near the lower picnic area and just downstream (north) of the bridge, near a downed sycamore.  For updates on the canyon call the military police at (520) 533-3000.

A *YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was reported on 4/16 (Tom Clancy, Brad Sulentic) at the San Pedro House by the old cowbird cage south of Kingfisher Pond.

An interesting tanager – possibly a hybrid Flame-colored x Western Tanager, or perhaps a pure *FLAME-COLORED TANAGER – was reported from Miller Canyon on 4/16 and 4/18 (Ron Beck). It was seen just below the second stream crossing on 4/16 and just above it on 4/18; this is about 1.5-2 miles above Beatty's Guest Ranch.

A #BROAD-WINGED HAWK was reported from Escapule Wash on 4/14 (Anne and Alan Miller) along the San Pedro River. Map: http://goo.gl/eU8xR.

TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)

The *SINALOA WREN continued along the Anza Trail south of Tubac on 4/17 (Laurens Halsey). It has been heard singing and calling about ¾ mile south of the bridge on the west bank, just south of the powerline cut. This is about halfway to Clark Crossing Rd; please do not cross the fence.


In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a *BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER was photographed on the Carrie Nation Trail in upper Madera Canyon on 4/16 (Dale Toweill, Kathy Kuyper). It was about ¼ mile up from the upper parking area. A pair of #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued Proctor Rd just past the crossing on 4/13 (Marcus Roening, Kathy Kuyper).

In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued this week (m.ob.) above 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. 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 gone too far. It is not necessary, recommended or permissible to enter the research station to see these birds.

A pair of #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued from the intersection of FR62A and FR481 on 4/17 (Mike Rogers), about 400 yards downstream from the Florida Canyon parking area.


In northeast Tucson, an immature #RED-SHOULDERED HAWK continued in the Tanque Verde Wash west of Tanque Verde Loop Road on 4/18 (Paul Suchanek).

A #WORM-EATING WARBLER was reported from a residence in northeast Tucson on 4/12 (Dennis and Patricia Braddy).

10 EVENING GROSBEAKS were reported from Summerhaven in the Santa Catalina Mountains on 4/17 (Mark Stevenson).

A Northern Parula was photographed at the Cortaro Mesquite Bosque in Marana on 4/16 (Andrew Core).

A Black-and-white Warbler continued at Sweetwater Wetlands on 4/13 (Leo Miller).


At Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course, a #LEAST TERN was reported on 4/18 (Andrew Core et al). An American Redstart was reported from the golf course ponds on 4/14 (Keith Kamper).


A #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued at Whitewater Draw through 4/18 (m.ob.) on the dike around the pond.




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 - Due to long-term construction, access to Sweetwater and Roger Road WRF has changed. See our Sweetwater page or http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater for details. 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 - Green Valley WTP has reopened. Protocol for visiting is the same: 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. Consider donating to preserve the property at http://www.abcbirds.org/paton/.

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).

NOGALES STP: closed to birders.

CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: closed to birders.

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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E-Mail: rarebirdalert

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

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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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