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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 July 31, 2015. The next update will be made on August 7.

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. 


#Semipalmated Sandpiper


#White-eared Hummingbird

#Plain-capped Starthroat

#Lucifer Hummingbird


#Black-capped Gnatcatcher



IMPORTANT: Ft. Huachuca has posted information on future access requirements on its official webpage at www.huachuca.army.mil . New access requirements begin 3 August 2015. Look for the "Gate Information" tab on the left side of the homepage. Read the information at the "Visitors Access" button. If you click the "Installation Access Forms" button, you can see the information you'll have to provide to get access. http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html


In upper Ramsey Canyon, the *TUFTED FLYCATCHERS continued this week through 7/30 (m.ob.); however, they have become much more elusive and difficult to find in recent weeks. The birds are being seen about 2 miles up the Hamburg Trail from the Ramsey Canyon Preserve Visitor Center. There is an 8-10 inch diameter fir tree that has fallen on the right side of the trail as you go up and has been cut off at about head height leaving the trunk at a 45 degree angle, with the cut part very close to the trail. Just past this log is a small pile of rocks on the side of the trail. The birds were in the area to the north of the trail between these landmarks; recently they have been found about 150 yards down the trail toward Ramsey Canyon Preserve. It is an occasionally steep 4 mile round trip hike at 6,000 ft elevation to reach this location; take plenty of water (several quarts) and be prepared for very hot dry days or sudden monsoon storm activity. The map here shows the location: https://goo.gl/aMh1ke

In the Ramsey Canyon Preserve, the female *FLAME-COLORED TANAGER continued near the upper bridge on the Bledsoe Loop Trail on 7/30 (Brian Johnson); the male was reported through 7/26 (m.ob.). Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

In Hunter Canyon, a *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER continued through 7/28 (Bradley Hacker).

A #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD appeared at Ash Canyon B&B on 7/26 and continued through 7/31 (Mary Jo Ballator).

In Miller Canyon, a #WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD was reported on 7/30 (m.ob.); no other details were available. A male and female were coming to the Beattys' feeders through 7/22 (Tom Beatty).

A #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT and a #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD continued in a yard in lower Ash Canyon through 7/31 (Robert Behrstock), and a *PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT continued in a yard in Carr Canyon on 7/27 (Hank Brodkin).


At least 4 *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued in Pena Blanca Canyon south of Pena Blanca Lake on 7/27 (Laurens Halsey); 2 were present on 7/29 (Brandon Percival), along with a #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER. The coordinates of the location where they were first seen are 31.3745, -111.1023, which is about 1.5 miles south of Ruby Road. Map: http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L814321

*BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJARS continued at the south end of California Gulch at the confluence with Warsaw Canyon on 7/30 (Chris Rohrer, Walker Noe). Annotated map: http://goo.gl/wSr0mi


Two #SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS were reported at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Willcox on 7/30 (Michael O'Brien).


In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued this week on 7/28 (m.ob.); they've been reported near the Florida Canyon parking area and a short distance up the trail.

In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT continued at the Santa Rita Lodge on 7/30 (Dan Rottino).

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)

A #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT continued in Portal this week; it was seen in Bob Rodriques's yard (http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L994658) on 7/26 and 7/30, and two different birds were in a private yard on 7/27 (Lori Conrad; email lconrad6853 AT gmail.com for directions).

A #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER was photographed in Guadalupe Canyon about 0.8 mi from the entrance on 7/26 (Nancy Hetrick et al).



The revised 8th edition of Finding Birds in SE Arizona (2015) was released in late May! Addendum to the 8th edition is 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.

EL RIO OPEN SPACE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the dirt lot along the south edge near the berm, not in the neighborhood to the west. Annotated map: http://goo.gl/5vIQSb

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 - new hours: Ash Canyon B&B is open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk; 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.  

IMPORTANT: Ft. Huachuca has posted information on future access requirements on its official webpage at www.huachuca.army.mil . New access requirements begin 3 August 2015. Look for the "Gate Information" tab on the left side of the homepage. Read the information at the "Visitors Access" button. If you click the "Installation Access Forms" button, you can see the information you'll have to provide to get access. http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html

ACCESS NOTE: Garden Canyon is closed to vehicles and hikers at the lower picnic area due to extensive flood damage; repairs will take a while, according to base personnel.

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."

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



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 520-290-9453

Additional numbers



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Phone: 520-629-0510 x3

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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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