Bird Sightings -- Updated July 27

EDITOR'S NOTE: the Arboretum had a one-of-a-kind hybrid Violet-crowned x. Broad-billed Hummingbird from 2006 until 2009. Researchers from Southeast Arizona Bird Observatory capture, leg-banded and released the hybrid , check out Richard Ditch's Hybrid Hummingbird photo. See more singular bird photos from BTA including a Northern Saw-whet Owl photographed here in 2007; check out Marceline Vandewater's Gallery and two Merriam's Turkey hens were photographed here from November, 2008 through February, 2009. Check out Tammy Knight's gallery of turkey photos

Bird reports from across Arizona in greater detail are posted at the excellent website
http://birding.aba.org/maillist/AZ

Recent Arboretum checklist reports include:


From Carl Tomoff
Date: July 27, Monday
Initially alerted by distinctive call notes, I found a pair of VARIED BUNTINGS near the Aboriginal Seep.  They fed on Bristlegrass flowers and developing seeds along with several Lesser Goldfinches.  After 40 minutes they flew into the adjacent eucalyptus grove.  Then the male sang briefly near Queen Creek and Silver King Wash.  Fifteen minutes later I heard soft calls and observed an immature Varied Bunting along dense native riparian vegetation not far from the picnic area. Editor's Note: The next Arboretum bird walk is Saturday August 1 at 6:30am guided by Nathan Williams and included with $10 daily admission.


From Carl Tomoff
Date: July 26, Sunday
Transient doves were evident during today’s natural history walk. At least 65 White-winged and 15 Mourning Doves flew overhead throughout the morning. One Eurasian Collared-Dove passed over, allowing a comparison with other doves. Inca Doves called briefly from the Demo Garden. Only a few Broad-billed and Anna’s Hummingbirds were noted. An adult Cooper’s Hawk flushed from the ground in the Legume Garden long after roosting vultures had departed. A pair of Western Kingbirds attended to two young birds while a few family groups of Brown-crested Flycatchers called boisterously. Only two Common Yellowthroats called at Ayer Lake; one male briefly skirted the marsh margin in full view. Two Black Phoebes sallied about and a pair of Purple Martins circled and dipped to drink from the pond. Two immature Lucy’s Warblers briefly visited lakeside vegetation. A raucous family of Common Ravens was heard. Verdins, many with second-brood young, were vocal and conspicuous. Several flocks of Phainopeplas (ranging from 4-8) flew overhead or visited fruiting shrubs. Other berry-eaters included transient Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeaks. The fledgling cowbird previously noted in the Demo Garden was still being fed by a Bell’s Vireo. Other species seen or heard during the walk included: Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers; Canyon and Cactus Wrens; Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Cardinal, Abert’s Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch. Other highlights of the morning were discovering a Western Banded Gecko in an irrigation control box in the Cactus Garden and watching dragonflies that included: Flame Skimmer, Roseate Skimmer, Mexican Amberwing, Red Saddlebags, Black Saddlebags, Blue Dasher, Blue-eyed Darner, and Common Green Darner.
Editor's Note: The next Arboretum bird walk is Saturday August 1 at 6:30am guided by Nathan Williams and included with $10 daily admission.


From Anne Leight
Date: July 19, Sunday
Two Willow Flycatchers were clearly heard calling their distinctive "Fitz-bew" near the eucalyptus forest and creek edge Sunday morning during our birdwalk - a few other highlights include a Zone-tailed Hawk perched near the top of a cottonwood tree by the white bridge over Silver King Wash, also 1 Summer Tanager and 19 Western Tanagers,
1 Black-headed Grosbeak, 1 Bullock's Oriole and 2 Lark Sparrow. We tallied 45 species Sunday including 6 Gambel's Quail, 18 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk 1 (perched on a favored snag on the South side of Queen Creek South of the demonstration garden); 2 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 5 White-winged Dove, 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 4 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 3 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 American Kestrel, 2 Black Phoebe at Ayer Lake, 2 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 4 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 6 Bell's Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 2 Purple Martin sweeps over Ayer Lake at 9am; 5 Verdin, 2 Canyon Wren, 5 Bewick's Wren (3 adults feeding 2 fledged juveniles); 2 Cactus Wren, 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 11 Phainopepla, 3 Lucy's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat (vocal, heard at Ayer Lake); 19 Yellow-breasted Chat, 3 Abert's Towhee, 3 Black-throated Sparrow, 1 Song Sparrow (heard); 2 Brown-headed Cowbird, 5 Hooded Oriole, 2 Northern Cardinal, 4 House Finch and 4 Lesser Goldfinch. Read this and other checklists on Ebird


From Carl Tomoff
Date: July 14,Tuesday
An Elf Owl and two Western Screech-Owls called near the herb garden in dim light after I watched unsuccessfully for Lesser Nighthawk at Ayer Lake.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: July 13, Monday

In addition to usual residents and summer breeders, I noted some early migrants: three Tree Swallows bathed at Ayer as three immature N. Rough-winged and an adult Barn Swallow foraged. Other transients included: 1 male Western Tanager, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak, 1 male Lazuli Bunting, and 2 Lark Sparrows. A first-year Scott’s Oriole fed at saguaro fruit. Others of interest included: a singing Blue Grosbeak along Queen Creek south of the Demonstration Garden, a pair of Bell’s Vireos feeding a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird at the entrance to that garden, one family group of Lucy’s Warblers in the picnic area, and a Zone-tailed Hawk over Queen Creek Canyon. Numerous Yellow-breasted Chats sang incessantly. Editors' Note: BTA's next 6:30am guided bird walk will be July 19 and guided by Anne Leight.


From: Charles Babbitt
Date: Wednesday July 8

A pair of Summer Tanagers gave our Wednesday bird walk group excellent views and a chance to discuss field marks on Wednesday - a fine morning with 46 species found. Elf owls were calling in the pre-dawn darkness of Queen Creek Canyon hours before the guided walk - and a few other notables of Wednesday morning include Gilded Flicker, Greater Roadrunner, Rock Pigeon, Great-blue Heron, Hutton's Vireo, American Kestrel and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. Following the walk John Mitchell also added Blue Grosbeak and Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Rounding-out the list were Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Western Kingbird,
Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow. Editors' Note: BTA's next 6:30am guided bird walk will be July 19 and guided by Anne Leight.


From: Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday June 27

Our Saturday bird walk group had fine views of a Peregrine Falcon at the east end of the Arboretum, soaring above Queen Creek Canyon - near the same area where two young Red-tailed Hawks were later observed circling together - with an adult Red-tail circling beneath them (probably a parent). Three Hummingbird species (Broad-billed, Costa's, Anna's) and three flycatchers (Brown-crested, Western Kingbird and Black Phoebe) were also notable - and we saw both Barn Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallows flying over Ayer Lake. An adult Bronzed Cowbird was perched above the woodland stream water feature near the entrance to the Demonstration Garden - while a juvenile cowbird was begging from its foster parent, a Lucy's Warbler, less than 50 yards away in the Picnic Area. Other birds today include Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow. Editors' Note: BTA's next 6:30am guided bird walk will be July 8 with Charles Babbitt.


From: Nathan Williams
Date: Sunday June 7

An obliging male Blue Grosbeak gave our Sunday bird walk group excellent views while he was perched in the rosewood tree right over the path through the demonstration garden. A few of the other most notables today included a Peregrine Falcon, and a male Purple Martin that stoppedby Ayer Lake for a drink; this is the first one report here this season - Purple Martins are typically seen daily on hot June mornings, when they fly over to the lake for water. We also had both species of Gnatcatcher (4 Blue-grays, 2 Black-tailed); and a Bronzed Cowbird. Other birds today include Gambel's Quail, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, 8 White-winged Dove, 4 Mourning Dove
5 White-throated Swift, Anna's Hummingbird (numerous); 3 Costa's Hummingbird, 3 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 6 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Say's Phoebe, 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 1 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 1 Cassin's Kingbird, X Bell's Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 3 Violet-green Swallow (a Group of 3 seen together over picnic area. Possible 4th seen later by itself drinking from ayer lake); Verdin (numerous); 2 Cactus Wren, 4 Canyon Wren, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, 7 Phainopepla, 6 Lucy's Warbler, 6 Yellow Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroat, 7 Yellow-breasted Chat, 5 Abert's Towhee, 4 Black-throated Sparrow, 1 Western Tanager, 8 Northern Cardinal, 7 Hooded Oriole -- and numerous House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches. Editors' Note: Guided bird walks continue June 27, Saturday with Mark Ochs as our 6:30am guide - and July 8 with Charles Babbitt.


From: Jim & Betsy Walker
Date: Saturday May 22
One Bronzed Cowbird and a pair of Cedar Waxwings were most notable today -- along with at least 7 Hooded Orioles, several of them working the deep red flowers on the South Afrian Boer Bean Tree near the entrance to the desert legume garden - this tree was also particularly popular with hummingbirds today. Also seen and heard around the gardens were 2 Gambel’s Quail, 6 Turkey Vulture, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Spotted Sandpiper on the far side of Ayer Lake, between two large turtles; 1 Mourning Dove, 6 White-winged Dove, 2 Inca Dove, 5 White-throated Swift, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 1 Costa’s Hummingbird, 5 Anna’s Hummingbird, 6 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Black Phoebe, 1 Vermilion Flycatcher, 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 1 Brown Crested Flycatcher, 8 Bell’s Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 4 Violet-green Swallow, 4 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 7 Verdin, 1 Cactus Wren, 1 Canyon Wren, 5 Curve-billed Thrasher (one was bringing food to a nest in the Demonstration Garden); 2 Cedar Waxwing, 15 Phainopepla, 4 Lucy’s Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 4 Yellow Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 4 Yellow Breasted Chat, 1 Summer Tanager, 4 Abert’s Towhee, 2 Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow,9 Northern Cardinal, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak, 8 House Finch, 4 Lesser Goldfinch and 2 House Sparrow. **Today was also notable for Odonate. Damselflies we found were Familiar Bluet, Amethyst Dancer, Fiery-eyed Dancer (new for our life list), and Vivid Dancer -- which was new to the Arboretum, for us. And Dragonflies we saw were Blue-eyed Darner, Gray Sanddragon, Flame Skimmer, Filigree Skimmer, Plateau Dragonlet (new at the Arboretum for us), Red Rock Skimmer and Wandering Glider.


From: Cynthia Donald - and North American Migrant Count (NAMC) volunteers
Date: Saturday May 9
Highlights of today's annual May spring bird count included 2 Black Vultures, one Virginia's Warbler -- and a vocal male Scott's Oriole heard patrolling his territory behind the Smith Building and Children's Garden -- plus a few winter migrant birds found here later than usually seen: Ruby-crowned Kinglet and White-crowned Sparrow. Other birds today included 11 Gambel’s Quail, 31 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 3 Zone-tailed Hawks (two adults - and one immature), 5 Red-tailed Hawks (two adults, plus three young observed at their nest on cliffs just east of Picketpost Mansion ); 15 Mourning Dove, 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 16 White-winged Dove, 2 Inca Dove, 1 Common ground Dove, 1 Lesser Nighthawk; 14 White-throated Swift, 7 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 2 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 8 Costa’s Hummingbird, 16 Anna’s Hummingbird, 11 Gila Woodpecker, 4 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Olive-sided Flycatcher, 1 Western Wood-pewee, 1 Hammond's Flycatcher, 1 "western-type" Flycatcher, 1 Black Phoebe, 2 Say's Phoebe, 1 Vermilion Flycatcher, 10 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 4 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 28 Bell’s Vireo, 3 Warbling Vireo, 7 Common Raven, 6 Violet-green Swallow, 1 Cliff Swallow, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 39 Verdin, 6 Cactus Wren, 1 Rock Wren, 11 Canyon Wren, 3 Bewick's Wren, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 9 Curve-billed Thrasher, 29 Phainopepla, 3 Orange-crowned Warbler, 17 Lucy’s Warbler, 10 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 12 Yellow Warbler, 2 Wilson’s Warbler, 13 Yellow-breasted Chat, 5 Summer Tanager, 4 Western Tanager, 12 Abert’s Towhee, 5 Black-throated Sparrow, 13 Northern Cardinal, 9 Brown-headed Cowbird, 10 Hooded Oriole, 26 House Finch and 24 Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Kathe Anderson
Date: Sunday April 26
Common Ground Dove was notable - also Black-chinned Hummingbird, Gambel’s Quail, Neotropic Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Bell’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Abert’s Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Black-headed Grosbeak, Great-tailed Grackle, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Dave Pearson
Date: Saturday April 25
Ring-necked Duck at Ayer Lake and Common Ground Dove in the Picnic Area were notable; also Black-throated Gray Warbler, Bronzed Cowbird and Cedar Waxwing – and the ‘first of season’ Yellow Breasted Chat and also Black-headed Grosbeak. Today brought the ‘first of season’ Western Tanager and Lazuli Bunting. Other birds today included Gambel’s Quail, Neotropic Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Brown Crested Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert’s Towhee, Lark Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday April 18
A Great Horned Owl may be nesting on the rock cliffs near the already-known red-tailed hawk; the owl was seen more than once in the same spot -- and in full morning sunlight -- at the farthest east perimeter of the main trail. Western Wood-Pewee and Hammond’s Flycatcher were also notable today; along with the "first of season" Western Tanager and Lazuli Bunting, plus a continuing Winter visitor - one vocal Red-breasted Nuthatch found near the Drover's Shed. Other birds today included Gambel’s Quail, Neotropic Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Black Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bewick’s Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Summer Tanager, Abert’s Towhee, Brewer’s Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Pat Leuders - Naturalist Journeys
Date: Thursday April 16

Bendire's Thrasher, Gray Catbird, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Solitary Sandpiper and Gray Vireo were all notable on a morning trip with our Heatherlea group from Naturalist Journeys/Caligo Ventures. The Bendire's Thrasher was out in the desert, we had great looks of it atop a bush and singing; facing NW near the bridge. The Gray Catbird was discussed with my fellow guide, a Ph.D in Ornithology. I see/hear these weekly in Saint Louis, and band them also - so we're 95% sure, but this was a "heard-only" bird, calling maybe 3-4 times, before we got to the bridge. The Solitary Sandpiper was on shore at Ayer lake; alone, a medium-sized shorebird with strong eyering, spotted back, bobbing tale. We saw 2 Gray Vireos chasing each other in an open area with brush (we also had the more common Bell's, Plumbeous and Cassins). The Willow Flycatcher had all the expected field mark -- and was seen in a willow, but not vocalizing. Other birds today included Gambel's Quail, Neotropic Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ash-throated Flycacher, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bushtit, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Bendire's Thrasher, Phainopepla, Curve-billed Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Canyon Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Nathan Williams, with John Ray and Cindy West
Date: Sunday April 12

One White-throated Sparrow with brilliant yellow lores, presumably a continuing individual of the ones reported over the past few months, was just past the herb garden Sunday morning for our bird walk group to see. A few other highlights include one Hammond's Flycatcher, on the opposite side of the path from the herb garden. It was actively flycatching but silent. A Cassin's Vireo was foraging along Queen Creek east of the bridge, in the area around the pumphouse and where the trail narrows and is bounded by the metal railing. I first spotted the Cassin's Vireo low across the creek in line with the palm trees (which incidentally contained a couple Hooded Orioles) and it then continued foraging along the creek and eventually crossed the creek into the tree at the pumphouse. The "first of season" Ash-throated Flycatcher, and one vocal male Scott's Oriole, which appeared to be feeding in the tall evergreens by Ayer Lake and was later seen just west of there in the huge Eucalyptus tree -- and then flew off in the direction of the main Eucalyptus Grove. I'm guessing it's a migrant that stopped for breakfast. We also had at least 5 Hooded Orioles. 3 Neotropic Cormorants remain up at Ayer Lake; other birds today included a kettle of Turkey Vultures observed circling over BTA just as our walk began, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Peregrine Falcon(a flyover); 1 White-winged Dove, numerous Mourning Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 6 White-throated Swift, numerous Anna's Hummingbird, 4 Costa's Hummingbird, 4 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 4 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, numerous Bell's Vireo, 2 Plumbeous Vireo, numerous Violet-green Swallow, numerous Verdin, 1 Cactus Wren, 2 Canyon Wren, 1 Bewick's Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, 4 Orange-crowned Warbler, 8 Lucy's Warbler, 3 Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroat, 1 Spotted Towhee, Abert's Towhee, 5 Lark Sparrow, 1 Song Sparrow, 10 White-crowned Sparrow, 1 Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal, 5 Hooded Oriole, Lesser Goldfinch, 2 House Sparrow.


From: Jim & Betsy Walker
Date: Monday April 6

A Gray Catbird pair near the water tank above Ayer Lake was notable today; has anyone else reported catbirds at BTA this week? A Snowy Egret was at Ayer Lake, and we had colorful views of Hooded Oriole - and a handsome male Black-throated Sparrow singing and guarding from a rock while a female fed young on the ground nearby. Among dozens of bird species today a few standouts included Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Plumbeous Vireo (vocal and seen in the picnic area), Bell's Vireo (vocal just about everywhere!), Violet-green Swallow. Also on the lookout for odonates, we saw these: Familiar Bluet (Ayer Lake), Amethyst Dancer (First time seen at Ayer Lake), Desert Firetail (three egg-laying pairs at the mini oasis), Blue-eyed Darner (Ayer Lake), Mexican Amberwing (Ayer Lake), Gray Sanddragon (first time seen at Ayer Lake, as opposed to Queen Creek), Flame Skimmer (Queen Creek), Common Whitetail (parking lot of picnic area -- which was a weird place to see one!)


From: Troy Corman and Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday April 4

One Hermit Warbler seen in the tamarisks at the east end of the Picnic Area was a treat for our guided birdwalk group today - other warblers at BTA included Lucy's, Yellow and Yellow-rumped (Audubon's), plus a Common Yellowthroat at Ayer Lake. Neotropic Cormorants previuosly reported were still at Ayer Lake, and raptors today included Cooper's, Zone-tailed and Red-tailed Hawk. Today was also notable for a septet of Sparrows, around the gardens we had Chipping, Brewer's, Black-throated, Lincoln's, Song, White-crowned and White-throated. Other birds seen/heard Thursday included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Hammond's Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher (first-of-season); Bell's Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, all five likely wrens: House, Bewick's, Cactus, Rock and Canyon; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, Northern Cardinal, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird (another "first-of-season" since August of 2014); Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Neil Butchard John Ray
Date: Thursday March 26

Thursday brought two "first of season" reports: 2 Black-chinned Hummingbirds, also 1 Hammond's Flycatcher. There were 5 Neotropic Cormorants up at Ayer Lake today. Other birds seen/heard Thursday included 13 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Zone-tailed Hawk, 2 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 2 Mourning Dove 3 Inca Dove, 3 White-throated Swift, 5 Anna's Hummingbird, 3 Costa's Hummingbird, 3 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 3 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker,1 Say's Phoebe, 3 Bell's Vireo, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 1 Hutton's Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 3 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 12 Verdin, 1 Rock Wren, 2 Canyon Wren, 2 Bewick's Wren, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 5 Curve-billed Thrasher, 3 European Starling, 5 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 5 Lucy's Warbler, 12 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 6 Abert's Towhee, 4 Song Sparrow, 2 Lincoln's Sparrow, 4 White-crowned Sparrow, 2 Dark-eyed Junco, 7 Northern Cardinal, 1 Great-tailed Grackle, 2 Hooded Oriole, 12 House Finch, 14 Lesser Goldfinch and 3 House Sparrow.


From: John Ray
Date: Tuesay, March 24

Hooded merganser, gambel's quail, neotropic cormorant, turkey vulture, cooper's hawk, american coot, mourning dove, inca dove, white-throated swift, broad-billed hummingbird, costa's hummingbird, anna's hummingbird, gila woodpecker, black phoebe, common raven, violet-green swallow, verdin, red-breasted nuthatch, bewick's wren, cactus wren, canyon wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, hermit thrush, curve-billed thrasher, phainopepla, lucy's warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, yellow warbler, abert's towhee, rufous-crowned sparrow, lincoln's sparrow, white-throated sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, northern cardinal, red-winged blackbird, hooded oriole, house finch, lesser goldfinch, house sparrow.


From: Charlie Babbitt & John Ray
Date: Sunday, March 22

One vocal Red-breasted Nuthatch in the pine loop area at the south side of the Eucalyptus forest was notable, probably the same bird reported previously this winter. Two White-throated Sparrows were seen in the riparian area east of the Herb Garden, beneath trees and shrubs along Queen Creek. A Pyrrhuloxia was in the main parking lot, just before our walk started - and we heard a Scott's Oriole calling. Today's guided birdwalk group also had a pair of Vermilion Flycatchers above Ayer Lake, and a Roufous-crowned Sparrow calling in the desert scrub on the opposite side of Queen Creek. Ayer Lake still has Hooded Merganser and Neotropic Cormorant ; other birds today included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, American Coot, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladderbacked Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, House Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Canyon Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Dave Pearson, Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday, March 21

On today's 'Welcome Back Buzzards" day birdwalk we had good views of nearly 100 Turkey Vultures as the birds took to the skies around 8:30am; also one Zone-tailed Hawk and one Common Blackhawk -- seen later, soaring above Ayer Lake. This morning was notable for raptors, we also saw one Peregrine Falcon high overhead, plus both Red-tailed and Cooper's Hawk. Today also brought a few first-of-season sightings of returning Spring migrants such Hooded Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird and Cassin's Vireo. Lucy's Warblers are also back; the first reports of these at BTA were Monday of last week - and watch for the pair of Vermilion Flycatchers setting up a nesting territory. Spring has arrived, but a few Wintering birds continue - such as Red-breasted Nuthatch, Hermit Thrush and Red-naped Sapsucker. Others on today's checklist include Hooded Merganser and Neotropic Cormorant at Ayer Lake (also American Coot and Black Phoebe); Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird (these were first reported the previous weekend, by John Ray); Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladderbacked Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin 5 separate wren species ( House, Bewick's, Cactus, Rock, Canyon); Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow,White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Troy Corman, Kurt Radamaker and members of the AZ Field Ornithologists board
Date: Sunday, March 8

One Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was seen in the Pine Loop area Sunday - at the south side of the eucalyptus grove, across from the stone labrynth. 2 White-throated Sparrows were together in Queen Creek Canyon, 1 Brewer's Sparrow was seen in the desert scrub along Queen Creek near the Picnic Area; 1 Summer Tanager, 1 Great-tailed Grackle, and 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler were also notable - as well as all six likely Wrens (1 House, 1 Bewick's, 4 Cactus, 3 Rock, 2 Canyon and 2 Marsh). Ayer Lake still has 2 Hooded Merganser and 2 Neotropic Cormorants, and 1 American Coot. Also on our checklist Sunday were 6 Gambel's Quail, 1 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 6 Inca Dove, 3 White-throated Swift, 8 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Costa's Hummingbird, 2 Red-naped Sapsuckers, 6 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, and 2 Ladderbacked Woodpeckers, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Hutton's Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 3 Violet-green Swallow, 16 Verdin, 12 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 5 Hermit Thrush, 6 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 European Starling, 8 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 8 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Canyon Towhee, 6 Abert's Towhee, 1 Spotted Towhee, 3 Black-throated Sparrow, 6 Lincoln's Sparrow, 2 Song Sparrow, 15 White-crowned Sparrow, 5 Dark-eyed Junco (pink-sided and gray-headed); 12 Northern Cardinal, 15 House Finch, 18 Lesser Goldfinch and 2 House Sparrow.


From: Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton
Date: Saturday, March 7

Saturday's birdwalk group found all wrens on the Arboretum checklist: House, Bewick's, Cactus, Rock, Canyon and Marsh! One vocal Bell's Vireo was notable, also Summer Tanager, Lincoln's Sparrow, Rock Pigeon, Hooded Merganser and Neotropic Cormorant were our highlights - plus the "first of season Turkey Vultures (5 of them circling overhead), Vermilion Flycatcher and Plumbeous Vireo. Also seen and heard around the gardens today were: Gambel's Quail, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Sunday, March 1

During today’s natural history walk, an enthusiastic group was rewarded with a scenic sky and pleasant atmosphere instead of predicted intense rainfall. Serenaded by singing and courting Lesser Goldfinches and Northern Cardinals throughout the morning, we strolled through the gardens, eventually reaching Ayer Lake. We found 2 Hooded Mergansers, 2 Neotropic Cormorants, 1 American Coot, an adult Red-tailed Hawk, 2 White-throated Swifts, 1 Northern Rough-winged and 2 Violet-green Swallows above us. Marsh Wrens and Song Sparrows sang intermittently in the marsh. A pair of Black Phoebes carried nest materials under the deck near the dam. We saw the wintering male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and female Summer Tanager. A male Black-throated Gray Warbler bathed in a water feature in the Demo Garden. As we watched four races of juncos (Oregon, Pink-sided, Slate-colored, Gray-headed), we looked at range maps delineating broadly distinctive breeding ranges for each. Other birds seen or heard were: Gambel’s Quail, Inca Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird constructing a nest, 1 Costa’s Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bell’s Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, wrens (Rock, Canyon, House, Bewick’s, Cactus), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Abert’s Towhee, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and House Finch. Before or after the bird walk, I found: 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Red-naped Sapsuckers, 4 N. “Red-shafted” Flickers, 1 Hammond’s Flycatcher, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 2 Green-tailed Towhees, 12 Spotted Towhees, 2 Rufous-crowned Sparrows, 4 Canyon Towhees, 6 Black-throated Sparrows, and 2 White-throated Sparrows. Red-winged and Brewer’s Blackbirds roosted in the Ayer Lake marsh.


From: Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton; also Kathe Anderson
Date: Saturday, February 21

Neotropic Cormorant, Hooded Merganser, Marsh Wren and American Coot were at Ayer lake Sunday -- with Violet-green Swallows overhead. Our walk started with two fine birds: a Black-throated Gray Warbler foraging along above our group in the Hummingbird Garden, plus an early-for-the-season Bell's Vireo which was calling repeatedly from vegetation around us while there between 8:00-8:30am. Also seen and heard around the gardens today were: Gambel's Quail, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Blacktailed Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, House Sparrow and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Anne Leight
Date: Saturday, February 21

BTA’s scheduled birdwalk was joined by kids and adult chaperones from Desert Rivers Audubon’s EarlyBirders program – and we had a fine morning with 41 species total. Highlights include seeing 2 female HOODED MERGANSERS snoozing on the east side of Ayer lake at the edge of the cattails, plus 2 Neotropic Cormorants. One particularly vocal male RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER revealed himself in the pines at southeast corner of picnic area; not far from that a Red-breasted Nuthatch was at the southeast corner of the Eucalyptus grove, working nearby pine trees – probably the same over-wintering bird that’s been previously found at BTA over the past few months. Swallows are back – we saw 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows over Ayer Lake, and 2 Cliff Swallows diving in and out of crannies in the cliff rock-face above the Clevenger House at the Herb Garden. Also notable were 4 Black-chinned Sparrows seen and heard as we walked the High Trail at 11:45am.
Other birds Saturday morning included a Red-tailed Hawk flyover, 1 American Coot at Ayer Lake, 11 Inca Dove on the fence that separates the Demonstration Garden from the Picnic Area; 1 White-throated Swift, 8 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 3 Gila Woodpecker, 3 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Say's Phoebe, 1 vocal Bell's Vireo (Seen and heard 8:40am in the hummingbird-butterfly garden, right at the start of our bird walk; 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 7 Verdin, 1 Rock Wren, 3 Canyon Wren, 1 Marsh Wren 1 (seen just briefly at Ayer Lake); 3 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 18 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Hermit Thrush, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 4 Phainopepla (we observed a male deliver food to a female where the trail elbows uphill toward Picketpost Mansion); 13 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 4 Abert's Towhee, 4 White-crowned Sparrow, 3 Dark-eyed Junco, 6 Northern Cardinal, 4 House Finch, 5 House Sparrow – and more Lesser Goldfinches than I could count! Birders – its worth stopping by the Picketpost Trailhead just west of the Arboretum; I stopped there before the birdwalk at BTA and found 4 Western Meadowlarks plus one Loggerhead Shrike.


From: Christopher Rustay, NM
Date: Monday, February 16

Two Neotropic Cormorants were at Ayer Lake, and a staffer reported five of these birds were there late on Sunday. The east end of the Arboretum, that hairpin-turn the main trail makes below Picketpost Mansion, was the place to be Monday morning -- I found a Hammond's Flycatcher there, at least two Hutton's Vireos, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler. Also notable today was an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, easily distinguished from Red-naped Sapsuckers also seen at BTA. A Northern Rough-winged Swallow was seen, also White-throated Swift, Lincoln's Sparrow - and White-throated Sparrows in three separte locations (possibly the same individual, but that's unlikely). 1 Brown Creeper was also notable, foraging on what appeared to be a bare willow tree in the queen creek riparian area, east of the suspension bridge. 2 female Hooded Mergansers were on Ayer Lake; other birds seen and heard included Gambel's Quail, American Coot, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdin, Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-tailed Gnarcatcher,Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Canyon Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Barbara Buck -- guiding El Paso Audubon Society visitors
Date: Saturday, February 14

The two female Hooded Mergansers previously reported at Ayer Lake were still here Saturday morning to greet our visiting group from the El Paso Audubon Society. Other birds seen and heard included 5 Gambel's Quail, 1 American Coot, 2 Inca Dove, 2 Mourning Dove, 6 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 2 Black Phoebe, 3 Say's Phoebe, 2 Common Raven, 30 Verdin, 1 continuing Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 Canyon Wren, 1 Bewick's Wren, 4 Cactus Wren, 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Hermit Thrush, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 4 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 5 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Spotted Towhee, 3 Abert's Towhee, 3 Black-throated Sparrow, 4 White-crowned Sparrow, 5 Dark-eyed Junco (3 Oregon and 2 Pink-sided form); 7 Northern Cardinal, 19 House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch (too numerous to count) - and 5 House Sparrow.


From: Nathan Williams
Date: Friday, February 13

Three White-throated Sparrows seen just south of the Demonstration GArden were a notable highlight today - we also saw 2 female HOODED MERGANSERS at Ayer Lake. Others seen and heard included 5 Gambel's quail, 1 Cooper's hawk, 1 Costa's hummingbird, numerous Anna's hummingbird, 5 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Northern (Red-shafted) flicker, 2 Ladder-backed woodpecker, 1 Black phoebe, 1 Common raven, numerous Verdin, 2 Cactus wren, 1 Rock wren, 2 Canyon wren, 1 Marsh wren, 7 Ruby-crowned kinglet, 1 Hermit thrush, 1 Northern mockingbird, 5 Curve-billed thrasher, 9 Yellow-rumped warbler, 5 Abert's towhee, 3 Spotted towhee, 1 Black-throated sparrow, 1 Lincoln's sparrow, 10 Dark-eyed junco, 8 Northern cardinal, 3 House finch, and many Lesser goldfinch and House sparrow.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Sunday, February 8

A male Cinnamon Teal joined an American Coot and two Hooded Mergansers (a second was present on Feb 7) at Ayer Lake. A wintering male Bell’s Vireo sang nearly continuously for over an hour in the Hummingbird Garden, uttering songs at a rate of up to 20/minute. The continuing female Summer Tanager called in the palm grove/pine loop area. Other species included: Gambel’s Quail, 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 4 White-throated Swifts, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, 2 Red-naped Sapsuckers, 3 “Red-shafted” Northern Flicker, Black and Say’s Phoebes, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 1 Cassin’s Vireo, 5 Hutton’s Vireos, a pair of Common Ravens, Verdin, six Wrens (Rock, Canyon, House, Marsh, Bewick’s,
Cactus), a pair of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (with higher song rates than during January), a flock of 10 Western Bluebirds, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler, 6 Black-throated Gray Warblers in the gardens and 2 in nearby desert scrub, 4 towhees (1 Green-tailed Towhee, Spotted, Canyon, Abert’s), 6 sparrows (2 Rufous-crowned, Black-throated, 3 Song, 2 Lincoln’s, 1 White-throated, and White-crowned), 2 “Oregon” Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal (starting to sing), House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch (both species singing vigorous choruses), and House Sparrow.


From: Cathy Wise and Steven Prager
Date: Sunday, February 8

One very vocal BELL'S VIREO, also one female SUMMER TANAGER and a continuing RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were each notable today; and a wintering female HOODED MERGANSER remained at Ayer Lake. Others seen and heard included Gambel's quail, Cooper's hawk, American coot, White-throated swift, Costa's hummingbird, Anna's hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-shafted flicker, Red-naped sapsucker, Ladder-backed woodpecker, Black phoebe, Say's phoebe, Hutton's vireo, Common raven, Verdin, Bewick's wren, Cactus wren, Rock wren, Canyon wren, Marsh wren, Ruby-crowned kinglet, Hermit thrush, Northern mockingbird, Curve-billed thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped warbler, Abert's towhee, Spotted towhee, Black-throated sparrow, White-crowned sparrow, Dark-eyed junco (Oregon race), Northern cardinal, House finch, Lesser goldfinch, House sparrow.


From: Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton
Date: Saturday, February 7

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's and Red-tailed were notable Saturday - also Black-throated Gray Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Red-breasted Nuthatch and White-throated Swift. A female Hooded Merganser continues to be on Ayer Lake, along with one American Coot. Others seen and heard today were Gambel's Quail, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdin, five wren species (Bewick's, Cactus, Rock, Canyon and Marsh); Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Anne Leight and Marceline VandeWater
Date:Saturday, January 31

One female Summer Tanager along Queen Creek and one Red-breasted Nuthatch were notable Saturday during BTA's first guided birdwalk of 2015. A female Hooded Merganser was seen again today at Ayer Lake; alsoon our checklist were Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, American Coot, Inca Doves, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdins; Cactus Wren (also Canyon and Marsh Wren); Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Peg Abbott , Naturalist Journeys of Portal, AZ
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Great day to explore the gardens with seven participants on a naturalistjourneys.com field trip -- our highlight was to see four races of juncos foraging together near the Drover's Shed: slate-colored, Oregon, pink-sided and gray headed - and one Red-breasted Nuthatch also near the Drover's Shed, with a male Red-naped Sapsucker. Abert's Towhees were special for our out-of-state visitors, and we found at least 10 individuals around the Arboretum grounds (also Canyon and Spotted Towhee). We observed classic Phainopepla behavior watching a handsome male feeding on mistletoe berries, and a few other highlights were four male Northern Cardinals, 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers, two pairs of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and at least 10 ruby-crowned Kinglets. The previously-reported female Hooded Merganser continues at Ayer Lake with one American Coot for company, and we crossed paths with 3 separate covies of Gambel's Quail. also on our checklist were Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Inca Doves between the picnic area and visitor center; about 6-8 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Common Raven, 2 pair of Verdins; Bewick's Wren (also Cactus, Rock and Canyon); Hermit Thrush, American Robin, 4 Northern Mockingbird, 7 Curve-billed Thrasher (two pair); White-crowned Sparrow, 3 House Finch, and numerous Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Dave Pearson
Date: Thusday, January 22, 2015

A female HOODED MERGANSER continues at Ayer Lake and one other surprise was a BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW near the Desert Legume Garden. Despite cold, windy conditions today we found four wrens (House, Cactus, Rock and Canyon) and three Towhee species ( Canyon, Abert's, Spotted). One Black-thoated Gary Warbler was also notable. Also seen and heard were American Coot, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: January 13, tuesday

A female“YELLOW-SHAFTED” Northern Flicker visited the picnic area today while a BELL’S VIREO moved through the area. This is possibly a second individual, since it was a considerable distance from where a Bell’s was found yesterday.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: January 12, Monday

After a gentle overnight rain, I found the apparent wintering BELL’S VIREO; it traveled from the west end of the Chihuahuan Garden through the Cactus Garden to the boojum area. A few Cedar Waxwings visited briefly. A Plumbeous Vireo foraged in the vicinity of Cassin’s and Hutton’s Vireos, a Black-throated Gray Warbler, and numerous Ruby-crowned Kinglets near the Drover’s Shed. A Great Horned Owl flew over Ayer Lake into the desert north of the highway after sunset.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: January 11, Sunday

A male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER drilled in salt cedars in the picnic grounds. An American Robin flew from near the Smith Building to the conifers at Ayer Lake where the Hooded Merganser foraged. Paul Wolterbeek first saw this merganser on January 6.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: January 10, Saturday

This morning a calling SUMMER TANAGER moved between the eucalyptus grove and Clevenger house. The Hooded Merganser remained at Ayer Lake. A flock of 7 Western Bluebirds flew overhead. Other highlights included: 1 Cassin’s Vireo, 3 Hutton’s Vireos, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 3 Black-throated Gray Warblers, and 1 White-throated Sparrow. Most resident and wintering species were also noted.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: January 9, Friday

Friday Highlights from a stroll in late afternoon included a HOODED MERGANSER and a female Mallard bathing at Ayer Lake; later the Mallard flew off to the east. THREE tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS foraged together near the herb Garden (all in the same binocular view!) and a fourth scratched in the olive grove.


From: John Tharp & Rachel Wilson
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One vocal Bell's Vireo was an out-of-season surprise here Tuesday morning; we also saw 2 Cassin's Vireos, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch in the eucalyptus grove, 1 Black-thoated Gary Warbler - and a female Costa's Hummingbird. Temperatures were mild; others on our list were Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, one (probable) Dusky Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Verdin, Canyon Wren, House Wren, Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Christmas Bird Count, coordinated by Craig Fischer and Volunteers
Date: Friday, December 26
, 2014
One Crissal Thrasher, 2 Cassin's Vireos and one Loggerhead Shrike were among highlights of the annual Christmas Bird Count. Also on our checklist were: 29 Gambel's Quail, 2 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 American Coot, 18 Inca Dove, 2 Mourning Dove, 24 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 31 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Red-naped Sapsucker, 8 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 10 Northern Flicker (Red-shafted), 4 Gilded Flicker, 8 Black Phoebe, 7 Say's Phoebe, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 4 Hutton's Vireo, 5 Common Raven, 44 Verdin, 12 Rock Wren, 1 Canyon Wren, 1 House Wren, 37 Cactus Wren, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 18 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 41 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 6 Hermit Thrush, 12 Curve-billed Thrasher, 7 Northern Mockingbird, 11 Phainopepla, 16 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's), 6 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 4 Spotted Towhee, 11 Canyon Towhee, 13 Abert's Towhee, 31 Black-throated Sparrow, 1 Song Sparrow, 55 White-crowned Sparrow, 4 Dark-eyed Junco, 26 Northern Cardinal, 137 House Finch, 47 Lesser Goldfinch and 31 House Sparrow.


From: Anne Leight and Alex Grant
Date: Saturday, December 13
, 2014
A few hearty souls joined Alex Grant and me for a surprisingly worthwhile two hours’ of birding in the rain Saturday; a few highlights were views of a Green-tailed Towhee and Black-throated-Gray Warbler. Our total of 36 species includes 5 Gambel's Quail, 2 Red-tailed Hawks (on utility poles along the Highway less than 1/2 mile from BTA's entrance); 1 American Coot, 13 Inca Dove, 2 Mourning Dove, 3 Anna's Hummingbird, 3 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Northern Flicker, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 2 Verdin, 2 Canyon Wren, 1 House Wren, 2 Marsh Wren, 1 Bewick's Wren, 2 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 9 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Hermit Thrush, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 6 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Spotted Towhee, 2 Abert's Towhee, 2 Song Sparrow, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 14 White-crowned Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed Junco (‘Oregon’); 4 Northern Cardinal, 2 House Finch and 24 Lesser Goldfinch. The Junco was at the South edge of the main parking lot, seen as I was leaving. EDITOR’S NOTE park staff reported a SORA was seen at Ayer Lake Monday.


From: Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday, December 6

Nine participants on this gray, overcast morning. Very quiet and few (27) birds -- our list includes American Coot, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Plumbeous Vireo, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Anne Leight and Cindy Marple
Date: Sunday, Nov. 30
, 2014
One Black-throated Gray Warbler near the Southwest corner of the Demonstration Garden, was among our highlights today -- also 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 1 Lark Sparrow - and 8 Common Ground-Dove. The demonstration garden and the dry bed of Queen Creek behind the 'Demo' were really hopping! Our total of 37 species also included 9 Gambel's Quail, 1 American Coot, 1 Inca Dove, 3 White-throated Swift , 4 Anna's Hummingbird, 2Broad-billed Hummingbird, 4 Gila Woodpecker, 3 Northern Flicker, 1 Black Phoebe, 1 Say's Phoebe, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 6 Verdin, 1 Rock Wren, 1 Marsh Wren, 2 Bewick's Wren, 1 Cactus Wren (we really looked and listened, but no Canyon wren today); 11 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Hermit Thrush, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 3 Phainopepla, 2 Orange-crowned Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Spotted Towhee, 4 Abert's Towhee, 16 White-crowned Sparrow, 3 Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon Type); 6 Northern Cardinal, 4 House Finch, 12 Lesser Goldfinch and 2 House Sparrow.


From: Cindy Marple
Date: Sunday, Nov. 23

White-throated Sparrow was our most notable find today; other wintering migrants seen included Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-throated Gray Warbler and Hermit Thrush. Others on today's checklist were Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, American Coot, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Say's Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdin, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick's Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Marsh Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Troy Corman
Date: Saturday, Nov. 15

A Sora at Ayer Lake was notable - its the first time one has been reported since April, also one Cassin's Vireo - and one continuing Red-breasted Nuthatch seen in various gardens since October. Other birds today included 6 Gambel's Quail, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 American Coot, 6 Inca Dove, 1 White-throated Swift, 9 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 7 Gila Woodpecker, 8 Northern Flicker, 1 Red-naped Sapsucker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Say's Phoebe, 1 Hutton's Vireo, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 16 Verdin, 3 House Wren, 3 Bewick's Wren, 6 Rock Wren, 3 Canyon Wren, 1 Marsh Wren (heard only); 22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 6 Hermit Thrush, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 3 Phainopepla, 2 Orange-crowned Warbler, 7 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 6 Abert's Towhee, 1 Spotted Towhee, 1 Song Sparrow, 5 White-crowned Sparrow, 8 Northern Cardinal, 12 House Finch, 3 Lesser Goldfinch and 1 House Sparrow.


From: Mark Ochs and Cindy West
Date: Saturday, Nov. 15

Cindy West and I led 15 participants on a quiet tour today. We saw a total of 30 species. Gambel's Quail, American Coot, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Plumbeous Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Jay Taylor and Marceline VandeWater
Date: Saturday, Nov. 1

A continuing YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, a male with red throat completely bordered by black, white nape without any red, seen in tamarisk trees in the east side of the picnic area along with at least two Red-naped Sapsuckers for comparison; a White-throated Sparrow (white-striped morph) was found by Marceline along Queen Creek. Other notable finds included a very vocal Northern Beardless Tyrannulet along Queen Creek, a Summer Tanager in the Australian section - and a Golden Eagle under attack by a Peregrine Falcon over Arnett Canyon. A photographer separately found Red-breasted Nuthatch, Gilded Flicker, Others today included 4 Gambel's Quail, American Coot, 3 Inca Dove, 1 Greater Roadrunner, 4 White-throated Swift, 8 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 5 Broad-billed Hummingbird (one seen at the start of the main trail, just behind the visitor center; two more at the nectar feeders, and along Queen Creek); 9 Gila Woodpecker, 3 Red-naped Sapsucker, 3 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 7 Northern Flicker, 1 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet (unseen, but the distinctive piping whistle call was heard at least 8 times along Queen Creek); 3 Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, 1 Hutton's Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 25 Verdin, 5 Rock Wren, 3 Canyon Wren, 3 House Wren, 2 Marsh Wren, 5 Bewick's Wren, 5 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 16 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, 6 Curve-billed Thrasher, 3 Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 6 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 1 Green-tailed Towhee, 1 Rufous-crowned Sparrow, 7 Abert's Towhee, 1 White-throated Sparrow (White-striped morph: white throat and yellow loral spot seen clearly - it was Along Queen Creek); 8 White-crowned Sparrow, 1 Summer Tanager, 8 Northern Cardinal, 20 House Finch, 7 Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Bonnie Pranter and Prescott Audubon Society members
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 29

One Band-tailed Pigeon was a notable find Wednesday when our group from the Prescott Audubon Society visited. A continuing Red-breasted Nuthatch was also notable, likely the same bird reported earlier this month. Also seen and heard today were American Coot, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (about 6 or 7 ‘Red-shafted’ race, and one yellow-shafted); Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, an unidentified Empidonax species; Say’s Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, 2 Summer Tanagers; Black-throated Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal and House Finch.


From: Anne Leight and March Ochs
Date: Sunday, Oct. 26

Our group missed it, but Cynthia Donald reported one YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER seen in the Eucalyptus grove and in teh Australian trees closer to the Picnic Area Sunday. Most notable for our group was the Red-breasted Nuthatch which continues to be present -- and vocal; also one Lincoln's Sparrow. Also seen and heard today were Gambel's Quail, Sharp-shinned Hawn, Cooper's Hawk, American Coot, Inca Dove, Anna' Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern 'Red-shafted' Flicker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladderbacked Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Lark Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Troy Corman, Charlie Babbitt -- and Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton
Date: Saturday, Oct. 18

One Western Screech Owl gave a vocal response this morning, calling from the Queen Creek riparian area at the bottom of the 'Switchback' section of the main trail. One Greater Roadrunner was notable, as were wrens - Cynthia's group heard at least 6 individual Marsh Wrens calling from the cattails around Ayer Lake - plus one American Coot; other Wrens on today's list were 2 House, 5 Bewick's, 4 Rock, 2 Canyon and 2 Cactus Wrens. Other birds were 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, 6 Anna's Hummingbird, 3 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 2 Costa's Hummingbird, 8 Gila Woodpecker, 8 Northern 'Red-shafted' Flicker, 4 Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Say's Phoebe, 3 Hutton's Vireo, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 10 Verdin, 2 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 18 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 4 Hermit Thrush, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 5 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 12 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 3 Western Tanager, 1 Green-tailed Towhee, 2 Canyon Towhee, 8 Abert's Towhee, 4 Spotted Towhee, 1 Rufous-crowned Sparrrow, 2 Black-throated Sparrow, 7 White-crowned Sparrow, 6 Northern Cardinal, 6 House Finch and 2 Lesser Goldfinch. .


From: Richard Ditch & Kathe Anderson
Date: Sunday, Oct. 12

Sunday morning highlights included one Band-tailed Pigeon high on the south side of the canyon and observed from the 'switchbacks' section of the main trail at the East end of the Arboretum -- also many Western Tanagers in various locations. We had about 20 participants on the bird walk, clear value skies and warm temps; other birds, in order they were encountered, include: Say's Phoebe, House Finch, Gila Woodpecker, Gambel's Quail, Curve-billed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Bell's Vireo, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Common Raven, Western Tanager, Verdin, Lesser Goldfinch, Abert's Towhee, Turkey Vulture, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Marsh Wren, Cactus Wren, Northern (red-shafted) Flicker, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Band-tailed Pigeon, House Wren, Northern Cardinal. A few additional ones seen by some on the walk included: House Sparrow, Inca Dove, Canyon Towhee, Rock Wren.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Friday, Oct. 10

A singing Gray Vireo along Silver King Wash north of Ayer Lake may have been the same bird found there on Oct 7. At least three rather late Bell’s Vireos were still present and one male Hooded Oriole was noteworthy. A remarkable flock of 45-50 Band-tailed Pigeons (rare, infrequent transients here) flew westward; later six arrived and entered the eucalyptus grove before sunset. At least 20 Western Tanagers foraged on pistachio fruit. A Peregrine Falcon flew over Queen Creek on October 7.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Monday, Oct. 6

In addition to most of the species below reported by the Hosmers, I noted 2 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS in pistachios at the olive grove and later near the here garden where several Northern "Red-shafted" Flickers were joined by both male and female "YELLOW-SHAFTED" Flickers, 3 Hermit Thrushes (first of season), 1 female SUMMER TANAGER, and 12 Western Tanagers. Over a period of 40 minutes, I followed a Red-breasted Nuthatch (possibly the one first reported on Sept 7) from eucalyptus trees near the Legume Garden through the olive grove to the trees at the Clevenger House/Herb Garden. Other species observed were: 1 Cooper's Hawk, 2 Mourning Dove at Ayer Lake, 3 Hutton's Vireo (first of season), 2 Bell's Vireo, Cactus and House Wrens; 2 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher in the Chihuahuan Gardens, 1 Cedar Waxwing, 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 1 Wilson's Warbler, 2 late male Hooded Oriole, a flock of Brewer's Blackbird, 3 Spotted Towhee (first of season), 2 Rufous-crowned Sparrow, 4 Canyon Towhee, 1 Lark Sparrow, and House Sparrows.


From: Steve & Joan Hosmer
Date: Monday, Oct. 6

5 Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii), 45 Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) Estimated count as they roosted on rock outcrops - as it got warmer they took flight; 3 Inca Dove (Columbina inca) in trees in the Picnic Area; 1 Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri); 6 Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna); 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris); 4 Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis); 1 Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) in the riparian area along Queen Creek at extreme SE end of the Main Loop Trail; 3 Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris); 6 Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group]); 1 Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans); 2 Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya); 1 Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus) in Chinese Pistachio trees near Herb Garden; 1 Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)in a tree in the Picnic Area; 1 Common Raven (Corvus corax); 5 Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps); 4 Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus); 2 Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus); 1 Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) in cattails around Ayer Lake; 4 Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii); 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula); 3 Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre); 3 Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos); 2 Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens); 2 "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata auduboni) in Junipers just west of Ayer Lake; 1 Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus) in trees and shrubs in the Picnic Area; 3 Abert's Towhee (Melozone aberti); 2 Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata); 1 Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) on the ground among shrubs in the Demonstration Garden; 3 Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) on ground among shrubs in Demonstration Garden; 3 White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys); 9 Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) generally feeding on Chinese Pistachio berries across from the Herb Garden; 4 Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis); 16 House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus); 2 Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) in trees at SE corner of the Demonstration Garden - and 22 Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 22
Editor's note: this report originally posted at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20051193


From: Cathy Wise
Date: Saturday, Oct. 4

One Brown Creeper and one Red-breasted Nuthatch; unusual for BTA, were both notably on today's group guided bird walk. We also found one Black-throated Gray Warbler, all five wrens (Bewick's, Cactus, Canyon, Rock, House and Marsh) - and numerous Western Tanagers. Also our our Saturday checklist were Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Anna' Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladde-rbacked Woodpecker,Northern 'Red-shafted' Flicker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Black Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Nathan Williams
Date: Friday, Oct. 3

I spent the afternoon at BTA today and met up with a group birding as part of the Arizona Field Ornithologists conference over the weekend. My highlights included a Peregrine Falcon flying over the Demonstration Garden, an American Kestrel along Queen Creek, 2 Green-tailed Towhees (one in the Hummingbird Garden and the other on north side of the Demo Garden), and 2 Red-naped Sapsuckers (one in the Hummingbird Garden and the other in Queen Creek). .My sightings are below (the other AZFO members, led by John Saba, had some additional species not listed here). Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Raven, Verdin, Canyon Wren
, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Western Tanager, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch. Editor's note: Nathan's complete report is postd at
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20020767


From: Dave Pearson, Anne Leight; also Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton - and Mark Ochs
Date: Saturday, Sept. 20

Leading the 'Bye-Bye Buzzards' day event bird walk, Dave Pearson and Mark Ochs found a Willow Flycatcher and also one Western Wood-Pewee near the Picnic Area -- plus an all-brown female bunting with no wing bars, most likely a female VARIED BUNTING, observed in the demonstration garden eating seeds from sunflowers along the southeast path; also the first-of-season White-crowned Sparrow. Guiding another section of the bird walk Saturday morning, Cynthia and Pete found a Northern Beardless Tyrranulet. Anne and her group separately saw the first-of-season returning Northern Red-shafted flicker back from high elevations to spend the fall/winter season here; also notable was an Olive-sided flycatcher seen along Queen Creek- just south of the picnic area at 6:30 AM, with a gray vest that was well-displayed. Birds seen by both teams included birds on my checklist today include 4 Gambel's Quail, 36 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 2 Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Rock Dove, 1 Lesser Nighthawk, 2 White-throated Swift, 3 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Olive-sided Flycatcher, 1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher, 2 Black Phoebe, 2 Cassin's Kingbird, 3 Bell's Vireo, 2 Warbling Vireo, 5 Verdin, Common Raven, 2 Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, 3 Canyon Wren, 2 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Phainopepla, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, 1 Common Yellowthroat (Heard only, at Ayer lake); 3 Canyon Towhee, 4 Abert's Towhee, 1 Black-throated Sparrow (by ear); , 1 Song Sparrow, 2 Summer Tanager, 8 Western Tanager, 5 Northern Cardinal, House Finch and 6 Lesser Goldfinch. Read Anne's Complete report on Ebird.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Thursday, Sept. 18

A female Belted Kingfisher, 2 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a group of five Raccoons visited Ayer Lake today.  A flock of 36 Violet-green Swallows foraged over the lake before moving on; only one Northern Rough-winged Swallow was seen.  The numbers of Western Tanagers (60+) and Warbling Vireos (40+) were striking.  Other transients included 2 Western
Wood-Pewees, 1 Willow Flycatcher, 2 Dusky Flycatchers, 1 late Ash-throated Flycatcher, 9 Cassin’s Kingbirds, 8 Western Kingbirds, 2 Plumbeous Vireos, 3 MacGillivray’s Warblers, 4 Wilson’s Warblers, 4 Green-tailed Towhees, several Chipping and Lark Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow in the Demo Garden (the fall’s first), and a late Hooded Oriole.  Most of yesterday’s species were also noted today.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 17

Birds were rather quiet during this morning’s pleasant walk in balmy air under a scenic cloudy sky. Most summer residents had departed; numerous Bell’s Vireos and Summer Tanagers remained, but only a few Phainopeplas, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Blue Grosbeaks were noted.  Over 75 Turkey Vultures drifted about.  A few Broad-billed and Anna’s Hummingbirds were active. Migrant Western Tanagers (35+), Warbling Vireos (18+), and Black-headed Grosbeaks (6) were conspicuous, many feeding on Desert Hackberry and Pistachio fruits.  Other transients included: Mourning Dove (1), Western Wood-Pewee (2), Western Kingbird (5), Cassin’s Kingbird (2), Cassin’s Vireo (1), Violet-green Swallow (15+; 5), Barn Swallow (3), House Wren (2), Northern Mockingbird (1), and Cedar Waxwing (2).  Permanent residents noted included: Gambel’s Quail, 1 adult Cooper’s Hawk, Inca Dove (6), Gila Woodpecker (4), Black Phoebe (1), Common Raven (1), Verdin, four wrens (Cactus, Rock, Canyon, Bewick’s), Curve-billed Thrasher (singing briefly), Northern Cardinal, Abert’s Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow (2), House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.  After the walk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Willow Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Wilson’s Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Lark Sparrow, and Song Sparrow were noted.


From: Arizona Field Ornithologists Board Members Kurt Radamaker, Marceline Vandewater & Muriel Neddermeyer
Date: Sunday, Sept. 7

Light breezes made for a pleasant morning birding around the gardens prior to a our Fall board meeting here; a few notable sightings included a Willow Flycatcher near the Pistachio Grove across from the Herb Garden; also a first-year Common Blackhawk soaring above Queen Creek Canyon - and nice views of a vivid Blue Grosbeak pair in the desert scrub of Queen Creek, viewed from the south side of the Picnic Area. AZFO Board's Lauren also had one Red-breasted Nuthatch; unusual for BTA. Other birds on our group checklist included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Anna' Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladderbacked Woodpecker, a Western-type Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Bell's Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Phainopepla, MacGillvray's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Western Tanager, Abert's Towhee, Brewer's Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Charlie Babbitt
Date: Sunday, August 31, 2014

Four Hummingbird species today (Anna's, Broad-billed, Black-chinned and Costa's) made for a fine morning, along with a few colorful Summer migrants stil in the gardens including Blue Grosbeak and Lazuli Bunting in Queen Creek, observed from the south side of the Picnic Area; more than a dozen Western Tanagers, Western Wood-pewee and Cordillersan Flycatcher; plus 6 Western Kingbirds -- probably two separate family groups. Gilded Flicker, Purple Martin and Cliff Swallow were also notable, along with Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Summer Tanager. Other birds on today's checklist include Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, Gila Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Canyon Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Jim & Judy Taylor
Date: Saturday, August 30

One Nashville Warbler in the Demonstration Garden was notable; we also found Wilson's Warbler, Summer Tanager, and Common Ground Dove in the 'Demo' Garden, and saw a Prairie Falcon fly over. A Gray Flycatcher was in the Hummingbird Garden; in other spots we saw Western Wood-pewee, Willow Flycatcher and Western Kingbird. Other birds on today's checklist include Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Plumbeous Vireo (heard, not seen), Warbling Vireo (common) Barn Swallow, Verdin, Canyon Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Western Tanager (numerous, and all female or juvenile birds); Abert's Towhee, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Anne Leight
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two Common Ground-Doves in a eucalyptus tree right along the main trail behind the visitor center was a fine way to begin today's guided birdwalk; we also saw a Lesser Nighthawk, Peregrine Falcon, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 1 Blue Grosbeak and 3 Lazuli Bunting. Other birds on today's checklist of 41 total species were 6 Gambel's Quail, 8 Turkey Vultures, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Inca Dove, 3 White-winged Dove 3, 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western Flycatcher); 2 Black Phoebe at Ayer Lake; Western Kingbird, 3 Bell's Vireo, 2 Warbling Vireo, 2 Common Raven, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 3 Verdin, 2 Rock Wren, 2 Canyon Wren, 1 Cactus Wren, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 2 Northern Mockingbird, 2 Phainopepla, 1 Lucy's Warbler, 2 Yellow Warbler, 2 Wilson's Warbler, 4 Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Canyon Towhee, 4 Black-throated Sparrow, 3 Summer Tanager, 4 Western Tanager, 2 Northern Cardinal, 2 Black-headed Grosbeak, 3 House Finch and 9 Lesser Goldfinch.
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19561294


From: Fonda & Scott Christopher
Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014

We saw four White-throated Swifts flying over Ayer Lake - first we've seen here in quite some time! 3 Western Tanagers and 2 Black-headed Grosbeaks show that Fall migrants are beginning to move through; others on our checklist were 6 Gambel's Quail, numerous Turkey Vultures, one Cooper's Hawk (by ear, not seen); 1 Inca Dove, 7 Mourning Dove, 5 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker (numerous); 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 3 Western Kingbird, Bell's Vireo (numerous); 1 Warbling Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 2 Verdin, 4 Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren (numerous); 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Northern Mockingbird, Phainopepla (numerous); 4 Yellow-breasted Chat, 3 Abert's Towhee, 1 Black-throated Sparrow, 8 Northern Cardinal, 6 Hooded Oriole and many House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches.


From: Jay Taylor
Date: Sunday, August 3

Fall migration was more obvious this past Sunday on our group bird walk, we had at least 12 Western Tanagers, a number inflated by migrants passing through the area. One Western Wood-Pewee was present, plus one Western-type Flycatcher (Pacific-slope/Cordilleran) and also one possible Gray Flycatcher, a gray empid with a relatively large bill and orange lower mandible; this bird dipped its tail but didn't vocalize. A vocal male Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina) remains a reliable and daily find at BTA; its possible two birds present, one was definitively heard calling in the Smith Building parking lot just after we began our bird walk at 6:30am. What's BTA's most abundant bird around the arboretum? Phainopepla, this week - we counted at least 34. Northern Cardinals are also numberous (18) and Lesser Goldfinch (31). Others seen and heard Sunday include 8 Gambel's Quail, 11 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 12 White-winged Dove, 1 Mourning Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 1 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 8 Anna's Hummingbird, 6 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 10 Gila Woodpecker, 6 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 3 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 7 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 2 Western Kingbird, 13 Bell's Vireo, 5 Warbling Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 17 Verdin, 1 Rock Wren, 5 Canyon Wren, 1 Bewick's Wren, 3 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, 4 Northern Mockingbird, 4 Lucy's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 10 Yellow Warbler, 13 Yellow-breasted Chat, 1 Canyon Towhee, 6 Abert's Towhee, 7 Black-throated Sparrow, 2 Summer Tanager, 3 Black-headed Grosbeak, 1 Lazuli Bunting,
3 Brown-headed Cowbird, 2 Hooded Oriole, 19 House Finch. (view Jay's complete checklist and others online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19323988).


From: Muriel Neddermeyer
Date: July 26, Saturday

One Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, a Lazuli Bunting and 2 Bullock's Orioles were among 32 species seen and heard around the gardens today - others include 3 Gambel's Quail, 25 Turkey Vulture, 3 White-winged Dove, 1 Inca Dove, 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 4 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 5 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 6 Bell's Vireo, 4 Verdin, 2 Canyon Wren, 2 Cactus Wren, 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, 15 Phainopepla, 3 Lucy's Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroat, 1 Yellow Warbler, 6 Yellow-breasted Chat, 1 Canyon Towhee, 4 Abert's Towhee, 2 Black-throated Sparrow, 5 Northern Cardinal, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak, 20 Brown-headed Cowbird, 2 Hooded Oriole, 4 House Finch and 25 Lesser Goldfinch. View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19226010


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: July 24, Thursday

Transient species observed this morning were Western Wood-Pewee 1, Warbling Vireo 1, Western Tanager 3, Black-headed Grosbeak 4, Lark Sparrow 3, and Bullock’s Oriole 1. Only a few family groups of Lucy’s Warblers were present. A pair of Zone-tailed Hawks cruised over the canyon, a Common Ground-Dove cooed near Ayer Lake, and a Blue Grosbeak sang in the Demo Garden. Adults feeding young included: Broad-billed Hummingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo (Brown-headed Cowbird), Verdin, Cactus Wren, Bewick’s Wren, and Northern Cardinal. Gila Woodpeckers, Hooded Orioles, Northern Cardinals, and House Finches attended nestlings. Others noted included: Gambel’s Quail (with young of various ages), Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, doves (White-winged, Mourning, Inca), Anna’s Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Purple Marten, Barn Swallow, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Phainopepla (several family groups), Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Rufous crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Abert’s Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Bronzed Cowbird, and Lesser Goldfinch. Arboretum Staff reported Yellow-headed Blackbird and a Yellow-breasted Chat nest with eggs.


From: Cindy Marple
Date: July 13, Sunday

Birds of yellow were a common element today - we started with great views of a singing male Yellow-breasted Chat at the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, where we also saw Lesser Goldfinches - then found a young Yellow-headed Blackbird up at Ayer Lake. The continuing Common Ground-Dove was vocal and easily found perched above the Smith Building parking lot shortly after our walk began at 6:30am, and we observed Bronzed Cowbirds as we walked through the Cactus Garden up to Ayer Lake. One Blue Grosbeak was observed from the southern tip of the 'Demo Garden' -- seen in Queen Creek. Also on our Sunday checklist were Turkey Vulture, Zone-tailed Hawk, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Bell's Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Verdin, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Summer Tanager, Abert's Towhee, Song Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Oriole, House Finch and House Sparrow.


From: Anne Leight
Date: July 6, Sunday

A Belted Kingfisher in the lone cottonwood tree at the south side of Ayer lake was amongst our most exciting finds Sunday, we also saw 3 common ground doves near the entrance to the Demonstration Garden - at first, a pair together in a tree, both flew, then just a few branches above the two that flew we saw a third! All were vocal, they were located by their calling. One Blue Grosbeak was observed from the Picnic Area, as you look south across Queen Creek - and we saw a Hooded oriole nest in a Pistachio tree; the male and female were hanging around it, with two young from probably their first clutch this season. Also on our Sunday checklist were 4 Gambel's Quail, 11 Turkey Vulture, 2 Eurasian Collared-Dove, numerous White-winged Dove, 5 Mourning Dove, 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 6 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 4 Black Phoebe at Ayer lake; 4 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 4 Western Kingbird, 5 Bell's Vireo, 5 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 12 Violet-green Swallow (about a dozen seen originating from the rocks on the south side of Ayer lake, darting over the lake for bugs, then returning to the rocks); numerous Verdin, 1 Canyon Wren, 1 Cactus Wren, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, numerous Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler yellow Warblers and Yellow-breasted Chat; 2 Common Yellowthroat at Ayer lake, 5 Abert's Towhee, 4 Black-throated Sparrow, 4 Song Sparrow, 3 Summer Tanager, 7 Northern Cardinal, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak (heard, not seen); 3 Great-tailed Grackle (flyover); 4 Bronzed Cowbird, 2 Brown-headed Cowbird, 1 Bullock's Oriole, 4 House Finch and many Lesser Goldfinch. View Anne's checklist and comments online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19009512


From: Nathan Williams
Date: July 4, Friday

The Common Ground-Dove which has been here since April was calling from eucalyptus trees above the Smith Building parking lot, and easily found as our guided birdwalk began at 6:30am; most other notable highlights were one Yellow-billed Cuckoo observed briefly but very well, just past the palm grove. Silent, our group tried unsuccessfully to relocate the bird. We also observed one male Blue Grosbeak in desert scrub across Queen Creek from the Picnic Area. Other birds today included Turkey Vulture (at least 25 circling together after dawn); Cooper's Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, White-winged Dove (numerous); 6 Mourning Dove, 2 Inca Dove, 1 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 2 Anna's Hummingbird, 3 Costa's Hummingbird, 8 Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 9 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 9 Bell's Vireo, 3 Common Raven, 2 Violet-green Swallows (observed from the demo garden); 2 Barn Swallow, Verdin (numerous and throughout the park); 1 Cactus Wren, 1 Rock Wren, 2 Canyon Wren, 2 Curve-billed Thrasher, 14 Phainopepla, 3 Lucy's Warbler, 5 Yellow Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 9 Yellow-breasted Chat, 3 Abert's Towhee, 1 Black-throated Sparrow, 4 Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal (numerous); 1 Bronzed Cowbird, 3 Brown-headed Cowbird, 5 Hooded Oriole, 8 House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch (numerous).


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: June 29, Sunday

Early transients today included a Lark Sparrow that visited a water feature in the Demo Garden and a male Yellow-headed Blackbird that entered Ayer Lake marsh where Common Yellowthroats fed young and Black Phoebes carried food to their second brood of nestlings under the dock. Others species feeding young included: Say’s Phoebe, Bell’s Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Curve-billed Thrasher, Lucy’s and Yellow Warblers, Abert’s Towhee, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, and House Sparrows (with nestlings in saguaros). White-winged and Mourning Doves were seen building nests. The Common Ground-Dove first reported April 5 cooed briefly from the Demo Garden and later near the Smith Building. Other species noted were: Gambel’s Quail, Turkey Vulture, a pair of Zone-tailed Hawks, Inca Dove, a few Broad-billed Hummingbirds, 3 immature Costa’s Hummingbirds, 1 White-throated Swift, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, 4 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, 2 Barn Swallows, 2 pairs of Purple Martins, Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Phainopepla, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow.


From: Mark Ochs
Date: June 22, Sunday

An intrepid group of 14 birders enjoyed the relatively temperatures Sunday morning on the first full day of summer, and were able to tally 42 species. Highlights included the continuing male Varied Bunting and male Blue Grosbeak in the wash west of the picnic area, and the Common Ground-Dove in various areas of the park. A Common Black-Hawk soared lazily over Picketpost Mountain for five minutes, and at Ayer Lake we observed Northern Rough-winged, Violet-green and Barn Swallows, as well as Common Yellowthroat and fly-over Red-tailed Hawk and Peregrine Falcon. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Mockingbird, Gilded Flicker and Western Kingbird added to the normal slate of expected Summertime species: Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bronzed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch and Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Anne Leight
Date: May 31, Saturday

A Northern Waterthrush above the Legume garden water feature and gleaning bugs around a eucalyptus tree was particularly notable on our guided birdwalk Saturday - several of us observed it while near the rock-wall-fountain water feature. We also had 2 Blue Grosbeaks in the Demonstration garden. Arriving at BTA to lead the walk I saw a Harris's Hawk perched on a telephone pole about one mile west of the entyr gate - and our group saw one Zone-tailed Hawk and also one Red-tailed Hawk during the morning. Others birds around the gardens included 5 Gambel's Quail, 13 Turkey Vulture, 3 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 16 White-winged Dove, 13 Mourning Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 1 Common Ground-Dove (in the Demo Ggarden at 7:49AM); 3 White-throated Swift, 3 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Gilded Flicker, 4 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 1 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 1 Western Kingbird, 5 Bell's Vireo, 5 Common Raven, 3 Violet-green Swallow (circling over Ayer Lake); 7 Verdin, 2 Canyon Wren, 1 Cactus Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, 9 Cedar Waxwings in a flock fly-over; 12 Phainopepla, 5 Lucy's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 2 Yellow Warbler, 5 Yellow-breasted Chat, 8 Abert's Towhee, 1 Lark Sparrow in the Demonstration garden; 2 Black-throated Sparrow, 2 Song Sparrow (heard at Ayer lake); 4 Summer Tanager, 2 Western Tanager (Demo Garden and Picnic area); 9 Northern Cardinal, 3 Black-headed Grosbeak (great looks at them in the Eucalyptus forest); 2 Blue Grosbeaks in the Demonstration Garden, 3 Brown-headed Cowbird, 6 Hooded Oriole, 15 House Finch and 7 Lesser Goldfinch. this and other BTA bird lists posted at Ebird


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: May 29, Thursday

New species today included: 1 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 1 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, 1 Western Wood-Pewee, 1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and 1 Blue Grosbeak. A female Bell’s Vireo fed a recently fledged Brown-headed Cowbird while its mate sang nearby.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: May 28, Wednesday

This afternoon I watched a pair of Gambel's Quail with eight recently hatched chicks, White-winged Doves building a nest, and Inca Doves courting. Several species were feeding young: Black Phoebe, Bell’s Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Black-throated Sparrow; numerous family groups of House Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, and House Sparrows were vociferous. Also noted were: Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 1 Zone-tailed Hawk, 2 Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, White-throated Swift, Anna's Hummingbird (nest with young), immature Costa's Hummingbirds, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 American Kestrel, Say’s Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, a pair of Western Kingbirds, 1 Warbling Vireo, few Violet-green and 2 Barn Swallows, Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, Yellow Warbler, a late transient male “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, 1 Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Abert's Towhee, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Song Sparrow, Summer Tanager, 6 Western Tanagers, 7 Black-headed Grosbeaks, 1 Lazuli Bunting, 2 Bronzed Cowbirds, 65+ Brown-headed Cowbirds feeding on seeds scattered in the residential area, Hooded Oriole, and 1 Scott’s Oriole.


From: Alex Grant
Date: May 25, Sunday

I enjoyed leading my first bird walk for BTA visitors; a few highlights include excellent views of two ZONE-TAILED HAWKS circling with at least 25 Turkey Vultures - our group could clearly see the white tail stripes and features which distinguish these similar-looking birds in flight. Also a bright male BLUE GROSBEAK up at Ayer Lake - with a second sighting in the Eucalyptus forest, and both male and female LAZULI BUNTING right at the entrance to the Demonstration Garden. We saw and heard a total of 49 species during three hours birding the gardens. Specific totals include 5 Gambel's Quail, 25 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 2 Zone-tailed Hawk, 5 White-winged Dove, 5 Mourning Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 1 Common Ground-Dove (vocal, and still around the Picnic Area parking lot); 1 White-throated Swift, 5 Anna's Hummingbird, 4 Costa's Hummingbird, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 1 Gila Woodpecker (an occupied nest); 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Western Wood-Pewee, 1 Hammond's/Dusky Flycatcher, 4 Black Phoebe (with ecentlyfledged youngsters); 2 Vermilion Flycatcher, 5 Ash-throated Flycatcher , 3 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 1 Western Kingbird, 4 Bell's Vireo, 1 Warbling Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Violet-green Swallow, 10 Verdin (one on her nest); 1 Canyon Wren, 3 Bewick's Wren, 2 Cactus Wren (one with an active nest); 1 Curve-billed Thrasher (carrying food); 5 Cedar Waxwing, 10 Phainopepla, 5 Lucy's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 2 Yellow Warbler, 3 Yellow-breasted Chat, 5 Abert's Towhee, 1 Song Sparrow, 3 Summer Tanager, 5 Western Tanager, 6 Northern Cardinal, 5 Black-headed Grosbeak, 2 Blue Grosbeak, 3 Lazuli Bunting, 3 Great-tailed Grackle, 3 Bronzed Cowbird, 8 Hooded Oriole, 10 House Finch, 15 Lesser Goldfinch.


From: Alex Grant
Date: May 17, Saturday

Even if you're birding with a companion who can't walk far, there's so much to be seen on a walk through the shadier, southern-half trails of BTA if you start at the demonstration garden and walk to the herb garden and back. Saturday morning in two hours we had 29 species; a few highlights were 5 Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Summer Tanagers (one adult male, the other a first summer male - both singing); and 2 Bronzed Cowbird. Our complete list has 5 Turkey Vulture, 2 White-winged Dove, 2 Mourning Dove, 1 Inca Dove, 5 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 1 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 Vermilion Flycatcher, 1 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 2 Bell's Vireo, 1 Violet-green Swallow, 10 Verdin, 5 Phainopepla, 1 Lucy's Warbler, 1 Yellow Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Abert's Towhee, 2 Song Sparrow, 1 White-crowned Sparrow, 1 Western Tanager, 1 Northern Cardinal, 10 Black-headed Grosbeak, 2 Hooded Oriole, 5 House Finch and 10 Lesser Goldfinch. I'll be leading my first bird walk at BTA sunday May 25, starting from the visitor center lobby at 6:30am, join me! Editor's Note: Alex posted this checklist at Ebird http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18475728.


From: Lindsay Story
Date: May 12, Monday

A male AMERICAN REDSTART was at the Arboretum this morning about 9a.m., in the Hummingbird Garden darting around and foraging under the thick canopy of the large Texas Ebony tree near a colorful patch of Yellow Columbine flowers (there's a hummingbird nectar feeder hanging under this tree). The redstart's bright orange-red patches really stood out on the black of tail and wing; there's a small chance that a female was in the background. The continuing Common Ground-Dove was in the parking lot by the Hummingbird Garden around the same time. Later in the morning I heard someone else report the Redstart was near the Smith Building, just a short distance from the Hummingbird Garden.


From: Jim & Betsy Walker -- and 'NAMC' Volunteers
Date: May 10, Saturday

We had a very active North American Migrant Count (NAMC) day at the Arboretum, with 79 species and 528 birds – much more activity than we saw last year. Five volunteers covered the Arboretum, logging 7 miles of birding and 10 hours. A few highlights include the continuing Common Ground-Dove, a Green Heron and one Spotted Sandpiper up at Ayer Lake; one Broad-tailed Hummingbird, a Peregrine Falcon, Olive-sided Flycatcher - and 2 Western Wood-pewee. This appears to be a boom year for Black-headed Grosbeaks, we counted 32, they're extremely common throughout the park. We were careful not to count ones we might have seen earlier, so this is a conservative estimate -- we were also careful not to double-count the 33 Yellow-rumped Warblers, also common throughout the gardens. There could easily have been more; again, that's a conservative estimate. Two of these were Myrtle's race; all others were Audubon's. Our complete list included 13 Gambel's Quail, 28 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Zone-tailed Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 4 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 10 White-winged Dove, 14 Mourning Dove, 8 Inca Dove 7 White-throated Swift, 15 Anna's Hummingbird, 4 Costa's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-tailed Hummingbird, 6 Broad-billed Hummingbird, plus another 11 hummingbirds of undetermined species - most likely Anna's Hummingbirds, but couldn't be examined closely enough to tell for sure. We had 8 Gila Woodpecker, 5 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 unidentified Empidonax flycatchers; 3 Black Phoebe, 2 Say's Phoebe 3 Vermilion Flycatcher, 2 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 4 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 16 Bell's Vireo, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 2 Warbling Vireo, 3 Common Raven, 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 2 Violet-green Swallow, 3 Barn Swallow, 15 Verdin, 5 Canyon Wren, 2 Marsh Wren (Heard calling back and forth in the cattails on the shore of Ayer Lake. Distinctive call; 4 Bewick's Wren, 8 Cactus Wren, 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, 3 European Starling, 6 Cedar Waxwing, 21 Phainopepla, 2 Orange-crowned Warbler (Two separate individuals were seen clearly in different parts of the park); 10 Lucy's Warbler, 1 MacGillivray's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 8 Yellow Warbler, 2 Townsend's Warbler, 1 Hermit Warbler, 4 Wilson's Warbler, 6 Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Green-tailed Towhee, 3 Rufous-crowned Sparrow, 14 Abert's Towhee, 1 Chipping Sparrow, 4 Lark Sparrow, 4 Black-throated Sparrow, 5 Song Sparrow, 12 White-crowned Sparrow, 5 Summer Tanager, 11 Western Tanager, 15 Northern Cardinal, 1 Lazuli Bunting, 2 Great-tailed Grackle, 3 Bronzed Cowbird, 12 Brown-headed Cowbird, 6 Hooded Oriole, 2 Bullock's Oriole, 1 Scott's Oriole, 29 House Finch, 28 Lesser Goldfinch, 8 House Sparrow
We had a good group of five experienced birders, and we covered the area thoroughly from before dawn until closing time. Highlights include a plethora of Black-headed Grosbeaks, White-throated Swifts mating in flight, a Common Ground-Dove cooing and making itself visible in the picnic parking lot, and a sighting of Rufous-crowned Sparrows by the maintenance sheds. Our list posted at eBird for the count includes comments and photos:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18336251


From: Samuel Raan
Date: April 29 (Tueday) and May 1 (Thursday)

Seeing a Red-faced Warbler was a highlight of two visits to the Arboretum this week; White-breasted Nuthatch was notable, as well as the previously-reported Common Ground Dove which was calling from trees around the Picnic Area Parking lot. Lazuli Bunting and 10 warbler species (Orange-crowned, Lucy's, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Gray, MacGillivray's, Wilson's, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-breasted Chat) made for a great visit, Other birds seen and heard around the gardens included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Zone-tailed Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Mourning Dove, White-winged, Inca Dove, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Crodilleran Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Jay Taylor and Nathan Williams
Date: April 27, Sunday

Highlights included the continuing Common Ground-Dove, which was calling in the picnic area near the Demonstration Garden; a brief glimpse of a Zone-tailed Hawk, at least two Myrtle Warblers, and a male Indigo Bunting in Silver King Wash near the main trail crossing. Nathan also reported a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying low over the main parking lot later that morning after our guided walk concluded. 65 species (+2 other taxa) today included 4 Gambel's Quail, 14 Turkey Vulture, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Zone-tailed Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 12 White-winged, 5 Mourning Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 4 White-throated Swift, 1 Black-chinned Hummingbird, 11 Anna's Hummingbird, 6 Costa's Hummingbird, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 3 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Hammond's Flycatcher, 1 Gray Flycatcher, 1 Hammond's/Dusky Flycatcher, 1, Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) 1 Identification based only on the continuously up-slurred ("monosyllabic") contact call, which the bird repeated several times; 2 Black Phoebe, 3 Vermilion Flycatcher, 2 Ash-throated Flycatcher, 4 Brown-crested Flycatcher, 13 Bell's Vireo, 2 Plumbeous Vireo, 1 Warbling Vireo, 2 Common Raven (one was drinking at the small waterfall above Ayer lake); 14 Violet-green Swallow, 1 Barn Swallow, 26 Verdin (our tally includes many young birds); 1 Rock Wren, 3 Canyon Wren, 1 House Wren, 8 Bewick's Wren, 2 Cactus Wren, 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 3 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 European Starling, 19 Phainopepla, 3 Orange-crowned Warbler, 8 Lucy's Warbler, 2 MacGillivray's Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 9 Yellow Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle, one bird was observed in the demonstration garden and the other was bathing in the fountain; 17 Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3 Townsend's Warbler, 5 Wilson's Warbler, 2 Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Green-tailed Towhee, 7 Abert's Towhee, 2 Black-throated Sparrow, 5 Song Sparrow, 10 White-crowned Sparrow (mainly in the demonstration garden); 3 Summer Tanager, 2 Western Tanager, 13 Northern Cardinal, 2 Lazuli Bunting, 4 Brown-headed Cowbird, 4 Hooded Oriole, 27 House Finch, 22 Lesser Goldfinch and 1 House Sparrow.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: April 21, Monday

The Common Ground-Dove continued cooing and ranged from near the Drover’s Shed to the Demo Garden. Other recent highlights included: April 19: spring’s first Bullock’ Oriole, Townsend’s Warbler and all warbler species noted on April 18, Empidonax flycatchers (Hammond’s, Gray, Dusky), Cassin’s and Warbling Vireos. April 20: a male Broad-tailed Hummingbird and a singing Plumbeous Vireo. April 21: two Black-crowned Night-Herons and a Sora at Ayer Lake; 40+ Lark Sparrows drank at the shoreline; 1 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet in the Eucalyptus grove; 1 male Bronzed Cowbird. Wilson’s Warblers, Summer Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Lazuli Buntings, and Green-tailed Towhees increased.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: April 18, Friday

Highlights today included a hybrid TOWNSEND’S x HERMIT WARBLER and other migrant warblers: 5 Orange-crowned, 4 Black-throated Gray, 16 “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped, 1 “Myrtle” Yellow-rumped, 3 McGillivray’s, 4 Common Yellowthroat (in addition to 3 males at Ayer Lake), and 7 Wilson’s. An adult PEREGRINE FALCON unsuccessfully pursued a White-winged Dove before sunset. Later it (or another?) was chased north by an accipiter, possibly a Goshawk, much larger than it was. An early BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER was vocal. An ELF OWL briefly calling from a saguaro stand in midmorning was a surprise. Other migrants were 1 Rufous Hummingbird, 1 Gray Flycatcher, 1 Dusky Flycatcher, 1 Western Kingbird, 2 Cassin’s Vireos, 1 Barn Swallow, spring’s first male Summer Tanager, 4 Lazuli Buntings, 1 Black-headed Grosbeak, Chipping and Brewer’s Sparrows, numerous Lark Sparrows, and several dark-lored White-crowned Sparrows mixed with late-wintering birds. The most transient Mourning and White-winged Doves so far this spring flew over the gardens, many visiting Ayer Lake. The COMMON GROUND-DOVE called briefly in and near the Demo Garden. Also noted were: Gambel’s Quail, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, 1 Green Heron, at least 90 Turkey Vultures, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Sora, a pair of Eurasian-Collared Doves above Ayer Lake, Inca Dove, Great Horned Owl, White-throated Swift, hummingbirds (Broad-billed, 1 Black-chinned, Anna’s, and Costa’s), Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 1 male American Kestrel, Black and Say’s Phoebes, Vermilion Flycatcher, 2 Ash-throated Flycatchers, Bell’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, N. Rough-winged Swallow, Common Raven, Verdin (some with nestlings, others feeding fledglings), five wrens (Cactus with fledglings, Rock, Canyon, House, Bewick’s), only 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, singing Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a male Black-tailed Gnatcatcher feeding 3 young, a few Hermit Thrushes, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrashers (feeding fledged young or nestlings), Phainopeplas feeding nestlings or fledged young, European Starling, Lucy’s Warbler, 3 male Yellow Warblers (the female in the Demo Garden continued gathering nest materials), the spring’s first singing Yellow-breasted Chat within the canyon, Northern Cardinal (getting more territorial), Green-tailed Towhee, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Abert’s Towhees feeding young, Black-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Red-winged and Brewer’s Blackbirds, several Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Hooded Oriole pairs. House Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, and House Sparrows fed young. A male Belted Kingfisher was at Ayer Lake at sunset on April 17. A flock of 18 Cedar Waxwings and the spring’s first Lazuli Bunting visited on April 13.


From: Anne Leight, Nathan Williams and Mark Ochs
Date: April 13, Sunday

Listen quietly for the singular "hooOOOOip, hoooOOOip" of a Common Ground Dove if you visit this week - these rare doves were reported numerous times over the previous week, and our bird walk group sunday heard at least one calling repeatedly (also softly) and spotted 2 around the Picnic Area and nearby parking lot - particularly vocal just after the Arboretum opened at 8:00am. A few particularly notable sightings today included Northern Harrier and also a male Belted Kingfisher at Ayer Lake, one Sharp-shinned Hawk seen by Nathan's group, a Sora at Ayer Lake, at least two (possibly 3) Scott's Orioles observed by Mark and Nathan; also one-each Western Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, one Black-headed Grosbeak – and one male Rufous Hummingbird seen by Alex Grant and his family early in the morning at the 'Demo Garden' nectar feeder. Other birds seen and heard around the gardens included 3 Gambel's Quail, Pied-billed Grebe, 14 Turkey Vulture, Zone-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, 4 Mourning Dove, 3 Eurasian Collared Dove, 2 White-winged Dove, 3 Inca Dove, 4 White-throated Swift, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 3 Costa's Hummingbird, 12 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Hammond's Flycatcher, 1 Pacific Slope Flycatcher, 3 Black Phoebe, 1 Say’s Phoebe, 2 Vermilion Flycatcher, 5 Bell's Vireo, 1 Plumbeous Vireo, 1 Common Raven, 8 Violet-green Swallow, 3 Cliff Swallow (seen by Nathan before the walk began); 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 4 Verdin, 1 Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, 1 Marsh Wren, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Anne's group observed an active nest near the suspension bridge over Queen Creek); 2 European Starling, 1 Hermit Thrush, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 1 Curve-billed Thrasher, 10 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 6 Lucy's Warbler, 4 Yellow-rumped (Audubon's, plus one Myrtle's) Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroat (at Ayer Lake); 3 Abert's Towhee, Brewer's Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, 1 Chipping Sparrow; 2 Lincoln's Sparrow, 3 Song Sparrow, 2 White-crowned Sparrow, 9 Northern Cardinal, 2 Great-tailed Grackle, 3 Hooded Oriole, 6 House Finch, 16 Lesser Goldfinch and 3 House Sparrow.
EDITOR'S NOTE
: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue April 19 with Kathe Anderson and Dave Pearson guiding our walk - and the season finale guided bird walk is April 27 with Nathan Williams and Jay Taylor.


From: Cindy Marple and Bernie Howe
Date: April 12, Saturday

Yellow Breasted Chat for the arboretum was notable today - we also heard the previously reported Common Ground Dove calling from trees below the visitor center, along the access road that runs from the upper parking lot to the lower (picnic area) parking area. One Western Wood-pewee was also notable - and one Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Others on our list today included Turkey Vulture, Northern Cardinal, Lucy’s Warbler, House Finch, Abert’s Towhee, Bell’s Vireo, House Sparrow, Lesser Goldfinch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Gila Woodpecker (audible); Phainopepla, Anna’s Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Verdin, Yellow Warbler, Mourning Dove, Gambel’s Quail, Vermilion Flycatcher, Violet-Green Swallow, Hermit’s Thrush, Costa’s Hummingbird, Raven, Song Sparrow, Cooper’s Hawk, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Black Phoebe, Ladder-backed Woodpecker. EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue April 19; Kathe Anderson and Dave Pearson guide the walk.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: April 11, Friday

The spring’s first Yellow-breasted Chat sang from Queen Creek south of the picnic area.  Male and female Belted Kingfishers spent the day at Ayer Lake.  Also there were a Green Heron, a Sora, one singing Common Yellowthroat, and two singing Song Sparrows; no Marsh Wrens were noted. The winter resident Mountain Chickadee ventured to the Smith Building woodland.  Anna’s Hummingbirds occupied nests and fed nestlings or fledglings.  A Common Ground-Dove chased an Inca Dove through the picnic and demonstration garden areas, suggesting possible territorial behavior. A male Black-tailed Gnatcatcher resident since late winter fed 3 recently fledged young near Silver King Wash and Ayer Lake providing a rare
breeding record within the gardens (Betsy and Jim Walker also saw one fledgling being fed.).  A few pairs of Phainopeplas fed fledglings, while others tended nestlings.  A female Yellow Warbler gathered spider webbing from picnic tables while a male sang in the canopy.  Several pairs of Abert’s Towhees attended fledged birds throughout the gardens.  Numerous
young House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches were also evident. A Wilson’s Warbler foraged along Queen Creek on April 10.  Other species included: Gambel’s Quail, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, White-throated Swift, hummingbirds (Broad-billed and Costa’s), Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed oodpecker,
Empidonax flycatchers (Hammond’s, Dusky, and silent “Western”), Black and Say’s Phoebes, Vermilion Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, 2 Cassin’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, N. Rough-winged Swallow, Common Raven, Verdin, five wrens (Cactus, Rock, Canyon, House, Bewick’s), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern
Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher (feeding fledged young or nestlings), European Starling, 2 Orange-crowned Warbler, Lucy’s Warbler, 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler, “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 “Myrtle” Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 MacGillivray’s Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Green-tailed Towhee, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Black-throated
Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged and Brewer’s Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, singing Hooded and Scott’s Orioles, and House Sparrow.


From: Richard Ditch, also Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton
Date: April 5, Saturday

Two COMMON GROUND DOVES (at least one repeatedly, softly calling their distinctive "hooOOOOip, hoooOOOip") were seen around 10am at the north end of the Picnic Area parking lot, right below the visitor center, perched in a mesquite tree along the service road near the demonstration garden entrance. The first-of-season kingbirds for BTA were seen and heard today (both Cassin's and Western), as well as Ash-throated Flycatcher. We had good views of the Hooded Merganser pair which continues at Ayer Lake, where we also had a Common Yellowthoat calling from the cattails, Marsh Wren, two Pied-billed Grebes on the water and also Black Phoebe, Song Sparrow, Bell's Vireo and Violet-green Swallow. Today's group was large enough to divide in halves; Rich's group also found (in the order they were seen) Northern Cardinal, Gila Woodpecker, Costa's Hummingbird, Lesser Goldfinch, White-crowned Sparrow, Verdin, Anna's Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Zone-tailed Hawk (lifting-off with the Turkey Vultures, observed right from the visitor’s center as the walk began); White-winged Dove, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Phainopepla, Curve-billed Thrasher, House Finch, Mourning Dove, Red-tailed Hawk, Common Raven, Cactus Wren, House Sparrow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Silver King Wash), Lucy's Warbler, Hammond’s Flycatcher (Eucalyptus loop), Northern "red-shafted" Flicker, Hermit Thrush, Hooded Oriole, Abert's Towhee, Yellow Warbler and Inca Dove. Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton's group added these to the day's checklist: Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Lincoln's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Gambel's Quail, Black-throated Sparrow and Bewick's Wren (with Anna's Hummingbird, Lesser Goldfinch and Cactus Wren each on nests with young!" added Cynthia). EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue April 13 with a walks guided by Anne Leight and Nathan Williams; Kathe Anderson and Dave Pearson guide the walk April 19.


From: Craig Anderson & Monette Zaugg; also Mark Ochs, and Anne Leight
Date: March 29, Saturday

The season’s first Yellow Warbler was seen Saturday along with two Zone-tailed Hawks. A Mountain Chickadee was in the conifers below the dam impounding Ayer Lake; while the pair of Hooded Mergansers were still on Ayer Lake (also two Pied-billed Grebes). Red-winged Blackbird and American Coot. Other birds on our checklist were Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Hammond's Flycatcher, in the Pine Loop area; Black Phoebe, Bell's Vireo Vermilion Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Verdin, House Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee; both Canyon Towhee and Rufous-crowned Sparrow were singing on the slope below the High Trail; Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bronzed Cowbird (near the hummingbird garden, seen shortly after 8am, just before the bird walk started); Hooded Oriole (male and female together in the palms just inside the Demo Garden); House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Marceline VandeWater and Jay Taylor
Date: March 23, Sunday

Jay's group saw a Golden Eagle circling high above Ayer Lake, also the first-of-season Zone-tailed Hawk soaring and circling with the Turkey Vultures shortly after the Arboretum opened. Jay's group also saw a Western Wood-pewee near the Drover Shed, while Marceline's found a Mountain Chickadee there; Marceline also showed her group two Fox Sparrows foraging in the leaf litter below the hummingbird feeder in the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden. Another BTA birdwalk guide here with friends separately reported the Black-throated Gray Warbler in the Demonstration Garden - enjoying a dip in the birdbath near the hummingbird nectar feeder. The pair of Hooded Mergansers are still on Ayer Lake, along with one Sora there, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-winged Blackbird and American Coot. Other birds on our checklist were Gambel's Quail, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, an empidonax flycatcher (likely Hammond's or Dusky) in the Pine Loop area; Black Phoebe, Bell's Vireo Vermilion Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Verdin, House Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee; both Canyon Towhee and Rufous-crowned Sparrow were singing on the slope below the High Trail; Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bronzed Cowbird (near the hummingbird garden, seen shortly after 8am, just before the bird walk started); Hooded Oriole (male and female together in the palms just inside the Demo Garden); House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow. EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue March 29-30 with a special back-to-back weekend of bird walks guided by Craig Anderson and Monette Zaugg both days at 8:30am.


From: Dave Pearson; additional sightings by Mark Ochs and John Ray
Date: March 22, Saturday

One Black-throated Gray Warbler in the Demonstration Garden was a highlight of today's guided bird walk; Lucy's, Yellow, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers were also present. One male Broad-tailed Hummingbird (very early) was at the feeder in the demo Garden and Violet-green Swallows and White-throated Swifts flew sorties around the Magma Ridge cliffs; and a Cassin's or Plumbeous Vireo was singing in the Picnic area. Other Saturday birds included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture (at least 35-40 have returned to BTA); Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo (Demonstration Garden); Common Raven, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Brown-headed Cowbird, Spotted Towhee, Green-tailed Towhee Black-throated Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow. Editor's note: our next guided bird walks will be March 29 and 30 (both days 8:30am) with Craig Anderson and Monette Zaugg. EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue March 29-30 with a special back-to-back weekend of bird walks guided by Craig Anderson and Monette Zaugg both days at 8:30am.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: March 21, Friday

One calling Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet moved from the Legume Garden to Ayer Lake. A new male Vermilion Flycatcher arrived in the picnic area; two others continued in the Eucalyptus and Pine Loop groves. One Ash-throated Flycatcher called south of the Demo garden along Queen Creek. A singing Gray Vireo foraged above the creek near the High Trail Bridge; other transient vireos included three Cassin’s and one Warbling. The spring’s first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher sang near the Clevenger gardens and the first Yellow Warbler sang in the native riparian area. A Black-throated Gray Warbler and a Painted Redstart were also noted in the canyon. Two male Brown-headed Cowbirds, the season’s first, joined blackbirds to roost in Ayer Marsh. Elf Owl calls were heard above the Cactus Garden and later near the Smith Building. Other species included: Hooded Merganser, Gambel’s Quail, Pied-billed Grebe, Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, American Coot, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, White-throated Swift, hummingbirds (Broad-billed, Anna’s, and Costa’s), Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black and Say’s Phoebes, Bell’s Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, N. Rough-winged Swallow, Common Raven, Mountain Chickadee, Verdin, six wrens (Cactus, Rock, Canyon, House, Bewick’s, Marsh), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Green-tailed Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Abert’s Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, one “Oregon” Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, two male Hooded Orioles, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, and House Sparrow. 65 species


From: Arizona Field Ornithologists Association Board; Marceline VandeWater, Troy Corman, Eric Hough, John Yerger
Date: March 16, Sunday

One Mountain Chickadee was here Sunday, likely the same individual previously reports this Winter. A first-of-season Wilson's Warbler was seen by Eric; other warblers on our guided walk included Orange-crowned, 3 Lucy's and 2 Yellow-Rumped "Audubon's." The visiting pair of Hooded Mergansers remain at Ayer Lake; other birds seen and heard Sunday included 6 Gambel's Quail, 3 Turkey Vulture, 2 Cooper's Hawk, 1 American Coot, 5 Inca Dove, 2 White-throated Swift, 6 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 4 Costa's Hummingbird, 15 Anna's Hummingbird (with three occupied nests!); 2 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 2 Vermilion Flycatcher, 2 Bell's Vireo, 1 Warbling Vireo (Demonstration Garden, foraging in large pines just inside this garden); 1 Violet-green Swallow, 16 Verdin, 3 Bewick's Wren, 2 Cactus Wren, 1 Rock Wren, 1 Canyon Wren, 1 Marsh Wren, 15 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Hermit Thrush, 1-billed Thrasher, 3 Phainopepla, 1 Canyon Towhee, 10 Abert's Towhee, 2 Spotted Towhee, 3 Song Sparrow, 3 White-crowned Sparrow, 10 Northern Cardinal, 4 Red-winged Blackbird, 1 Hooded Oriole, 16 House Finch, 30+ Lesser Goldfinch and 6 House Sparrow. EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue March 23 with Marceline VandeWater and Jay Taylor as our guides, also a special back-to-back weekend of bird walks guided by Craig Anderson and Monette Zaugg March 29-30.


From: Cynthia Donald and Pete Moulton
Date: March 15, Saturday

Cinnamon Teal (one drake at Ayer Lake) was a notable highlight this morning, along with the pair of Hooded Mergansers that are still present. Other birds seen and heard on our guided bird walk included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird
Gila Woodpecker, Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo (one in the Demonstration Garden); Common Raven, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher , Gnatcatcher sp., Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow -- 45 species total.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: March 10, Monday

An immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was seen in Salt Cedars east of the palms. The season's first Warbling Vireo and Hooded Oriole were also noted. An Orange-crowned Warbler foraged in the Demo Garden.


From: Anne Leight
Date: March 9, Sunday

The March 9th bird walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum was pleasantly surprised with Co-leader Dr. Carl Tomoff from Prescott College; he joined Anne Leight, and reported a PAINTED REDSTART in the Pine Loop-Eucalyptus grove and a Pyrrhuloxia above Silver King Wash north of Ayer Lake. While waiting for the walk to start, we were entertained by NORTHERN CARDINALs, GILA WOODPECKER, ANNAS and COSTAS HUMMINGBIRDS, and many VERDIN. We started by discussing the two different types of nests Verdin build: one for sleeping, one for raising young. Soon, we heard two BELL'S VIREOs near the hummingbird feeders; these two have just arrived and are claiming their territory (very vocal). The group then observed an old Bell's vireo nest cleverly suspended in a "V" in a nearby shrub. A Male BROAD-BILLED Hummingbird showed off at the feeders. In the demonstration garden we observed an Anna's Hummingbird on a nest. We heard nestlings in a cholla being fed by a pair of CURVE-BILLED THRASHERS. A male PHAINOPEPLA visited its fresh nest in early stage. Dr. Tomoff asks why the male would have such conspicuous white patches in its wings, then the male flies just overhead to join a female on a neighboring tree. As if on cue, there is the answer. Then we venture to the picnic area and learn how other birds take advantage of the drilling sapsuckers make: the dripping sap is left for other birds, and it attracts insects which also attracts other birds. We heard GAMBEL's QUAIL, and INCA DOVES, singing BEWICK's WRENS, and saw RUBY-CROWNET KINGLETs and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. As we walked into the eucalyptus forest, we were mesmerized by the calling and the beauty of a male VERMILLION FLYCATCHER, when all of a sudden (10:00AM) a COMMON BLACK HAWK lifted off from his overnight roost in a nearby eucalyptus. What a sight! WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS would swoop overhead as we walked toward Ayer Lake. The Vermillion was following us, and a BLACK PHOEBE was interested in the mud left in a hollow from last week's rain. We met up with a group that was watching a BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, some of use only got a glimpse of it, but we did hear it. At Ayer lake, we were glad to see the HOODED MERGANSER pair that has wintered there since December 30th. We could hear a MARSH WREN, and of course the friendly COOT came on shore to great us. We walked on toward Thompson's 'castle' where a pair of SAY"S PHOEBES appeared to carry possible nest material under the eaves. Further down in the canyon we heard the calling of a CANYON WREN (not Dr Tomoff this time), and decided to wait on the suspension bridge until it would show. Well, we waited, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, we waited, LESSER GOLDFINCHs, ABERT'S TOWHEE, then very quickly saw and heard the CANYON WREN. Walking back through the Eucalyptus forest we found a SPOTTED TOWHEE, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, HUTTON"S VIREO, and (Oregon) DARK-EYED JUNCOs. I pointed out an easy way to age Spotted Towhees (by iris color: younger birds have chestnut brown and older birds have blood-red).


From: Mark Ochs and John Ray
Date: March 9, Sunday

Gusty breezes suppressed bird activity early Sunday, but we still found Hooded Merganser and American Coot up at Ayer Lake; other birds around the gardens included Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Bewick's Wren Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow. EDITOR'S NOTE: guided 8:30 AM birdwalks continue March 15 with Justin Jones as our guide, also a special March 16 Sunday bird walk guided by John Yerger and Eric Hough of the Arizona Field Ornithologists association.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: March 7, Friday

The exquisite Hooded Mergansers are still at Ayer Lake along with the American Coot, at least one Sora, Marsh Wrens, Song Sparrows, and a pair of Black Phoebe. A White-throated Swift and three Violet-green Swallows flew over the pond. Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds and a few European Starlings continue to roost in the marsh. A male Cooper's Hawk launched into courtship flight while the female called from the eucalyptus grove. An adult Red-tailed Hawk cruised over the canyon. Several Anna's Hummingbirds fed fledglings; both Anna's and Costa's gathered nest material. The wintering Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
chased a Red-naped Sapsucker near the pine loop and palm grove area. The garden's first spring Lucy's Warbler foraged in thick vegetation south of the Demo Garden where a pair of Curve-billed Thrashers fed nestlings in a cholla cactus they have used in the past. A Bell's Vireo sang briefly near the visitor center and a second one along riparian vegetation south of the picnic area. A few pairs of Phainopeplas were building nests; some males fed their mates wolfberries. Before sunset the season's first Turkey Vultures (36) arrived. Other species included: Gambel's Quail, single pairs Eurasian Collared-Dove and Mourning Dove, 12 Inca Doves, Broad-billed Hummingbird, the spring's first male Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, "Red-shafted" Northern Flicker, Say's Phoebe, a pair of Vermilion Flycatchers, Common Raven, Verdin, five other wrens (Cactus, Rock, Canyon, House, Bewick's), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Cardinal, four Green-tailed Towhees, Spotted Towhee, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, one "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.


From: Troy Corman
Date: March 1, Saturday

Well, we waited a half hour, but the rain did not let up much so we walked to the lake and back. With the wind, we were quickly pretty wet. So for the 30 min. of birding: 8 Anna's Hummingbirds, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird (male); 2 Gila Woodpecker, 2 Northern Cardinal, 2 Lesser Goldfinch, 2 Hooded Merganser, 3 N. Rough-winged Swallow, 2 House Finch, 1 Song Sparrow (singing).


From: Cathy Wise and Cindy West
Date: February 17, Monday

The season's first ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was a highlight today and the previously reported MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE is still here, but a territorial male Vermilion Flycatcher in the middle of the Eucalyptus -- calling from a perch above the Main Trail and flying short sorties in the forest was arguably more exciting for our bird walk group. Both HOODED MERGANSERS were together at the southeast edge of Ayer Lake, where we also saw Black Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Red-winged Blackbird and Northern Rough-winged Swallow. One YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was still present, too. Other birds on our checklist include Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Inca Dove, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (Red-shafted); Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bell's Vireo, Hutton's Vireo, Common Raven, Verdin, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush,Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Abert's Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Rick Wright
Date: February 17, Monday

A first-of-season Vermilion Flycatcher, one Sora at Ayer Lake -- and one Harris hawk -- were all highlights for our group of birders visiting from New Jersey. One Mallard was on Ayer Lake, too, and the previously-reported Mountain Chickadee was nearby. Other birds seen and heard Monday include 2 Hooded Mergansers, Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, 1 American Coot, Mourning Dove, 8 Inca Dove, 2 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 5 Costa's Hummingbird, 8 Anna's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 2 Say's Phoebe, 2 Common Raven, 3 Northern Rough-winged Swallow (also a first-of-season for 2014); Verdin, 4 Bewick's Wren, 4 Cactus Wren, 1 Canyon Wren, 1 Marsh Wren, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Hermit Thrush, 1 American Robin, 4 Northern Mockingbird, 6 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Phainopepla, 4 Abert's Towhee, 1 Spotted Towhee, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 3 Song Sparrow, 6 White-crowned Sparrow, 3 Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


From: Joanne Barr
Date: Monday, Feb. 17

I birded the gardens as a participant with The Great Backyard Bird Count; highlights include the pair of Hooded Mergansers still at Ayer Lake -- plus one American Coot, 15 Red-winged Blackbirds and a Marsh Wren. Also 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 1 Canyon Towhee, 5 Black-throated Sparrows -- plus an unseasonably early (and graciously vocal!) Bell's Vireo, probably the same one reported Saturday by Richard Ditch during the birdwalk he and Anne Leight guided at BTA. Read my complete Great Backyard Bird Count checklist, and browse others from around AZ, with a visit to
http://ebird.org/ebird/gbbc/view/checklist?subID=S17041261


From: Richard Ditch and Anne Leight
Date: February 15, Saturday

A distant treat for our bird walk group this morning was the Golden Eagle soaring well above Magma Ridge. Another highlight was a "first of season" Bell's Vireo that was singing on the hillside above and just behind the visitor center. That's my new record for earliest date for a Bell's at BTA -- nearly a full month earlier than the the previous season record of March 13. Other birds seen and heard, in the order they were encourtered, included: House Sparrow, Gambel's Quail, Anna's Hummingbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Gila Woodpecker, House Finch, Inca Dove, Bell's Vireo, Verdin, Curve-billed Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Bewick's Wren, White-crowned Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Phainopepla, Abert's Towhee, Red-naped Sapsucker, Northern Mockingbird, Golden Eagle, Cactus Wren, Sora, Song Sparrow, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Common Raven, Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, House Wren.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: February 11, Tuesday

This morning 5 male and 4 female Green-winged Teal and a female Mallard resisted harassment by the resident coot at Ayer Lake. A Red-tailed Hawk chased an adult Golden Eagle away from a previously-used nesting area. A Hutton's Vireo and a Black-throated Gray Warbler foraged in newly leafing and flowering cottonwood and willow canopy near the trailside bench in the native riparian area below Picket Post House. A single Violet-green Swallow flying up the canyon called overhead. I relocated a Green-tailed Towhee wintering in the Chihuahuan Gardens in the Acacia woodland near the conspicuous mistletoe-laden tree.


From: Carl Tomoff
Date: February 9, Sunday

Other birds that I noted later in the afternoon included a SORA at Ayer Lake, the male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the picnic-eucalyptus area, a Say's Phoebe on slopes below Picket Post House, a Mountain Chickadee in the palms-pine loop area, three Rock Wrens, four Marsh Wrens at Ayer Marsh, a pair of Canyon Towhees in the Cactus Garden and another pair near the suspension bridge over Queen creek, and two Black-throated Sparrows in the Chihuahuan Gardens. A pair of Red-tailed Hawks called over Queen Creek canyon and a Great Horned Owl hooted in the native riparian area below Picket Post House. Brewer's and Red-winged Blackbirds roosted in the marsh.


From: Neil Butchard & Catherine Dewar - with Mark Ochs
Date: February 9, Sunday

A handsome male Cinnamon Teal at Ayer Lake was a new bird to see at BTA this morning -- and he was swimming along the southeast shore with the male Hooded Merganser which has been previously reported over the past few weeeks. One American Coot and one Black Phoebe were also at the lake. We had great views of a male Broad-billed Hummingbird in the Hummingbird-Butterfly garden, and saw a female working the flowering aloes just west of the Herb Garden. Others seen and heard today included 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Mourning Dove, 5 Inca Dove, 5 White-throated Swift, 7 Anna's Hummingbird, 1 Costa's Hummingbird, 3 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 6 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Red-naped Sapsucker, 7 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 4 Northern Flicker, 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Common Raven, 9 Verdin, 7 Cactus Wren, 2 Canyon Wren, 4 Bewick's Wren, 7 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Hermit Thrush, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 5 Curve-billed Thrasher, 4 Phainopepla, 4 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3 Spotted Towhee, 5 Abert's Towhee, 2 Song Sparrow, 3 Lincoln's Sparrow, 4 White-crowned Sparrow, 10 Northern Cardinal, 6 Red-winged Blackbird, 14 House Finch, 6 Lesser Goldfinch, 5 House Sparrow.


From: Troy Corman and Kathe Anderson
Date: February 1, Saturday
, 2014
The pair of Hooded Mergansers previously reported on Ayer Lake were still there Saturday; the male put on a fine show of preening at the center of the lake for our group while the female stayed close to the cattails along the east (opposite) side of the lake. Marsh Wren, Black Phoebe were also there -- and a nesting Anna's Hummingbird was just below the lake and visible from the main trail. Also notable was one Black-throated Gray Warbler, and also one "first of season" lone Violet-green Swallow, and the dpreviously-reported Mountain Chickadee was seen at the Picnic Area -- with Green-tailed Towhee nearby at the Demonstration Garden. Others seen and heard for our checklist today were 2 Gambel's Quail, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 2 American Coot, 1 White-throated Swift, 10 Anna's Hummingbird, 3 Costa's Hummingbird, 1 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 6 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (most likelt the same continuing adult male that's been previously reported - and working the the same "sapsucker wells" in the pock-marked tree in the Australian Forest, near the "swagman's campfire"); 2 Black Phoebe, 1 Common Raven, 12 Verdin, 2 Canyon Wren, 2 Bewick's Wren, 4 Cactus Wren, 1 Rock Wren, 2 Marsh Wren, 10 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 6 Hermit Thrush, 1 American Robin, 3 Northern Mockingbird, 5 Curve-billed Thrasher, 1 Phainopepla, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 3 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Canyon Towhee, 4 Spotted Towhee, 8 Abert's Towhee, 2 Black-throated Sparrow, 2 Song Sparrow, 5 Lincoln's Sparrow, 4 White-crowned Sparrow, 3 Dark-eyed Junco (2 Oregon, 1 Pink-sided); numerous Northern Cardinal, 5 Red-winged Blackbird, 1 Great-tailed Grackle, 10 House Finch and 8 Lesser Goldfinch. Editor's note: photographer Richard Ditch leads the next BTA guided bird walk Feb. 9, Sunday; check out Rich's photo blog http://www.richditch.wordpress.com


From: Anne Leight
Date: January 19, Sunday
, 2014
What a pleasant surprise to have Dr. Carl Tomoff (Prescott College) lead a bird walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum Sunday morning. Our adventure began at the hummingbird feeders were we learned about "year-round" species versus "permanent" species (there is a difference!). As we listened, a permanent resident, VERDIN, was very vocal, in addition to both ANNA's and BROAD-BILLED hummingbirds that were taking advantage of the feeders. As we wandered toward the parking area, several GILA WOODPECKERs, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDs, and AMERICAN ROBINS darted back and forth across the path. When we stopped, a male NORTHERN CARDINAL posed in full view, while YELLOW-RUMPED Warblers chitted and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETs rasped. As we walked to the entrance of the demonstration garden, we learned to strategize our gait so as to keep the potential bird on the path there as long as possible. This worked as we found SPOTTED TOWHEES, LINCOLN SPARROWs, and a HERMIT THRUSH. A flock of a dozen LESSER GOLDFINCH flew overhead. As we walked toward the edge of the picnic area along queen creek, we spread out (many eyes yield more sightings!) and that worked: We spotted male and female RED-NAPED SAPSUCKERs, a male adult YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (which was at first reluctant to give us a look, before it finally moved to a lower tree and …ahhh…a long great look). A male COSTA's HUMMINGBIRD perched on a snag sounding its siren call. As we looked toward Picket Post Mountain, our binoculars revealed many WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS darting about near the cliffs. My meager count of a dozen was most likely 1/10th of how many there really were. We were just about to leave the picnic area when a wise birder thought to check the area we were leaving, and sure enough, Tom spotted a pair of INCA DOVEs dining under the picnic tables. As we walked along the hillside up toward Ayer Lake, we saw both CANYON and ABERT's TOWHEES, SONG SPARROW (A dark sub-species), GAMBEL'S
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, a BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, and heard ROCK WRENs. A covey of GAMBEL's QUAIL made their presence known. When we arrived at Ayer Lake, it was quiet. Other than the usual greeting from an AMERICAN COOT, we did not see much. But wait … listen ….ah MARSH WREN. And, one…no two BLACK PHOEBEs (Possible early courting behavior) were taking turns perching on the pipe. Then …there they are! Across the lake between two clumps of cattails was a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS! And an added bonus, while we were admiring the mergansers, a MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE came out on a branch of the juniper that practically touches the lake's viewing platform. It's great to bird with 16 sets of binoculars! My count during our walk: Common Raven – 3, Verdin – 8, Anna's Hummingbird – 6, American Robin – 3 Curve-billed Thrasher – 3, Northern Cardinal – 4, Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2 "Audubon's Warbler" – 6 Northern Mockingbird – 4 House Finch – 5, Gila Woodpecker – 6, Hermit Thrush – 2, Broad-billed Hummingbird – 2, Spotted Towhee – 3, Lesser Goldfinch – 13, Northern "Red-shafted" Flicker – 1 , Canyon Wren - 2, Abert's Towhee – 4, Red-naped Sapsucker – 2 (Adult M&F), Lincoln Sparrow – 3 , Costa's Hummingbird – 2, White-throated swift- 12, Inca Dove – 2, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1 Adult male, Song Sparrow – 3, Rock Wren – 2, Canyon Towhee – 1, Black-throated Sparrow – 1, Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow – 3, Gambel's Quail – 3, Black Phoebe – 2, American Coot – 2, Red-tailed Hawk – 1, Marsh Wren – 2, Hooded Merganser – 1 pair, Mountain Chickadee – 1.
Editor's Note: Other species Carl noted before or after the walk included: a Hutton's Vireo in the picnic-demo area, a Black-throated Gray Warbler near the palm-olive grove, as well as Red-tailed Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Canyon Wren, House Wren, Bewick's Wren, Cactus Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Phainopepla, Green-tailed Towhee, "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, and House Sparrow. Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds roosted in the marsh at Ayer Lake.


From: Nathan Williams (Arizona State University )
Date: January 19, Sunday
, 2014
2 Hooded Merganser up at Ayer Lake were a highlight Sunday morning - also great views of a Green-tailed Towhee on the south edge of the Demonstration Garden just beyond the hummingbird feeder. Other birds seen and heard include 16 Gambel's Quail, 1 American Kestrel, 1 American Coot, 14 Inca Dove, 10 Anna's Hummingbird, 2 Costa's Hummingbird, 3 Broad-billed Hummingbird, 5 Gila Woodpecker, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (continuing adult male that's been previously reported - with an all-red throat, thick black border, no red on nape, considerable white flecking on back. Made "mew" calls); 2 Red-naped Sapsucker, 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker, 2 Black Phoebe, 2 Common Raven, 1 Mountain Chickadee (continuing individual); 9 Verdin, 1 Canyon Wren, 1 Bewick's Wren, 2 Marsh Wren, 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 11 Hermit Thrush, 3 American Robin, 4 Northern Mockingbird, 4 Curve-billed Thrasher, 8 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Green-tailed Towhee, 5 Spotted Towhee, 7 Abert's Towhee, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 6 White-crowned Sparrow, 12 Northern Cardinal, 14 House Finch and 8 Lesser Goldfinch. Editor's note: see Nathan's complete checklist at eBird [http://ebird.org/content/ebird/] .


From: Mark Ochs and Marceline VandeWater
Date: January 1, Wednesday
, 2014
Participants on our 'First Day' guided bird walk had the chance to see a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker which has been reported over the past few weeks -- if you're seeking this bird, start down the trail through the Eucalyptus Forest and look to left (East side) - this bird has most often been found working sapsucker wells at one particular heavily pockmarked tree. We had four wren species today: Cactus, Rock, Canyon and Marsh; and three towhees (Abert's, Spotted and also Green-tailed); both Gila and Ladderbacked Woodpeckers, Red-naped Sapsucker and also Northern 'Red-shafted' Flicker. Other birds around the gardens New Year's Day morning included Gambel's Quail, American Coot, Inca Dove, both Broad-billed and Anna's Hummingbirds; Black Phoebe, Common Raven, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow (also Song and White-crowned); Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


 


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