Sierra Vista EOP Bird Walk–28 Sep 2014

Ten people tramped the Sierra Vista EOP dikes this morning; five locals and
five visitors from GA, IA, and TX. Breezes made for  pleasant temperatures,
but kept most passerines down in the vegetation. Our group tally was 59
species by the end of the morning.

The best bird of the day was a single YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, a new species
for the EOP. Unfortunately, only two of us saw this bird as it flew low
between mesquite trees edging the Moson Road impoundments.

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Climate change threatens many native bird species


Will Baird’s Sparrow still return to southeastern Arizona in the future?




Check out Audubon’s new report on birds and climate change and learn what you can do to help:


And visit the National Audubon Society Facebook page below to get involved!

EOP Walk needs tour leaders

Tour leaders needed for Sunday morning bird walks at the Sierra Vista Environmental Operations Park! 
These walks take about 3 hours. You do not need to be a birding “expert” since most of the people who attend know quite a lot about birds and only want the ability to get inside the EOP fence. The main duties are to get people to sign the waiver form, unlock and lock the gates, make sure people stay on the paths, and create a bird list for the tour. Training is minimal and will be provided at your convenience. Please contact Dutch Nagle ( or 378-7229) if you can help out.


2014 Huachuca Trogon Survey Results

Elegant Trogon, Copyright © 2013 John Langholff

Elegant Trogon, Copyright © 2013 John Langholff

2014 Huachuca Mountains Elegant Trogon Survey

Thanks to the Huachuca Audubon Society and its president Tricia Gerrodette who co-sponsored and organized this event with Tucson Audubon Society IBA Coordinator Jennie MacFarland, 32 volunteers surveyed 16 canyons for Elegant Trogons in the Huachuca Mountains on Saturday, May 31, 2014.  Altogether 38 Elegant Trogons were found, 21 males and 10 females.  All females were in proximity to males with whom they were probably paired, yielding a total of 10 pairs. Seven (7) trogons were not identified to gender.  Based on behavior it appeared that at least 3 males had mates attending nests during the survey period.  This would yield a hypothetical total of 41 adult Elegant Trogons in the Huachuca Mountains in 2014.


Results:  Not including any hypothetical trogons, the results are as follows:

Blacktail Canyon:  1 male
Huachuca Canyon:  4 males, 3 females
Garden Canyon:  4 males, 1 female
McClure Canyon: 1 male
Scheelite Canyon:  1 male
Sawmill Canyon:  3 males, 1 females
Ramsey Canyon:  1 unknown
Carr Canyon:  0
Ash-Lutz Canyons:  0
Copper Canyon:  0
Oversite Canyon: 1 male
Ida Canyon: 1 female, 1 unknown
Bear Canyon: 2 unknown
Sunnyside Canyon:  3 males, 3 females, 3 unknown
Brushy-Turtle Canyons:  3 males, 1 female
Note:  There were insufficient participants to survey Scotia Canyon this May 31, which normally would harbor 1-2 breeding pairs.
To cast the 2013 Huachuca Mountain Elegant Trogon Census into an historic context,
in 2013 a similar survey sponsored by Huachuca Audubon Society on June 1 with 22
volunteers in 16 canyons detected 34 trogons.   Prior to 2013, the high count was in 1981 when 33 Elegant Trogons were found in the canyons of the Huachuca Mountains.
Observers were also asked to keep notes on other species seen in Elegant Trogon habitat during the survey hours from 6 – 11 a.m. A cumulative total of 78 other species were noted on 16 lists. Mexican Jays were found in every canyon. Arizona Woodpeckers and Painted Redstarts were noted on 15 lists, and Bridled Titmouse and Black-headed Grosbeak were in 14 territories.  The rarest bird was a Short-tailed Hawk  observed in Sawmill Canyon by Ron Beck and Robert Weissler.  Michael Tarachow and Merce Dostale found a possible hybrid between a Flame-colored Tanager and a Western Tanager in Miller Canyon, perhaps the same bird as reported from Miller in 2013.
Once again I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who participated in the 2014 Huachuca Mountains Elegant Trogon Survey.
Rick Taylor
Count Compiler

NAMC: Cochise County Results

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

North American Migration Count

Summary of results for Cochise County

Some 39 counters in 25 teams found 199 species on Saturday, 10 May 2014, the same total as last year. The bird list was not the same, however, because six new species were added to the cumulative list for NAMC in Cochise Co: Black Vulture, Common Black-Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Gray Vireo, Sinaloa Wren and Rufous-capped Warbler.

Looking at a decade of counts, it was surprising that Cinnamon Teal was missed for the first time. On the other hand, six species were found for only the second time: Great Egret, Mississippi Kite, Semipalmated Plover, Franklin’s Gull, Willow Flycatcher, and Savannah Sparrow. Hummingbirds are always of interest; nine species were reported in average numbers, with the rarest being Lucifer Hummingbird (4), White-eared Hummingbird (2), and
Costa’s Hummingbird (1).

A number of species were reported in record numbers, but such totals can be the result of more counters, as well as actual increases. More feeder watchers than in the past resulted in new high counts of White-winged, Mourning, and Inca Doves, as well as House Finches. Lingering Green-tailed Towhees at 46 birds was a 50% increase over previous counts. The Pine Siskin count at 4 birds was a new low; last year the count was 592 birds, demonstrating the erratic nature of their wintering range.

Thanks to everyone who participated–hope to have your help again next year (09 May 2015).

Erika Wilson, Sierra Vista, AZ