Southeast Arizona
Mar 3-4, 2001
Cool & Sunny, 40-70 

Sonoita & San Rafael Grasslands, Lake Patagonia, and Kitt Peak lowlands
Guides: Henry Detwiler and Bob Miller
102 species total


It was cold and dark when we met Dennis and June at the Santa Rita Lodge at 6:30.  As we headed over Box Canyon towards Sonoita a variety of sparrows and wrens were singing, and the sun peeked over the mountains.

June and Dennis

At Sonoita we met Robin and her volunteers, who were banding sparrows on numerous grassland plots.  At our first stop, ten miles south of Sonoita, we saw many Mountain Bluebirds and a covey of Scaled Quail, but didn't capture any sparrow.    
At the next two plots, we were a little more successful, and helped round up and net four Grasshopper and one Vesper Sparrow. 

Grasshopper Sparrow

Arizona Poppies

Our next stop was the Paton's, where Dennis IDed a Gray Flycatcher and we found lots of wonderful birds at their feeders.  Patagonia Lake State Park was the next stop, as we searched for and finally located a Hammond's Flycatcher.  While there, we also picked up Neotropic Cormorant and several Common Mergansers.
As the shadows got longer we drove through Harshaw Canyon to enter into the San Rafael Valley, where we found Chestnut-collared Longspurs in breeding plummage.

On the way back to the lodge that evening we picked up an Elf Owl and a few mammals--deer, two gray foxes, a hog-nosed skunk, and a striped skunk.  A great way to end the day!

Mexican Poppies & Cholla Skeleton


Mexican Poppies

Monarch Butterfly
The next morning Bob and I took old Hwy 86 east of Tucson to Ajo.  At Kitt Peak we found our first Rufous-winged Sparrows of the year. 

Bob Miller & Poppies

Rufous-winged Sparrow
The road past Sells to Ajo was covered in wildflowers and deep green Sonoran desert flora.  This crestate Saguaro was a great find by Bob.


We were awestruck by the breathtaking display of poppies, lupine, and owl clover lining the road.  One spray of poppies was incredibly white!

Owl Clover

White Poppies
Remarkably, even after an hour in Sells, we could find neither Black Vultures nor Crested Caracara.  However, a little further along we did find this handsome Harris Hawk sitting on a telephone pole.  

Lupine, Owl Clover, & Poppies

Harris Hawk

# Species Name
1 Pied-Billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Neotropic Cormorant
4 Cattle Egret
5 Great Egret
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Snowy Egret
8 Lesser Scaup
9 Northern Shoveler
10 Ruddy Duck
11 Ring-Necked Duck
12 Mallard
13 Green-Winged Teal
14 Common Merganser
15 Cinnamon Teal
16 Bufflehead
17 Northern Pintail
18 Common Moorhen
19 American Coot
20 Killdeer
21 Greater Yellowlegs
22 Turkey Vulture
23 Harris' Hawk
24 Red-Tailed Hawk
25 Northern Harrier
26 Cooper's Hawk
27 Ferruginous Hawk
28 American Kestrel
29 Merlin
30 Prairie Falcon
31 Gambel's Quail
32 Scaled Quail
33 Inca Dove
34 Mourning Dove
35 Rock Dove
36 Greater Roadrunner
37 Elf Owl
38 Northern Pygmy Owl
39 Costa's Hummingbird
40 Belted Kingfisher
41 Gila Woodpecker
42 Ladder-Backed Woodpecker
43 Northern Flicker
44 Vermillion Flycatcher
45 Hammond's Flycatcher
46 Say's Phoebe
47 Ash-Throated Flycatcher
48 Black Phoebe
49 Gray Flycatcher
# Species Name
50 Horned Lark
51 Tree Swallow
52 Mexican Jay
53 Chihuahuan Raven
54 Common Raven
55 Verdin
56 White-Breasted Nuthatch
57 Bewick's Wren
58 Cactus Wren
59 Canyon Wren
60 Rock Wren
61 Western Bluebird
62 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
63 Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher
64 Mountain Bluebird
65 American Robin
66 Loggerhead Shrike
67 Crissal Thrasher
68 Curve-Billed Thrasher
69 Northern Mockingbird
70 American Pipit
71 Phainopepla
72 European Starling
73 Yellow-rumped Warbler
74 Common Yellowthroat
75 Orange-Crowned Warbler
76 Vesper Sparrow
77 Yellow-Headed Blackbird
78 Western Meadowlark
79 Red-Winged Blackbird
80 Great-Tailed Grackle
81 Eastern Meadowlark
82 Brewer's Blackbird
83 House Sparrow
84 Canyon Towhee
85 Song Sparrow
86 Savannah Sparrow
87 Rufous-Winged Sparrow
88 Grasshopper Sparrow
89 Chipping Sparrow
90 Chestnut-Collared Longspur
91 Lincoln's Sparrow
92 Brewer's Sparrow
93 Green-Tailed Towhee
94 White-Crowned Sparrow
95 Cardinal
96 Pine Siskin
97 Cassin's Finch
98 House Finch
99 Lesser Goldfinch
100 Spotted Sandpiper
101 Acorn Woodpecker
102 Stellar's Jay

 Home      3/13/2001     5/9/2001    

Photos Henry D. Detwiler and Bob Miller