April in Arizona – Week Four

Days upon days of windy weather and a minor illness kept us from birding much in the last week of April. Our total list for the month only reached 208 species.

We had expected about 20 more than that, and indeed, we missed many common birds, both local residents and migrants. Some of these we simply could not find, even though others had reported them, and some we just did not really bother to look for. (We thought, wrongly, that they would be easy to spot just as incidental birds.) Others don’t seem to have returned to our search areas in any appreciable numbers yet. In fact, we have the feeling that much of the migration is a bit late this year. Several species that we remember seeing by this time in the past were non-existent in 2016.

Still, 208 species is a nice list. It is a testament to the overall diversity of this region that we found so many birds with the relatively small amount of overall effort we put into the search. Not that we didn’t do some birding on a fair number of days for the month, but we did not make 10 mile hikes, or strenuous drives in search of birds.

I have given a few of my impressions of the comparison of birding during migration in Arizona and South Texas already, but I’ll summarize them again here:

First, there is not near as much of the spectacle of migration in Arizona. There is no trans-Gulf migration, no fallouts, no concentration of the birds in limited habitat. Migration in Arizona appears to be a more diffuse affair, spread out over millions of acres of habitat that are lightly birded.

Second, there are fewer species all told. Water birds are practically an afterthought here in the predominantly desert and semi-desert habitats. There are no days of finding 20 or 25 species of warblers and vireos. Diversity is more about the returning summer residents at various elevations than it is about migrants strictly in passage to habitats farther north.

Finally, we felt that finding birds during migration in Arizona was more difficult than in South Texas. We had to go where the birds were rather than waiting for the birds to come to us as we were used to in the Rio Grande Valley. The travel was not far or difficult, but it was more than just driving to South Padre Island and waiting at the Convention Centre for a wave of birds to fall from the sky over the Gulf of Mexico!

All-in-all it was a fun comparison to do and we saw many nice birds, but we were disappointed that we were only able to find one new species for our life list. Last year during this time (while we were on our way to Alaska) at least three rarities were present in the area. We’ll keep hoping that they show up before we leave in a couple of weeks.

Here is the final list:

  1. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
  2. Gadwall
  3. American Wigeon
  4. Mallard
  5. Blue-winged Teal
  6. Cinnamon Teal
  7. Northern Shoveler
  8. Green-winged Teal
  9. Ring-necked Duck
  10. Lesser Scaup
  11. Bufflehead
  12. Ruddy Duck
  13. Wild Turkey
  14. Scaled Quail
  15. Gambel’s Quail
  16. Montezuma Quail
  17. Pied-billed Grebe
  18. Eared Grebe
  19. Neotropic Cormorant
  20. Double-crested Cormorant
  21. Great Blue Heron
  22. Cattle Egret
  23. Green Heron
  24. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  25. White-faced Ibis
  26. Black Vulture
  27. Turkey Vulture
  28. Northern Harrier
  29. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  30. Cooper’s Hawk
  31. Northern Goshawk
  32. Common Black-Hawk
  33. Gray Hawk
  34. Swainson’s Hawk
  35. Zone-tailed Hawk
  36. Red-tailed Hawk
  37. Golden Eagle
  38. American Kestrel
  39. Peregrine Falcon
  40. Prairie Falcon
  41. American Coot
  42. Killdeer
  43. Black-necked Stilt
  44. American Avocet
  45. Spotted Sandpiper
  46. Greater Yellowlegs
  47. Willet
  48. Lesser Yellowlegs
  49. Marbled Godwit
  50. Western Sandpiper
  51. Least Sandpiper
  52. Long-billed Dowitcher
  53. Wilson’s Snipe
  54. Wilson’s Phalarope
  55. Franklin’s Gull
  56. Bonaparte’s Gull
  57. Rock Pigeon
  58. Band-tailed Pigeon
  59. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  60. White-winged Dove
  61. Mourning Dove
  62. Inca Dove
  63. Greater Roadrunner
  64. Barn Owl
  65. Western Screech-Owl
  66. Whiskered Screech-Owl
  67. Great Horned Owl
  68. Northern Pygmy-Owl
  69. Elf Owl
  70. Burrowing Owl
  71. Northern Saw-whet Owl
  72. Common Poorwill
  73. Vaux’s Swift
  74. White-throated Swift
  75. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  76. Blue-throated Hummingbird
  77. Magnificent Hummingbird
  78. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  79. Anna’s Hummingbird
  80. Costa’s Hummingbird
  81. Calliope Hummingbird
  82. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  83. Rufous Hummingbird
  84. Belted Kingfisher
  85. Acorn Woodpecker
  86. Gila Woodpecker
  87. Red-naped Sapsucker
  88. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  89. Hairy Woodpecker
  90. Arizona Woodpecker
  91. Northern Flicker
  92. Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
  93. Greater Pewee
  94. Western Wood-Pewee
  95. Hammond’s Flycatcher
  96. Gray Flycatcher
  97. Dusky Flycatcher
  98. Black Phoebe
  99. Say’s Phoebe
  100. Vermilion Flycatcher
  101. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  102. Ash-throated Flycatcher
  103. Brown-crested Flycatcher
  104. Cassin’s Kingbird
  105. Thick-billed Kingbird
  106. Western Kingbird
  107. Loggerhead Shrike
  108. Bell’s Vireo
  109. Plumbeous Vireo
  110. Cassin’s Vireo
  111. Hutton’s Vireo
  112. Warbling Vireo
  113. Steller’s Jay
  114. Western Scrub-Jay
  115. Mexican Jay
  116. Chihuahuan Raven
  117. Common Raven
  118. Horned Lark
  119. Purple Martin
  120. Tree Swallow
  121. Violet-green Swallow
  122. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  123. Cliff Swallow
  124. Barn Swallow
  125. Mexican Chickadee
  126. Bridled Titmouse
  127. Verdin
  128. Bushtit
  129. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  130. White-breasted Nuthatch
  131. Pygmy Nuthatch
  132. Brown Creeper
  133. Cactus Wren
  134. Canyon Wren
  135. Bewick’s Wren
  136. House Wren
  137. Marsh Wren
  138. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  139. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  140. Black-capped Gnatcatcher
  141. Western Bluebird
  142. Townsend’s Solitaire
  143. Hermit Thrush
  144. American Robin
  145. Northern Mockingbird
  146. Bendire’s Thrasher
  147. Curve-billed Thrasher
  148. Crissal Thrasher
  149. European Starling
  150. American Pipit
  151. Cedar Waxwing
  152. Phainopepla
  153. Orange-crowned Warbler
  154. Lucy’s Warbler
  155. Yellow Warbler
  156. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  157. Black-throated Gray Warbler
  158. Townsend’s Warbler
  159. Grace’s Warbler
  160. MacGillivray’s Warbler
  161. Common Yellowthroat
  162. Wilson’s Warbler
  163. Painted Redstart
  164. Yellow-breasted Chat
  165. Hepatic Tanager
  166. Summer Tanager
  167. Western Tanager
  168. Flame-colored Tanager
  169. Green-tailed Towhee
  170. Spotted Towhee
  171. Canyon Towhee
  172. Abert’s Towhee
  173. Rufous-winged Sparrow
  174. Cassin’s Sparrow
  175. Botteri’s Sparrow
  176. Rufous-crowned Sparrow
  177. Chipping Sparrow
  178. Clay-colored Sparrow
  179. Brewer’s Sparrow
  180. Vesper Sparrow
  181. Lark Sparrow
  182. Black-throated Sparrow
  183. Lark Bunting
  184. Savannah Sparrow
  185. Song Sparrow
  186. Lincoln’s Sparrow
  187. White-crowned Sparrow
  188. Dark-eyed Junco
  189. Yellow-eyed Junco
  190. Northern Cardinal
  191. Pyrrhuloxia
  192. Black-headed Grosbeak
  193. Lazuli Bunting
  194. Red-winged Blackbird
  195. Eastern Meadowlark
  196. Western Meadowlark
  197. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  198. Brewer’s Blackbird
  199. Great-tailed Grackle
  200. Brown-headed Cowbird
  201. Hooded Oriole
  202. Bullock’s Oriole
  203. Scott’s Oriole
  204. House Finch
  205. Red Crossbill
  206. Pine Siskin
  207. Lesser Goldfinch
  208. House Sparrow

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