Bird Sightings Report, July 1 to July 31, 2015

Written by Roland on August 26, 2015 – 10:07 am -

July is a transition time between summer resident breeders, post breeding wanderers and early fall migrants.

Species Account

New World Quail: Jarrod Swackhamer reported Montezuma Quail at the confluence of Sycamore Creek and the Gila River ( 4 July). His observations included, “Many pairs doing distraction displays over 6 miles, probably over 20 birds, some having family groups.”

monq1 JBS Julymod

Montezuma Quail by Jarrod Swackhamer, near Sycamore Creek, 4 July 2015

Cormorants: Larry Malone reported a Neotropic Cormorant  at Pecan Park Pond in Deming (9 July).

Kites, Eagles, Hawks: Larry Malone reported two immature Golden Eagles  at Spring Canyon State Park near Deming (21 July). A Northern Goshawk was reported by Jarrod Swackhamer from Little Creek (29 July).

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Northern Goshawk by Jarrod Swackhamer, Little Creek, 29 July 2015

Stilts, Avocets: Larry Malone reported 27 adults and 4 new young Black-necked Stilts (for a total of 6 young this year) at Deming Treatment Plant (no specific July dates).

Sandpipers, Shorebirds: Larry Malone  reported four Western Sandpipers and two Pectoral Sandpipers at the Deming Treatment Plant (9 July).

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis: Jarrod Swackhamer submitted a picture of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo carrying food in the Gila Bird Area (13 July).  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys conducted in the Cliff/Gila Valley in July produced the following results: Gila Bird Area North, 9 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer and Linda Moore, 9 July); Gila Bird Area South, 5 detections (Roland Shook, Denise Friedrick, Ryan Stern, 9 July); Iron Bridge East, 6 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Allena Thompson, Ryan Stern, 7 July); Iron Bridge West, 8 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Allena Thompson, Ryan Stern, 7 July); Gila Bird Area North, 8 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Ryan Stern, 17 July); Gila Bird Area South, 12 detections (Roland Shook, Denise Friedrick, 17 July); Iron Bridge East, 8 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Allena Thompson, Ryan Stern, 21 July); Iron Bridge West, 8 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Allena Thompson, Ryan Stern, 21 July); Gila Bird Area North, 11 detections (Linda Moore, Ryan Stern, 31 July); and Gila Bird Area South, 9 detections (Jarrod Swackhamer, Denise Friedrick, 31 July).

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Yellow-billed Cuckoo carrying food by Jarrod Swackhamer, Gila Bird Area, 13 July 2015

Typical Owls: A exceptional view of a Spotted Owl was enjoyed by many participants on the Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society’s field trip to Cherry Creek Campground led by Brian Dolton (4 July).

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Spotted Owl by Barbara Torres, Cherry Creek Campground, 4 July 2015

Hummingbirds: Gene Lewis reported a male Calliope Hummingbird at his Silver City residence 7, 10, 14, 20,  and 25 July. Larry Malone reported two fall migrant Calliope Hummingbirds at Voier Pit Park in Deming (9 July). The first fall migrant Rufous Hummingbird detected by Larry Malone at his Deming residence was 7 July.

Woodpeckers: Jarrod Swackhamer reported an American Three-toed Woodpecker at Little Creek (29 July).

Caracaras, Falcons: An adult Peregrine Falcon was reported by Linda Moore and Roland Shook from the Forest Service’s property on Fort West Ditch (7 July).

Tyrant Flycatchers: Jeff and Allison Boyd  reported three Say’s Phoebes fledged from a nest located under their deck on Sanctuary Road (no specific dates, July).

Vireos: A Bell’s Vireo was detected by Larry Malone near Little Walnut Picnic Area (23 July). Jerrod Swackhamer reported a Cassin’s Vireo in the Gila Bird Area (7 July).

Swallows: A report of  multiple breeding pairs of Purple Martins, with nestlings, fledglings, and food carries was submitted by Jarrod Swackhamer (Lake Roberts, 18 July).

Purple Martins JBS Lake Roberts

Purple Martin at nest by Jarrod Swackhamer, Lake Roberts, 18 July 2015

Bushtits: Gene Lewis reported Bushtits at his residence in Silver City (5 and 6 July).

Silky-flycatchers: Gene Lewis reported  Phainopeplas  in his Silver City (several detections but not specific July dates reported).

Wood-Warblers: A late Lucy’s Warbler was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 16 July).

Sparrows: An Abert’s Towhee was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, Denise Friedrick, Ryan Stern, 3 July).

Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks: A male Black-headed Grosbeak was reported by Gene Lewis from his Silver City residence (25 July).

Blackbirds, Orioles: Gene Lewis reported a male Bronzed Cowbird at his Silver City residence on 2, 8, 9, 15, 17  and 24 July.

Ken Dayer submitted the following field lists:

Highway 464 & Redrock 7/18/2015
American Coot 1
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1
Barn Swallow 2
Bell’s Vireo 22
Bewick’s Wren 1
Black-throated Sparrow 15
Blue Grosbeak 3
Cactus Wren 2
Cliff Swallow 6
Common Yellow-throat 4
Gambel’s Quail 1
Gila Woodpecker 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Greater Roadrunner 3
House Finch 3
Loggerhead Shrike 6
Mourning Dove 28
Northern Mockingbird 11
Ravens 9
Red-winged Blackbird 8
Say’s Phoebe 1
Scott’s Oriole 4
Swainson’s Hawk 4
Turkey Vulture 4
Vermillion Flycatcher 3
Western Kingbird 1
White-winged Dove 2
Yellow-breasted Chat 10
Lichty Center 7/25/2015
American Kestrel 2
American Robin 2
Ash-throated Flycatcher 2
Barn Swallow 1
Bell’s Vireo 2
Bewick’s Wren 3
Black Phoebe 1
Black-chinned Hummingbird 1
Blue Grosbeak 9
Common Yellow-throat 3
Curve-billed Thrasher 1
Gambel’s Quail 11
Great Blue Heron 1
House Finch 11
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1
Lesser Goldfinch 3
Mourning Dove 12
Northern Cardinal 3
Northern Flicker 1
Phainopepla 2
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Summer Tanager 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Vermillion Flycatcher 1
Western Wood Pewee 3
Yellow-breasted Chat 5
Campground – Mogollon & Gila River Confluence 7/25/2015
Black-headed Grosbeak 1
Black-throated Sparrow 1
Blue Grosbeak 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
House Finch 1
Mourning Dove 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 1
Summer Tanager 1
Western Wood Pewee 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 3

I appreciate all who sent in bird reports. Even thought numbers are important, a list of birds seen in the field also has value. I want to encourage everyone to spend as much time as they can enjoying watching and identifying birds. I will give careful  consideration to all reports that I receive, and will try and include as many reports as I can, even if they do not include numbers of a particular species.

I encourage the submission of records and photos. In order to increase the scientific value of your sightings, I encourage you to please include the number, a date and location for each species, as well as, the full name of the observer. Undated sightings, with or without a location or the number observed, are of a lesser value, however, all submissions are welcome. I do not know where many of you live, so a brief description would be much appreciated.  Please send your photos and reports to tyrannidae@gmail.com. Thanks to all who submitted this month and in the past.

All photographs displayed in this Bird Sightings Report remain the sole property of the photographer. Expressed written permission from the photographer is necessary to use any of these photographs.

Photo of Common Mergansers at the top of this page was taken by Robert Shantz.

Please send comments to Roland Shook.

Bird Sightings Report, June 1 to June 30, 2015

Written by Roland on June 30, 2015 – 11:58 pm -

May and June  are the months when most breeding takes place in our area. Federally Threatened Yellow-billed Cuckoos arrive towards the end of May and can breed into September. Federally Endangered Willow Flycatchers primarily breed in June and begin migration toward the middle of July. If you enjoy avian vocalizations, this is a wonderful time of the year. Many birds sing a dawn song to herald in the new day.

Species Accounts

Ducks, Geese, Swan: Barbara Smith and John Wilson reported a female Mallard and seven ducklings from the Silver City Golf Course (20 June). Roland Shook reported a female and 19 young Common Mergansers on the Gila River in the Gila River Bird area (22 June).

New World Quail: Barbara Smith and John Wilson reported a Gambel’s Quail and 16 young at their Indian Hills residency (27 June).

Pheasants, Grouse, Turkeys: A Wild Turkey nest was discovered 1 June in the Gila River Bird Area (Roland Shook).

Pelicans: Martha Schumann reported an American White Pelican from TNC’s Gila River Farm (10 June). Mari Kraman reported she saw it (or one) at Bill Evans Lake the same week (fide Martha Schumann).

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Photo of an American White Pelican by Robert Shantz, near Willcox, AZ, 23 October 2003

Bitterns, Herons: The Great Blue Heron  rookery near Cliff produced vocalizing young. Owing to its location and relatively dense vegetation, it was difficult to know how many young were produced (Linda Moore and Denise Friedrick, 1 June). Four adult Great Blue Herons were observed at the rookery by Linda Moore and Jarrod Swackhamer (24 June).

Ospreys: An Osprey was reported from TNC’s Iron Bridge property (Allena Thompson and Roland Shook, 4 June).

Kites, Eagles, Hawks: The Common Black Hawk nest near Alma on the San Francisco River produced two young this year (Linda Moore, 27 June).  A Cooper’s Hawk nest was reported near the Highway 180 Bridge as it crosses the Gila River (Linda Moore, 2 June).

Pigeons, Doves: Karen Beckenbach reports 60+ Band-tailed Pigeons at her yard on the northern edge of Silver City. The first juvenile showed up 9 June. Larry Malone reported two Inca Doves from his Deming residence (21 June). Larry reports that these are the first ones seen in his yard in 7-8 years.

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis: Ceci McNicoll reported a Yellow-billed Cuckoo vocalizing from her property above the Highway 211 Bridge near Gila (18 June). Unsolicited Yellow-billed Cuckoos have been detected in the Gila Bird Area by Roland Shook (two on 13 June, three on 25 June, five on 29 June)

Barn Owls: A Barn Owl visited a pond located between Silver City and Tyrone at the residence of Susan Lynch (2 June).

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Barn Owl photo by Susan Lynch, near Silver City, NM, 2 June.

An unusual photo taken at night. Note the “monkey face” on the owl. A key characteristic for this species.

Typical Owls: A pair of Western Screech Owls have produced young in a nest box at Karen Beckenbach’s residence on the northern edge of Silver City. Susan Lynch reported a Great Horned Owl visiting her pond located between Silver City and Tyrone (6 June). Two Great Horned Owls were reported along the Gila River near Cliff (Linda Moore and Denise Friedrick, 1 June). A vocalizing Elf Owl was heard in the Gila River Bird Area (Roland Shook, 15 June).

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Photo of Western Screech Owl by Karen Beckenbach, Silver City, 9 June 2015

                       Dale Zimmerman noted on how gray this bird is.

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Photo of Great Horned Owl by Susan Lynch, near Silver City, 6 June 2015

Note the differences in the facial patterns of this species and the one above. A careful look will reveal the “horns” on this species.

Swifts: Two unidentified swifts (most likely White-throated Swifts) were seen on the Turkey Creek Road at the upper end of the Cliff/Gila Valley (Roland Shook, 15 June).

Hummingbirds: Gene Lewis reports that the number of hummingbirds visiting his feeders has markedly decreased from last year (23 June).

Woodpeckers: An Acorn Woodpecker was detected on TNC’s Iron Bridge property (Allena Thompson and Roland Shook, 4 June). Twenty-one Gila Woodpeckers were detected throughout June along the Gila River near Cliff and Gila (various observers).

Caracaras, Falcons: Jarrod Swackhamer reported a Peregrine Falcon near the gauging station at the upper end of the Cliff/Gila Valley.

Tyrant Flycatchers: Karen Beckenbach reported a nest of Ash-throated Flycatchers fledged two young at her residence on the northern edge of Silver City (4 June). Jarrod Swackhamer reported two Dusky-capped Flycatchers from the Burro Mountains.

Vireos: A total of 24 Bell’s Vireos were reported from the Gila River throughout June near the towns of Cliff and Gila (various observers).

Jays, Magpies, Crows: Karen Beckenbach reports 20+ Pinyon Jays with juveniles at her yard north of Silver City (9 June). Patricia Taber reported a pair of Clark’s Nutcrackers feeding young near the Beaverhead fire burn (13 June). Several American Crows were heard in the Gila Valley north of Cliff (Roland Shook, 11 June). Susan Lynch reported a nest of Western Scrub-Jays nesting near their house. The young fledged on or about 26 June.

Lynch acres scrub Jays 26 Junmod

Photo of nestling Western Scrub-Jays by Susan Lynch, near Silver City, 26 June 2015

Nuthatches: Karen Beckenbach reported a nest of White-breasted Nuthatches fledged two young from a nest at her residence on the northern edge of Silver City (ca. 5 June)

Waxwings: Barbara Smith and John Wilson reported 20 Cedar Waxwings from the Silver City Golf Course (20 June).

Silky-flycatchers: Two Phainopeplas were reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 13 June).

Wood-Warblers: A Common Yellowthroat was detected in the Gila Bird Area where this species in relatively uncommon (Roland Shook, 29 June).

Sparrows: A Song Sparrow was detected singing along the Gila River north of Gila (Allena Thompson and Roland Shook, 30 June). Eight Abert’s Towhees were detected along the Gila River near Cliff and Gila (various observers, throughout June). An Abert’s Towhee was detected singing in the Gila Bird Area. This represents possibly a second attempt at nesting this year (Roland Shook, 29 June).

Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks: Larry Malone reported the first Pyrrhuloxia nesting in his Deming yard.  The nest had two eggs but only one fledged by 1 June.

Blackbirds, Orioles: Gene Lewis reported Bronzed Cowbirds visiting his residence on at least 6, 10, 23 and 28 June. A Hooded Oriole was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 5 June 13 June, 25 June).

The following observations are from Ken Dayer:

June 13 – Meadow Creek

Turkey Vulture – 1

American Robin – 3

Acorn Woodpecker –2

Hairy Woodpecker – 1

Northern Flicker – 1

Spotted Towhee – 1

White-breasted Nuthatch – 3

Black-headed Grosbeak – 1

Mountain Chickadee – 4

Steller’s Jay – 1

Pygmy Nuthatch  – 4

Dark-eyed Junco – 11

Grace’s Warbler – 11

Black-throated Gray Warbler – 2

Red-faced Warbler – 1

Plumbeous Vireo – 5

Western Wood Pewee – 1

Cordilleran Flycatcher – 1

Western Bluebird – 8

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher – 1

June 20 – Tadpole Ridge Trail

Turkey Vulture – 1

American Robin – 1

Hermit Thrush – 5

Acorn Woodpecker – 2

Northern Flicker – 1

Spotted Towhee – 13

White-breasted Nuthatch – 4

Black-headed Grosbeak – 6

Mountain Chickadee – 21

Steller’s Jay – 3

Dark-eyed Junco – 21

Grace’s Warbler – 1

Black-throated Gray Warbler – 7

Red-faced Warbler – 1

Olive Warbler – 2

Virginia’s Warbler – 3

Plumbeous Vireo – 3

Hutton’s Vireo -1

Cordilleran Flycatcher – 2

Western Bluebird – 1

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher – 1

Bushtit – 2

Brown Creeper – 3

Hepatic Tanager – 3

Western Tanager – 1

Pine Siskin – 1

Broad-tailed Hummingbird – 1

House Wren – 8

David Griffin sent in the following June reports:

Hidalgo County
1. Lordsburg Playa
June 3rd – Mexican Duck (5), Green-winged Teal (2), Black-necked Stilt (2), American Avocet (4)
June 22nd – 1st fall migrants: Wilson’s Phalarope (4)
June 26th – White-faced Ibis (2), American Avocet (11, with 1 on nest), Horned Lark (72)
2. Lordsburg STP
June 3rd – Spotted Sandpiper (2)
June 22nd – 1st fall migrants: Wilson’s Phalarope (27)
June 25th – American Avocet (11), Wilson’s Phalarope (17)
3. Gila River – Virden Bridge Hwy 92
Gila Woodpecker (4), Vermilion Flycatcher (4), Brown-crested Flycatcher (3), Yellow Warbler (5), Abert’s Towhee (4)
4. Rusty’s RV Ranch (north of Rodeo)
June 26th – Zone-tailed Hawk (1)
Luna County
1. Pecan Park
June 26th – Green Heron (1), Inca Dove (5)

I appreciate all who sent in bird reports. Even thought numbers are important, a list of birds seen in the field also has value. I want to encourage everyone to spend as much time as they can enjoying watching and identifying birds. I will give careful  consideration to all reports that I receive, and will try and include as many reports as I can, even if they do not include numbers of a particular species.

I encourage the submission of records and photos. In order to increase the scientific value of your sightings, I encourage you to please include the number, a date and location for each species, as well as, the full name of the observer. Undated sightings, with or without a location or the number observed, are of a lesser value, however, all submissions are welcome. I do not know where many of you live, so a brief description would be much appreciated.  Please send your photos and reports to tyrannidae@gmail.com. Thanks to all who submitted this month and in the past.

All photographs displayed in this Bird Sightings Report remain the sole property of the photographer. Expressed written permission from the photographer is necessary to use any of these photographs.

Photo of Common Mergansers at the top of this page was taken by Robert Shantz.

Please send comments to Roland Shook.