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).

20031021Pelican02Nmod

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).

M2E1L0-4R350B300

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).

WSO fro K Beckenbach mod

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

                       Dale Zimmerman noted on how gray this bird is.

M2E1L0-6R350B300

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.

Bird Sightings Report May 1 to May 31, 2015

Written by Roland on May 31, 2015 – 11:59 pm -

May had been an unusual month for migrating warblers. In four trips to the Gila Bird Area, I saw no warblers with the exception of Lucy’s, Yellow, or Yellow-rumped. The usual migrating Wilson’s, MacGillivray’s, Orange-crowned, and Virginia’s Warblers were not detected in the GBA during the 2015 spring migration.

Quiz Bird

The bird below can, at times be difficult to identify. The answer to the quiz, with some helpful insights from Dale Zimmerman is at the end of this post.

Bendire's 3912-1mod

 Photo by Shelly Jacobs, San Simon, AZ 24 May 2015

Species Account

Ducks, Geese, Swan: A report of six ( 14 May) and two (29 May) from the GBA was received from Roland Shook.

New World Quail: Montezuma Quail crossing Hwy 15 near Mile Marker 22 (24 May) was reported by Brian Dolton.

Bitterns, Herons: The Great Blue Heron rookery in the middle Gila Valley has at least two active nests with young (Denise Friedrick, 18 May).

Ibises, Spoonbills: Linda Moore and Allena Thompson reported approximately 40 White-faced Ibis in a flooded field north of the Highway 180 bridge across the Gila River (20 May).

Kites, Eagles, Hawks: Twenty-two active Common Black Hawk nests have been located in the middle Gila Valley between the water gauge in the north to the Gila Bird Area in the south. Another active Common Black Hawk nest was reported by Linda Moore north of Alma on the San Francisco River. Jarrod Schwackhamer reported an acive Common Black Hawk nest along the San Vicente trail below Silver City. This nest is not too far from the construction on the new Hudson Street bridge. An immature Golden Eagle was seen flying over Sapillo Creek by Brian Dolton (24 May).

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis: On 16 May, Karen Beckenbach reported one or two Yellow-billed Cuckoos vocalizing along San Vicente Creek. Yellow-billed Cuckoos were reported from the middle Gila Valley near the town of Cliff on 28 May (Roland Shook).

Typical Owls: Karen Beckenbach reported an active Great Horned Owl nest along San Vicente Creek (16 May).

Nightjars: A Mexican Whip-poor-will was reported from Railroad Canyon by Patricia Taber (11 and 12 May). Patricia also reported a Common Poorwill from the same location and dates. Roland Shook reported a Common Poorwill on the road into the GBA (8 May). This species is becoming less and less common during weekly trips to the Bird Area.

Woodpeckers: A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers were reported by Rachelle Bergmann from her Silver City residence (21 – 25 May).

Tyrant Flycatchers: Two Greater Pewees and two calling Dusky-capped Flycatchers were reported from Cherry Creek Campground by David Beatty and his niece (7 May). A pair of Greater Pewees calling continuously at Cherry Creek Campground was reported by Brian Dolton (24 May).

Vireos: A Bell’s Vireo was reported from Railroad Canyon (Patricia Taber, 11 and 12 May). Brian Dolton reported a pair of Hutton’s Vireos at Little Cherry Creek Ranch Road (24 May).

Swallows: Brian Dolton reported Purple Matins at Lake Roberts (24 May).

Chickadees, Titmice: Karen Beckenbach reported that a Juniper Titmouse nest at north of Silver City fledged 3 young (ca. 26 May).

20070912Titmouse01N

 

Photo by Robert Shantz, Apache National Forest, 12 September 2007

Wrens: Eleven migrating House Wrens were detected in the GBA by Roland Shook (8 May).

Thrushes: A Hermit Thrush was reported by Patricia Taber from Railroad Canyon (11 and 12 May).

Waxwings: Roland Shook reported eight and ten Cedar Waxwings from the GBA (14 May and 22 May, respectively).

Silky-flycatchers: Rachelle Bergmann reported four Phainopeplas at her Silver City residence (22 May).

Wood-Warblers: A Wilson’s Warbler was reported from Indian Hills by Paul Boucher (5 May). David Beatty and his niece reported multiple Red-faced Warblers and at least half a dozen Painted Redstarts from Cherry Creek Campground (7 May). Patricia Taber reported both a Red-faced Warbler and a Townsend’s Warblers at Railroad Canyon (11 and 12 May).

Sparrows: Paul Boucher reported a Black-chinned Sparrow from Indian Hills (5 May). On 9 May, Karen Beckenbach reported fully fledged Dark-eyed Junco young at Cherry Creek Campground. An Abert’s Towhee was still present in the GBA (8 May and 22 May). This species likely nested in the GBA this year. Rachelle Bergmann reported three White-crowned Sparrows at her Silver City residence (3 May).

Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks: A Western Tanager was reported by Patricia Taber from Railroad Canyon (11 and 12 May). Carrie Johannes reported a pair of Hepatic Tanagers visiting her feeders in Indian Hills for several days (approximately 7 to 16 May). A male (3 May) and a female (29 May) Black-headed Grosbeak were reported by Rachelle Bergmann from her Silver City residence. Linda Zatopek reported a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the Axle Canyon Ecological Preserve in the Burro Mountains (30 May).

Grosbeak Rachelle Bergmannmod

Photo by Rochelle Bergmann, Silver City, 29 May 2015

Blackbirds, Orioles: Irene Mossburg reported a pair of Bullock’s Orioles at her birdbath (4 May). Gene Lewis reported a Bronze Cowbird visiting his Silver City feeder (9 May to 25 May).  A reported  Scott’s Oriole  visited the Axle Canyon Ecological Preserve in the Burro Mountains (Linda Zatopek) throughout the month of May.

David Griffin submitted the following lists for his trips on the lower Gila River 16, 17 May.

Virden Bridge at the Gila River, 16 May
Zone-tailed Hawk Delete
Lesser Nighthawk
Gila Woodpecker
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher 3 were in fruiting mulberry trees northeast of bridge
Bell’s Vireo
Lucy’s Warbler 13
Yellow Warbler 4
Yellow-breasted Chat 3
Abert’s Towhee 3
White-crowned Sparrow 35
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Pyrrhuloxia
Blue Grosbeak
Virden Bridge at the Gila River, 16 May
Zone-tailed Hawk Delete
Lesser Nighthawk
Gila Woodpecker
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher 3 were in fruiting mulberry trees northeast of bridge
Bell’s Vireo
Lucy’s Warbler 13
Yellow Warbler 4
Yellow-breasted Chat 3
Abert’s Towhee 3
White-crowned Sparrow 35
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Pyrrhuloxia
Blue Grosbeak
Gila Lower Box Canyon ACEC – Nichols Canyon area, 17 May
Wild Turkey 3
Common Black Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Gila Woodpecker 7
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Greater Pewee Delete
Western Wood-Pewee 85(!)  Many, many, migrating pewees here.
Willow Flycatcher 9
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher 20
Brown-crested Flycatcher Nesting in woodpecker cavity about 5 meters from Ash-throated Flycatcher nest
Bell’s Vireo 20
Warbling Vireo Delete
Purple Martin 1 Foraging in Nichols Canyon with flock of Violet-green Swallows
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West) 4 This bird is hard to find here; pair feeding nestlings. One other pair observed
Lucy’s Warbler 3
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler 68(!) So many yellow warblers at this location. 3 observations of female feeding recent fledglings
Wilson’s Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Abert’s Towhee 6
Song Sparrow Heard singing only; also heard what sounded like begging calls from nestlings or recently-fledged young near one known breeding site.
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting 1 singing male (photo)
Hooded Oriole
Bullock’s Oriole
Pine Siskin 2
Turkey Vulture and Zone-tailed Hawk_Nichols Canyon GLBC_17 May 2015_P1070224mod
Photo by David Griffin, Nichols Canyon, 17 May 2015
Dunagan Crossing (Animas valley), 26 May 
Botteri’s Sparrow 2 – (previously found May 10th by Narca Moore-Craig); male singing and calling (photos)
Botteri's Sparrow_Dunagan Crossing Animas Valley_26 May 2015_P1070457Mod

Photo by Dave Griffin, Dunagan Crossing, 26 May 2015

Ken Dayer submitted the following extensive lists from his trips to Little Cherry Creek 23, 25 and 30 May.

May 23 – Little Cherry Creek

Turkey Vulture – 4
American Robin – 7
Ravens – 4
Canyon Wren – 8
Acorn Woodpecker – 1
Hairy Woodpecker – 1
Northern Flicker – 2
Spotted Towhee – 13
White-breasted Nuthatch – 10
Black-headed Grosbeak – 2
Western Tanager – 3
Mountain Chickadee – 3
Mexican Jay – 4
Steller’s Jay – 1
Brown Creeper – 2
Pygmy Nuthatch – 2
Bridled Titmouse – 3
Broad-tailed Hummingbird – 4
Black-chinned Hummingbird – 3
Hermit Thrush – 2
Bushtit – 7
Dark-eyed Junco – 6
Grace’s Warbler – 1
Virginia’s Warbler – 1
Painted Redstart – 5
Yellow-rumoed Warbler – 2
Black-throated Gray Warbler – 1
Red-faced Warbler – 4
Plumbeous Vireo – 7
Hutton’s Vireo – 2
Western Wood Pewee – 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher – 3

May 25 – Little Cherry Creek

Turkey Vulture – 3
American Robin – 5
Ravens – 2
Canyon Wren – 11
Hairy Woodpecker – 2
Spotted Towhee – 14
White-breasted Nuthatch – 7
Black-headed Grosbeak – 4
Western Tanager – 4
Mountain Chickadee – 5
Mexican Jay – 1
Steller’s Jay – 1
Brown Creeper – 1
Pygmy Nuthatch – 1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird – 2
Black-chinned Hummingbird – 1
Hermit Thrush – 2
Bushtit – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 4
Olive Warbler – 1
Virginia’s Warbler – 1
Painted Redstart – 11
Black-throated Gray Warbler –1
Red-faced Warbler – 10
Plumbeous Vireo – 11
Warbling Vireo – 4
Western Wood Pewee – 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher – 2
Mourning Dove – 2
Violet Green Swallow – 1

May 30 – Little Cherry Creek

Turkey Vulture – 1
American Robin – 10
Ravens – 3
Canyon Wren – 4
Hairy Woodpecker – 3
Northern Flicker – 3
Spotted Towhee – 7
White-breasted Nuthatch – 4
Black-headed Grosbeak – 5
Western Tanager – 1
Mountain Chickadee – 8
Western Scrub Jay – 1
Steller’s Jay – 11
Broad-tailed Hummingbird – 1
Hermit Thrush – 5
Bushtit – 4
Dark-eyed Junco – 13
Olive Warbler – 1
Painted Redstart – 5
Black-throated Gray Warbler – 1
Red-faced Warbler – 13
Plumbeous Vireo – 10
Warbling Vireo – 1
Western Wood Pewee – 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher – 9
Montezuma Quail – 2
House Wren – 1
Bridled Titmouse – 1
Cassin’s Finch – 1

 

Answer to Quiz Bird

Bendire's Thrashermod

Photo by Shelly Jacobs, San Simon, AZ, 24 May 2015

Dale Zimmerman writes: “It shows a Bendire’s Thrasher. Note the shape of the small, often triangular breast spots, that point upward. The eye is clear yellow, not yellow-orange.  The gonys is quite straight.  I cannot detect the color of the mandibular ramus.  Too bad the observer didn’t report on vocalizations.  – DAZ

Young Curve-billed Thrashers are often mistaken for this species. In the field when views are often fleeting, this species can be difficult to positively identify.

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.