North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 134 ARIZONA visitor to Arizona, mostly in fall. A Lucy's War- bler at Sweetwater 22 Nov+ (M. J. Iliff, WR) was extremely late; there are very few winter re - cords for the state. Twelve American Redstarts and 6 Northern Parulas, about average for a fall, were found statewide. A Bay-breasted War - bler at Dateland 25 Oct (†PEL) was an excellent fnd, as there are still fewer than 20 accepted records for Arizona and only a few since the late 1990s. Five Chestnut-sided Warblers and 3 Black-throated Blue Warblers were found this fall; both of these species are rare, regular va - grants during fall. Only one Palm Warbler was reported this fall, an individual at Buenos Aires N.W.R. 2 Nov (LH). A bit more unusual in fall, a Yellow-throated Warbler was at Patagonia 9 Nov+ (R. Baxter; ph. AS). A very late Hermit Warbler was in Madera Canyon 3 Nov (LH). Rufous-capped Warblers continued in both Florida and Hunter Canyons, both areas where this species has nested in recent years. A num - ber of Wilson's Warblers lingered well into Nov, the latest reported being 2 along the Santa Cruz River near Tubac 23 Nov (M. J. Iliff). A Botteri's Sparrow was in the Dragoon Mountains 28-30 Nov (ph. AR), establishing yet another recent late fall/winter record for se. Arizona; this species has been determined to be a local wintering species in proper habitat, yet it remains unclear if this is a recent phenom - enon or just an increase in local knowledge. Outstanding for se. Arizona, and providing the southernmost record for Arizona, was an American Tree Sparrow at Sunsites 17-18 Nov (ph. L. Richey). It was an above-average fall for Clay-colored Sparrows in se. Arizona, with no fewer than 40 individuals reported; this species is irregular in occurrence, numerous in some years and almost absent in others. At least 2 Bell's Sparrows were reported at Cabeza Prieta N.W.R. 15-16 Oct (J. Veverka); the distribution of this species, recently split from Sage Sparrow, is poorly understood in se. and sw. Arizona. A Grasshopper Sparrow was at Holbrook 13 Sep (ph. A. Strawn de Ojeda), perhaps establishing a frst Navajo record, and 2 were at Sipe W.A. near Springerville 13 Sep (TD), providing what appears to be only a third Apache record; his - torically, this species is seldom recorded any- where in n. Arizona. Another was of interest, and away from known areas of occurrence, along the road to Seven Springs, Maricopa 3 Nov (ph. J. McKay). The status of the Red Fox Sparrow is still not well understood in Arizona, so one at Hassayampa River Preserve 13 Nov (ph. C. Strand), one at Reddington Pass 29 Nov (PS), and one in East Whitetail Canyon 30 Nov (ph. RT) were all of interest. An imm. Scarlet Tanager was in a Portal yard 10 Oct (ph. REW); this species is still consid - ered casual in the state in fall, with most reports regular fall and winter visitors in Arizona. A Marsh Wren at Sierra Vista S.T.P. 29 Jul–5 Aug (M. O'Brien et al.) was very early for a fall mi - grant in se. Arizona. Although both individual Arizona Sinaloa Wrens (that we know about) apparently "vanish" during certain times of the year, they were again found during the fall. The individual that has been present off and on in Huachuca Canyon was found again 29 Aug–13 Sep (ph. RF et al.), and the one that has been along the Santa Cruz River near Tubac was found again 12 Sep+ (v.r. DS; ph. GHR). Black-capped Gnatcatchers continued at most (if not all) of known locations in se. Arizona. Golden-crowned Kinglets also staged an inva - sion across s. Arizona, with no fewer than 30 reported during Oct and Nov. A Mountain Bluebird at Cibola N.W.R. 13 Oct (LHa) was early for the L.C.R.V. A Swain - son's Thrush at Patagonia Lake 5 Sep (DS, GHR) was very early for a fall migrant in se. Arizona. Another near Yuma 24 Oct (PEL) was apparently of the olive-backed subspecies group. Single Rufous-backed Robins were re - ported near Gold Canyon, Pinal 26-27 Oct (ph. F. Main), at Dry Beaver Creek, Yavapai 12-30 Nov (ph. V. Nelson), at Hassayampa River Pre - serve 13-30 Nov (C. Strand; ph. S. Fitzgerald), and near Patagonia 21 Nov+ (S. Trevathan; ph. AS); this species is a rare regular fall visitor from Mexico. No fewer than 6 Varied Thrushes were found across Arizona this fall, mirroring the intensive invasion in the fall and winter of 2014-2015 across California. Four Gray Cat - birds and 2 Brown Thrashers were both average for a single fall. Two Lapland Longspurs were near Babbitt Tank 21-28 Nov (†DVP, LHa; B. Carlson). This species has increased in recent years and is now considered rare but regular across Arizona during fall and winter; it has been removed from the review list. A Worm-eating Warbler along Sonoita Creek near Patagonia 24 Oct–7 Nov (S. Trevathan; ph. LH) was the only one reported this fall. A Louisiana Waterthrush at Bill Williams River N.W.R. 11 Aug (ph. EH) represented one of the few local records; individuals that have oc - curred at this time of year (Jul/Aug) have not wintered. Five others were found along streams in se. Arizona beginning in mid-Sep, with most remaining into the winter season. In the rare- but-regular category, about 25 Northern Wa - terthrushes and 20 Black-and-white Warblers were reported statewide. A Prothonotary War - bler in Huachuca Canyon 13 Sep (ph. HD) was the only reported this fall. Individual Tennes - see Warblers were found e. of Mount Logan at Aspen Wildlife Catchment, Mohave 13 Sep (†S. Langston), at Clark Crossing, Santa Cruz River 1 Oct (ph. LH), and at Sweetwater 22 Oct (ph. LH); this species continues to be a rare regular Reef along the Salt River 23 Oct (S. Miller), and B.T.A. 1 Nov (J. Taylor). Gray Vireos were found 30 Aug and again 9 Oct (G. Karre) at South Mountain Park, Phoenix, where the spe - cies has been found wintering recently. Else- where, one at B.T.A. 7-10 Oct (CST) was likely a southbound migrant. A possible Blue-headed Vireo was along the Santa Cruz River at Tubac 4 Nov (ph., †LH); there are fewer than fve previ - ously accepted Arizona records. Hutton's Vireo is seldom reported from n. of the Mogollon Rim, so late birds at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon 5 Oct (J. Crouse) and at Rio de Flag, Flagstaff 22 Oct (S. Hosmer) were of interest. Late Warbling Vireos were at Hassayampa River Preserve 7 Nov (TD) and at Sweetwater 17 Nov (J. Higgins). A fock of 60 Pinyon Jays was at an odd lo - cation s. of Meadview in Joshua Tree habitat 8 Nov (DVP, LHa), but no other birds were re - ported during the fall away from normal areas of occurrence. A single Clark's Nutcracker was out of place in the Pinal Mountains 28 Nov (DPe). A Purple Martin was near Parker 13 Sep (DVP, LHa), where it is considered a very rare migrant at best. A Bank Swallow near Yuma 19 Oct (ML) was considered quite late, as was at least one at Coachline gravel pit, Marana 16 Nov (T. Loomis). Four Barn Swallows were at Whitewater Draw W.A. 24 Nov (T. Battiste); this species is casual at best this late in fall any - where in se. Arizona. Red-breasted Nuthatches staged an impressive "invasion" statewide at all elevations beginning in late Aug; large numbers were found in montane areas, par - ticularly the Pinal Mountains, where no fewer than 125 were reported 28 Nov (DPe). Two White-breasted Nuthatches were at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson 23 Nov (MMS, MP), where casual. A daily count of 31 Canyon Wrens at Bill Williams River N.W.R. 14 Aug (LHa) was exceptional for a single location. Pacifc (10) and Winter (8) Wrens occurred in about equal numbers in the state this season; both are rare This Yellow-throated Warbler, a casual visitor to Arizona, was discovered at Patagonia 9 (here 11) November 2014. Photo- graph by Alan Schmierer.

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