21-23 October 2016
By Anne Pellegrini and Lauren Harter
Registration is now open! If you are planning to attend our 10th annual state meeting in Yuma, now is the time to sign up. Spread the word! The meeting is free for AZFO members and $10 for non-members. 
This year’s meeting will be held on 21-23 October at the Best Western InnSuites, just minutes from historic downtown Yuma and some excellent birding at the Yuma East Wetlands and Riverside Park. We are lining up some informative talks on Arizona birds from both local and regional experts. There will be chances to test both your audio and visual identification skills, as well as opportunities to mingle with old friends and new at the Friday and Saturday social hours. Come visit the AZFO gear table, peruse the used books, or buy a raffle ticket. Proceeds will help to fund Gale Monson grants for future avian research in Arizona. Mini-field expeditions have been arranged for Friday afternoon and Sunday morning at locations such as Martinez Lake, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma West and Yuma East Wetlands, plus many more – details coming soon!
Don’t forget to sign up for the Saturday night dinner at the Best Western InnSuites when you register – the cost is $25 per person. The dinner will be catered by Da Boyz Italian Cuisine. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Osvel Hinojosa Huerta, Director of the Water and Wetlands Program for Pronatura Noroeste, the largest conservation organization in Northwestern Mexico. He obtained his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona. Recently he has been leading the efforts to restore the wetlands of the Colorado River Delta, including the allocation of instream flows and the recovery of native riparian vegetation. More details about the meeting can be found here:
Osvel Hinojosa Huerta
Photo/Cheryl Zook, National Geographic Society
Call for Papers and Posters – There is still room on the meeting schedule for additional presenters. If you are interested in presenting a paper or poster, please check out our Call for Papers and Posters for instructions on how to submit an abstract:
Used Book Sale – Calling all unwanted bird books! Do you have more books than you know what to do with? Need to clear some space? Consider donating your unwanted bird books to the AZFO used book sale. For more information on how to donate, contact the meeting coordinator at We do not need field guides.
Youth Scholarships – AZFO is proud to encourage and support young people with an interest in Arizona’s birds. As part of our goal to involve a younger generation in AZFO activities, we offer scholarships to students (middle school through college undergraduate) to attend the annual meeting. The goals of our scholarship program include helping to ease any financial burden of traveling to the meeting, as well as reaching out to students who may benefit from attendance with opportunities for networking, learning, and getting involved with AZFO and other organizations.
The scholarships can be applied to transportation, a two-night hotel stay, and a ticket to the meeting dinner, and they include a one-year membership in AZFO. Following the meeting, recipients will be expected to submit an essay describing their experiences at the meeting, to be posted on the AZFO website. Prior year essays can be read at: Application materials can be found at:; students should apply by 15 September 2016. The AZFO scholarship program is generously supported by the Maricopa Audubon Society.
By Pierre Deviche
We are pleased to announce that this year, AZFO will again offer grants of up to $1000 for field research aimed at enhancing our knowledge of the status, distribution, identification, and other aspects of Arizona birdlife. Information about past grant recipients and the application process is available at: The application deadline is 15 September 2016. For more information, please contact Pierre Deviche ( or any AZFO board member.
July-August 2016
By Troy Corman
Late summer is when monsoon flows bring much needed moisture from the south to much of Arizona. It is when the southeastern region has its “Second Spring”, with lush green growth, abundant insects, and a fresh invigoration of nesting activity. It is also when shorebirds, hummingbirds, and passerines begin migrating south, or in some cases simply wander about.
Southbound shorebird migration in Arizona begins by mid- to late June for some species and peaks near the end of August. By the close of this reporting season, an impressive 27 species of shorebirds had been reported in the state. Highlights included an odd, lengthy lingering (nearly two weeks) HUDSONIAN GODWIT near Palo Verde, providing a first July record for the state and only the second record for Maricopa Co. Another exceptional discovery was a one-day-wonder UPLAND SANDPIPER, just south of Duncan and a first for Greenlee Co. RUDDY TURNSTONES are no longer found annually in Arizona, so one near Gila Bend, Maricopa Co. was also a great find.
Upland Sandpiper
9 July 2016 – Railroad Wash Road, Duncan, Greenlee Co.
Photo/ Dave Stejskal
Post-breeding dispersal and other wandering birds of note included a PURPLE GALLINULE and a TRICOLORED HERON at Sweetwater Wetlands, Pima Co., with another Tricolored Heron gracing Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa Co. Two BLACK SKIMMERS also wandered to near Palo Verde, Maricopa Co., possibly the first time more than one of these birds were ever documented together in Arizona. With relatively few records for the state, an ELEGANT TERN visited Mittry Lake, Yuma Co.
Purple Gallinule
4 July 2016 – Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Pima Co.
Photo/Laurens Halsey
Tricolored Heron
28 August 2016 – Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, Gilbert, Maricopa Co.
Photo/Richard Ditch
Black Skimmers
15 July 2016 – Lower River Road Ponds, Buckeye, Maricopa Co.
Photo/Craig Fischer
Vagrants around the state and others who apparently lost their way included single YELLOW-THROATED and WHITE-EYED VIREOS in Coconino Co., and a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH in Mohave Co.—with four more in southeastern Arizona where they are rare but more expected. There were two PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, with one each in Pima & Santa Cruz Cos., and individual HOODED WARBLERS in Cochise and Gila Cos., with two others in Yavapai Co. PAINTED BUNTINGS are known as late summer molt migrants, arriving in southeastern Arizona in late July and August to partake in the monsoon bounty of lush growth and grass seeds while they molt and soon after depart south to Mexico. A few individuals strayed north to near Buckeye, Maricopa Co., Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Pinal Co., and possibly a first Greenlee Co. record near Duncan.
White-eyed Vireo
28 August 2016 – Picture Canyon, Flagstaff, Coconino Co.
Photo/Jason Wilder
For more details about these and other noteworthy photo-documented observations, please visit:
By Jennie MacFarland
The last two summers have been a whirlwind of activity for the Tucson Audubon Society as they searched for Yellow-billed Cuckoos on the Coronado National Forest and achieved the most ambitious bird survey project in their history. Six Tucson Audubon staff members and many dedicated volunteers surveyed 40 routes in 2015 and 15 in 2016. The map shows where they found western Yellow-billed Cuckoos in Southeast Arizona which was a significant number of oak-lined high elevation drainages. So why does this matter?
The range of the western distinct population segment of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo has been greatly reduced due to habitat loss; over the last century they have gone from 15,000 pairs in California to about 40 pairs currently. Arizona populations have declined up to 80 percent in the last 30 years with an estimated current population of 250 pairs, the highest in the United States. Arizona is an important foothold in the U.S. for the western Yellow-billed Cuckoo. This made it very meaningful for the surveyors to encounter as many Yellow-billed Cuckoos as they did in the previously unexpected high-elevation sky island habitats in Southeast Arizona. During two summers of surveys they visited some beautiful and remote places, observed all sorts of wildlife and beautiful blooming plants, and witnessed the amazing transformation the sky islands undergo during our summer rains.
The western population segment of this bird was officially listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in October 2014, and its designated Critical Habitat is still being revised. The findings from this study will likely add areas within the Madrean oak higher elevation habitat to the next draft of the Critical Habitat. A more complete report will be available soon on the Tucson Audubon website.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Detections in Southeast Arizona
Map/Tucson Audubon Society
21-23 Oct 2016
AZFO Annual Meeting, Yuma
(see website for details)
14 Dec 2016 – 5 Jan 2017
Christmas Bird Counts
(details on website in October)
     Kurt Radamaker
     Cave Creek AZ
Vice President
     Jennifer MacFarland
     Tucson AZ
Membership Secretary
     Kurt Licence
     Phoenix AZ
Recording Secretary
     Carol Beardmore
     Phoenix AZ
     Doug Jenness
     Catalina AZ
Board Members
     Andy Bridges
     Petrified Forest Natl
     Park AZ
     Anne Pellegrini
     Flagstaff AZ
     Walter Thurber
     Scottsdale AZ
Appointed Board Member
     Pierre Deviche
     Phoenix AZ
The Journal of Arizona Ornithology
     Pierre Deviche, Editor
     Phoenix AZ
     Sabine Deviche,
     Liège BE
     Walter Thurber, Editor
     Scottsdale AZ
     Andy Bridges, Design
     Petrified Forest Natl
     Park AZ
Field Expeditions
     Felipe Guerrero, Chair
     Prescott AZ
Photo Documentation
     Lauren Harter, Co-
     Lake Havasu City AZ
     David Vander Pluym,
     Lake Havasu City AZ
     Kurt Radamaker,
     Cave Creek AZ
     Edwin Juarez, Support
     Phoenix AZ
Copyright © 2016 Arizona Field Ornithologists. All rights reserved.

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