Western Birds Vol. 6, No. 4, 1975
ARIZONA BIRD RECORDS, 1973,
WITH ADDITIONAL NOTES
STEVEN M. SPEICH, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (present address: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California 92727.
JANET L. WITZEMAN, 4619 E. Arcadia Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85018
This report consists of records of noteworthy occurrences of birds in Arizona submitted to the Arizona Bird Committee. Most of these records are from 1973, with some pre-1973 reports not previously reported by the ABC (see Speich and Parker 1973). There are no changes in the ABC membership since the last report (members are: Russell P. Balda, Bill Harrison, Gale Monson, Stephen M. Russell, Steven Speich, and Robert A. Witzeman); however, Janet Witzeman is now the secretary of the ABC. All records, under the care of Stephen M. Russell, are deposited in the Bird Collection of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. Photographs bear University of Arizona Bird Collection numbers. Nomenclature follows that of the AOU Checklist (1957) and its 32nd Supplement (Auk 90: 411-419, 1973), but the identity of “traditionally identifiable forms” is retained.
The ABC has decided that details of observation no longer need by submitted, nor will they be reviewed, for the following species (remove the asterisk after each on the Field Checklist of Arizona Birds): Mexican Duck, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Common Flicker (Yellow-shafted Flicker, Colaptes auratus auratus), Winter Wren, Rufous-backed Robin, Black-and-White Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Indigo Bunting, Harris’ Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. However, details are hereafter required fro observations of the Roseate Spoonbill and Surf Scoter; add an asterisk after these species’ names on the Field Checklist.
The following status changes and additions should be entered on the Field Checklist. The status code of the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is incomplete and should read “W-r; s-l” (winter rare; summer local). Mountain Plover was inadvertently omitted from the Checklist and should be inserted with the status “W” (winter resident). Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) should be inserted with the status code “A-sp*” (accidental specimen). This species is represented by two specimens taken near Tucson, Pima Co., one each on 4 September 1965 and 4 October 1968, and erroneously reported by Austin et al. (1972) as Common Terns (S. hirundo) but since corrected by Monson and Russell (1975). Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) should also be added with the status “A-s*” (accidental sight; see Speich and Parker 1973). The status of Tree Swallow (Iridoprocne bicolor) should read “W; S-l” (winter resident; summer resident local), as it now breeds in the state (see below). The status of Bendire’s Thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei) should read “P” (permanent resident). And last, Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca) should be inserted with the status code “A-s” (accidental sight; see below).
1973 ACCEPTED RECORDS
The records listed below were unanimously accepted by the ABC. Where appropriate, additional comments are made concerning past records of the species, their status and distribution in Arizona and surrounding areas, and interesting variances in their occurrence in Arizona and California.
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens). One immature on 26 July 1973, east of Yuma, Yuma Co., by A. and H. Guenther (and photographed by H. Guenther; UA 12003) is probably of this species, as are the four sightings in Phillips et al. (1964) that are considered Fregata sp. The possibility of F. major occurring here is unlikely (see McCaskie 1970). The species is a rare summer wanderer from the Gulf of California.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycanassa violacea). One sub-adult seen 17 April 1973 at Imperial Dam, Yuma Co., by R. Webster is only the second state record.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria Americana). Figure 1 (UA 12004). Thirty-eight immatures on 30 June 1973 by S. and S. Liston were photographed, and an additional 5 adults by R. Webster, 1 July 1973, all northeast of Yuma, Yuma Co. further document the presence of this species along the lower Colorado River and Gila River in the summer (Phillips et al. 1964).
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Ajaja ajaja). Six separate reports are as follows: 33 on 4 June through 14 October 1973, Picacho Reservoir, Pinal Co., by R. Jolly, G. Bauer and others (one bird was photographed; UA 12005); 1 adult on 11 June 1973 Quitobaquito, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima Co. by R. Stallcup; 21 immatures, 17 June through 1 July 1973 northeast of Yuma, Yuma Co., by S. and S. Liston and R. Webster were photographed (Figure 1; UA 12004); and 25 August 1973, Gila River, northeast of Yuma, Yuma Co., by W. Deason and D. Wingfield were photographed (UA 12006) by W. Deason; and 1 dehydrated adult (UA 12007) found 14 November 1973 in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by R. Norton. The two reports of birds from northeast of Yuma are probably of the same group of birds, at least in part. This species is considered to be an irregular summer visitant occurring in limited numbers. There are only four previous records fro Arizona. These are the first since 1951.
BLACK BRANT (Branta nigricans). One on 20 March 1973, north of Topock, Mohave Co., by R. Karges and A. Moskos is only the third state record (see Speich and Parker 1973).
ROSS’ GOOSE (Chen rossii). One on 17 February 1973, Sun City, Maricopa Co., by R. Norton and B. Harrison. This species is casual away from the Colorado River.
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica). One male on 29 March 1973, Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Pima Co., by c. Corchran, D. Lamm and J. Luepke is the first record for the state since the hypothetical record list by Phillips et al. (1964).
SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata). One female or immature on 12 November 1973 at Nelson Reservoir, Apache Co., by D. Danforth and J. Bealer. This species is casual in the fall in Arizona.
AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica). Two sightings. 1 on 26 September 1973 near Nogales, Santa Cruz Co., by B. Harrison and others, and 1 on 2 through 14 November 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by S. Terrill and R. Norton, further document the presence of this casual visitiant.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres). One in breeding plumage seen 5 August 1973 at the Riggs Road Ponds, Chandler, Maricopa Co., by G. Bauer and R. Bradley is the second recorded occurrence of this species in Arizona.
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus). Eight on 1 July 1973 at Imperial Dam, Yuma Co., by R. Webster. This species is a rare migrant in Arizona.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus). Four on 18 August 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by R. Bradley. There are very few records of this casual transient in Arizona.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus). Two records: 3 on 1 July 1973, northeast of Yuma, Yuma Co., by R. Webster; and 1 and 2, 29 August through 5 September 1973, Riggs Road Ponds, Chandler, Maricopa Co., by R. and J. Witzeman. A tape and sonogram of the call notes submitted to the ABC are on file. This species has been found to be an uncommon but regular transient in small numbers.
HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus). Two in advanced second year plumage on 21 October 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by R. Norton. This species is a casual transient in the state.
LAUGING GULL (L. atricilla). One adult on 25 August 1973 at Picacho Reservoir, Pinal Co., by J. Movian and M. Chamberlain is only the third state record. Perhaps more individuals stray up the Colorado River from the Gulf of California and go undetected due to the scarcity of observers in this part of the state. Flocks of several hundred are seen regularly each fall at the Salton Sea, Imperial Co., California.
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (Rissa tridactyla). One immature on 24 November 1973, Martinez Lake, Yuma Co., by T. Danielsen and T. and J. Heindel. This is only the second state record.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica). One adult on 13 May 1973, Martinez Lake, Yuma Co., by S. and S. Liston. This is only the second state record. This species may occur more often along the Colorado River. It breeds at the Salton Sea and is suspected of breeding in the Gulf of California (Friedmann et al. 1950: 107).
LEAST TERN (Sterna albifrons). One adult on 1 July 1973, Imperial Dam, Yuma Co., by R. Webster. There are only a few records of this species for Arizona.
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax Lucifer). Figure 2 (UA 12008). One adult male, 8 July through 5 September 1973, Ramsey Canyon, Cochise Co., by E. Hunn, V. Rule and others. This Mexican species may be present in southeastern Arizona annually, but probably goes undetected (Speich and Parker 1973).
WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis leucotis). One immature male on 18 August through 9 September 1973, Cave Creek Canyon, Portal, Cochise Co., by S. and W. Spofford, K. Kaufman et al. This post-breeding wanderer from Mexico probably occurs annually in the southeastern part of the state.
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus). One on 7 October 1973, Elgin, Santa Cruz Co., by R. Kellman. This species is a rare summer visitant in northern Arizona, and even more rare in the southeastern part of the state.
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus crassirostris). One 17 and 18 December 1972 through 4 January 1973, Laguna Dam, Imperial Co., by R. Todd, s. burge and R. Witzeman was photographed by R. Todd (UA11974). This is the first winter record, and is the only record of this species in Arizona away from the small breeding colonies along Sonoita Creek, Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co., and Guadalupe Canyon, Cochise Co. (Phillips et al. 1964). It seems likely that this record is of a dispersing bird from Sonora 9see Miller et al. 1957 and Phillips et al. 1964).
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Muscivora forficata). Two records: 1 male on 16 July 1973, near Bisbee Junction, Cochise Co., by M. Wihler; and 1 immature on 24 September 1973 east of San Simon, Cochise Co., by D. Wolf. See Speich and Parker (1973).
WESTERN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax difficilis). One adult on 15 December 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by K. Kaufman and R. Norton. This species may be going undetected in appropriate habitat in winter.
TREE SWALLOW (Iridoprocne bicolor). Figure 3 (UA12010). Two nests, 1 with two young observed from 15 July 1973 until young fledged 21 July 1973, photographed 18 July 1973; a second nest found 21 July 1973; both near Jacob Lake, Kaibab National Forest, Coconino co., in Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides), by R. and M. Wilson. This is the first recorded nesting of this species in Arizona. Considering the breeding distribution of this species in the West these individuals are probably derived from populations in southern Utah (Grinnell and Miller 1944; Linsdale 1936; and Graber et al. 1972).
WINTER WREN (Troglodytes troglodytes). One on 15 December 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by S. Terrill. This species is a more common winter resident than past reports indicate.
RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus). Five records: 1 on 29 December 1972 through 4 January 1973, Tucson, Pima Co., by D. Lamm and C. Corchran was photographed (UA12011) by C. corchran; 1 on 23 December 1973, Carr Canyon, Huachuca mtns., Cochise Co., by R Norton, A. Kraynik and J. Mangum; 1 on 6 November 1973 through 14 April 1974, Cave Creek, Maricopa Co., by E. and N. Jones et al.
VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius). Two records: 1 on 28 August 1973, Prescott National Forest, Yavapai co., by T. and C. Johnson is the first summer record, and is probably a bird from the invasion of the previous winter (Speich and Parker 1973); 1 on 15 December 1973, southwest of Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by S. Terrill.
BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila nigriceps). Two adults, male and female, on 18 and 19 March 1973, Sonoita Creek just below Lake Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co., by T. Parker, K. Kaufman et al. This is only the second record for the United States. This elusive species probably continues to breed in the Sonoita Creek drainage since it was first observed and collected (Phillips et al. 1973).
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera). One adult female on 28 June 1973, southwest of Springerville, Apache Co., by S. and E. Cardiff and R. Carlson is the third state record.
YELLOW WARBLER (Dendroica petechia). One adult male on 15 December 1973, Litchfield, Maricopa Co., by S. Demaree, R. Bradley et al. is the third winter record.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (D. caerulescnes). Two records: 1 adult male on 17 June 1973, Rustler Park, Chiricahua Mtns., Cochise Co., by T. Heindel; 1 adult male 15 through 20 November 1973, Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz Co., by S. and S. Liston et al. was photographed (UA12012) by S.E. Liston.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (D. virens). One immature, 16 November 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by S. Terrill.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (D. fusca). One immature on 8 October 1973, Tucson, Pima Co., by G. Monson is the first state record.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (D. castanea). One immature on 23 November 1973, Tucson, Pima Co., by G. Monson, W. Anderson, M. Robbins, T. Parker and S. Speich was photographed (UA12013A,B) by W. Anderson. This is the second state record.
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapillus) One adult on 15 December 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by K. Kaufman is the second winter record.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (S. novaboracensis). One on 15 December 1973 southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by R. Bradley.
HOODED WARBLER (Wilsonia striata). One male on 30 June 1973, Rustler Park, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise Co., by R. Madding and R. Webster is the fourth state record.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurias). One immature on 16 November 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by S. Terrill et al.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Guiraca caerulea). One adult male on 15 December 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by T. Fogle.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea). One male on 27 June 1973, Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co., by R. Webster.
HARRIS’ SPARROW (Zonotrichia querula). One immature 4 through 13 January 1973, Portal, Cochise Co., by s. Spofford, A. Crockett, and D. Bogle.
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (Z. atricapilla). One sub-adult, 1 through 4 April 1973, Portal, Cochise Co., by I. Hicks, S. and W. Spofford and R.E. Cocroft. Photographs by R.E.C. are on file (UA12014).
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza Georgiana). One immature on 15 December 1973, southwest Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by K. Kaufman. This species is generally regular in small numbers in the state in winter, and this record is the second for central Arizona.
The following 1973 records were submitted to the ABC and were accepted, but were not considered unusual enough to include in the main report: Goshawk (Acciiter (sic) genitlis), December, Phoenix, Maricopa Co.; Harlan’s Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis harlani), February, Phoenix, Maricopa Co.; Zone-tailed Hawk (B. albonotatus), July, Jacob Lake, Coconino Co.; California Gull (Larus californicus), January, Phoneix, Maricopa Co.; Yellow-shafted Flicker (Colaptes auratus auratus), February, Phoenix, Maricopa Co.; Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia), two individual records, October and December, Phoenix, Maricopa Co.; and Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca), two individual records, December, Phoenix, Maricopa Co.
PRE-1973 ACCEPTED RECORDS
These records are of sightings prior to 1973 that were submitted to the ABC and unanimously accepted.
OLIVACEOUS CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax olivaceous). Figure 4 (UA12015). One on 29 July 1967, Yerba Buena Ranch, Santa Cruz Co., by G. McCaskie, A. Craig et al.
JAEGER SP. (Stercorarisu sp.) Figure 5 (UA12017). One immature 7 through 20 September 1970, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., by R. Witzeman et al. The ABC could not unanimously agree that this species was a Parasitic Jaeger (S. parasiticus). P. Devillers, J. Jehl Jr. and G. McCaskie were consulted and “all (independently) concluded that the bird was without question a Parasitic Jaeger” (G. McCaksie pers. comm.) after examination of the color transparencies.
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer). One adult female from 28 August through 12 September 1972, Ramsey Canyon, Cochise Co., by R. Norton, J. and C. Peabody et al.
PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii) One (female or immature) 20 through 30 September 1969, Nogales, Santa Cruz Co., by B. Harrison, R. Witzeman et al is the first, and to date the only, record of this Mexican species in the United States. Photographs by R. Witzeman UA12018A and UA 12018B) are published in color (Harrison 1976).
RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN (Turdus rufopalliatus). One on 23 April 1972, Tucson, Pina Co., by B. Deuel.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea). One male oon 29 July 1972, Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co., by b. Deuel.
1973 UNACCEPTED RECORDS
Arizona Bird Committee decisions are in parentheses. The first number represents the number of members who did not accept the record; the second number represents those who accepted the record.
HORNED GREBE One, 15 December 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co. (6:0).
GREATER SCAUP One, 21 December 1973, Kinsley Pond, Pima Co. (6:0).
SWAINSON’S HAWK Two, 20 December 1973, Moccasin, Mohave Co. (6:0)
HERRING GULL One, 15 April 1973, Upper Lake Mary, Coconino Co. (5:1)
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD One, 21 November 1973, Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz Co. (6:0).
ANNA’S x BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD One, 27 August 1973, Portal, Cochise Co. Identification of hybrids is difficult at best without a specimen, and is generally beyond the scope of this committee.
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER One, 10 August 1973, Tucson, Pima Co. (1:4, 1 pass).
WESTERN FLYCATCHER One, 15 December 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co. (1:4, 1 pass).
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE Two records: 1, 15 December 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co. (6:0); 1, 22 December 1973 Lake Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co. (6:0).
COMMON CROW Forty-four, 8 February 1973, Bermuda City, Mohave Co. (1:5).
AMERICAN (SAN LUCAS) ROBIN (Turdus migratorius confines) One, 16 August 1973, Cave Creek Canyon, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise Co. (4:1, 1 pass).
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH One, 24 Febraury 1973, Richland, Cochise Co. (6:0).
RED-EYED VIREO Two records: 1, 13 September 1973, Santa Catalina Mountains, Pima Co. (5:0, 1 pass); 1, 17 September 1973, south of Phoenix, Maricopa Co. (5:1).
TENNESSEE WARBLER One, 8 September 1973, Dragoon Mountains, Cochise Co. (6:0).
HOODED WARBLER One, 7 June 1973, Sycamore Canyon, Santa Cruz Co. (5:1).
NORTHERN (BALTIMORE) ORIOLE One, 20 September 1973, Tempe, Maricopa Co. (1:5).
BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Icterus graduacauda) One, 30 April through 1 May 1973, Cave Creek Canyon, Cochise Co. ( 5:0, 1 pass).
ROSE-BREASTED x BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK One, 1 January 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co. Identification of hybrids is difficult at best without a specimen and is generally beyond the scope of this committee.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK One, 24 April 1973, Continental, Santa Cruz Co. (sic) (2:3, 1 pass).
INDIGO BUNTING One, 8 June 1973 west of Nogales, Santa Cruz Co. (1:5).
PURPLE FINCH One, 15 December 1973, Phoenix, Maricopa Co. (1:5).
PRE-1973 UNACCEPTED RECORDS
SNOWY OWL Three, 23 December 1970, south of Seligman, Yavapai Co. (6:0)
GREEN KINGFISHER One, 20 July 1972, Patagonia, Santa Cruz Co. (5:1).
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE Eight, 3 June 1971, Miller Canyon, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise Co. (6:0).
BLUE MOCKINGBIRD One, 15 October 1971, Altar Valley, Pima Co. (5:1).
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE One, 16 July 1971, Cave Creek Canyon, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise Co. (6:0).
We wish to express our thanks to those people who prepared written descriptions of their sightings and submitted them to the ABC, and are allowing us to use their records. The submission of photographs is especially appreciated. The pride felt by most observers is evident in the thoroughness and clarity of their reports.
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southwestern United States. Calif. Birds 1:117-142.
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of the birds of Mexico, part II. Pac. Coast Avif. No. 33.
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(Transcriber’s note: the 20 September 1970 Jaeger sp. was later conclusively identified as a Long-tailed Jaeger, a first state record.)