Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bird Survey at the North Simpson Restoration Site

Just a quick note about a bird survey we did on Tuesday at our restoration site on the lower Santa Cruz River. We continue not to see yellow-billed cuckoos at the site, after some promising summers a few years ago. However, it is very rewarding to see a wide variety of summer birds using the site. We believe summer tanagers, Bullock's orioles, Bell's vireo, yellow warblers and many others species are nesting there due to their presence in numbers during spring and summer nesting seasons.

Tuesday's survey was fun too because some early migrants were moving through--as has been reported in the last few days on the AZ/NM birding listserv. These included lazuli buntings, black-headed grosbeaks, and western tanagers.

Scott Wilbor and I have done these surveys for years, but has time has gone by we find ourselves busier and busier. In the last couple years Matt Griffiths has stepped in ably to help us on many of the surveys. On Tuesday, our latest addition Jennie MacFarland did the survey with me. I was very, very impressed by her visual and auditory identification skills. In her capacity as Scott's assistant in the Arizona IBA program, she has also become very knowledgeable about the IBA program and its protocols for bird counts.

The IBA program always has volunteer jobs for birders. There are lots of great places where it is collecting data. If you choose to become a volunteer with the IBA program, you will have great mentors in Scott and Jennie.

Good birding everybody!

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