Friday, March 18, 2011

Atascosa Highlands Records Twelve Annual Highs This Year

Nearly all CBC's have finally posted their results to the National Audubon website, so I have been able to determine that our sixty-six hardy souls, birding all day in rugged lands on December 31, 2010, recorded the highest number of individuals for twelve species among all US Christmas Bird Counts this year.

Some are shoo-ins, such as Canyon and Rock Wrens, Rufous-crowned Sparrow; there is simply no other circle that has the quantity and quality of habitat as AZAH (as long as we have enough observers). But we almost missed a couple. Montezuma Quail is perhaps the most noteworthy, as the Davis Mountains CBC recorded 19 this year. And one surprise was Red-naped Sapsucker, usually seen in greatest numbers on the Mogollon Rim, with Prescott being number one – this year they had only 26.

Montezuma Quail - 20
Elegant Trogon - 8 (all-time US high)
Arizona Woodpecker - 23
Red-naped Sapsucker - 50
Hammond's Flycatcher - 21
Gray Flycatcher - 47
Rock Wren - 100
Canyon Wren - 67
Painted Redstart - 9
Canyon Towhee - 175
Rufous-crowned Sparrow - 171
Five-striped Sparrow - 1