Date: 1/1/18 9:13 am From: Doug Jenness <d_jenness...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] AZ: Pinal County 2017 totals
Jan. 1, 2018
For the past seven years I've been keeping track of the number of bird species reported for the year from Pinal County in Arizona, particularly noting species new to the county and those that are accidental. As best as I can determine, the overall number of species documented for the county is 423 species. This may seem low compared to some other Arizona counties, but there are no areas with pine/fir forests to attract many high-elevation species. In 2017, a total of 311 species were reported, 19 more than the previous high of 292 set in 2015 and 2016. We registered the most birders tallying more than 200 species (3) and 100 species (28) and the highest number reported by an individual (261). The total number reported for the seven-year period is 372 species, which is 88% of the species ever reported in the county. As not all reported birds appear in eBird, these figures will not necessarilybe the same as eBird's.
In 2017, the most noteworthy reports were of four new species for the county: Northern Pygmy-Owl, Iceland Gull (Thayer's), Violet-crowned Hummingbird, and Red Knot. The pygmy-owl, reported reliably from two locations, had likely been observed in the county before but I had no records. A fifth species, Cave Swallow, which is a review species had been reported in 2007, but not documented or submitted to the Arizona Bird Committee. A Cave Swallow this year was photographed and the report was submitted to the ABC for the first time. Ten species were reported for the first time in the past seven years: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, White-winged Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Scaled Quail, Snowy Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Short-billed Dowitcher, Common Loon, Black-throated Green Warbler (4th county record), and Golden-winged Warbler (2nd county record).
Most notable was an unusually large diversity of shorebirds. A Red Knot (and a possible second) was a first for the county. Two Ruddy Turnstones in different locations on the same day were the 2nd and 3rd records for the county. Four Short-billed Dowitchers in different locations was outstanding given that there were only two previous reports for the county. The first Snowy Plover since 2004 was reported, and for the second year in a row, Sanderlings, previously rarely reported in the county, were found.
The county also got some of the action of high-elevation birds moving into the lowlands with an unprecedented 5 reports of Red Crossbill, the first reports of Cassin's Finch since 2008, and at least 5 Lewis's Woodpeckers.
The only species that had been reported in the previous 6 years, but not 2017 was surprisingly Black-and-white Warbler.
The Santa Cruz Flats accounted for the most number of species, followed by Boyce Thompson Arboretum and San Carlos Lake.