Date: 12/21/20 4:51 am From: Chris McCreedy <cristofolos...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] [EXT]Rock Corral - Atascosa Highlands CBC section summary
The deepening drought has taken its toll on the Rock Corral in the Tumacacori Mountains west of Tubac. I counted the Corral for the Atascosa Highlands CBC for the eighth year today. I recorded the lowest species total I have observed since 2010, when I first began counting there. I couldn't find any vireos, or sapsuckers, or warblers, or Empidonax flycatchers, or raptors. It was the first time I have struck out for any of those taxonomic groups, let alone all of them. Migrant sparrows were few and far between. Black-capped Gnatcatcher numbers had been building to 10 each of the last two years, but I only could find two today.
Total birds / hour has ranged between 45 - 75 for this section of the CBC during the years I counted it since 2011, but it was under 29 today. Resident Canyon Towhees, Northern Cardinals, Bridled Titmice, Crissal Thrashers, and Gila Woodpeckers have maintained their numbers for now, likely helped by reasonably wet winter conditions and early nesting phenology the previous year, prior to when dry conditions arrived and intensified.