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GLOBAL BIG DAY IN ARIZONA

2016 Results (excel file)

 

2016 Narrative

BY DOUG JENNESS

Well over 400 birders were in the field throughout the state on 14 May, the second annual Global Big Day. A large number were in teams coordinated on a countywide basis by the Arizona Field Ornithologists. This year AZFO merged its 12 years of experience coordinating volunteers for the North American Migration Count into eBird's Global Big Day. The 301 species reported was only two short of the 13-year high of 303 in 2013 and 2014. Of this year's total, six are new to the 13-year spring migration count: White-rumped Sandpiper (Pinal), Laughing Gull (Pima), Red-headed Woodpecker (Santa Cruz), Slate-throated Redstart (Cochise), Bobolink (Pima), and Purple Finch (Cochise). All are on the Arizona Bird Committee's Review list. Six species were seen in all 15 counties: Turkey Vulture, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Common Raven, Western Tanager, and House Finch. Of the species reported, 46 were observed in only one county. Eleven counties reported at least one of these 46, with Cochise having the most (11). Notably, five species of gull and four species of tern were observed. A remarkable record high of 11 Brown Pelicans was reported, including nine at San Carlos Lake that moved around in three counties. This species is more expected in late summer and early fall as monsoon storms drive first-year birds into the state.

The species totals for counties were: Cochise (198), Maricopa (190), Yavapai (177), Pinal (175), Pima (171), Santa Cruz (163), Coconino (161), Gila (161), Graham (156), Mohave (143), Navajo (88), Yuma (87), La Paz (66), Apache (54), and Greenlee (42). Three counties—Graham, Pinal, and Yavapai—reported their highest 13-year totals. Pinal added six new species to its cumulative list and Gila and Cochise each added two, and Maricopa added one. Cochise County, where a high number of tour groups were in the field, reported the greatest number of species for the day (198) and had the most birders in the field. La Paz County reported its highest number of Swainson's Thrush (9), which was nearly half the state total of 19. A photographed Painted Bunting in Maricopa County was only the third for the migration count and the first for Maricopa. The most notable miss was Grasshopper Sparrow, which had been reported in all of the preceding 11 years. With most of the day's reports being submitted directly to eBird, we don't have totals for the number of birds reported, which we compiled from tally sheets in the previous 12 years (See http://www.azfo.org/namc/aznamc.html).

The spring migration count helps provide a "snapshot" of the progress and character of spring migration and is also a lot of fun for birders to find as many migrants as they can. Making this survey part of the Global Big Day offered an opportunity to build on what we had accomplished and make our statewide count part of a broader national, even international, effort. Globally 6,314 species were reported that day by 16,888 participants. In North America, which includes Mexico, 1,512 species were reported by 13,919 participants, and in the U.S.'s lower 48 states 655 species were reported by 11,414 observers. The next Global Big Day in Arizona will be 13 May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crested Caracara - Photo Kurt Radamaker

 

Updated Saturday, April 18, 2009
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