AZFO FIELD EXPEDITION
Southern Bradshaw Mountains (Yavapai County)
Leader: Eric Hough
The Bradshaw Mountains in central Arizona include a wide area of chaparral, pinyon-juniper and oak woodland, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer forest, and riparian drainages, including headwaters of the Agua Fria and Hassayampa Rivers. While the northern part of the range nearest Prescott is regularly visited, the southern half is seldom-visited and there is a significant lack of eBird data for that area. The Breeding Bird Atlas surveys in the early 1990s did at least partially cover this area and found expected species, but recent range expansions of species such as Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Rivoli’s Hummingbird into other nearby ranges, have yet to be found here. For this early summer expedition, we will focus on the mid- to high elevations of the southern Bradshaws to see which breeding species are present. While driving to and from the mountains, there may be lower elevation riparian and desert-scrub areas that we can check. This weekend will also be within an almost full moon phase, so owls and nightjars should be more easily detected if the weather cooperates.
Registered participants will be instructed on meeting time and place for the afternoon of Friday, June 14. We will be accessing the range from the Crown King exit off of Interstate-17 and can arrange carpools, and a place to leave vehicles either nearby or in the north outskirts of the Phoenix metro area. Higher clearance, AWD or 4WD vehicles will be needed. Registrants will be instructed on base camp location as well, if they want to meet us there. Participants will need to either bring camping gear or plan on sleeping in vehicles. Be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors and use Leave No Trace ethics. On Saturday, June 15, we will split into groups to survey off of forest roads in the range throughout the day. On both Friday and Saturday nights, we can try owling if the weather allows. For Sunday, June 16, we can survey some additional areas in the morning and then depart the mountains by midday to allow people time to travel home.
Things to Know/Bring:
Some of the roads may be well-maintained, graded dirt or gravel, but other stretches will be rougher, so high clearance, AWD or 4WD vehicles are recommended. We can organize meeting locations and carpools for Friday afternoon for those that don’t have such vehicles.
Gas stations are located in Black Canyon City and Anthem.
You will be responsible for your own food and water on the trip. A gallon of water per person, per day is recommended. A backpack to carry water and snacks while we are out surveying is recommended.
We will likely be primitive camping on the Prescott National Forest, so please bring your own camping gear. A tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and/or cot, camping chair, lantern, and flashlight or headlamp (bring extra batteries for your flashlights).
Although this was a wetter winter and spring in the region, by mid-June it is possible that fire restrictions could be in place on the Prescott National Forest. Therefore, please plan cold/dry meal options that do not require open flame to heat or cook.
Please bring binoculars and cameras, with extra batteries!
We will be in primitive forest areas, so plan to bring toilet paper, a shovel, and any other necessary toiletries.
Weather at this time of year may be warm in the daytime, but still cool at night. Therefore, it is recommended that you bring layers for both sun protection and cooler temperatures at night.
We will be doing moderate hiking, so plan on bringing sturdy hiking boots.
A wide-brimmed hat and sunblock are also recommended.
Carpooling, Meeting Time/Location:
Upon registering via email with the expedition leader, details on meeting time and place will be arranged. Carpooling possibilities can be arranged among registered participants.