Arizona Field Ornithologist


The results of the Global Big Day in Arizona (formerly North American Migration Count in Arizona) are presented here by Arizona Field Ornithologists, and is supported by local Audubon Societies, local bird clubs, and other interested organizations. For the past 12 years, we've been coordinating the NAMC in Arizona and compiling the data county by county on the AZFO's website. This year we are modifying this activity. It has become increasingly apparent that only a few states have been participating in the NAMC and there has been no national coordination. Even so, we have considered our statewide effort to be of value and have organized
teams on a countywide basis to collect as much data as we could and post it on the AZFO website. It has been a great day for birders to get together collectively and have a good time, often competing for which team or which county could tally the most species. For several of the recent years we've had participation from all 15 counties and over 300 volunteers. We now have a new opportunity to build on what we have accomplished and make our statewide count part of a broader national, even international, effort. This is the launching of the annual Global Big Day by eBird last year.

OUR GOAL will continue to be to:

-Obtain a “snapshot” of the progress and “shape” of spring migration.
-Obtain information on the abundance and distribution of each species.
-Initiate more participation among birders within the state.
-Create challenges and goals among birders while collecting useful information.
-Add to the national and international totals for eBird's Global Big Day.

AREA OF COUNT: The count area is the boundaries of a county. It is desirable to get as much of each county surveyed as resources permit.

COUNT DATE: The Global Big Day takes place the second Saturday in May

COORDINATION: The state coordinator is responsible for trying to get coordinators for every county and giving assistance as needed. Instead of submitting tally sheets to the state coordinator as they previously did, county coordinators will attempt to organize teams so that at least one person will enter the data into eBird. It will be possible to capture the eBird data and post them on the AZFO website alongside the 12 years of NAMC data, thus adding to our cumulative record. County coordinators recruit participants, frequently through the local Audubon chapter or other bird clubs, and assign teams to areas within the county. The Arizona state coordinator is Doug Jenness. Direct all questions, concerns, and suggestions to him (

LOGISTICS OF THE COUNT: The county coordinator should segment the county and assign teams in such as way that there is no overlap between the sectors and the sectors should cover as much of the county as resources permit. Some teams will begin before dawn and will finish at dusk. Other teams will not contribute as much time to the count. The county coordinator needs to adjust the size of a sector to meet the contribution of each team.

There may be teams that spend part of the count day on a feeder watch and others that may count from a stationary point. The only precautionary remark is to insure that these teams and roving teams do not double count; and count tallies for feeder watch/stationary counts should be reported separately.

Teams can be of any size; so county coordinators can subdivide their people power to maximize the area covered by the count. It is beneficial to have at least one experienced birder in each team. Team members should stay together and not casually form two teams while in the field. County coordinators will find that it is beneficial to assign team members to the same sector in subsequent counts to maintain consistency in the approach to the count.

Over time, count routes should be done consistently. It may be beneficial to keep a log of count routes so consistency is maintained. This is particularly important if new teams need to be assigned to a sector in future counts.

UNUSUAL BIRD REPORTS: It is important to document, in detail, unusual birds that are seen during the count. Unusual birds are those that are not normally found in the count area, i.e. vagrants, out-of-season or irruptive species, high counts, etc. These will be reviewed by eBird's county reviewers.



NAMC Data Archive
Count Results

Global Big Day Results

If you are interested in participating in one of the Arizona counties currently with a coordinator, please contact the coordinators directly.

State Coordinator
Doug Jenness

Apache County

Cochise County

Coconino County
Matthew Crozier

Gila County
Brian Ison

Graham County
Homer Hansen

Greenlee County
Homer Hansen

La Paz County
Lauren Harter

Maricopa County
Troy Corman

Mohave County
DeeDee DeLorenzo 

Navajo County

Pima County
Jennie MacFarland

Pinal County
Doug Jenness

Santa Cruz County

Yavapai County
Rich Armstrong

Yuma County
Henry Detwiler

 If you are interested in becoming a county coordinator for one of the other counties, please contact: Doug Jenness.

Updated Wednesday, August 11, 2010