Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Birds of 2011

This year has been a fantastic birding year for me.  I added 32 new birds to my life list, 31 to my Arizona list, and 29 to my Pima County list.  I reached my goal of 200 birds for the year in Pima County, finishing with 212.  I also reached 400 life birds and 400 birds in the ABA area.  I saw awesome birds, incredible bird behaviors, and met a lot of great birders.  I've narrowed my best sightings down to the top 15.  Here they are with links to their blog posts:

#14 Golden Eagle- San Rafael Valley 12/10/11:

#13 Evening Grosbeak- Mt. Lemmon, Santa Catalina Mtns. 05/08/11:

#12 Burrowing Owl fledglings- found near where I work 06/13/11:

#11 Clay-colored Sparrow- my neighborhood patch 11/06/11:

#10 Elegant Trogon- Madera Canyon 08/06/11:

#9 Streak-backed Oriole- near Patagonia Lake 06/12/11:

#8 Rough-legged Hawk- Kansas Settlement, SE AZ 01/22/11:

#7 Long-tailed Duck- Peña Blanca Lake 11/05/11:

#6 Cape May Warbler- Peña Blanca Lake 09/24/11:

#5 Black-legged Kittiwake- Casa Grande, AZ 11/03/11:

#4 Magnificent Frigatebird- Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico 07/23/11:

#3 Fan-tailed Warbler- Madera Canyon 06/27/11:

photo courtesy Laurens Halsey
#2 Short-eared Owl- San Rafael Valley 12/10/11:

photo courtesy Arlene Ripley 11/23/11
#1 Nutting's Flycatcher- Bill Williams NWR 12/27/11:

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. I love your list...its exciting that 2 of the birds that made the list I saw with you! Thank you for turning me into a birder and taking me on some of your birding adventures...I can't wait for the exciting birds of 2012!

  2. Hi, My name is Skyler and I am doing a big year this year and thought you might know where the good spots are in Arizona in early June for mexican birds and rare Arizona birds.
    Cool blog
    Skyler Bol
    2012 Junior big year

  3. Am not familiar with the San Rafael Valley. However, someone who lives near Tucson, in a remote, foothill area, conveyed to me that he has (what I discerned from his description) two golden eagles outside his home. That would be more than interesting to have in one's backyard.