Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona are a rugged fault-block range that extends for thirty-five miles. Isolated by two broad alluvial valleys of approximately 4100 feet, Sulphur Springs to the west and San Simon to the east, Chiricahua's peak summit of 9795 feet dominates the region. Located on the northwest slope, Chiricahua National Monument is a picturesque area of approximately twelve thousand acres. Elevations within the monument range from 5150 feet to 7825 feet. Centrally located are two merging canyons, Bonita and Rhyolite, that have eroded through layers of volcanic rock. Wind, rain, and ice have also eroded areas of landscape into successions of tall spires and massive columns.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Bowie National Historic Site, located seven miles northwest of Chiricabua National Monument, spreads across one thousand acres and has elevations ranging from 4600 to 5200 feet. Within its boundaries are the historic Apache Pass, and a station of tbe Butterfield Overland Mail Route. The mail route traces the path of water drainage which flows east through Siphon Canyon over rugged topography of exposed granite, shale, sandstone, and limestone.
RIPARIAN DECIDUOUS: This limited area in Siphon Canyon and Apache Spring enjoys the decoration of Arizona walnut, netleaf hackberry, velvet ash, mesquite, and desert willow. Although merely a trickle at times, Apache Spring is a reliable water source. Some breeding birds are White-winged Dove, Elf Owl, Crissal Thrasher, Phainopepla, Lucy's Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, and Hooded Oriole.
RIPARIAN FOREST: Within Chiricahua National Monument are intermittent streams, such as Bonita and Rhyolite, lined with a mixed canopy of Arizona walnut, Fremont cottonwood, velvet ash, Arizona cypress, and several oaks including Emory, silverleaf and netleaf. A few perennial springs are found within the boundary. Typical breeding birds in this area consist of Cooper's Hawk, Western Screech-Owl, Whip-poor-will, Blue-throated Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Dusky-capped and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Cassin's Kingbird, Gray-breasted Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Bushtit, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick's Wren, Solitary Vireo, Black-throated Warbler, Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bronzed and Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Northern Oriole.
DESERT GRASSLAND: A mix of grasslands and small shrubs occur in the surrounding areas of Fort Bowie and lower Bonita Canyon in the Chiricahua National Monument. Breeding birds include Red-tailed Hawk, Scaled Quail, Common Poorwill, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Lark and Black-throated Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlark, and Scott's Oriole.
OAK WOODLAND (ENCINAL): These grassy, low-elevation areas in Fort Bowie merge with pinyon, junipers, and several oaks to form an ecotone similar to a savanna. Typical breeding birds are Montezuma Quail, Strickland's Woodpecker, Gray-breasted Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Hutton's Vireo, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow.
CHAPARRAL: The steep slopes of innumerable exposed cliff faces of Chiricahua National Monument are clothed with one-seed juniper, mountain mahogany, and pointleaf manzanita. Birds of the chaparral include Scrub Jay, Rock Wren, Rufous-sided Towhee, and Black-chinned Sparrow.
MADREAN WOODLAND: Mid-elevation woodlands of Chiricahua National Monument are dominated by Mexican pinyon, Arizona oak, netleaf oak, silverleaf oak, Chihuahua and Apache pines, Arizona madrone, and alligator juniper. Breeding birds include Whiskered Screech-Owl, Acorn Woodpecker, Gray-breasted Jay, Bridled Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick's Wren, Vlrginia's and Black-throated Gray Warblers.
CONIFEROUS FOREST: The dominant trees in the upper elevations of Chiricahua National Monument include Arizona pine, southwestern white pine, Douglas fir, and Gambel oak. Typical breeding birds are Band-tailed Pigeon, Northern Flicker, Steller's Jay, Mexican Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, Solitary Vlreo, Grace's Warbler, Redfaced Warbler, Olive Warbler, and Yellow-eyed Junco.
About the checklist
This bird checklist has been compiled from numerous sources and observations for these two relatively small and distinct areas lying within the greater Chiricahua Mountains. It is not all inclusive and is intended to serve only as a source to the birds normally expected to occur immediately adjacent to, or at the specified locations. Several species of waterfowl, shorebirds, etc., although generally observed in the lower adjacent valleys, often winter on many local stock tanks, indicating that they frequently migrate along and/or interchange between valleys. Many may pass unnoticed over these units, especially Fort Bowie. Exotics are not included.
The birds are arranged in order by family with common names following the A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds of 1983 and amended through subsequent supplements to 1993. References include The Birds of Arizona (1964) by A.R. Phillips, J. Marshall and G. Monson; A Survey of the Birds of the Fort Bowie National Historic Site (1976) by S. M. Russell and T.B. Johnson; Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Arizona (1981) by G. Monson and A.R. Phillips; A Birder's Guide to Southeastern Arizona (1986) by J. Lane; Birds in Southeastern Arizona (1990) by W. Davis and S. M. Russell; Location List to the Birds of the Chiricahua Mountains (1993) by R. C. Taylor; and Birds of the Chiricahua Mountains, Checklist, by the U.S. Forest Service.
C - Chiricahua National Monument (* - indicates record of presence)
F - Fort Bowie National Historic Site (* - indicates record of presence)
O - Seasonal occurrence
A - Abundance
r - resident: resides in the region throughout the year and breeds in the
specified locations or immediate vicinity
s - summer: returns from southern wintering areas to breed
w - winter: winters in the region and then returns to other breeding areas in summer
m - migratory: passes through between breeding and wintering areas
a - abundant: present in relatively large numbers
c - common: usually seen, but not in large numbers
fc - fairly common: generally seen in small numbers
uc - uncommon: seldom seen, but expected
r - rare: within normal range, but seldom encountered
x - casual: not regularly expected and/or normally resides outside this range
HERONS C F O A ___ Great Blue Heron - * m r
VULTURES C F O A ___ Turkey Vulture * * s fc
EAGLES & HAWKS C F O A ___ Osprey * * m r ___ Bald Eagle * * m r ___ Northern Harrier * * w uc ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk * * m uc ___ Cooper's Hawk * * r uc ___ Northern Goshawk * - r r ___ Common Black-Hawk * * m r ___ Swainson's Hawk * * s r ___ Zone-tailed Hawk * - s uc ___ Red-tailed Hawk * * r fc ___ Ferruginous Hawk * * w r ___ Rough-legged Hawk * * w x ___ Golden Eagle * * r r
FALCONS C F O A ___ American Kestrel * * r uc ___ Merlin - * w r ___ Peregrine Falcon * * r r ___ Prairie Falcon * * r uc
QUAIL C F O A ___ Wild Turkey (introduced) * - r r ___ Montezuma Quail * * r uc ___ Scaled Quail * * r fc ___ Gambel's Quail * * r a
CRANES C F O A ___ Sandhill Crane * * w uc
PLOVERS C F O A ___ Killdeer * * r uc
PIGEONS & DOVES C F O A ___ Band-tailed Pigeon * - s fc ___ White-winged Dove * * s fc ___ Mourning Dove * * r c
ROADRUNNERS C F O A ___ Greater Roadrunner * * r uc
BARN OWLS C F O A ___ Barn Owl - * r r
TYPICAL OWLS C F O A ___ Flammulated Owl * - s r ___ Western Screech-Owl * * r uc ___ Whiskered Screech-Owl * - r r ___ Great Horned Owl * * r uc ___ Northern Pygmy-Owl * - r uc ___ Elf Owl * * s uc ___ Spotted Owl * - r uc ___ Long-eared Owl - * r r ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl * - r r
GOATSUCKERS C F O A ___ Lesser Nighthawk - * s uc ___ Common Nighthawk * - m r ___ Common Poorwill * * r fc ___ Whip-poor-will * - s uc
SWIFTS C F O A ___ White-throated Swift * - r fc ___ Vaux's Swift * * m r
HUMMINGBIRDS C F O A ___ Broad-billed Hummingbird - * s x ___ White-eared Hummingbird * - s x ___ Berylline Hummingbird * - s x ___ Violet-crowned Hummingbird * - s x ___ Blue-throated Hummingbird * - s fc ___ Magnificent Hummingbird * - s fc ___ Lucifer Hummingbird - * m r ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird * * s c ___ Anna's Hummingbird * * m uc ___ Costa's Hummingbird - * m r ___ Calliope Hummingbird - * m fc ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird * * m c ___ Rufous Hummingbird * * m a
TROGONS C F O A ___ Elegant Trogon * - s r ___ Eared Trogon * - s x
KINGFISHERS C F O A ___ Belted Kingfisher * * m r
WOODPECKERS C F O A ___ Acorn Woodpecker * * r c ___ Gila Woodpecker * * r r ___ Red-naped Sapsucker * * w fc ___ Williamson's Sapsucker * * w r ___ Ladder-backed Woodpecker * * r fc ___ Hairy Woodpecker * - r uc ___ Strickland's Woodpecker * - r uc ___ Northern Flicker * * r fc
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS C F O A ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher * - m r ___ Greater Peewee * - s uc ___ Western Wood-Pewee * * s c ___ Willow Flycatcher * * m x ___ Hammond's Flycatcher * * m r ___ Dusky Flycatcher * * m r ___ Gray Flycatcher * * m r ___ Cordilleran Flycatcher * - s r ___ Black Phoebe * * r r ___ Say's Phoebe * * r uc ___ Vermilion Flycatcher * - s r ___ Dusky-capped Flycatcher * - s fc ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher * * s fc ___ Brown-crested Flycatcher * * s uc ___ Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher * - s r ___ Cassin's Kingbird * * s c ___ Western Kingbird * * s c
LARKS C F O A ___ Horned Lark * * r fc
SWALLOWS C F O A ___ Purple Martin * - m r ___ Violet-green Swallow * - s fc ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow * * m c ___ Cliff Swallow * * m c ___ Barn Swallow * - s uc
JAYS & RAVENS C F O A ___ Steller's Jay * - r uc ___ Scrub Jay * * r uc ___ Gray-breasted Jay * * r c ___ Pinyon Jay * * m r ___ Clark's Nutcracker * - m x ___ Chihuahuan Raven * * s fc ___ Common Raven * * r uc
CHICKADEES & TITMICE C F O A ___ Mexican Chickadee * - r fc ___ Bridled Titmouse * * r c ___ Plain Titmouse * * r uc
VERDINS C F O A ___ Verdin - * r fc
BUSHTITS C F O A ___ Bushtit * * r uc
NUTHATCHES C F O A ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch * - r uc ___ White-breasted Nuthatch * * r c ___ Pygmy Nuthatch * - r fc
CREEPERS C F O A ___ Brown Creeper * - r fc
WRENS C F O A ___ Cactus Wren * * r fc ___ Rock Wren * * r fc ___ Canyon Wren * * r fc ___ Bewick's Wren * * r c ___ House Wren * - r uc
MUSCICAPIDS C F O A ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet * * w c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher * * r uc ___ Black-tailed Gnatcatcher - * r r ___ Eastern Bluebird * - m r ___ Western Bluebird * * m fc ___ Mountain Bluebird * * m uc ___ Townsend's Solitaire * * m uc ___ Hermit Thrush * * m uc ___ American Robin * - s fc
MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS C F O A ___ Northern Mockingbird * * r fc ___ Sage Thrasher - * w r ___ Bendire's Thrasher - * r r ___ Curve-billed Thrasher * * r fc ___ Crissal Thrasher - * r fc
PIPITS C F O A ___ American Pipit - * w r
WAXWINGS C F O A ___ Cedar Waxwing * * w fc
SILKY-FLYCATCHERS C F O A ___ Phainopepla * * r fc
SHRIKES C F O A ___ Loggerhead Shrike * * r fc
VIREOS C F O A ___ Bell's Vireo - * s uc ___ Gray Vireo * * m r ___ Solitary Vireo * - s c ___ Hutton's Vireo * - r uc ___ Warbling Vireo * * m r
EMBERIZIDS C F O A ___ Orange-crowned Warbler * * m uc ___ Nashville Warbler * * m uc ___ Virginia Warbler * - s fc ___ Lucy's Warbler - * s uc ___ Yellow Warbler - * m r ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler * * m fc ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler * * s c ___ Townsend's Warbler * * m r ___ Hermit Warbler * * m r ___ Grace's Warbler * - s c ___ MacGillivray's Warbler * * m uc ___ Wilson's Warbler * * m fc ___ Red-faced Warbler * - s fc ___ Painted Redstart * - s fc ___ Olive Warbler * - s uc ___ Hepatic Tanager * - s fc ___ Summer Tanager - * s r ___ Western Tanager * * m fc ___ Northern Cardinal - * r fc ___ Pyrrhuloxia - * r fc ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak * * m x ___ Black-headed Grosbeak * - s c ___ Blue Grosbeak * * s fc ___ Lazuli Bunting * * m uc ___ Painted Bunting * * m x ___ Green-tailed Towhee * * m uc ___ Rufous-sided Towhee * - r c ___ Canyon Towhee * * r c ___ Botteri's Sparrow * - s r ___ Cassin's Sparrow * * s r ___ Rufous-crowned Sparrow * * r fc ___ Chipping Sparrow * * w a ___ Brewer's Sparrow - * m c ___ Black-chinned Sparrow * * r fc ___ Vesper Sparrow * * w fc ___ Lark Sparrow * * s c ___ Black-throated Sparrow * * r c ___ Lark Bunting - * w uc ___ Savannah Sparrow - * m r ___ Grasshopper Sparrow * * m r ___ Fox Sparrow * * m r ___ Song Sparrow - * m r ___ Lincoln's Sparrow * * m r ___ White-crowned Sparrow * * w uc ___ Dark-eyed Junco * * w a ___ Yellow-eyed Junco * - r c ___ Eastern Meadowlark * * r fc ___ Western Meadowlark * * m x ___ Brewer's Blackbird - * w uc ___ Great-tailed Grackle * * r r ___ Bronzed Cowbird * * s fc ___ Brown-headed Cowbird * * s c ___ Hooded Oriole * * s fc ___ Bullock's Oriole * - s uc ___ Scott's Oriole * * s fc
FRINGILLINE & CARDUEINE FINCHES C F O A ___ Cassin's Finch * - w uc ___ House Finch * * r fc ___ Red Crossbill * - m uc ___ Pine Siskin * * w fc ___ Lesser Goldfinch * * r fc ___ American Goldfinch * * m r ___ Evening Grosbeak * - m x
Superintendent Chiricahua National Monument Dos Cabezas Route, Box 6500 Willcox, AZ 85643 Telephone: 520/824-3560This resource is based on the following source:
Fischer, D. 1994. A checklist of birds of Chiricahua National Monument & Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
Fischer, D. 1994. A checklist of birds of Chiricahua National Monument & Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govchirica.htm (Version 02MAR00).