Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This checklist identifies the 277 bird species known from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima County, Arizona, arranged by family of subfamily. Of these species, 63 are known to breed, with an additional 5 suspected of breeding. Three non-native species, limited primarily to areas of human settlement, are included in this list: Rock Dove (Domestic Pigeon), European Starling, and House Sparrow. The large variety of species within the monument is due in part to the diversity of habitats corresponding to changes in topography and elevation. Elevations range from less than 1,000 feet (305 meters) near the southwestern corner of the monument to over 4,800 feet (1,465 meters) at the top of the Ajo Range, producing a wide array of vegetation types from Sonoran desertscrub to juniper-oak woodland.
This checklist reflects the abundance and status of birds only within the 517 square miles (133,900 hectares) of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. While this list may be a useful guide to birds of the adjacent Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, and the Pinacate Rerseve of Mexico, the status of many birds changes significantly outside of the monument boundaries. This is particularly true for those birds that make use of the extensive agricultural, urban, and wetland habitats immediately south of the monument along the Sonoyta River in Sonora, Mexico.
Information for this checklist is based on observation cards, photographs, the author's own sightings and the monument's specimen collection. Visitors can help substantiate occurrence by reporting sightings of species not included on the checklist and sightings of uncommon species.
Common names of birds conform to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds, 34th supplement (Auk 99;1cc-16cc, 1982). Common names in parentheses refer to those used by the A.O.U. prior to 1982. Some definitions of terms are from The Birds of Arizona (Phillips et al. 1964), which should be consulted by those desiring further information on birds of the region. Additional information may be found in Birds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument ( Wilt 1976), out-of-print.
This checklist presents columns of symbols after each species which describe:
C - COMMON OR ABUNDANT: always to be seen in the appropriate habitat, occasionally
in numbers. Includes the terms fairly common or not uncommon.
U - UNCOMMON: seldom or infrequently seen, although not unusual.
R - RARE: very low probability of encountering the species, but not out of its normal range.
p - PERMANENT RESIDENT: species remains within the region throughout the year.
s - SUMMER RESIDENT: species remains within the region during summer, usually breeding. As summer residents must migrate to and from the region, this category also implies that the species in question is a transient in spring and fall.
w - WINTER RESIDENT: species remains within the region during winter, breeding only if noted. As above, this category also implies that the species in question is a transient in spring and fall. Some birds, such as Say's Phoebe, winter in the monument, breed in early spring, and then leave the region by early summer. Winter residents that are noted to breed usually exhibit similar behavior.
t - TRANSIENT: a species which migrates through the region in spring and/or fall. This also includes the categories of summer and winter visitor, and post-nesting wanderer.
i - IRREGULAR OR ERRATIC: not found every week or every month during its season, or, found only a few seasons each decade.
a - ACCIDENTAL: far from the species' normal range and not to be expected again.
cas - CASUAL: a short distance from the species' normal range, possibly to be expected again. Both accidental and casual birds are often referred to as vagrants.
? - STATUS UNCERTAIN: further work needs to be done on the species.
* - Breeding is known to occur.
[*] - Breeding is suspected, although no nest yet observed.
During migration, some species may occur in virtually all habitats. Habitat preferences are not indicated for species whose status is accidental or casual.
MARSH/OPEN WATER: aquatic habitats characterized by flowing or open standing water. Characteristic vegetation includes bulrushes, cattails, seepwillows and other water-loving plants. The pond at Quitobaquito is the best example of this habitat type in the monument.
RIPARIAN: streamside vegetation resulting from an increased availability of water. Within the monument, this consists largely of dense associations of mesquite, palo verde, and acacia along dry washes such as Aguajita and Alamo washes, as well as the lush strand of cottonwood and mesquite trees at Quitobaquito Springs.
CREOSOTEBUSH: environments dominated by the evergreen shrub creosotebush. Found on level terrain with deeper soil, this habitat is typical of the Valley of the Ajo and the level plains on the western boundary of the monument. Associate, but subordinate, plants include bursage, palo verde, several species of cacti, and seasonal grasses and herbs.
MIXED SONORAN DESERTSCRUB: characteristic of bajadas, lower mountain slops, and rocky rolling hills. these are habitats dominated by varying combination of bursage, brittlebush, ocotillo, palo verde, saltbush, saguaro and organ pipe cactus, and other cacti. Found at the Visitor Center and on the Ajo Mountain Drive, this vegetation type covers most of the monument.
JUNIPER-OAK MIXED MOUNTAINS SHRUB: open woodland, chaparral, and mountain shrubland dominated by juniper, Ajo oak, jojoba, and mixed shrubs. This habitat type occurs within the monument only in remote areas of the Ajo Range, with Arch Canyon being a good example.
AARS - Abundance and Residency Status
BS - Breeding Status
MOW - Marsh/Open Water
R - Riparian
C - Creosotebush
D - Desertscrub
JO - Juniper-Oak
SpeciesFor additional information contact:
LOONS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Common Loon cas
GREBES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Least Grebe Rt X ____ Pied-billed Grebe Uw X ____ Eared Grebe Rt X ____ Western Grebe (Clark?) cas
PELICANS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ American White Pelican cas ____ Brown Pelican cas
CORMORANTS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Double-crested Cormorant Ri X
BITTERNS AND HERONS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Least Bittern cas ____ Great Blue Heron Ut X X ____ Great Egret Ut X X ____ Snowy Egret Ut X X ____ Cattle Egret cas ____ Green-backed (Green) Heron Ct X X ____ Black-crowned Night-Heron Ri X X ____ Tricolored Heron a
IBIS,SPOONBILLS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ White-faced Ibis Ri X X ____ Roseate Spoonbill cas
STORKS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Wood Stork Us X
DUCKS AND GEESE AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Canada Goose cas ____ Wood Duck a ____ Green-winged Teal Cw X ____ Mallard Ri X ____ Northern Pintail Rt X ____ Blue-winged Teal Ut X ____ Cinnamon Teal Ut X ____ Northern Shoveler Rt X ____ Gadwall Rt X ____ American Wigeon Rt X ____ Canvasback cas ____ Redhead Uw X ____ Ring-necked Duck Uw X ____ Lesser Scaup Uw X ____ Common Goldeneye Rw X ____ Bufflehead Ut X ____ Hooded Merganser Uw X ____ Common Merganser cas ____ Red-breasted Merganser cas ____ Ruddy Duck Uw X
VULTURES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Black Vultures Cp * X X X ____ Turkey Vultures Cp * X X X
OSPREY, EAGLES, HAWKS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Osprey Rt X ____ Black-shouldered Kite cas ____ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) Rw X X X ____ Sharp-shinned Hawk Uw X X X ____ Cooper's Hawk Cw X X X X ____ Common Black-Hawk Rt X ____ Harris' Hawk Cp * X X X ____ Swainson's Hawk Rt X X X X ____ White-tailed Hawk cas ____ Zone-tailed Hawk cas ____ Red-tailed Hawk Cp * X X X X ____ Ferruginous Hawk cas ____ Golden Eagle Up [*] X X X X
CARACARAS AND FALCONS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Crested Caracara Rt X X ____ American Kestrel Cp * X X X X ____ Merlin Rw X X X X ____ Peregrine Falcon Rw [*] X X X ____ Prairie Falcon Up [*] X X X X
QUAIL AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Gambel's Quail Cp * X X X X
RAILS,GALLINULES, COOTS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Black Rail cas ____ Virginia Rail Rw X ____ Sora Ut, ____ Rw X ____ Common Moorhen (Common Gallinule) Rw X ____ American Coot Cp * X
CRANES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Sandhill Crane cas
PLOVERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Semipalmated Plover cas ____ Killdeer Ut, ____ Rw * X
AVOCETS AND STILTS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Black-necked Stilt Ut X ____ American Avocet Rt X
SANDPIPERS AND PHALAROPES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Greater Yellowlegs Rt X ____ Lesser Yellowlegs cas ____ Solitary Sandpiper Rt X ____ Willet cas ____ Spotted Sandpiper Ct, ____ Rw X ____ Long-billed Curlew cas ____ Western Sandpiper Ut X ____ Least Sandpiper Uw X ____ Baird's Sandpiper cas ____ Stilt Sandpiper cas ____ Long-billed Dowitcher cas
FLYCATCHERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Olive-sided Flycatcher Rt X X X ____ Western Wood-Pewee Ut X X X ____ Willow Flycatcher Rt X ____ Hammond's Flycatcher Rt X ____ Gray Flycatcher Uw X X X X ____ Cordilleran Flycatcher Ct X X ____ Black Phoebe Rs, ____ Uw X X ____ Eastern Phoebe a ____ Say's Phoebe Rs, ____ Cw * X X X X ____ Vermilion Flycatcher Rs, ____ Uw * X X ____ Ash-throated Flycatcher Cs, ____ Uw * X X X ____ Brown-crested Flycatcher Us * X X X (Wied's Crested Flycatcher) ____ Tropical Kingbird cas ____ Cassin's Kingbird Rt X X ____ Thick-billed Kingbird cas ____ Western Kingbird Cs * X X ____ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher cas
LARKS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Horned Lark cas
SWALLOWS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Purple Martin Cs * X X X ____ Tree Swallow Ut X X X X X ____ Violet-green Swallow Ct X X X X X ____ Northern Rough-winged Swallow Ct X X X X X ____ Bank Swallow cas ____ Cliff Swallow Ut X X X X ____ Barn Swallow Ut X X X X X
JAYS, RAVENS, NUTCRACKERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Steller's Jay Ri X ____ Scrub Jay cas ____ Clark's Nutcracker Ri X X ____ Common Raven Cp * X X X
VERDIN AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Verdin Cp * X X X X
BUSHTITS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Bushtit cas
NUTHATCHES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Red-breasted Nuthatch cas
CREEPERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Brown Creeper cas
WRENS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Cactus Wren Cp * X X X X ____ Rock Wren Cp * X X X X ____ Canyon Wren Cp * X X X ____ Bewick's Wren Uw X X ____ House Wren Uw X X ____ Marsh Wren (Long-billed) Cw X X
KINGLETS, GNATCATCHERS, BLUEBIRDS, ROBINS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Golden-crowned Kinglet cas ____ Ruby-crowned Kinglet Cw X X X ____ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Rs, ____ Uw * X X ____ Black-tailed Gnatcatcher Cp * X X X ____ Western Bluebird Rw X X X ____ Mountain Bluebird Uw X X X ____ Townsend's Solitaire Uw X X X X ____ Swainson's Thrush Ut X X X ____ Hermit Thrush Uw X X ____ American Robin Cw X X ____ Varied Thrush cas ____ Common Snipe Uw X ____ Wilson's Phalarope Ut X ____ Red-necked (Northern) Phalarope cas ____ Red Phalarope cas
GULLS AND TERNS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Bonaparte's Gull cas ____ Heermann's Gull cas ____ Ring-billed Gull cas ____ California Gull cas ____ Herring Gull cas ____ Common Tern cas ____ Forster's Tern cas ____ Least Tern cas ____ Black Tern cas
DOVES AND PIGEONS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Rock Dove (Domestic Pigeon) Cp * (introduced species, human settlements only) ____ Banded-tailed Pigeon Rt X X X ____ White-winged Dove Cs, ____ Rw * X X X X ____ Mourning Dove Cp * X X X X ____ Inca Dove Rt? (human settlements only) ____ Common Ground-Dove Us, ____ Rw * X X X
ROADRUNNERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Greater Roadrunner Cp * X X X X
BARN-OWLS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Common Barn-Owl Rp? * X
TYPICAL OWLS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Western Screech-Owl Up * X X X X ____ Great Horned Owl Up * X X X X ____ Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Up * X X X ____ Elf Owl Cs, ____ Rw * X X ____ Northern Saw-whet Owl a ____ Burrowing Owl Rt? X ____ Long-eared Owl Rp * X X
GOATSUCKERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Lesser Nighthawk Cs * X X X X X ____ Common Poorwill Cs, ____ Rw * X X X X
SWIFTS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Vaux's Swift Ut X X ____ White-throated Swift Cs, ____ Cw * X X X X X
HUMMINGBIRDS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Broad-billed Hummingbird cas ____ Black-chinned Hummingbird Ct X X X X ____ Anna's Hummingbird Uw X X X ____ Costa's Hummingbird Cw * X X X X ____ Calliope Hummingbird cas ____ Broad-tailed Hummingbird Rt X X X ____ Rufous Hummingbird Ut X X X ____ Allen's Hummingbird Rt? X X
KINGFISHERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Belted Kingfisher Ut X X
WOODPECKERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Lewis' Woodpecker cas ____ Acorn Woodpecker cas ____ Gila Woodpecker Cp * X X X ____ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Ut X X X ____ Red-breasted Sapsucker cas ____ Ladder-backed Woodpecker Cp * X X X ____ Northern (Common) Flicker (2 forms) ____ Red-shafted Flicker Cw X X X ____ Gilded Flicker Cp * X X X
MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Northern Mockingbird Us, ____ Cw * X X X X ____ Sage Thrasher Rw X X X ____ Brown Thrasher a ____ Bendire's Thrasher Rs, ____ Uw * X X X X ____ Curve-billed Thrasher Cp * X X X ____ Crissal Thrasher Up * X X ____ LeConte's Thrasher Rp * X X
PIPITS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Water Pipit Rw X ____ Sprague's Pipit cas
WAXWINGS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Cedar Waxwing Uw X X X
PHAINOPEPLAS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Phainopepla Rs, ____ Cw * X X X X
SHRIKES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Loggerhead Shrike Rs, ____ Cw * X X X X
STARLINGS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ European Starling Cp * (introduced species, human settlements only)
VIREOS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Bell's Vireo Cs * X ____ Gray Vireo Rt X X ____ Solitary Vireo Rw X X X ____ Hutton's Vireo Rt, ____ Rw X X ____ Warbling Vireo Ut X X X ____ Red-eyed Vireo a
WARBLERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Golden-winged Warbler a ____ Tennessee Warbler a ____ Orange-crowned Warbler Cw X X X ____ Nashville Warbler Ut X X ____ Virginia's Warbler Rt X X X ____ Lucy's Warbler Cs * X X ____ Yellow Warbler Ut X X ____ Magnolia Warbler a ____ Black-throated Blue Warbler a ____ Yellow-rumped Warbler Cw X X X ____ Black-throated Gray Warbler Ut X X X ____ Townsend's Warbler Ut X X X ____ Hermit Warbler Ut X X ____ Black-throated Green Warbler a ____ Grace's Warbler cas ____ Blackpoll Warbler a ____ Black-and-white Warbler a ____ American Redstart Rt X X ____ Northern Waterthrush Rt X X ____ MacGillivray's Warbler Ut X ____ Common Yellowthroat Ct, ____ Uw X X ____ Wilson's Warbler Ct, ____ Uw X X X ____ Painted Redstart Rt X ____ Yellow-breasted Chat Ut X X
TANAGERS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Summer Tanager cas ____ Scarlet Tanager a ____ Western Tanager Ct X X X
GROSBEAKS AND BUNTINGS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Northern Cardinal Cp * X X ____ Pyrrhuloxia Up * X X ____ Rose-breasted Grosbeak Ri X ____ Black-headed Grosbeak Rs, ____ Rw X X X ____ Blue Grosbeak Rt X ____ Lazuli Bunting Ut X X ____ Indigo Bunting Rt X ____ Varied Bunting Rs? [*] X X X ____ Painted Bunting cas ____ Dickcissel a
TOWHEES, SPARROWS, JUNCOS AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Green-tailed Towhee Cw X X X ____ Rufous-sided Towhee Uw X X ____ Canyon Towhee Cp * X X X ____ Cassin's Sparrow Rw X X ____ Rufous-winged Sparrow Rw [*] X X X ____ Rufous-crowned Sparrow Cp * X X X ____ Chipping Sparrow Uw X X X ____ Clay-colored Sparrow cas ____ Brewer's Sparrow Cw X X X ____ Black-chinned Sparrow Uw X X X ____ Vesper Sparrow Uw X X X ____ Lark Sparrow Uw * X X ____ Black-throated Sparrow Cp * X X ____ Sage Sparrow Uw X X X ____ Lark Bunting Uw X X X ____ Savannah Sparrow Uw X X ____ Grasshopper Sparrow cas ____ Fox Sparrow Rw X ____ Song Sparrow Uw X X ____ Lincoln's Sparrow Ut X X X ____ Swamp Sparrow Rw X ____ White-throated Sparrow Rw X ____ White-crowned Sparrow Cw ____ Golden-crowned Sparrow Rt X X ____ Dark-eyed Junco (3 forms) ____ Slate-colored Junco cas ____ Oregon Junco Cw X X X X ____ Gray-headed Junco Uw X X X X
BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Red-winged Blackbird Rs, ____ Uw X X ____ Eastern Meadowlark cas ____ Western Meadowlark Rs, ____ Uw X X ____ Yellow-headed Blackbird Ut X X ____ Brewer's Blackbird Uw X X ____ Great-tailed Grackle Ut X X ____ Bronzed Cowbird Cs * (riparian areas or human settlements only) ____ Brown-headed Cowbird Cs, ____ Rw * X X X ____ Hooded Oriole Cs * X X ____ Northern Oriole Rs, ____ Ct * X ____ Scott's Oriole Us * X X
FINCHES AND GOLDFINCHES AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ Purple Finch Rw X X X ____ House Finch Cp * X X X X ____ Pine Siskin cas ____ Lesser Goldfinch Us, ____ Uw * X X X ____ Lawrence's Goldfinch Rw X X X ____ American Goldfinch cas ____ Evening Grosbeak cas
HOUSE SPARROW AARS BS MOW R C D JO ____ House Sparrow Cp * (introduce species, human settlements only)
Refuge Manager Organ Pipe National Monument Route 1, Box 100 Ajo, Arizona 85321This resource is based on the following source:
Groschupf, Kathleen, Bryan T. Brown, and R. Roy Johnson. 1987. A Checklist of the Birds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Southwest Parks and Monument Association. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
Groschupf, Kathleen, Bryan T. Brown, and R. Roy Johnson. 1987. A Checklist of the Birds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Southwest Parks and Monument Association. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govorganpip.htm (Version 30DEC20020).