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Bird Checklists of the United States

The Birds of Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments

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Flagstaff, Arizona

The number and diversity of birds varies from the Ponderosa Pine Forest at Sunset Crater National Monument, through the Pinyon/Juniper Woodland, to the Grassland and Cold Desert Shrub zone at Wupatki National Monument.

Birds must have had symbolic and religious significance for former occupants of the area. Birds bones recovered from excavations include those of thick-billed parrots and scarlet macaws, traded north from the tropics of Mexico. At Wupatki Ruins, at least eleven articulated parrot and macaw burials were found; three were wrapped in a room identified as a kiva. One parrot was buried at the foot of a child and had a prayer stick attached to its leg. Birds were also the subject of rock art and ceramic designs. Birds and feathers are important in Pueblo ceremonies today.

Some species of birds are frequently seen in one park and rarely in the other. The Stellar's Jay can be seen at Sunset Crater. Its blue body and black crest distinguish is from all other jays. The call of the Stellar's jay is a harsh "caw" and it can also imitate the call of other birds. At Wupatki you may find the greater roadrunner scurrying along the desert floor. It is a large ground-dwelling cuckoo streaked with brown and white, it speeds across the desert on long, strong legs. The long white-edged tail and long, heavy beak are its outstanding features.

The bird population at Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments changes with the season. In the summer you may see the western bluebird and mountain bluebird at higher elevations at Sunset Crater. While Wupatki is frequented by the western kingbird and black-throated sparrow. Fall is full of surprises as birds migrate from higher elevations to lower ones. Our park is unique in that we have such a dramatic change in elevations, the visitor is likely to see the same species at both areas, at different times of the year. The raven is often heard with its distinctive "caw," its dark feathered body playfully soaring in the sky. The drumming of the red-shafted flicker is often heard. This jay-sized woodpecker uses its strong bill to search out wood-boring insects. Look for the dark silhouette of a golden eagle against the sky, and listen for the musical descending notes of the canyon wren.

A list of the bird species seen at Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments follows on the opposite side of this page. With this information, a field guide, and a little help from a birdwatching friend, you are on your way to bird identification.


C - Common - almost always present
U - Uncommon - present/not always seen
O - Occasional - to be expected/seldom seen
R - Rare - surprise but not out of range
X - Accident - out of normal range


P - Permanent resident
S - Summer Visitor
W - Winter Visitor
T - Transient Visitor


SC - Sunset Crater
WU - Wupatki

SC WU ___ Eared Grebe RT ___ D.C. Cormorant RT ___ Canada Goose RT ___ Mallard RT RT ___ Blue-winged Teal RT ___ Cinnamon Teal RT ___ Green-winged Teal RT ___ Bufflehead RT ___ Turkey Vulture RS OS ___ Nothern Goshawk RW ___ Cooper's Hawk OS OP ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk OT OT ___ Northern Harrier UW ___ Rough-legged Hawk OW OW ___ Ferruginous Hawk RW ___ Red-tailed Hawk UP CP ___ Swainson's Hawk RS OT ___ Golden Eagle OP UP ___ Bald Eagle RT RW ___ Marsh Hawk OW ___ Prairie Falcon OW OP ___ Merlin RW ___ American Kestrel CP ___ Sparrow Hawk CS ___ Wild Turkey RP ___ Snowy Egret RT ___ Great Blue Heron RT ___ B.C. Night-heron RT ___ White-faced Ibis RT ___ American Coot XT RT ___ Sabine's Gull X ___ Spotted Sandpiper XT RT ___ Lesser Yellowlegs XT RT ___ Black-necked Stilt RT ___ Mountain Plover RT ___ Killdeer OS ___ Common Snipe RT ___ Least Sandpiper RT ___ Mourning Dove CS CS ___ Band-tailed Pigeon RS ___ Roadrunner UP ___ Western Screech Owl OP ___ Great Horned Owl OP ___ Long-eared Owl OW ___ Short-eared Owl OW ___ Burrowing Owl OS ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl RS OW ___ Pygmy Owl RS ___ Common Poorwill OS CS ___ Common Nighthawk CS CS ___ White-throated Swift OS OS ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird CS CS ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird UT OT ___ Calliope Hummingbird RT ___ Costa's Hummingbird RT ___ Rufous Hummingbird CS UT ___ Belted Kingfisher XT RT ___ Common Flicker CP CP ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker OT UT ___ Lewis' Woodpecker RP ___ Williamson's Sapsucker OT ___ Hairy Woodpecker OP UP ___ Western Kingbird US US ___ Cassin's Kingbird US RS ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher OT OS ___ Black Phoebe XT RS ___ Say's Phoebe XS CS ___ Willow Flycatcher RT ___ Gray Flycatcher OS ___ Western Wood-Pewee OS RS ___ Horned Lark OT CP ___ Barn Swallow RT ___ Violet-Green Swallow CS OS ___ Bank Swallow RT ___ Steller's Jay CP ___ Scrub Jay OP ___ Pinyon Jay CP UP ___ Clark's Nutcracker UP RT ___ Common Raven CP CP ___ American Crow OP OP ___ Mountain Chickadee CP OW ___ Plain Titmouse UP UP ___ Bushtit UP UP ___ White-breasted Nuthatch CP CP ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch RS OS ___ Pygmy Nuthatch CP CP ___ Brown Creeper OT RW ___ House Wren RT OT ___ Bewick's Wren OP ___ Rock Wren US CP ___ Canyon Wren CP ___ Sage Thrasher OW UW ___ Northern Mockingbird CS ___ Gray Catbird X ___ Bendire's Thrasher OS ___ Crissal Thrasher RS ___ American Robin CS UW ___ Western Bluebird CS OW ___ Mountain Bluebird CS CW ___ Townsend's Solitare CP CW ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher OS ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet RT CT ___ Cedar Waxwing OW RT ___ Bohemian Waxwing OW ___ Phainopepla RS ___ Loggerhead Shrike OT UP ___ Northern Shrike UW ___ Starling OS OS ___ Solitary Vireo US ___ Gray Vireo RS ___ Orange-crowned Warbler OT OT ___ Yellow Warbler OT ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler CT ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler OT OT ___ MacGillivray's Warbler OT UT ___ Townsend's Warbler OT ___ Grace's Warbler OS ___ Wilson's Warbler UT ___ Yellow Breasted Chat RT ___ Eastern Meadowlark RS RS ___ Western Meadowlark CS CS ___ Brewer's Blackbird OT US ___ Brown-headed Cowbird OS OS ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird OT ___ Red-winged Blackbird OS ___ Scott's Oriole US ___ Northern Oriole CT ___ Western Tanager OS OT ___ Hepatic Tanager OS RT ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak RT ___ Black-headed Grosbeak OS RT ___ Evening Grosbeak OT RT ___ Blue Grosbeak RT ___ Cassin's Finch OP RT ___ House Finch RT CP ___ American Goldfinch RT ___ Lesser Goldfinch US OT ___ Gray-crowned Rosy Finch OW ___ Black Rosy Finch OW ___ Pine Siskin OW ___ Red Crossbill UP ___ Greentail Towhee OT UT ___ Rufous-sided Towhee US UP ___ House Sparrow CP ___ Savannah Sparrow OT ___ Lark Sparrow OT OT ___ Vesper Sparrow OT ___ Black-throated Sparrow OS CS ___ Sage Sparrow UW ___ Chipping Sparrow US OS ___ Brewer's Sparrow OT UT ___ White-throated Sparrow UT ___ White-crowned Sparrow OT UT ___ Hooser Sparrow CP ___ Black-chinned Sparrow US ___ Dark-eyed Junco CW CW

This resource is based on the following source:
National Parks Service.  1993.  Birds of Wupatki and Sunset Crater National 
     Monuments, Flagstaff, Arizona.  Southwest Parks and Monuments Association.  
This resource should be cited as:
National Parks Service.  1993.  Birds of Wupatki and Sunset Crater National 
     Monuments, Flagstaff, Arizona.  Southwest Parks and Monuments Association.  
     Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     (Version 02DEC99)

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