Arizona Bird Count Initiative
The Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas includes data collected over a decade with the help of hundreds of volunteers across the state. This monumental endeavor involved the cooperation of private, state, federal and tribal entities across Arizona. The reference guide covers more than 300 breeding bird species and was recently named to the Southwest Books of the Year (2005) Top 10 List. Purchase the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas.
The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Research Centre. The BBS was started in the 1960s to assist in monitoring the status and trends of North American bird populations. For more information about the survey in Arizona, contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Neotropical Migratory Birds Coordinator Troy Corman at (602) 789-3508.
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) was created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in 1993 as a way to focus attention on one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird — its journey between its summer and winter homes. IMBD, which is currently directed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is celebrated in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America. The event includes local bird festivals and bird walks on the second Saturday in May each year.
The Cats Indoors! Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats by the American Bird Conservancy deals with conflicts involving pet cats and wildlife. Cats are the most popular pets in the United States, with an estimated 90 million pet cats across the country. Of these, roughly half spend some time outside. Free-roaming cats can be significant predators of birds and other wildlife, including small mammals. A new brochure, Keeping Cats Indoors — Good for Cats, Good for Arizona's Wildlife [pdf] is also available at all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.
The Arizona Christmas Bird Count Program is a bird population survey that is coordinated annually by the National Audubon Society. For each count, volunteers (including those from the Arizona Game and Fish Department) take to the field for one calendar day during a designated period in December and January to record every bird species and every individual bird sighted within a designated 15-mile diameter area. There are multiple counting events – click on the link above to see a schedule of the December 2010-January 2011 events.
Birding in recent years has become an increasingly popular outdoor activity. In 2001 in the U.S., 46 million birders spent $32 billion to observe, photograph or feed wildlife. With more than 530 species of birds documented in the state, of which 300+ species have nested, Arizona is considered to be one of the premier states for birding.
Arizona Audubon Chapters and other bird conservation organizations maintain a wealth of information about excellent Arizona birding areas and birding events. For example, several of the Audubon chapters maintain interactive maps on their Web sites in which excellent birding spots are identified and described.
- The Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail Map and Guide, unveiled on International Migratory Bird Day in 2006, is also available through Tucson Audubon Society and other sources. It contains information on 52 exceptional birding locations across southeastern Arizona.
Other Wildlife Viewing opportunities in Arizona are some of the best in the nation, with more than 900 animal species and 50 million public acres of natural land to explore.
- Bird Abstracts, Distribution Maps & Illustrations for many (65) Arizona birds are also compiled and maintained by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Specific information may include: taxonomy, biology, distribution, population trends, management status, and illustrations.
- Wildlife Field Notes originally appear in each issue of the Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, with 8 bird species articles published since January 2007; Sandhill Crane, White-winged Dove, Gilded Flicker, Killdeer, Lesser Scaup, Western Screech-owl, Lark Sparrow, and American Three-toed Woodpecker.