Read a sampling of our Leaders' trip reports here and see photos from a few of our past Monthly Program events at the bottom of the page
"The Northern Arizona Audubon Society (NAAS) is a volunteer-led organization that engages in community science to educate and advocate for the conservation of birds and their habitats. NAAS gathered together Jan. 24 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church for a presentation on the pinyon jay and how to help save it." Read more
Big Sit Field Trip Report - January 31, 2023: January 31st was a special day as NAAS was invited by resident Noreen Ireland to visit this lovely gated community and 14 people joined me. The weather broke just in time to witness much activity. The birds were hungry and were there to feast at Noreen's feeders. The OCV residents with some young ones in tow as well as folks who had seen the notice on the new NAAS website showed off many sharp pairs of eyes. We had a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Bridled Titmouse show off their black and white plumages at the suet. Western Bluebirds flitted among us while a distant Townsend's Solitaire called from the hillside. Song Sparrows, Abert's and Spotted Towhees rustled in the reeds right beside us. Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers clamored from the cottonwoods. A Red-tailed Hawk perched on a far telephone pole waited while we discussed its size, shape, color, to rule out other raptor possibilities. After the big sit hour, we walked along beautiful Oak Creek passing a lone Bufflehead. to a hidden quiet backwater where we saw at least twenty Wood Ducks, some Mallards, and Ring-necked Ducks. Excluding these ducks, we saw 28 species in our hour, which is the new record for an NAAS Big Sit! by Kristen Rothrock
Sedona Wetlands January 14, 2023: Rich was joined by 19 folks on January 14th at 10 AM for a 1 hour walk at the Sedona Wetlands. Weather cooperated, but birds didn't. Scope views of the normal ducks & Say's Phoebe & Townsend's Solitaire, but many more misses. It seems starting at 10 got people from Flagstaff and others, but less birds. We then went down to Spring creek tank 9571, but only a Black Phoebe was at the tank. Despite the lack of birds, many enjoyed the field trip!
Big Sit, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, November 30th: I was joined by 10 people for the big sit at Dead Horse State Park on November 30th. There were a few surprises; a glimpse at a Pine Siskin, but good looks at the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Bridled Titmouse, and some American Goldfinches. By comparison, the Lesser Goldfinch was barely in attendance. Of course, White-crowned Sparrows and Oregon Juncos abounded. A Slate-colored Junco were among them. A Spotted Towhee made his appearance just before the hour ended. There was good conversation, new people, and many sharp eyes that identified 22 species. By Kristen Rothrock
Woods Canyon Trail Field Trip: 5 birders joined me on November 5th for a nearly 2-mile walk along Woods Canyon Trail. Despite the early morning chill, it turned out to be an exceptional day for birding. We passed at least 200 American Robins, 80 Western Bluebirds, 8 Cedar Waxwings, and around 30 Townsend's Solitaires. Other highlights included a Sharp-shinned Hawk, Crissal Thrasher, Rock Wren, Black-throated Sparrow, and Black-chinned Sparrow. However, the co-favorites were a flock of a dozen Cassin's Finches foraging in neighboring junipers and a male Evening Grosbeak! Back at the ranger station, we were treated to very close views of Canyon Towhees & several species of sparrow: White-crowned, Chipping, Song, Lincoln's, and even a hoped for White-throated. We ended up with 41 species in all! By Mark Philippart
Black Canyon Heritage Park and Lake Pleasant: The 23rd of October turned out to be a great day to leave the rain behind and head down to Black Canyon City and Lake Pleasant. On the way down, we visited a couple of spots for sparrows; including the Arcosanti Cattle Tank, a dirt tank where shorebirds are often found. We were met at the Black Canyon City Heritage Park by a Meetup member who joins us often, but lives in Phoenix. To my surprise, when we arrived she and two other participants were conversing in Mandarin! So there were 3 participants who spoke Mandarin and 3 participants who did not. They tried to teach us the difference between the Mandarin word for Cormorant, donkey and stove which are all very similar, but we had a lot of difficulty picking that up... which gave us all a good chuckle. One of the participants saw 5 life birds! We had Harris's Hawks immediately upon entering the heritage park. The road just North of the park always has Inca Doves and one of NAAS's great photographers got wonderful pictures of Curve-billed Thrashers and Cactus Wrens. Lake Pleasant's Cottonwood Day Use Area is the go-to spot for Gilded Flicker and they didn't disappoint! But the lake was down which made it hard to discern whether or not there were Clark's Grebes in all of the Western Grebes? Overall it was a good day with 50 species and great weather, birds and birders... and pie on the way home! By Kay Hawklee