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2019 Audubon New Mexico’s Birdathon Results
Birding Gila River
Get Involved


2019 Audubon New Mexico’s Birdathon Results

Birdathon 2019 report by Birdathon guide, Christopher Rustay

We started the 2019 Audubon NM Birdathon on the afternoon of April 26 at the entrance to Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge with five eagle-eyed participants: Ruth Burstrom, Carl Caves, Desiree Loggins, Jon Hayes and our leader, Christopher Rustay. Our first bird was a Loggerhead Shrike, emblematic of the concern that National Audubon has for grassland species, many of which are in steep decline. Pulling into the Visitor Center and walking around in the brisk wind, Desiree spotted a red bird fluttering below us which turned out to be a Vermilion Flycatcher, certainly a treat! For most of the rest of the afternoon we toured the refuge, noting with increasing unrest the dark clouds forming to the west of us. Shorebirds were in abundance and the group got a good focus on Wilson's Phalaropes, Long-billed Dowitchers, American Avocets, and Black-necked Stilts. We were stunned when Ruth pointed out a breeding plumaged Horned Grebe with bright red eyes watching us. When we reached the end of the tour route, the storm looked as if it were going to hit Roswell soon and the wind was beginning to pick up. We decided to head east where we found a couple of Double-crested Cormorants flying over the road where the Pecos River crossed. The rest of the late afternoon we toured town, but wind and dark clouds precluded finding additional species. We stopped earlier than planned for dinner just as the first rain drops from an intense, but brief, storm began.

Starting the next morning bright and early, Carl noted Common Grackles and Ruth saw Canada Geese flying by. Driving through town, Jon really wanted to see Blue Jays and he found two speeching in a neighborhood. Heading west on highway 380, we rolled through grasslands before heading up into the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains. A brief stop at a roadside rest netted a Cactus Wren, a Cassin's Sparrow and a singing Eastern Meadowlark, along with great looks at the size difference between two Chihuahuan Ravens chasing a Common Raven. Hitting a few stock ponds at lower elevations the group uncovered a pair of Wood Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks and saw singing Yellow Warblers and Summer Tanagers. Just before the town of Tinnie, participants were surprised when Christopher yelled "Pull over!" and grabbed the scope and trained it on a Common Black Hawk sitting quietly in the middle of a line of trees. Further up in the foothills, Carl was delighted to see another Common Black Hawk circling over cottonwoods at a marsh at the eastern edge of the Fort Stanton/Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area. The entire group was shocked to see a Palm Warbler in the same area. Moving higher into the mountains we saw a number of forest species: Desiree was particularly excited to see a Pygmy Nuthatch. We ended the day in the parking lot of Ski Apache and surprisingly enough, our 135th species was a Northern Flicker calling just as we settled down for lunch.

Muchas gracis to Christopher and the Birdathon team for helping raise awareness and funds for conservation causes that are so important in our state.

And thank you to you -- our supporters. On behalf of Audubon New Mexico, we're grateful for your support and our network of Audubon members, partners and advocates who work alongside our staff and volunteers to conserve and protect the health of New Mexico's rich biodiversity

List of 2019 Species

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Cinnamon Teal

Northern Shoveler


American Wigeon


Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck


Ruddy Duck

Scaled Quail

Wild Turkey

Pied-billed Grebe

Horned Grebe

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Virginia Rail

American Coot

Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet

Black-bellied Plover

Snowy Plover

Semipalmated Plover


Baird's Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Long-billed Dowitcher

Wilson's Phalarope

Spotted Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs


Lesser Yellowlegs

Franklin's Gull

Forster's Tern

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

White-faced Ibis

Double-crested Cormorant

Turkey Vulture

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Common Black-Hawk

Swainson's Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Acorn Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Western Wood-Pewee

Gray Flycatcher

Hammond's Dusky Flycatcher

Black Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

Vermilion Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Western Kingbird

Cassin's Kingbird

Loggerhead Shrike

Plumbeous Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Steller's Jay

Blue Jay

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay

American Crow

Chihuahuan Raven

Common Raven

Violet-green Swallow

Bank Swallow

Barn Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Mountain Chickadee


Red-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Pygmy Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Rock Wren

House Wren

Bewick's Wren

Cactus Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Western Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

House Finch

Pine Siskin

Lesser Goldfinch

Cassin's Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Brewer's Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

White-crowned Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Canyon Towhee

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Green-tailed Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Western Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Bullock's Oriole

Scott's Oriole

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

Great-tailed Grackle

Virginia Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Yellow Warbler

Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Grace's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Hepatic Tanager

Summer Tanager

Western Tanager

Black-headed Grosbeak

Lazuli Bunting

House Sparrow


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