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Birds of the Tucson Mountains, AZ

Birds seen within about 1 mile of Camino De Oeste and Gates Pass Road, compiled by Roger Wolf, Tucson Audubon Society and Roger Carpenter. Asterisks in the lists indicate species we believe likely, but for which confirmation is needed.

Vultures, Hawks, and Falcons

  • Northern harrier
  • Cooper's hawk
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Golden eagle
  • Turkey vulture
  • American kestrel

Gallinaceous Birds

  • Gambell's quail

Herons and Allies

  • Great blue heron
  • White-faced ibis

Pigeons and Doves

  • Mourning dove
  • White winged dove
  • Rock dove (dom. pigeon)

Cuckoos; Anis, and Roadrunners

  • Roadrunner


  • Barn owl
  • Western screech owl
  • Great horned owl
  • Elf owl
  • Ferruginous pygmy owl (Sighted on Las Lomas property in 1989, 1991 and 1992.)


  • Common poor-will
  • Lesser nighthawk

Swifts and Hummingbirds

  • White throated swift
  • Rufous hummingbird
  • Allen's hummingbird
  • Costa's hummingbird


  • Gilded flicker
  • Ladder-backed woodpecker
  • Gila woodpecker

Perching Birds

  • Ash-throated flycatcher
  • Gray flycatcher
  • Western flycatcher*
  • Black phoebe
  • Say's phoebe
  • Purple martin
  • Barn swallow
  • Raven (common?)
  • Bushtit
  • Verdin
  • House wren
  • Rock wren
  • Cactus wren
  • Canyon wren
  • Ruby crowned kinglet
  • Gnatcatchers, black tailed
  • Northern mockingbird
  • Curve-billed thrasher
  • Hermit thrush
  • Swainson's thrush
  • European starling
  • Phainopepla
  • Solitary vireo
  • Gray vireo
  • Townsend's warbler
  • Hermit warbler
  • Black-throated (green?) warbler
  • Lucy's warbler
  • MacGillivray's warbler
  • Yellow warbler
  • Wilson's warbler
  • Gray warbler?
  • Western meadowlark
  • Brown headed cowbird
  • Bronzed cowbird
  • Hooded oriole
  • Scott's oriole
  • Summer tanager
  • White-crowned sparrow
  • Black-throated sparrow
  • black-chinned sparrow
  • Chipping sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Abert's towhee
  • Canyon towhee
  • Green-tailed towhee
  • Black-headed grossbeak
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Cardinal
  • House finch
  • Lesser goldfinch
  • House sparrow

Passing through Gates Pass:
Some years ago, I found a mallard duck taking a migration break in a very small puddle where the road crosses Camino de Oeste Wash. When the Wildlife Museum added fish to their entry pond, it didn't take long for egrets from Pima County's Sweetwater Wetlands to notice and eat them all.

Crested caracaras were in residence in Sells by 2018, with sightings at the Wetlands. I saw a single caracara high flying over the Camino de Oeste Wash one morning on my walk. Bird populations fluctuate with the availability of food, nesting sites, plus temperature and rainfall changes. Carolyn Leigh

Current birding information for Pima County at: Tucson Audubon Society - Sweetwater Wetlands and Pima County: Birdwatching Opportunities and Protocols.

Birds of the Tucson Mountains, Arizona ( at The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The photographs are copyright by the photographers with all rights reserved.

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