Chevelon Crossing: Montezuma Quail, etc.
19 Jun 2019, 4:40 PM,
Chevelon Crossing: Montezuma Quail, etc.
June 19, 2019—This morning I conducted the Forest Lakes Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route for the first time, which includes Forest Rds. 504 and 170 between Hwy. 99 down to Forest Lakes, mostly in Coconino Co. Highlights at Chevelon Crossing included MONTEZUMA QUAIL, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, with the latter also present at Mormon Crossing in West Chevelon Canyon. The quail have been previously reported by others in this area in recent years. I also had a GRAY VIREO, CRISSAL THRASHERS, and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS north of there along FR 504. Between Chevelon and its West Fork, I had a family of CANYON TOWHEES. On my last point north of Forest Lakes I had a singing TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, which threw me off initially thinking it to be a weird grosbeak song before I got a visual. Not a species many of us get to hear singing on the breeding grounds in AZ (or become familiar with!). 

The route provides a good cross section of the full transition from shrubby grassland, to pinyon-juniper woodland, to ponderosa pine-Gambel oak forest as you head upslope towards the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau at the Mogollon Rim! (But note that high clearance vehicles are needed for the northern part of FR 504). All data has been entered in eBird.

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