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The Prescott Audubon Newsletter

February 2023

Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Saturday – February 4 – Monthly Watson Woods Walk – 9:00 am

Tuesday - February 14 - Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Phoenix

Saturday – March 4 – Monthly Watson Woods Walk – 8:30 am

Wednesday - March 15 -BWB @ Goldwater Lake - 9:00 am

Thursday - March 23 - Birding in Congress (Full, Waitlist)

For more information

Window on Nature

The PAS Live Speaker Series

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Window on Nature Presents: 

Matt Killeen,

Environmental Coordinator for the

city of Prescott.  

Matt will speak about issues of interest to our members,

including water management by the city.

We will leave a lot of time for questions. 

Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave

Time: 6:30PM - social

7:00PM - program

WON now on Zoom Live!

We are offering live Window on Nature meetings on Zoom. 

Recordings for Oct '22 and Jan '23 can be found at 

Window on Nature - Prescott Audubon Society - YouTube 

If you are interested in watching the WON meeting on February 23rd, please contact Paul Glaves at Paul will send you the instructions.

Note from PAS Treasurer Sandy K:

We were sorry to learn that Amazon is discontinuing their AmazonSmile program, in which they donated a portion of a person's purchase to his/her non-profit of choice. However, you can still donate to Prescott Audubon when you shop at Fry's, through their Community Rewards. It's easy to link your Fry's V.I.P. card to Prescott Audubon if you have an online Fry's account.  Thanks to our members who have already done this, we receive a substantial donation each quarter!


Start at and go to the bottom of the page. Find the link for Fry's Community Rewards in the Community column. If you need help signing up, please email

Photo credit to Mick Thompson

Photo credit to Mick Thompson

A note from Laura Rhoden, former PAS treasurer: 


Thank you, PAS Board of Directors and chapter members, for honoring me with the Prescott Audubon Founders’ Award at the December 2022 Holiday Potluck, which I was unable to attend.  It is truly humbling to be included in the group who have previously received this award: Kathy Wingert, Karen O’Neil, Sue Drown and Russ Chappell.


As with any role, being treasurer is not stand-alone.  I wish to thank Bonnie Pranter and Eric Moore (among many others) for introducing me to the joys of birding.  I am grateful for the support and mentoring from our past and present board members, and for the opportunity to work with David Moll when he was our Wingtips editor. There are countless others who make our chapter successful.  I am richer for my experiences on the board and in other chapter activities over the past ten years.


Change can be difficult for all-volunteer organizations. I am reassured that PAS continues to move forward so gracefully. The transition to our excellent new treasurer, Sandy Klinikowski, was smooth, and the current Board members are contributing fresh energy and innovative ideas. I could not ask for more! 

2023 Watson Woods Riparian Preserve IBA Surveys

Monday 24 April 2023

Sunday 07 May 2023

Sunday 27 August 2023

Monday 11 September 2023

Experienced birders can indicate their interest in participating in surveys by completing the volunteer interest form on the Prescott Creeks website at:

Since 2009, Prescott Audubon Society and Prescott Creeks have collaborated on conducting migrating bird surveys in the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve portion of the Watson and Willow Lakes Ecosystem Important Bird Area. Surveys were initiated concurrent with ecological restoration work performed on Granite Creek in the Preserve to improve habitat for native birds among other things. More information can be found at

Birding Activities Beyond Prescott

The Tubac Nature Center is pleased to host a Raptor Identification Workshop with noted author and hawk researcher Bill Clark March 17,18 & 19, 2023

Class size limited. Please register by March 1, 2023. Thoughtful donation of $185. Covers all three days of learning.

Bill Clark is a photographer, author, researcher, and lecturer and has over 50 years of experience working with birds of prey, including 5 years as Director of NWF’s Raptor Information Center.

Visit our Website

Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival will be held at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, April 27 – 30, 2023.

Described as “the friendliest birding festival,” is an annual celebration of birds, birders, and nature in the beautiful Verde Valley.

This festival brings together experienced and amateur birders alike to enjoy unique workshops, exciting field trips led by experts, and inclusive events.

For More Information

Birders Headed South to Wickenburg

The chilly January Prescott morning began with eight of us detouring to Skull Valley on the way to the Hassayampa Nature Reserve. We arrived at the turn off just as the sun peaked across the hills from the east. Within minutes, our focused eyes were rewarded. First, a ferruginous hawk perched on a pole in front of us was waiting for the warmth of the morning sun. Within minutes other hawks were spotted flying over the fallow winter fields. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

The Hassayampa River Preserve was created in 1986 by The Nature Conservancy. It has grown to 770 acres and is now part of the Vulture Mountain Recreation Area, operated by Maricopa County. For two hours, twelve of us meandered by the ponds and numerous paths that crisscross the property. In all, we saw (or heard) 21 different species consisting of three varieties of woodpeckers, and an abundance of robins and abert's towhees. As we enjoyed the warmth of the day with our lunches in the picnic area, a red-shoulder hawk made an appearance overhead, circling as it rose higher into the sky.

January 1 Bird Count

Winter weather often dictates how (or whether) our annual Jan 1 Prescott Audubon field trip pans out. 2023 had special challenges. The year began with a strong rain and windstorm which kept songbirds in hiding and us mostly confined to our cars. We did our best, logging in 36 species before the hail began and we headed back to our warm homes. Diane saved the morning with shortbread cookies. The 5 of us knew we'd started the year right, and we were proud of ourselves for venturing out!

Chino Valley Count, December 19, 2022

Temperatures ranged between 13 and 56 degrees F. Bodies of water were partially frozen.

Although total numbers of observers was down 30% from last year, and two count routes were not covered, the total numbers of birds observed, 4883, was up over 35% from last years totals. Good work team.

My initial calculation of total species observed was 86, a very respectable total 

Notable observations for me, from the count, were:

-TWO Vermillion Flycatchers

-The return of the Canada Geese to the circle, with observations on several territories

-High numbers of Mountain and Western Bluebirds. Probably not enough to get the national high count again, but still respectable, and who doesn't like a green juniper tree full of grey/white sparrows, red finches, orange robins, yellow goldfinches and sky blue bluebirds?

-High numbers of Brewers Blackbirds

-(1) Ferruginous Hawk, and that of a dark morph

-Lower numbers of both Eurasian Collared and Mourning Dove.

-The Coyote gambolling through the field, flushing many Horned Larks and Meadowlarks as it went. Nothing quite like a good "bird-dog" on a bird count.

 See you next year, December 18, 2023.

Submitted by Russell D.

Birding Games

In January 2022 while on a family vacation, my sister introduced me to a brand new hobby I hadn't thought much of before: birding! Instantly, my whole family fell in love with it. We decided that for the remainder of 2022, we would do a "big year" type competition, with the winner receiving a pair of binoculars in the ~$500 range. I should also mention that my sister was a clear favorite to win this competition- after all, she is a biology major in college and gets paid to teach classes on ornithology. In spite of my sister's impressive credentials and my total lack of experience, I jumped in headfirst with the goal of winning the competition. On my first day back in Prescott, I went right into Jay's Bird Barn, purchased a brand new pair of Vortex Diamondbacks, and hit the trail! I remember wandering around Willow Lake, trying and failing to identify even the most basic wintertime birds and wondering if I had made a terrible mistake. 


A few days later, I met a very talented birder who gave me an idea that changed everything! She suggested that I get connected with the Prescott Audubon society, where I could go on bird walks and learn from experienced birders. This turned the whole competition around! Over the course of 2022, I completed 229 eBird checklists and was able to identify 278 species across 12 different states. In the end, my sister only came up with about 260 species (she refused to give the real number and might be juuuuuust a bit upset about losing). It was such a fun year to get into birding, and while I moved to Washington State this month I look forward to continuing the hobby!

Submitted by Ronald L. Geer III