Green Valley Morning Flight Project 2022

I was able to conduct my observations on 56 days between July 9 – October 4, 2021 with a total of 112.25 up from 86.9 hours in 2021. Average temperature was 73F with a high daytime temperature at 79F and lowest at 55F. Average wind speed was 5 mph with a max wind of 11 mph. Wind direction was predominately SSW (30 days).

This year’s max count was on August 2 with 155 individuals passing and the highest species diversity was on August 14 with 14 species. 

This account is listed first with the species name, the number in (  ) is the number days out of the fifty-six days of the project that the species was seen. This is followed by the total number of individuals counted of that species. The number in [  ] is the max number for that species and the date. The date (  ) following this number in the date span of occurrence for this year. 

White-winged Dove (50/56)  Total Number 1616  Max [98  8/8]  Span (7/10-10/2)       

Here in Green Valley, AZ, White-winged Dove is a common breeding bird. Therefore, trying to determine when migration begins is a bit tricky. Usually by mid-July morning flight numbers start to reach the mid thirties. The flight then peaks rapidly through early August and then tapers off through late September with a few birds seen in morning flight through mid-October. In some years, a few White-winged Doves will spend the winter in Green Valley.

White-winged Dove 7/27/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Lesser Nighthawk (3/56) Total Number 3  Max [1]  Span (7/13-7/24)          

Only three birds were found during the morning flight most likely because the bulk of their migration takes place in the evening hours. 

Lesser Nighthawk 7/13/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Vaux’s Swift  (2/56)   Total Number 3  Max [2  9/30]  Span (9/16-9/30) 

Three of these transient swifts were recorded during mid to late September.


Vaux’s Swift 9/16/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  (2/56)   Total Number 3 Max [1]  Span (9/1-9/2)       

Three Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were recorded as they whizzed past the count site during their migration from the higher elevations.

Great Egret  (1/56) Total Number 3  Max [3  9/14] Span (9/14) 

A small group of three were seen flying south at a high elevation in mid-September. 

Great Egret 9/14/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

White-faced Ibis  (1/56) Total Number 24  Max [24  9/9] Span (9/9)

A distant flock of twenty-four were observed heading southeast early on September 

White-faced Ibis 9/9/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Least Sandpiper  (1/56) Total Number  10  Max [10  8/28] Span (8/28) 

Any shorebirds found during the morning flight are exciting. Living north of Canoa Ranch and east of the Green Valley WRF, I’m a little surprised that more shorebirds are not found. This flock of ten were low enough for me to get a positive identification.

Least Sandpiper 8/28/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

 shorebird species  (1/56) Total Number  30 Max [30  8/15)  Span (8/15)    

This group of thirty “peeps”most likely Least/Western type were a bit too high for me to get a positive ID other than they were “peeps.”                             

Empidonax species   (1/56)  Total Number  1  Max  [1 10/3] Span (10/3)     

This bird landed in the wash next to my yard after I had watched it flying towards me. To me, the bird appears to be a Willow Flycatcher. The date seems a bit late.    

Empidonax species 10/3/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Cassin’s Kingbird   (5/56)  Total Number 6   Max [2   8/4] Span (7/20-9/6)                                

The number of Cassin’s identified this year was down from previous years but a few could have been within the “yellow-bellied” Kingbirds that were too distant to ID to species.

Cassin’s Kingbird 8/4/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Western Kingbird  (39/56)  Total Number  188  Max [18  8/23] Span (7/13-9/11)    

The Western Kingbirds that occur during the Morning Flight typically are seen in small groups flying just above the trees and like most birds at that height, they suddenly appear out of nowhere and are gone quickly. This year’s 188 spanned a three month period.    

Western Kingbird 9/4/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

“Yellow-bellied” Kingbird  (7/56) Total Number  13  Max [4  8/10] Span (7/24-9/3)    

These birds were too distant or severely backlit to provide any field marks to make a positive identification. It is quite possible that some birds may have been Cassin’s Kingbirds.                           

Warbling Vireo  (1/56)  Total Number   1  Max [1  8/14] Span (8/14)    

One tree-top migrant was noted.                             

Warbling Vireo 8/14/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  (2/56)  Total Number  9  Max [10  7/24]  Span (9/5-9/6)   

Nine of these swallows were observed in a two day span in early September. In previous years some have been seen beginning in mid-July. 

Purple Martin  (1/56) Total Number  1  Max [1  9/15] Span (9/15)    

This species nest in my neighborhood and usually depart by early September. I considered this one bird a migrant because of its steady southward flight at a mid-high elevation.    

Tree Swallow   (3/56)  Total Number  9  Max [6  8/17]  Span (8/17-8/29) 

This species was found in small groups during mid-August.

Bank Swallow  (2/56)  Total Number 6  Max [4  9/6]  Span (9/5-9/6) 

Six were seen 9/5-9/6 within mixed swallow flocks.                               

Barn Swallow  (25/28)  Total Number 356  Max [27  8/28)  Span (7/10-10/2)     

Barn Swallow is the most numerous swallow species during the Morning Flight Project with their flight extending through the entire date span.

Barn Swallow 8/2/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Cliff Swallow  (14/56) Total Number 48  Max [12  9/5] Span 7/13-9/7)   

Usually found in small groups and usually associating with Barn Swallows. Their flight began in earnest in mid-July and then seen sporadically through early September.  


Cliff Swallow 7/30/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

 Northern Mockingbird  (13/56)  Total Number 32  Max [10  7/24] Span (7/10-9/2)    

These birds are easily noticed as they fly at treetop level. An early migrant, their peak was mid-July but were recorded in small numbers through early September. 


Northern Mockingbird 8/12/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Phainopepla   (38/56)  Total Number 100  Max [14  8/13] Span (7/9-10/3)  

The Phainopepla flight extended nearly the entire date span. A 100 birds were counted usually in small groups of 2-4 birds. The majority are generally high flyovers.    

Phainopepla 8/7/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Lark Sparrow  (21/56)  Total Number 120  Max [17  8/6]  Span (7/30-9/20)        

A total of 120 Lark Sparrows passed by from late-July through mid-September with small groups scattered throughout this period.

Lark Sparrow 8/6/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Lark Bunting  (2/5L6)  Total Number 3  Max [2  8/26]  Span (8/14-8/26)   

Three were noted during mid-August.                               

Lark Bunting 8/26/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

White-crowned Sparrow  (1/56)  Total Number 4  Max [4  10/4] Span (10/4)  

The overall total probably would have been higher had I extended the Morning Flight Project into November when there is a slight increase in numbers. 

Yellow-headed Blackbird  (5/56)  Total Number  19 Max [7  8/26]  Span (8/26-9/14)   

Usually high flyovers and usually very vocal alerting me to their presence. Most are found within cowbird flocks. 

Yellow-headed Blackbird 9/1/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Hooded Oriole  (34/56) Total Number  91  Max [6   8/12] Span (8/6-10/4)   

Difficult to determine summer residents from migrants so the 91 total is probably not an accurate reflection of their migrant flight. By mid July, I started to notice more high flyovers, birds that I could see coming towards me at a distance and continuing past me. I also noticed a definite decrease in adults by late August.  An immature was a fly by October 4, nearly a month after my last September sighting.

Hooded Oriole 8/26/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Bullock’s Oriole  (5/56)  Total Number 5  Max [1]  Span (7/30-8/14)  

Another species that I have difficulty determining local breeders from migrants. Using my criteria for determining migrants (steady N-S flight direction at treetop level or higher), I feel ok calling the five birds seen from late July to mid-August as migrants.

Bullock’s Oriole 7/30/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Red-winged Blackbird  (4/56) Total Number 9 Max [3  8/26] Span (7/30-9/20)    

All were found within mixed cowbird and blackbird flocks.                             

Red-winged Blackbird 7/30/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Bronzed Cowbird (11/56) Total Number 19  Max [4  8/26]  Span (7/31-8/26)    

Usually seen as singles or pairs within mixed cowbird flocks.

Brown-headed Cowbird (26/56) Total Number 261  Max [55  7/31]  Span (7/10-9/5)

Nearly all the birds counted were in small groups of 10-15 birds in steady flight at treetop level.

Brown-headed Cowbird 7/31/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Brewer’s Blackbird (1/56) Total Number 1  Max (1  10/2] Span (10/2)   

A species that usually announces its presence with frequent calling, usually within mixed blackbird flocks.

Nashville Warbler  (1/56) Total Number 1  Max [1  9/11] Span (9/11)   

A single bird was noted feeding in my yard.                              

Nashville Warbler 9/11/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Yellow Warbler (2/56) Total Number  2  Max [1]  Span (8/8-8/20)  

Single birds were noted as flybys in September.   

Black-throated Gray Warbler  (1/56) Total Number 1  Max [1] Span (9/14)   

A singly flyby on September 14.  

Black-throated Gray Warbler 9/14/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

 Wilson’s Warbler  (2/56) Total Number 2  Max [1]  Span (9/18-9/20)

Single birds were seen from 9/18-9/20.                                 

warbler species   Total Number  8      

Several warbler types were seen either passing by too quickly or too distant to get a positive ID other than the bird being “green” or “yellow”                          

Summer Tanager (1/56) Total Number 1  Max [1] Span (8/29)   

One was seen flying N-S at treetop level before landing in my yard in late August.          

Summer Tanager 8/29/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Western Tanager (10/56) Total Number 20  Max [6  7/31] Span (7/24-8/25)  

Mostly single flybys with a few landing nearby.   


Western Tanager 7/30/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona


Western Tanager 8/3/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Black-headed Grosbeak  (12/56) Total Number 4  Max [4  7/24] Span (7/13-9/3)  

Numbers were down slightly from previous years but always nice to see these birds flying over.

Black-headed Grosbeak 7/13/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Lazuli Bunting (6/56) Total Number 11 Max [3  8/8] Span (8/8-9/14)   

All sightings were of singles flying by quickly at mid-elevation.  


Lazuli Bunting 8/8/2022 Green Valley, Pima Co., Arizona

Dickcissel (3/56) Total Number 3  Max (1) Span (9/4-10/3)   

Luckily, this species calls frequently when in migration and it’s distinct call can be heard far in advance signaling it’s arrival. All sightings were of single birds.                              

Passerine species     Total Number  129      

These were birds that were too distant, backlit or too quick to get positive identifications. From by quick impressions, most seem to be sparrows, flycatchers, orioles and tanagers.