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The Zone-tailed Ranch, Mohave County, Arizona
Birds of the Zone-tailed Ranch

two zone-tailed hawks in flightThe Zone-tail Ranch is a 320 acre (half of a section; one mile long and half a mile wide) piece of beautiful desert near the crest of the Aquarius Mountains, Arizona, at an elevation of about 5000 feet. It is located east of Kingman (east of US-93) and south of I-40.

The land is rocky canyon country with cliffs, seasonal streams, and perennial springs. The Zone-tail Ranch is just above the level of the cliffs where the land starts to flatten out, and includes one major mountain top and one major canyon. Vegetation is dominated by juniper with some pinyon, oak, cactus, yucca, and a diverse collection of shrubs and annual plants. It is transitional between the pinyon-juniper highland and the Sonoran Desert lowlands. Perennial vegetation probably covers no more than 20% of the ground.

On our first visit to the property, we saw Zone-tailed Hawks. Zone-tails look and fly like Turkey Vultures, and ground squirrels don't hide when they fly over because vultures are no threat - but by then it is too late. Over the years we have looked at a lot of Turkey Vultures hoping to see Zone-tails, so it was exciting to finally see them.

We have birded for years, and every time we visit the ranch, we record the birds we see. The following is the list of species that should occur in the area, and those that have a date are species we have seen there since August 1995.

Season of occurrence is defined merely as Summer (S), Winter (W), and Resident (R), those who should breed on the ranch are marked with an asterisk (*).


      Order      Family         Common Name                  Season   Date
               Cathartidae    Vulture, Turkey                   S      1995
               Accipitridae   Eagle, Golden                     R      1996
                              Eagle, Bald                       W      
                              Harrier, Northern                 W      
                              Hawk, Sharp-shinned               W      1996
                              Hawk, Cooper's                    R      1996
                              Hawk, Red-tailed                  R      1996
                              Hawk, Rough-legged                W      
                              Hawk, Ferruginous                 R      
                              Black-Hawk, Common                S*     
                              Hawk, Zone-tailed                 S      1995
               Falconidae     Kestrel, American                 R      1997
                              Merlin                            W      1997
                              Falcon, Prairie                   R      1997
                              Falcon, Peregrine                 R      
               Phasianidae    Quail, Gambel's                   R      1995
               Columbidae     Dove, Rock                        R      
                              Dove, Mourning                    R      1996
                              Dove, White-winged                S      
                              Ground-Dove, Common               R      
               Cuculidae      Cuckoo, Yellow-billed             S      
                              Roadrunner, Greater               R      1997
               Tytonidae      Barn-Owl, Common                  R      1997
               Strigidae      Owl, Short-eared                  W      
                              Owl, Long-eared                   R*     
                              Owl, Great Horned                 R      1995
                              Screech-Owl, Western              R      
                              Owl, Flammulated                  S      
                              Owl, Elf                          S*     
                              Pygmy-Owl, Northern               R      
                              Owl, Northern Saw-whet            W      
                              Owl, Burrowing                    S      
               Caprimulgidae  Poorwill, Common                  S      1995
                              Nighthawk, Lesser                 S      1997
               Apodidae       Swift, White-throated             S      1996
               Trochilidae    Hummingbird, Black-chinned        S      
                              Hummingbird, Costa's              S      1996
                              Hummingbird, Broad-tailed         S      1996
                              Hummingbird, Rufous               S      1997
               Alcedinidae    Kingfisher, Belted                W      
               Picidae        Woodpecker, Gila                  R      
                              Flicker, Guilded                  R      
                              Flicker, Northern                 R      1997
                              Woodpecker, Acorn                 R      
                              Woodpecker, Lewis'                W      
                              Sapsucker, Williamson's           W      
                              Sapsucker, Red-naped              S      1997
                              Woodpecker, Hairy                 R      
                              Woodpecker, Ladder-backed         R      1996
               Tyrannidae     Kingbird, Western                 S      
                              Kingbird, Cassin's                S      1996
                              Flycatcher, Brown-crested         S*     
                              Flycatcher, Ash-throated          S      1997
                              Wood-Pewee, Western               S      
                              Phoebe, Black                     R      1997
                              Phoebe, Say's                     S      
                              Flycatcher, Vermillion            S      1997
                              Flycatcher, Gray                  S      
                              Flycatcher, Cordilleran (Western) S*     
               Alaudidae      Lark, Horned                      R      
               Hirundinidae   Swallow, Violet-green             S      1997
                              Martin, Purple                    S      
                              Swallow, No Rough-winged          S      1997
                              Swallow, Cliff                    S      1996
               Corvidae       Scrub-Jay, Western                R      1995
                              Jay, Pinyon                       R      1995
                              Jay, Steller's                    R      
                              Crow, American                    R      
                              Raven, Common                     R      1995
               Paridae        Titmouse, Juniper                 R      1996
                              Chickadee, Mountain               R      1996
               Remizidae      Verdin                            R      
               Aegithalidae   Bushtit                           R      1996
               Certhiidae     Creeper, Brown                    R      
               Sittidae       Nuthatch, White-breasted          R      1996
                              Nuthatch, Red-breasted            W      
                              Nuthatch, Pygmy                   R      
               Troglodytidae  Wren, House                       R      
                              Wren, Winter                      W      
                              Wren, Bewick's                    R      1997
                              Wren, Marsh                       W      
                              Wren, Canyon                      R      
                              Wren, Rock                        R      1995
                              Wren, Cactus                      R      1996
               Muscicapidae   Kinglet, Golden-crowned           W      
                              Kinglet, Ruby-crowned             S      1996
                              Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray            S      1995
                              Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed         R      1996
                              Bluebird, Western                 W      1996
                              Bluebird, Mountain                W      1997
                              Solitaire, Townsend's             R      1996
                              Thrush, Hermit                    W      
                              Robin, American                   W      1997
               Laniidae       Shrike, Loggerhead                R      1997
               Mimidae        Mockingbird, Northern             R      1997
                              Thrasher, Sage                    W      1997
                              Thrasher, Curve-billed            R      
                              Thrasher, Bendire's               S      
                              Thrasher, Crissal                 R      1995
               Motacillidae   Pipit, American                   W      
               Bombycillidae  Waxwing, Cedar                    W      
               Ptilogonatidae Phainopepla                       R      1997
               Sturnidae      Starling, European                R      
               Vireonidae     Vireo, Bell's                     S      1997
                              Vireo, Gray                       S      
                              Vireo, Cassin's (Solitary)        S      1997
                              Vireo, Plumbous (Solitary)        S      
                              Vireo, Warbling                   S      
               Emberizidae    Warbler, Virginia's               S*     
                              Warbler, Yellow-rumped            S      1996
                              Warbler, Black-throated Gray      S      
                              Warbler, Grace's                  S*     
                              Warbler, Yellow                   S      1997
                              Warbler, MacGillivray's           S      
                              Warbler, Olive                    S      1996
                              Warbler, Lucy's                   S      1997 
                              Warbler, Orange-crowned           S      1997
                              Yellowthroat, Common              S      
                              Chat, Yellow-breasted             S      
                              Redstart, Painted                 S      
                              Warbler, Red-faced                S      
                              Grosbeak, Black-headed            S      
                              Grosbeak, Blue                    S      
                              Bunting, Indigo                   S      
                              Bunting, Lazuli                   S      
                              Towhee, Green-tailed              S      
                              Towhee, Spotted (Rufous-sided)    R      1996
                              Towhee, Canyon (Brown)            R      1996
                              Towhee, Abert's                   R      
                              Sparrow, Vesper                   W      
                              Sparrow, Savannah                 W      
                              Sparrow, Song                     R      
                              Sparrow, Lark                     S      
                              Sparrow, Black-throated           R      1996
                              Sparrow, Sage                     W      1996
                              Sparrow, Rufous-crowned           R      1997
                              Sparrow, Chipping                 S      1997
                              Sparrow, Brewer's                 W      1997
                              Sparrow, Black-chinned            W      1997
                              Junco, Dark-eyed                  W      1996
                              Sparrow, White-throated           W      1996
                              Sparrow, White-crowned            W      1996
                              Sparrow, Fox                      W      
                              Longspur, Chestnut-collared       W*     
                              Meadowlark, Western               R      
                              Blackbird, Yellow-headed          W      
                              Blackbird, Red-winged             R      
                              Blackbird, Brewer's               W      
                              Cowbird, Brown-headed             R      1997
                              Cowbird, Bronzed                  S*     
                              Grackle, Great-tailed             S      
                              Oriole, Scott's                   S      1997
                              Oriole, Northern                  S      
                              Oriole, Hooded                    S      1996
                              Tanager, Western                  S      1996
                              Tanager, Summer                   S      1997
                              Tanager, Hepatic                  S*     1996
               Passeridae     Sparrow, House                    R      
               Fringillidae   Siskin, Pine                      W      
                              Goldfinch, American               W      
                              Goldfinch, Lesser                 R      
                              Goldfinch, Lawrence's             W      
                              Crossbill, Red                    R      
                              Finch, Cassin's                   W      1997
                              Finch, House                      R      1996
                              Grosbeak, Evening                 R      

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 031126
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