• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Birds

Horned Lark

The Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) is the most abundant bird species within the park. It is also the only true lark native to North America.

Photo by Roy Morris/NPS

Like many national park areas, Petrified Forest National Park provides a unique place of protection and preservation. Here, birds can find food and shelter that may not be available in other regions on their journeys from habitat to habitat. Patches of healthy, undeveloped habitats are found in the modern fragmented landscape, connected by corridors such as Petrified Forest National Park.

Petrified Forest has a variety of habitats. Raptors, songbirds, and ground birds can be found in the grassland. Riparian corridors provide food and shelter for warblers, vireos, avocets, killdeer, and others. The exotic and native trees and shrubs around the Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum provide home for western tanagers, hermit warblers, and house finches. The park also offers sightings of vagrant shore birds and rare Eastern birds not seen often in Arizona. Rarities, such as black-throated blue warbler, have been found by Maricopa Audubon Society members. September and early October seem to be the best time to visit the area to see these fascinating vagrants.

Like the canary in the mine, birds gauge the health and safety of our environment. By watching birds, noting species, and the migration of species, we can understand the changes in our environment.

Bird List for Petrified Forest National Park
Many of these birds are migrants, passing through the park during the fall and spring.

*- Historic records, Last sighting within 40 years. May not be present currently.

◊- State threatened or species of concern for Arizona.

^- Migrant, present briefly in suitable habitat.

Ducks & Geese: Anatidae

^ Canada Goose- Branta canadensis

^ Mallard- Anas platyrhynchos

^ Gadwall- Anas strepera

^ Green-winged Teal- Anas crecca

^American Widgeon- Anas americana

^ Northern Pintail- Anas acuta

^ Northern Shoveler – Anas clypeata

^ Cinnamon Teal- Anas cyanoptera

^ Canvasback- Aythya valisineria

^ Redhead- Aythya americana

^ Ring-necked Duck- Aythya collaris

^ Lesser Scaup- Aythya affinis

^ Bufflehead- Bucephala albeola

^ Ruddy Duck- Oxyura jamaicensis

Quail: Odintophoridae

Scaled Quail- Callipepla squamata

Grebes: Podicipedidae

^ Eared Grebe- Podiceps nigricollis

^ Pied- billed Grebe- Podilymbus podiceps

^ Western Grebe- Aechmophorus occidentalis

Herons & Bitterns: Ardeidae

^ American Bittern- Botaurus lentiginosus

^ Black-crowned Night Heron- Nycticorax nycticorax

^ Green Heron- Butorides virescens

^ Great Blue Heron- Ardea herodias

Ibises: Threskiornithidae

^ White-faced Ibis- Plegadis chihi

Vultures: Cathartidae

Turkey Vulture- Cathartes aura

Hawks & Eagles: Accipitridae

Northern Harrier- Circus cyaneus

Golden Eagle- Aquila chrysaetos

^ Bald Eagle- Haliaeetus leucocephalus

^ Sharp-shinned Hawk- Accipter striatus

^ Cooper's Hawk- Accipter cooperii

Red-tailed Hawk- Buteo jamanicensis

^ Swainson's Hawk- Buteo swainsoni

^ Rough-legged Hawk- Buteo lagopus

Ferruginous Hawk- Buteo regalis

Rails & Coots: Rallidae

^ Virginia Rail- Rallus limicola

^ Sora- Porzana carolina

^ American Coot- Fulica americana

Avocets: Recurvirostridae

^ American Avocet- Recurvirostra americana

Plovers: Charadriidae

Killdeer- Charadrius vociferous

^ Mountain Plover- Charadrius montanus

Sandpiper: Scolopaciade

^ Willet- Tringa semipalmata

^ Lesser Yellowlegs- Tringa flavipes

^ Spotted Sandpiper- Actitus macularius

^ Western Sandpiper- Calidris mauri

^ Least Sandpiper- Calidris minutilla

^ Baird's Sandpiper- Calidris bairdii

^ Wilson's Snipe- Gallinago delicate

^ Wilson's Phalarope- Phalaropus tricolor

Gulls: Laridae

^ Ring-billed Gull- Larus delawarensis

Pigeons & Doves: Columbidae

Band-tailed Pigeon- Patagioenas fasiata

Rock Pigeon- Columba livia

Mourning Dove- Zenaida macroura

Eurasian Collared Dove- Streptopelia decaocto

Cuckoos & Roadrunners: Cuculidae

◊ * Yellow-billed Cuckoo- Coccyzus americana

Greater Roadrunner- Geococcyx californianus

Owls: Strigidae

Short-eared Owl- Asio flammeus

Long-eared Owl- Asio otus

Great-horned Owl- Bufo virginianus

Western Screech Owl- Megascops kennicotti

Burrowing Owl- Athene cuncularia

Nighthawks & Nightjars: Caprimulgidae

*Lesser Nighthawk- Chordeiles acutipennis

Common Nighthawk- Chordeiles minor

Common Poorwill- Phalaenoptilus nuttallii

Swifts: Apodidae

^ White-throated Swift- Aeronautes saxatalis

Hummingbirds: Trochilidae

Black-chinned Hummingbird- Archilochus alexandri

Anna's Hummingbird- Calypte anna

Broad-tailed Hummingbird- Selaphorus playcercus

Rufous Hummingbird- Selaphorus rufus

Woodpeckers: Picidae

Acorn Woodpecker- Melanerpes formicivorus

Lewis's Woodpecker- Melanerpes lewis

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)- Colaptes auratus

^ Williamson's Sapsucker- Sphyrapicus thyroideus

Red-naped Sapsucker- Sphyrapicus nuchalis

*Ladder-backed Woodpecker- Picoides scalaris

Downy Woodpecker- Picoides pubescens

Hairy Woodpecker- Picoides villosus

Falcons: Falconidae

American Kestrel- Falco sparveris

^ Merlin- Falco columbarius

Prairie Falcon- Falco mexicanus

Flycatchers: Tyrannidae

Olive-sided Flycatcher- Contopus cooperi

Western Wood-Pewee- Contopus sordidulus

◊ * Willow Flycatcher- Empidonax trailii

Hammond's Flycatcher- Empidonax hammondii

Gray Flycatcher- Empidonax wrightii

Dusky Flycatcher- Empidonax oberholseri

Cordilleran Flycatcher- Empidonax occidentalis

Black Phoebe- Sayornis nigricans

Say's Phoebe- Sayornis saya

*Vermillion Flycatcher- Pyrocephalus rubinus

Ash-throated Flycatcher- Myiarchus cinerascens

Cassin's Kingbird- Tyrannus vociferans

Western Kingbird-Tyrannus verticalus

Shrikes: Laniidae

Loggerhead Shrike- Lanius ludovicianus

Vireos: Vireonidae

Bell's Vireo- Vireo belli

^ Hutton's Vireo- Vireo huttoni

Gray Vireo- Vireo vicinior

^ Plumbeous Vireo- Vireo plumbeus

^ Warbling Vireo- Vireo gilvus

Jays & Crows: Corvidae

*Steller's Jay- Cyanocitta stelleri

*Clark's Nutcracker- Nucifraga columbiana

Western Scrub-Jay- Aphelocoma californica

Pinyon Jay- Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

American Crow- Corvus brachyrhychos

Common Raven- Corvus corax

Larks: Alaudidae

Horned Lark- Eremophila alpestris

Swallows: Hirundinidae

^ Tree Swallow- Tachycineta bicolor

^ Violet-green Swallow- Tachycineta thalassina

^ Bank Swallow- Riparia riparia

Cliff Swallow- Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

^ Northern Rough-winged Swallow- Stelgiddopteryx serripennis

Barn Swallow- Hirundo rustica

Chickadees & Titmice: Paridae

Juniper Titmouse- Baeolophus ridgwayi

Mountain Chickadee- Poecile gambeli

Bushtits: Aegithalidae

Bushtit-Psaltriparus minimus

Nuthatches: Sittidae

White-breasted Nuthatch- Sitta carolinensis

Red-breasted Nuthatch- Sitta canadensis

Pygmy Nuthatch- Sitta pygmaea

Creepers: Certhiidae

Brown Creeper- Certhia americana

Wrens: Troglodytidae

House Wren- Troglodytes aedon

Bewick's Wren- Thryomanes bewickii

Rock Wren- Salpinctes obosoletus

*Canyon Wren- Catherpes mexicanus

Marsh Wren- Cistothorus palustris

Gnatcatchers: Polioptilidae

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher- Polioptila caerulea

Kinglets: Regulidae

^ Golden-crowned Kinglet- Regulus satrapa

Ruby-crowned Kinglet- Regulus calendula

Thrushes: Turdidae

Western Bluebird- Sialia mexicana

Mountain Bluebird- Sialia currucoides

Townsend's Solitaire- Myadestes townsendi

^ Swainson's Thrush- Catharus ustulatus

^ Hermit Thrush- Catharus guttatus

American Robin- Turdus migratorius

Mockingbirds & Thrashers: Mimidae

Northern Mockingbird- Mimus polyglottos

Sage Thrasher- Oreoscoptes montanus

*Bendire's Thrasher- Toxostoma bendirei

*Curve-billed Thrasher- Toxostoma curviostre

Starlings: Strunidae

European Starling- Strunus vulgaris

Pipits: Motacillidae

American Pipit- Anthus rubescens

Waxwings: Bombycillidae

^ Cedar Waxwing- Bombycilla cedrorum

Silky Flycatchers: Ptilogonatidae

Phainopepla- Phainopepla nitens

Longspurs: Calcariidae

^ Chestnut-collared Longspur- Calcarius ornatus

Wood Warblers: Parulidae

^ Orange-crowned Warbler- Oreothlypis celata

^ Nashville Warbler- Oreothlypis ruficapilla

^ Virginia's Warbler- Oreothlypis virginiae

^ Lucy's Warbler- Oreothlypis luciae

Yellow-rumped Warbler- Setophaga coronata

^ Black-throated Gray Warbler- Setophaga nigrescens

^ Townsend's Warbler- Setophaga townsendi

^ Grace's Warbler- Setophaga graciae

^ Yellow Warbler- Setophaga petechia

^ MacGillivray's Warbler- Geothlypis tolmiei

^ Wilson's Warbler- Cardellina pusilla

^ Common Yellowthroat- Geothypis trichas

^ Yellow-breasted Chat- Icteria virens

Towhees & Sparrows: Emberizidae

^ Green-tailed Towhee- Pipilo chorurus

*Canyon Towhee- Pipilo fuscus

Spotted Towhee-Pipilo maculates

Rufous- crowned Sparrow- Aimophila ruficeps

Chipping Sparrow- Spizella passerina

Brewer's Sparrow- Spizella breweri

Lark Sparrow- Chondestes grammacus

Black-throated Sparrow- Artemisiospiza bilineata

Sage-brush Sparrow- Artemisiospiza nevadensis

^Lark Bunting- Calamospiza melanocorys

^ Savannah Sparrow- Passerculus sandwichensis

Lincoln's Sparrow- Melospiza lincolnii

Song Sparrow- Melospiza melodia

Vesper Sparrow- Pooecetes gramineus

White-crowned Sparrow- Zonotrichia leucophrus

Dark-eyed Junco- Junco hyemalis

Cardinals & Tanagers: Cardinalidae

^Summer Tanager- Piranga rubra

*Hepatic Tanager- Piranga flava

^Western Tanager- Piranga ludoviciana

^ Black-headed Grosbeak- Pheucticus melanocephalus

Blue Grosbeak- Passerina caerulea

Lazuli Bunting- Passerina amoena

Blackbirds: Icteridae

Eastern Meadowlark-Sturnella magna

Western Meadowlark- Sturnella neglecta

^ Yellow-headed Blackbird- Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

^ Red-winged Blackbird-Agelaius phoeniceus

Great-tailed Grackle- Quiscalus mexicanus

^ Brewer's Blackbird- Euphagus cyanocephalus

Brown-headed Cowbird- Molothrus ater

Bullock's Oriole- Icterus bullockii

Finches: Fringillidae

^ Cassin's Finch- Haemorhous cassinii

House Finch- Haemorhous mexicanus

^ Pine Siskin- Spinus pinus

American Goldfinch- Spinus tristis

Lesser Goldfinch- Spinus psaltria

*Evening Grosbeak- Coccothraustes vespertinus

Old World Sparrows: Passeridae

House Sparrow- Passer domesticus

References:

American Birding Association Comprehensive Checklist Version 7.5 -12/2013 www.aba.org

Van Riper III, C., and M. Lamow. 2006. A 2006 bird checklist for Petrified Forest National Park. A Century pf Research at Petrified Forest National Park: 1906-2006. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin No. 63.

Did You Know?

petroglyphs

In additon to the world class fossil record at Petrified Forest National Park, archeological resources are so abundant and so significant that they could stand alone within their own park!