Birds

Avocet standing in grass
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) is found in the park from March through September and breeds annually in the effluent ponds in the park.  It is a large sandpiper with an upturned bill found mostly west of the Mississippi River and along the gulf and east coasts.

NPS/Andy Bridges

 

The Petrified Forest National Park, like many national parks and protected areas for wildlife, provides habitat important to both resident and migratory bird species. The park’s rich cottonwood/willow riparian corridor along the Rio Puerco, thousands or acres of grassland and shrubland, juniper woodlands on mesa tops, and small areas of urban habitat provide for the needs of 258 bird species. There are many year-round resident species such as Common Raven, House Finch, Greater Roadrunner, Horned Lark, and Red-tailed Hawk, winter residents such as Dark-eyed Junco, Mountain Bluebird, and White-crowned Sparrow, and summer residents including Barn Swallow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Burrowing Owl, and Lark Sparrow. August and September are the best times to see migratory species including Rufous Hummingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and almost a dozen warbler species.

Observing birds is a fun hobby, and opportunity to observe nature, and an important area of research to help us understand our world. To learn more about how Petrified Forest is a place for birds and to learn how the park is studying these amazing animals, please explore: http://go.nps.gov/pefobirds.

 
Bird List for Petrified Forest National Park (as of September 2018). Codes at end of list.
COMMON NAME (alphabetic within group) SCIENTIFIC NAME Park Status Abundance Residency
DUCKS, GEESE, and SWANS
American Wigeon Mareca americana P O m
Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors P O m
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola P O m
Canada Goose Branta canadensis P O m
Cinnamon Teal Spatula cyanoptera P O m
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula P O m
Gadwall Mareca strepera P O v
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons U UK u
Green-winged Teal Anas crecca P O m
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis P Oa m
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos P R m
Northern Pintail Anas acuta P O m
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata P O m
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris P O m
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis P O m
UPLAND GAME BIRDS
Scaled Quail Callipepla squamata P C by
LOONS and GREBES
Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis P O m
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus P Oa v
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps P R m
Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis P O m
PELICANS
American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos P O m
WADING BIRDS
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus P O m
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax P O m
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis P Oa m
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias P O m
Great Egret Ardea alba P Oa m
Green Heron Butorides virescens P O m
Snowy Egret Egretta thula P Oa m
White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi P O m
HAWKS and VULTURES
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus P Oa v
Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii P R bs
Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis P O r
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos P UC by
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis U UK u
Northern Harrier Circus hudsonius P C r
Osprey Pandion haliaetus P Oa v
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis P C by
Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus P O m
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus P R bs
Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni P UC bs
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura P R bs
RAILS and COOTS
American Coot Fulica americana P O m
Sora Porzana carolina P O m
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola P Oa v
SHOREBIRDS
American Avocet Recurvirostra americana P C by
American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica P UK u
Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii P O m
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago P O m
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus P C by
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla P O m
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes P O m
Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus P Oa m
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus P O m
Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus P O m
Semipalmated Plover Calidris pusilla P UK u
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria P UK u
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius P O m
Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda P Oa m
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri P Oa m
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus P O m
Willet Tringa semipalmata P O m
Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor P O m
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca P R m
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus P O m
Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus P O u
GULLS
Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan P Oa v
Herring Gull Larus argentatus P Oa v
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis P O v
PIGEONS and DOVES
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata P R u
Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto P A b
Inca Dove Columbina inca P Oa v
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura P C by
Rock Pigeon Columba livia P UC u
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica U UK u
CUCKOOS
Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus P UC by
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus H1 UK u
OWLS
Barn Owl Tyto alba P O v
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia P UC bs
Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus P UC by
Long-eared Owl Asio otus P R by
Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus P O u
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus P R by
Western Screech-Owl Megascops kennicottii P R by
NIGHTJARS
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor P C bs
Common Poorwill Phalaenoptilus nuttallii P R u
Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis U UK u
SWIFTS
Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi P Oa v
White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis P O m
HUMMINGBIRDS
Allen’s Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin P Oa v
Anna’s Hummingbird Calypte anna P O v
Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri P UC m
Broad-tailed Hummingbird Selasphorus platycercus P UC m
Calliope Hummingbird Selasphorus calliope P Oa m
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus P UC m
KINGFISHERS
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon P Oa v
WOODPECKERS
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus P O m
Downy Woodpecker Dryobates pubescens P O u
Hairy Woodpecker Dryobates villosus P O u
Ladder-backed Woodpecker Dryobates scalaris P Oa v
Lewis’s Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis P O m
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus P C by
Red-naped Sapsucker Sphyrapicus nuchalis P C r
Williamson’s Sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus P O r
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius P O r
FALCONS
American Kestrel Falco sparverius P C by
Merlin Falco columbarius P R m
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus U UK u
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus P R by
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS
Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens P UC bs
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans P R m
Cassin’s Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans P UC bs
Cordilleran Flycatcher Empidonax occidentalis P UC m
Dusky Flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri P R m
Gray Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii P O u
Hammond’s Flycatcher Empidonax hammondii P O m
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe P Oa v
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi P UC m
Say’s Phoebe Sayornis saya P C by
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus P Oa v
Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis P C bs
Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus P UC m
SHRIKES
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus P A by
VIREOS
Bell’s Vireo Vireo bellii U UK u
Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassinii P O m
Gray Vireo Vireo vicinior U UK u
Hutton’s Vireo Vireo huttoni P Oa m
Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus U UK v
Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus P R m
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus P R m
CROWS and JAYS
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos P O by
Black-billed Magpie Pica hudsonia P Oa v
Chihuahuan Raven Corvus cryptoleucus U UK u
Clark’s Nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana P Oa v
Common Raven Corvus corax P C by
Pinyon Jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus P O m
Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri P O m
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma woodhouseii P R u
LARKS
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris P A by
SWALLOWS
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia P O m
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica P UC bs
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota P C bs
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis P R m
Purple Martin Progne subis P Oa v
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor P O m
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina P R m
CHICKADEES and ALLIES
Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus P C by
Juniper Titmouse Baeolophus ridgwayi P O u
Mountain Chickadee Poecile gambeli P O m
NUTHATCHES and CREEPERS
Brown Creeper Certhia americana P O m
Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea P Oa m
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis P UC m
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis P O m
WRENS
Bewick’s Wren Thryomanes bewickii P O u
Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus H2 UK u
House Wren Troglodytes aedon P O m
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris P O m
Pacific Wren Troglodytes pacificus U UK u
Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus P C by
GNATCATCHERS and KINGLETS
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher Polioptila melanura P O m
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea P UC m
Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa P R m
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula P UC m
THRUSHES
American Robin Turdus migratorius P C r
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus P UC m
Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides P UC r
Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus P O m
Townsend’s Solitaire Myadestes townsendi P R r
Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana P R r
MOCKINGBIRDS and THRASHERS
American Pipit Anthus rubescens P O m
Bendire’s Thrasher Toxostoma bendirei P R bs
Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum P Oa v
Crissal Thrasher Toxostoma crissale P UC r
Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre P O by
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris P C by
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis P O u
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos P C bs
Sage Thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus P UC by
WAXWINGS and SILKY FLYCATCHERS
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus P Oa m
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum P R m
Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens P Oa u
WOOD WARBLERS
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla P O m
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia P O m
Black-throated Gray Warbler Setophaga nigrescens P R m
Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica P Oa v
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas P O m
Grace’s Warbler Setophaga graciae P O m
Hermit Warbler Setophaga occidentalis P O m
Kentucky Warbler Geothlypis formosa P Oa v
Lucy’s Warbler Oreothlypis luciae P O m
MacGillivray’s Warbler Geothlypis tolmiei P C m
Nashville Warbler Oreothlypis ruficapilla P O m
Northern Parula Setophaga americana P O m
Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis P O m
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata P C m
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla P O m
Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum P Oa v
Red-faced Warbler Cardellina rubrifrons P Oa v
Townsend’s Warbler Setophaga townsendi P O m
Virginia’s Warbler Oreothlypis virginiae P Oa m
Wilson's Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus P UC m
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia P R m
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens P Oa m
Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata P C m
EMBERIZINE SPARROWS
Abert's Towhee Melozone aberti F UK u
American Tree Sparrow Spizelloides arborea P O u
Baird’s Sparrow Centronyx bairdii P O v
Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata P A bs
Brewer’s Sparrow Euphagus cyanocephalus P O u
Canyon Towhee Melozone fusca P R by
Cassin’s Sparrow Peucaea cassinii P O u
Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus P Oa m
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina P O m
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis P C r
Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca P O u
Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus P R m
Harris's Sparrow Zonotrichia querula P C m
Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys P R m
Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus P R bs
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii P O m
Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps P O u
Sagebrush Sparrow Artemisiospiza nevadensis P C r
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis P O v
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia P O r
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus P R m
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus P O m
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys P C r
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis P O m
Yellow-eyed Junco Junco phaeonotus F UK u
CARDINALS
Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus P UC m
Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea P UC bs
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava P Oa v
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea P O m
Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena P C m
Painted Bunting Passerina ciris P Oa v
Pyrrhuloxia Cardinalis sinuatus P Oa v
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus P Oa m
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea P Oa v
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra P Oa v
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana P UC m
ORIOLES and BLACKBIRDS
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula P UK v
Brewer’s Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus P R m
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater P UC bs
Bullock’s Oriole Icterus bullockii P C bs
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna P C bs
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus P C bs
Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus U Oa v
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus P O m
Scott’s Oriole Icterus parisorum P Oa v
Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta P C bs
Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus P O m
FINCHES and ALLIES
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis P O m
Cassin's Finch Haemorhous cassinii P O m
Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus P R r
House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus P C by
House Sparrow Passer domesticus P C by
Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria P UC bs
Pine Siskin Spinus pinus P O m
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra P Oa v
 
CODES:
PARK STATUS
P PRESENT: Species present in the park.
H HISTORIC: Species historical occurrence in the park is documented, but recent investigations indicate that the species is now probably absent
U UNCONFIRMED: Included for the park based on weak “unconfirmed record” giving minimal indication of the species occurrence in the park.
F FALSE REPORT: Species previously recorded to occur within the park, but current evidence indicates that the report was based on misidentification.
ABUNDANCE
A ABUNDANT: Easily seen daily in relatively large numbers in appropriate season and habitat.
C COMMON: Easily seen daily in appropriate season and habitat, but not in large numbers.
UC UNCOMMON: Likely to be seen weekly or monthly in appropriate season and habitat. May be locally common.
R RARE: Present, but usually seen only a few times each year.
O OCCASIONAL: Occasionally or sporadically seen, but not observed in the park every year.
UK UNKNOWN: Abundance unknown.
Abundance details: Species marked with “Oa” have been sighted in the park fewer than 3 times in the last 40 years.
RESIDENCY STATUS
b BREEDER: Species that reproduces, or probably reproduces, in the park.
r RESIDENT: A significant population is maintained in the park for more than two months of each year, but it is not known to breed there.
m MIGRATORY: Migratory species that occur in the park approximately two months or less each year (usually spring and fall), and do not breed there.
v VAGRANT: Park is outside of the species’ usual range.
u UNKNOWN: Residency status in the park is unknown.
Residency details: Species marked with “by” are breeders present in the park year-round; “bs” species are present during the summer breeding season (Mar.-Aug.) but not year-round. Species marked with “r” are present in winter (usually Oct.–Feb.) but not year-round. Species marked with “v” may be designated “unknown” in the national database.
 

References:

Bridges, A. E. 2018. Checklist 80 Common Birds Petrified Forest National Park.
Chesser, R. T., K. J. Burns, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., D. F. Stotz, B. M. Winger, and K. Winker. 2018. Check-list of North American Birds (online). American Ornithological Society. http://checklist.aou.org/taxa
ebird.org. Accepted eBird checklists submitted by park staff and visitors. Accessed 9-24-2018.
iNaturalist.org. Research-grade observations from iNaturalist submitted by park staff and visitors. Accessed 9-24-2018.
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.

Last updated: September 27, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us