aba events

IFO: Winter Sparrows of the Southwest

Winter Sparrows of the Southwest – IFOWhen: December 5-10, 2013
Where: Sierra Vista, Arizona
How Much: $1395 per person (add $320 for single-room supplement)
Limit: 6 people
Instructor: Homer Hansen
For more INFO
: email us at: events@aba.org, or call at (800) 850-2473

Southeastern Arizona is home to many resident species of breeding sparrows and a favored location for migrants to overwinter. We will visit semi-desert grasslands and riparian woodlands to observe the behavior and habitat selection of over 20 species of sparrows, towhees, and longspurs. Daily outings will be followed by classroom presentations on identification, vocalizations, ecology, natural history, and conservation. Potential highlights include Cassin’s, Rufous-winged, Black-chinned, and Baird’s Sparrows and Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspurs. Other birds of interest that may be seen include Ferruginous Hawk, Scaled Quail, Bendire’s Thrasher, and Mountain Plover.

Note: Significant increase of the price of gasoline MAY require a fuel surcharge of up to $25 per person
Workshop Details:
Visit http://www.aplomado.com/IFO_sparrow_workshop.html for additional details and the December 2012 IFO species list.

To see some of the highlights from last year see the Summary and Species List:
Winter Sparrows IFO Dec 2012 Summary
Winter Sparrow IFO Dec 2012 Species List


Thursday, December 5th

Prior to 6 pm
Arrive and check-in at lodgings near Tucson International Airport (TUS)
Meet other workshop participants and instructor. Dinner at Lodgings.
7:00-7:30 pm
Introductions and brief overview of IFO.
7:30 pm and after
Remainder of evening free.

Friday, December 6th

6:00 am – 7:00 am
Breakfast and then load luggage to depart for Sierra Vista.
7:00 am – 2:30 pm
Depart for Sierra Vista with stops at Sweetwater Wetlands and Catalina State Park en route.
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Arrive at Sierra Vista lodgings, unload luggage, and settle in.
3:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Classroom session on identification of southwestern sparrows, towhees, and longspurs presenting behavior, structure, and plumage at the genus and species level, with details for notable sub-species.
6pm and after
Dinner with remainder of evening free.

Saturday, December 7th

6:00 am – 7:00 am
7:00 am – 2:30 pm
Field trip with stops in the Huachuca Mountains and San Pedro River National Conservation Area.
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Return to lodgings and refresh.
3:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Classroom session on vocalizations with an introduction to significant components of sparrow songs and how to recognize them. The session includes numerous auditory examples and comparisons.
6:00 pm and after
Dinner with remainder of evening free.

Sunday, December 8th

5:00 am – 6:00 am
6:00 am – 3:00 pm
Field trip with stops in BLM Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, Patagonia, and grasslands of the San Rafael Valley.
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Return to lodgings and refresh.
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Classroom session on natural history of Emberizids and Calcariids, including historical and modern day habitat uses and important conservation considerations for grassland species.
6:00 pm and after
Dinner with remainder of evening free.

Monday, December 9th

5:30 am – 6:30 am
Breakfast and then load luggage.
6:30 am – 3:30 pm
Field trip in the Sulphur Springs Valley with stops at Whitewater Draw and the Dragoon Mountains.
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Return to lodgings near Tucson International Airport (TUS).
6pm and after
Conclusion of Winter Sparrows of the Southwest IFO workshop.

Tuesday, December 10th

11:00 am
Checkout time for Tucson lodgings.

About the Instructor

Homer Hansen has been birding for nearly two decades in the southwest and grew up surrounded by Sandhill Cranes in winter and Cassin’s Sparrows in summer. He is a native of Willcox, Arizona and has been the chairman of the annual Wings Over Willcox Birding & Nature Festival for over a decade. Homer is the author of the G.I.S.S. Series bird identification guides and is a regular presenter and trip leader for birding festivals, Audubon societies, and birding organizations. Homer also instructs numerous birding workshops on sparrows, raptors, flycatchers, warblers, birding by ear, and bird ecology, including the Moving to Mastery courses for the Tucson Audubon Society and the Southwestern Sparrows IFO for the American Birding Association. Homer loves the outdoors and watching birds, and especially enjoys the challenges of complex identifications and learning about the nature of birds. Homer earned his B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona and now is the president and owner of Aplomado Environmental providing services to characterize and remove contaminants from soil and groundwater.