IBA Program Resources

Regularly surveyed IBA routes are now only surveyed 4 times a year with an optional 5th survey in winter. All surveys are transects, we are no longer regularly conducting point counts. The following schedule is designed for a mid-elevation area in southern Arizona. There are locations that have a tailored schedule or survey type. If you believe your route would benefit from a different schedule or protocol, please let one of the two IBA offices know.

Arizona IBA regular survey schedule:

  1. April – for spring migrants and early nesters
  2. Late May/Early June – spring breeders
  3. Late July – summer breeders
  4. Late August/Early September – fall migrants
  5. Optional November/December Survey -  wintering birds

Tools for Conducting Bird Surveys

AZ IBA Bird Survey Protocol DocumentThe current protocol for conducting the different surveys.

Video discussing the Arizona IBA Bird Survey Protocol


Line Transect Datasheet – the datasheet for a line transect, you should bring at least 5 copies to your survey
Point Count Datasheet - the datasheet for a point count, you should bring a sheet for each point count
Point Count (100m, 5 min.) Datasheet – a datasheet for the specialized 5 minute point count survey
Area Search – datasheet for an area search, you should bring at least 5 copies
Census Datasheet- datasheet for a census of a pond or other water body, you should bring at least 3 copies
Nocturnal Datasheet – datasheet for a nocturnal point count
Code Sheet
– reference sheet of the various codes that are helpful to record behavior etc.
Universal CoversheetEvery survey must have a cover sheet recording the survey location, the date, the start and stop time, the names of surveyors (with the recorder marked) and the volunteer hours and miles.

Species Codes – a reference sheet of the 4 letter codes of bird species that occur in Arizona. You do not need to use these codes if you don’t want to, your own easy to understand abbreviations are fine, but these codes really speed up your recording, especially for very common birds such as MODO for Mourning Dove and LEGO for Lesser Goldfinch

IBA Nomination Materials:

IBA Nomination Form - The official form used to nominate an IBA and submit to the AZ IBA Science Committee
Bird Data Form Extra - Separated data form from nomination
IBA Site Criteria - A reference sheet of the criteria a site needs to meet to become an IBA
Land Ownership Guidelines - Protocol on how to approach a land owner about their land being nominated as an IBA
Arizona Special Status Species - a spreadsheet of the species that have special conservation status

Current Arizona IBA information

Arizona IBAs – a list of the IBAs in Arizona
Potential future AZ IBAs – a list of areas identified as potential IBAs for the future by AZ IBA staff and volunteers

Avian Community Investigations of the BHP Billiton San Pedro River Riparian Corridor, San Manuel, Arizona, for 2009
(pdf report, 15mb) Newly released April 2010!

Studies to Asses the Upland Bird Community, Nocturnal Bird Community, and Gray Hawk nesting within the BHP Billiton property along the lower San Pedro River, San Manuel, Arizona, in 2011
(pdf report, low resoluntion) Newly released August 2011!
*If you would like a higher quality pdf version, please contact us.

To participate in science-based IBA bird surveys managed by Audubon’s IBA Program in Arizona, including surveys at potential IBAs, existing IBAs, or at sites of interest to Audubon chapters in AZ, please contact Jennie MacFarland, AZ IBA Program Conservation Biologist at Tucson Audubon Society (520) 209-1804. Email: jmacfarland@tucsonaudubon.org

To inquire about the AZ IBA Program in general, including the IBA nomination and review process, the AZ IBA Science Committee, IBAs identified to date, and IBA recognition & publicity, as well as Audubon state policy issues, please contact Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Arizona (620) 468-6470 x106. Email: tsupplee@audubon.org

Azure Bluebird at Apache Springs by Jim Dolph

Azure Bluebird Nest Box Program

Your one-stop location for all things Azure Bluebird. Maps of all the box locations: Google Map of the sites Sonoita Vineyard Kief-Joshua Vineyard Callaghan Vineyard Hannah’s Hill Vineyard Hops + Vines Las Cienegas NCA Apache Springs Ranch (now Boulder Crest Retreat) Harshaw …

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Bendire’s Thrasher Volunteer Surveys

2017 Information Training Video on 2017 Area Search protocol   2016 Information Bendire’s Thrashers need your help! Data shows this species is in steep decline and Arizona is a large part of their remaining range. Citizen-science volunteer point count surveys …

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Landscapes of the ReMM by Jen Mackay

Birds Beyond Borders – Partnership with ReMM and Arizona IBA

Coming Soon

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Grassland Guide Cover Image

Bringing Birds Home – Landowner Habitat Improvement Guides

The Arizona Important Bird Areas Program along with its partners, Arizona Game and Fish, Tucson Audubon, Audubon Arizona present two Habitat Management Guides. Below are links to PDFs for both the Grasslands guide and the Riparian Guide. There is a …

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eBird Global Big Day – May 13, 2017

Tucson Audubon and Arizona Important Bird Areas in partnership with Arizona Field Ornithologists are helping out with the upcoming eBird Global Big Day on May 14, 2016. We are coordinating this effort in Pima and Santa Cruz counties to help …

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Elegant Trogon in Corral Canyon Patagonia Mountains by Laurens Halsey May 2014

Elegant Trogon Surveys of Sky Islands in Southeast Arizona

2018 Elegant Trogon Survey Results See an interactive map of all results on a Google MyMaps Here! Scroll down for 2017 results. Total Elegant Trogons counted in AZ during 2018 survey period: 183 Results by Range and Route for 2018 …

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Help Monitor Wildlife Areas with eBird

Go Birding in Wildlife Areas for Conservation We need birders to help us monitor Wildlife Areas within Important Bird Areas. It will be very simple, any morning of your choice you go birding and then enter your observations into eBird …

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Lucy’s Warbler Study – nestboxes, nest searching and foraging

Tucson Audubon is launching an initiative to learn more about Lucy’s Warbler nesting needs as well as study how effective different nestbox designs can be for these charismatic warblers. The Lucy’s Warbler (Oreothlypis luciae) is North America’s smallest cavity nesting …

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Winter Trogon Surveys – Sign up for an area to search

For the first time Tucson Audubon and the Arizona IBA program are organizing a winter survey for Elegant Trogons in SE Arizona. These charismatic birds are famously present in lush canyons of this region’s Sky Island mountain ranges during the …

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Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Survey Crew Resource Page 2018

This will be our main hub for this project in July – August 2018 as we survey 9 total routes in the three SE Arizona “Sky Island” areas: Santa Catalina Mountains (north of Tucson) Whetstone Mountains (southeast of Tucson) Chiricahua …

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