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December 1932Volume 7, Number 9


By Edwin D. McKee, Park Naturalist

A SPECIMEN of nighthawk was collected in early July, 1932, just south of Grand Canyon village on the road to Williams. The specimen was identified by Dr. H. S. Oberhoiser as Chordeiles minor howelli. This is the first nighthawk from Grand Canyon to be definitely classified as to subspecies and differs from those recently collected around Flagstaff.

A lone Lewis's Woodpecker, Asyndesmus lewis was seen on a pinyon tree near Agave Flats, 2000 feet below the South Rim, on October 11, 1932. This is the first record of this species from Grand Canyon National Park since September, 1889, when Dr. C. Hart Merriam found it "tolerably common about spring on Tonto".

Large groups of White-throated Swift, Aeronautes s. saxatalis, were still flying about the upper parts of Grand Canyon in early October this year. They were in Hermit Basin on October 5th and near Yavapai Point on October 6th. This is nearly a month later than the latest date on which they are usually seen in the fall.


Migrating Shufeldt Juncos were first seen here (South-Rim) on October 8th this year; Cassin Purple Finches on October 25th. The great scarcity of the latter has been very noticeable.

Two bird records new to the Grand Canyon National Park have recently been established. While on a field trip with Dr. Alexander Wetmore of the U.S. National Museum on October 25th, the writer collected a specimen of Red-naped Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius nuchalis, near Hull Tank. On the following day a large hawk was seen above Indian Gardens which Dr. Wetmore identified as the Ferruginous Rough-legged Hawk, Buteo regalis. Both of these species had already been recorded from the Flagstaff region to the south, so were to be expected in the Grand Canyon area.


Several records of extreme interest have been obtained by the writer during field work down in the canyon this fall. The Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus, not previously recorded from the Grand Canyon or the plateau region to the south (1) was seen at the great bend of the Colorado River north of Desert View on October 29th. The striking white crest patch on the black fan of the drake's head was so apparent from the close approach that the writer was able to make, that there was no reason for doubt concerning the identification.

1. Jenks, Randolph, Ornithology of the Life Zones, Technical Bulletin No. 5.

On the following day the Northern Sage Sparrow, Amphispiza nevadensis nevadensis, and Baird's Wren, Thryomanes bewicki eremophilus, both recorded only comparatively few times in the region, were seen in Lava Canyon near the mouth of Chuar Creek.


A Horned Lark (subspecies could not be determined) near the Redwall, Kaibab Trail, on November 19th, and a Mallard Duck in Bright Angel Creek above Phantom Ranch on November 20th. are also interesting records.

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