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The Prescott Audubon Newsletter

May 2024

Upcoming Birding in May

Wednesday May 1 Mingus Mountain, Butterfly Springs (Waitlist)

Saturday May 4  Watson Woods Walk – 8:00 a.m.


Saturday June 1  Watson Woods Walk – 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday June 11 Birding Flagstaff – 6:00 a.m.

Wednesday June 19 Granite Creek Park Bird Sit– 8:00 a.m.

For More Information

Click here for Bird Walks at the Lookout

From the PAS Board--Survey Results and A Plea

The results of our member survey are in! If you recall, the survey asked you which PAS programs you find most important. With the results of this survey as our guide, we can focus our efforts on what matters most to all of us at PAS.

Survey Results: The “Most Important” activities identified in the survey were:

1. PAS-organized field trips

2. Window on Nature live speaker programs

3. A tie between Monthly Bird Walks and Surveys/CBCs/Community Science.

You may not even know about some of our other programs. They include the Kestrel and Wood Duck nestbox projects, our Scholarship program for college-level students interested in the natural world, “Feed the Feeder”, where we provide birdseed for senior centers, Important Bird Area and Cuckoo surveys, Audubon Adventures, and our Bird-a-thon fundraiser. And  don’t forget the website and “Wingtips” – the newsletter you are reading right now! Our board of directors oversees all this, and we have strong program teams who run them. We will move forward, emphasizing the survey results.  

Changes are inevitable in an all-volunteer organization. We have two that need attention right now. They are:

Board of directors: Two members are stepping down. Nancy Hinson will be stepping down as Board President at the end of the term in June. Nancy says, “My husband’s health is affecting my ability to remain on the Board. It has been a pleasure to meet and work with everyone and I intend to stay involved with PAS.” And, after seven years of service to PAS, Maria Icenogle has made the decision to step down as well. Maria says, “While it has been a privilege to serve PAS in this capacity, it’s time to create space for other opportunities and allow someone else to step into this role. I appreciate friendships made through PAS and intend to stay involved with the chapter.”

Window on Nature: If any of you are willing to help, we need suggestions for speakers and program coordinators. We would love to offer these speaker events 6 or 7 times a year, but we won’t be able to unless we get some help from our members.  If you are thinking of a speaker or topic you would like to make happen, please contact us at

So, our plea. Can you offer some of your energy to PAS? What would you like to do? To entice you – these programs are rewarding, and the PAS team all get along well. This is not a job, it’s a chance to lean in for a while or a moment to help birds and their habitat, to help PAS stay at its best, and to meet other bird enthusiasts and friends.  On your next field trip, talk to PAS folks about this. Or send an email to with your questions or suggestions. Thanks!  

April 13 North shore Willow Lake Field Trip Report

Seven of us explored the Approach and Basin trails on the north side of Willow Lake, finding 35 species. We had hoped to see Crissal Thrashers, and we did get brief looks as they perched up briefly, ran and skulked deep in some brush. They treated us to their lovely song, and we talked about how it was different from a Northern Mockingbird's. Other highlights were a Zone-tailed Hawk, Cassin's Vireo and heard-only Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. The complete list of species is here:

If you decide to check out these trails with their varied chaparral and oak/pine habitat, please be prepared for some short steep slickrock sections and pay attention to the "you are here" trail signs. As migration continues, this is a very promising area! 

Used by permission from author Rosemary Mosco,

Of Interest to PAS

Attention Prescott Audubon Gardeners

The traditional last frost date for our area is Mother’s Day or mid-May. It is getting close to time to plant some natives for our birds, butterflies and other pollinators. One of the places to get some of those native plants is at the Highlands Center Grow Native Plant Sale which is ongoing right now. Online ordering ends on May 1, with plant pick-up on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. Although the online plant sale has just a few plants, the live plant sale on the two days of plant pick-up will have lots more. 

If you don’t see anything in the online sale be sure to come out to the Highlands Center on May 3 or 4 and pick out some new pollinator plants for your garden from the live plant sale!

And if you are interested in garden design and how those plants fit into your space, buy a ticket for the Yavapai County Master Gardeners Garden Tour on Saturday, June 15. Four gardens will be on display; two in Prescott and two in Prescott Valley. Master Gardeners will be in the gardens to answer questions and give information on the special features of each garden. Learn more about native plants, composting, and rainwater harvesting. Tickets will be sold at various places in the quad-cities area. A $20.00 ticket permits entry to all four gardens. For more information go to the Yavapai County Extension website: and click on “Prescott Area Garden Tour-June 15, 2024” in the gray box. Submitted by Jo Glaves

"The ACT UP and 69 Corridor Master Plan Surveys await your participation! As these projects move forward, let's insist on establishing wildlife connectivity and habitat protection by regional agencies and municipalities."

This is from Save the Dells' April 23 Facebook post. "We thought you'd like to learn about some changes you may be seeing at our beautiful Watson and Willow Lakes and why."

As we enter spring, the City of Prescott begins its annual surface water recharge from Watson and Willow Lakes. This means, that starting April 1st, surface water is moved from the lakes and transported to the recharge basins at the Airport Water Reclamation Facility for recharge back into the ground. Recharge will begin first at Willow Lake because of impending sewer main upgrades along the Willow Lake corridor. The lake will be reduced to approximately 9.5 feet below the spillway, which is well below normal conditions. This will allow areas around the lake to dry in anticipation of sewer work in the area beginning in August 2024. Once Willow Lake reaches this level, recharge efforts will cease at Willow Lake and move to Watson Lake. Watson Lake water level is currently 1.5 feet below the spillway. Once recharge begins, it will continue until the lake water level is approximately 3 feet below the spillway, which is 1.5 feet below the current level. Upon reaching this goal, recharge will cease from both lakes until monsoon moisture arrives.

The water levels at the Upper and Lower Goldwater Lakes will be lowered to the summer recreation level of 3 feet below the spillway. The Goldwater release flows are currently feeding into Granite Creek and from there into Watson Lake. Once all the lakes reach these levels, the city will reevaluate the surface water supply and either continue surface water recharge or stop for the season. The city may legally recharge surface water until November 30th. The City endeavors to balance the needs of surface water recharge, lake health, and recreational uses." Submitted by Joanne Oellers

Prescott College has remodeled one of its buildings and is holding its inaugural art show there this coming month. The opening will be on Thursday, May 2 from 4:30-6 at what is now called the Cicada building (used to be the DES building) at 234 Grove in Prescott. Then the building will be open for visitors on Monday through Friday, 10-noon and 1-4 from May 3 - 30.
The artists will be Jan Marshall; Rebecca Davis/Roger Asay; Tony Brown; and Walt Anderson. The show is called The Nature of Art: From Abstract to Figurative If you want to attend the opening, please contact Abby Yost:

Someone will be in attendance during the open hours of the gallery. I have volunteered to be there on Thursdays (May 9, 16, 23, and 30) and would love to see PAS friends at any of those times. Submitted by Walt Anderson

Please visit the PAS FB Group page for more information, as well as fabulous photos and articles from Walt Anderson

Sedona Hummingbird Festival July 26-28, 2024

Visit our website for more information

The International Hummingbird Society