West to Oracle: Samuel Rhoads in Arizona
One of the earliest traveling birders to visit southeast Arizona was Samuel N. Rhoads, a well-known New Jersey observer who spent five weeks in Pima and Pinal counties in the summer of 1891. In just over a month's birding and collecting, he recorded 126 species, most of them represented by specimens secured in the canyons of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Oracle. Many of the birds Rhoads recorded are still common and expected in the area today. Others are much rarer.