Western Tanager 


French Joe Canyon & SE AZ
May 17-19 - 65-92 degrees
- Henry Detwiler

Bob, Suzanne, the girls, and I took a trip to look for the Rufous-capped Warbler.  
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

French Joe Canyon 

We drove the long drive from Yuma to the end of the French Joe Canyon road on Friday evening, and set up camp in the dark.  A Whiskered Screech-Owl serenaded us all night.


The next morning at dawn, Suzanne, Bob, and I set off up the trail.  Broad-tailed Hummingbirds were flocking around the water trough, giving off their shrill wing whistle.  Other birds made the hour hike up to the upper springs quite enjoyable.

Bob next to the Upper Spring

Suzanne looking out over the Upper Spring


Once we reached the upper springs, we were happy to see both water and a wonderful bed of Yellow Columbines.  Bob spotted the Rufous-capped Warbler among the flowers, and we all got fantastic looks at it.  Hopefully our slides will come out--especially since it was very tame!  It worked the flowers, and then disappeared from view.




Yellow Columbine

A few minutes later I saw the same one, or it's mate, and also heard a snippet of song.  After that point we lost track of the bird.  Fortunately many other species were also visiting the springs.  We had fine looks at Black-chinned Sparrow, 3 species of towhee, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Cordilleran Flycatcher.


On the way down we stopped to photograph some of the few blooming cacti.  We also watched Cardinals, Scott's Orioles, and Ash-throated Flycatchers.  It was a beautiful walk, and we bumped into two other sets of birders seeking the warblers.


Prickly Pear Cactus bloom

Henry on an Arizona Sycamore, Ash Canyon

That night we camped in Ash Canyon, and the following morning we awoke to the calls of Elegant Trogon, flycatchers (Sulphur-bellied, Dusky, and Brown-crested), Bridled Titmice, and Bewick's Wrens.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the cave at Coronado National Monument, and found this nesting Canyon Wren at the mouth of the cavern.  A stop for lunch at Marsh Station Road added Yellow-breasted Chat, Bell's Vireo, and Lucy's & MacGillivray's & Yellow Warblers.

Canyon Wren on nest-Coronado National Monument

French Joe Canyon and SE AZ, 17-19 2002
# Species
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Mallard
3 Turkey Vulture
4 Swainson's Hawk
5 Red-tailed Hawk
6 Sharp-shinned Hawk
7 Gambel's Quail
8 Mourning Dove
9 Rock Dove
10 Inca Dove
11 White-winged Dove
12 Greater Roadrunner
13 Elf Owl
14 Great Horned Owl
15 Whiskered Screech Owl
16 Common Poorwill
17 Whip-poor-will
18 White-throated Swift
19 Anna's Hummingbird
20 Broad-tailed Hummingbird
21 Elegant Trogon
22 Strickland's Woodpecker
23 Gila Woodpecker
24 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
25 Black Phoebe
26 Western Kingbird
27 W. Wood Pewee
28 Vermilion Flycatcher
29 Sulphur-bellied Flycatchr
30 Brown-crested Flycatcher
31 Ash-throated Flycatcher
32 Cordilleran Flycatcher
33 Cassin's Kingbird
34 Dusky-capped Flycatcher
35 Violet-green Swallow
36 Barn Swallow
37 Cliff Swallow
38 Northern Rough-winged Swallow


# Species
39 Scrub Jay
40 Chihuahuan Raven
41 Mexican Jay
42 Bridled Titmouse
43 Verdin
44 Bushtit
45 White-breasted Nuthatch
46 Canyon Wren
47 Bewick's Wren
48 Cactus Wren
49 Swainson's Thrush
50 Northern Mockingbird
51 European Starling
52 Bell's Vireo
53 Hutton's Vireo
54 Plumbeous Vireo
55 Warbling Vireo
56 Macgillivray's Warbler
57 Rufous-capped Warbler
58 Common Yellowthroat
59 Lucy's Warbler
60 Wilson's Warbler
61 Black-throated Gray Warbler
62 Scott's Oriole
63 Western Tanager
64 Bullock's Oriole
65 Hooded Oriole
66 Great-tailed Grackle
67 Eastern Meadowlark
68 Brown-headed Cowbird
69 Spotted Towhee
70 Green-tailed Towhee
71 Canyon Towhee
72 Abert's Towhee
73 Black-chinned Sparrow
74 Cardinal
75 Black-headed Grosbeak
76 Lesser Goldfinch
77 House Finch

Photos Henry D. Detwiler