Bridled Titmouse, Madera Canyon


SE Arizona - Mt. Lemmon, Madera Canyon, & Kino Springs
3-4 July 2006
by Henry Detwiler

Suzanne & I spent a wonderful pair of days birding Mt. Lemmon, the Santa Rita Mountains, and near-by areas, finding many of our SE Arizona specialties
species -- bird list is at the bottom of the page
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized photos.   

We started off the day taking Gaby to the Phoenix airport and setting her on her way to Minnesota, to visit her aunt, uncle, and grandparents.  Then we headed down to Tucson and up Mt. Lemmon.  We were fortunate to find Olive, Red-faced, and Grace's Warblers, some of them at eye level!  Hail and rain greeted us at the very top, and in the early afternoon we drove down the mountain towards the Santa Ritas.

Red-faced Warbler, Mt. Lemmon

Lesser Goldfinch, Madera Canyon

A thunderstorm was hanging over these mountains, too.  Under the dark clouds we found both Rufous-winged and Botteri's Sparrows along Continental Road.  Varied Bunting was a welcome find along Proctor Road, as was a Brown-crested Flycatcher.  At the Chuparosa Lodge we added multiple hummingbird species and these Lesser Goldfinches.
We checked into the Santa Rita Lodge, ate some fine steaks, watched a Black Bear strolling up canyon through our picture window, and then came out to greet the owls.  This baby Elf Owl was being fed by its mother in a telephone pole next to the parking lot.  We walked up to the amphitheater parking lot and after a while heard Whiskered Screech-Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, and Whip-Poor-Will. 

Elf Owl, Santa Rita Lodge



Flame-colored Tanager, Madera Canyon
On Tuesday morning, the 4th of July, we hiked up to the Kubo cabins, where we watched Blue Grosbeaks, Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, and Hepatic Tanagers.  Finally, the male Flame-colored Tanager flew in to the top of a tree and sang his heart out.  This digiscoped shot isn't very good, but gives you an idea of the bird's vibrant colors.

Hiking up the Vault Mine Trail at the top of Madera Canyon, we heard Hermit Thrushes and Elegant Trogons.  Then some helpful birders told us about the trogon nest, and some other folks showed it to us.  We watched as both the male and female trogons brought some juicy caterpillars to the hole and fed their young.

Elegant Trogon & nest hole, Madera Canyon

Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Paton's Home


At Mrs. Paton's we watched a slew of hummingbirds tending the feeders, including this handsome Violet-crowned Hummingbird. 

Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Displaying the violet crown!

The most common hummingbird by far at the Paton's was the Broad-billed.  The males were too busy bullying each other  for good pictures this time, but this beautiful female was cooperative.  Blue Grosbeaks, Bronzed Cowbirds, Lesser Goldfinches and others graced the seed feeders, and Yellow-breasted Chats were calling incessantly along the river. Nearby, at the Patagonia Roadside Rest Stop, we struck out on the Rose-throated Becard, but did hear a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and saw yet another Violet-crowned Hummingbird.


female Broad-billed Hummingbird
Paton's yard, Patagonia

Lucy's Warbler, Kino Spring

Our final birding stop was a few miles south, at Kino Springs.  Even though it was after noon, there was lots of bird activity.  Our first Lucy's Warbler of the trip was coming down to drink at a pool left by watering the roses, as were many other fine-feathered friends.

Both male and female Blue Grosbeaks, Song Sparrows, and goldfinches were scattered about the lawn of the clubhouse, and this showy male Summer Tanager landed in a tree not far away from us.

Blue Grosbeak, Kino Springs

Summer Tanager

Our primary goal for Kino Springs was the Tropical Kingbird, and we saw this handsome individual soon after we arrived.  Unfortunately it stayed fairly high up in the tree.  Still, it was nice to see!  Across from the clubhouse, sitting high in a tree next the pond, a Gray Hawk posed and called.

Tropical Kingbird, Kino Springs


Tropical Kingbird, Kino Springs

From Kino springs we made the long five-hour drive back to Yuma in time for a late dinner.  Can't wait to return next month!



Southeast Arizona, 3-4 July 2006
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Gray Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Gambel's Quail
American Coot
Rock Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Whiskered Screech Owl
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Elf Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
White-throated Swift
Magnificent Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Blue-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Elegant Trogon
Arizona Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Gila Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood Pewee
Vermilion Flycatcher
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Bell's Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Mexican Jay
Common Raven
Chihuahuan Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Mountain Chickadee
Bridled Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Cactus Wren
Canyon Wren
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Curve-billed Thrasher
Red-faced Warbler
Grace's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Painted Redstart
Lucy's Warbler
Olive Warbler
Hepatic Tanager
Summer Tanager
Flame-colored Tanager
Botteri's Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Abert's Towhee
Rufous-winged Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Yellow-eyed Junco
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Varied Bunting
Scott's Oriole
Eastern Meadowlark
Great-tailed Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Hooded Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Photos Henry Detwiler