Bronzed Cowbird at Yuma Territorial Prison Park


Black Rail Hunt - Yuma Area
May 17, 2003, and only 87 degrees!
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

Cher & Bruce came down from Lompoc to hear our Black Rails and see some of our other Yuma denizens 
species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

We started out at 5:30a.m. and again found the Great-horned Owl watching over the All-American Canal.  At West Pond, four Black Rails were calling close to the road, along with several Virginia and Clapper Rails.  The near-by desilting ponds produced a pair each of late Redheads and Ring-necked Ducks, and in West Pond was a late Common Goldeneye.

Cher & Bruce

Gila Woodpecker at nest hole

At Hidden Shores RV Resort we found the Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, and this Gila Woodpecker nesting in a palm tree.
Along the Gila Gravity Canal we had a wildfire several months ago.  This Great Blue Heron is resting in a scorched cottonwood--looks like a fall or winter scene.  We stopped often to look at Ash-throated Flycatchers, more Wilson's & Yellow Warblers, and anything else we could find.

Great Blue Heron

Blue Dasher

This striking blue dasher was one of the many dragonflies, damsel flies, and butterflies that we saw during the course of the day.  

Sunrise over Yuma


Yellow-breasted Chat
(digiscoped picture)

Odd squeaks and squawks alerted us to this chat as we were watching the Blue Dasher, and it finally popped into view.  We heard another one at Betty's Kitchen, but it was more typical--a ventriloquial voice in the middle of the bush. 

As we drove down to the edge of Mittry Lake next to the Gila Gravity Canal, we came upon this young, 3-foot western diamondback rattlesnake.  Farther along, from the Mittry Lake overlook we were treated to several views of a Last Bittern, a Black-crowned Night Heron, and two Green Herons.

Western Diamondback

Bullock's Oriole 

Betty's Kitchen was quite birdy, and we spotted Hermit, Townsend's, & Wilson's Warblers.  A nice treat was the first two Willow Flycatchers of the year.  

At Kool Corner this Harris' Hawk was attacked by a very protective (and aggressive) Western Kingbird, who stooped on the hawk and even hitched a ride on its back for several seconds.

Harris' Hawk

At the Territorial Prison we saw numerous tanagers & grosbeaks bathing in pools of irrigation water--it was spectacular!  South of town we visited the Burrowing Owls across from the Marine Corps Air Station, and also found this pair along the Yuma Main Drain.  Other sightings south of town included Ring-necked Pheasant, Greater Roadrunner, Horned Lark,  & Lark Sparrow.  We called it a day at 7:00p.m. -- after rounding up a nice collection of 90 species.

Burrowing Owls along Main Drain

Yuma Area, 17 May 2003
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Double-crested Cormorant
3 Great Blue Heron
4 Snowy Egret
5 Great Egret
6 Least Bittern
7 Black-crowned Night Heron
8 Cattle Egret
9 Green Heron
10 White-faced Ibis
11 Common Goldeneye
12 Cinnamon Teal
13 Redhead
14 Ring-necked Duck
15 American Wigeon
16 Mallard
17 Harris' Hawk
18 Red-tailed Hawk
19 Osprey
20 American Kestrel
21 Ring-necked Pheasant
22 Gambel's Quail
23 Clapper Rail
24 Black Rail
25 Virginia Rail
26 Common Moorhen
27 American Coot
28 Killdeer
29 Black-necked Stilt
30 Long-billed Curlew
31 Spotted Sandpiper
32 Whimbrel
33 Turkey Vulture
34 Rock Dove
35 White-winged Dove
36 Mourning Dove
37 Inca Dove
38 Common Ground-Dove
39 Greater Roadrunner
40 Great Horned Owl
41 Burrowing Owl
42 Lesser Nighthawk
43 White-throated Swift
44 Black-chinned Hummingbird
45 Costa's Hummingbird
# Species
46 Anna's Hummingbird
47 Gila Woodpecker
48 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
49 Western Wood Pewee
50 Willow Flycatcher
51 Ash-throated Flycatcher
52 Western Kingbird
53 Vermilion Flycatcher
54 Loggerhead Shrike
55 Black Phoebe
56 Warbling Vireo
57 Common Raven
58 Horned Lark
59 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
60 Cliff Swallow
61 Verdin
62 Cactus Wren
63 Marsh Wren
64 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
65 Swainson's Thrush
66 Northern Mockingbird
67 European Starling
68 Cedar Waxwing
69 Yellow Warbler
70 Yellow-breasted Chat
71 Yellow-rumped Warbler
72 Townsend's Warbler
73 Wilson's Warbler
74 Hermit Warbler
75 Common Yellowthroat
76 Western Tanager
77 Abert's Towhee
78 Song Sparrow
79 Lark Sparrow
80 Black-headed Grosbeak
81 Blue Grosbeak
82 Lazuli Bunting
83 Red-winged Blackbird
84 Bullock's Oriole
85 Brown-headed Cowbird
86 Great-tailed Grackle
87 Yellow-headed Blackbird
88 Bronzed Cowbird
89 House Sparrow
90 House Finch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler