Nature Notes

November 3, 2012

Southern Arizona-Santa Rita Mountains

Filed under: Arizona,Birds — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Arizona Grasslands

Arizona Grasslands

Just south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains, is Madera Canyon, one of the finest birding destinations in Arizona and the U.S. The entrance lies off of Exit 63 on Highway 19 going south from Tucson.The grasslands of the lowlands gives way to Pine-Oak Woodland as the land rises. The grasslands may have Greater Roadrunner , Red-tailed Hawk , Say’s Phoebe , Gambel’s Quail , Curve-billed Thrasher , Northern Raven , Verdin , and Cactus Wren .

Farther in you will come to three one-way bridges. If you stop near the third bridge(not on a bridge!), you can look along this area called Florida Wash may produce Ladder-backed Woodpecker , Phainopepla , Northern Cardinal , Pyrrhuloxia , Canyon Towhee and Black-throated Sparrow . Rufous-winged Sparrow are also found along with Bell’s Vireo and Lucy’s Warbler .

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

I stayed at Santa Rita Lodge, part way up the road, an excellent base which has feeders which attract a lot of birds. At this point you can see Turkey Vulture , Northern Flicker , White-winged Dove , Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers , Mexican Jay , Bridled Titmouse , Bushtit , Bewick’s Wren , Black-throated Gray Warbler , Hepatic and Western Tanagers , Black-headed Grosbeak , Spotted Towhee , Brown-headed and Bronzed Cowbirds , and Scott’s Oriole .There is an Elf Owl with a roost hole in a telephone pole and many birders watch it emerge at dusk. Hummingbirds are also well represented and commonly include Broad-billed, Blue-throated , Magnificent , Black-chinned , Anna’s and Broad-tailed . Less common are Calliope, White-eared, Violet-crowned , Lucifer and Berylline Hummingbirds .

Elf Owl

Elf Owl

Farther up the Canyon is the Madera Kubo cabins which also feature feeders. While I was there, a rare Flame-colored Tanager was making regular appearances there

At the end of the road is the Josephine Fork parking area, which provides access to a series of trails. This is a reliable area for Elegant Trogon . If you learn their soft call, you will more easily locate them. Remember that the use of bird tapes is not allowed in Madera Canyon.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Ciao Stimo il tuo articolo, come gli altri, considero interessante il tuo blog
    e penso che ti aggiungerò ai preferiti, Thanx

    Comment by Sara — September 2, 2013 @ 1:43 am

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