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It was the final scheduled Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey of the season on behalf of Tucson Audubon Society and Coronado National Forest, and Jennie and I were confident we could find some in Pesqueira Canyon near Nogales.
We succeeded! There was still a pair of YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS in the canyon, in an area that had hosted cuckoos on previous visits, and the way they were acting was suggestive of a breeding pair. They were never far apart and were softly calling to each other.
Pesqueira Canyon is a fairly standard, lower-elevation, mesquite- and oak-dominated border canyon. It isn’t particularly known as a birding site, but it was lively with breeding birds and migrants passing through for a total of 43 species.
The highlights were four GRAY HAWKS, four COMMON GROUND-DOVES, three GREATER ROADRUNNERS, 15 migrant GRAY FLYCATCHERS, VERMILION, ASH-THROATED, and BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, CURVE-BILLED and a minimum of five CRISSAL THRASHERS, a couple of LUCY’S WARBLERS (one of which was singing!), migrant MacGILLIVRAYS, YELLOW, and WILSON’S WARBLERS, an impressive 37 RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, WESTERN TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED and BLUE GROSBEAKS, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE.