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March 26th, 2015
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Santa Rita Mountains & Patagonia

A highly productive day of birding in the Santa Rita Mountains and Patagonia area, with 89 species.

Continental:
The LEWIS’S WOODPECKER continues in Madera Highlands (NOT Shadows), along with CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, while a PEREGRINE FALCON went overhead.
A roadside stop off Madera Canyon Rd produced the expected desert species: COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, and PYRRHULOXIA.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

Florida Canyon:
The BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER pair continues.
Also along the road and the first few hundred yards of trail, GRAY HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, HAMMOND’S, GRAY and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, HERMIT THRUSH, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW. We didn’t venture up canyon further.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

We watched in fascination as a female BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD began constructing a nest.  It was just a little nub, and she was making continual sallies low in the surrounding trees to collect spider web, which she would then carefully wrap around the base of her new nest. I’ll look again soon to see how she’s getting on.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon:
The feeders were host to WILD TURKEY, MAGNIFICENT and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, a couple of RED-NAPED SAPSUCKERS, and an ARIZONA WOODPECKER, among many others. Thanks Steve!

Acorn Woodpecker

Magnificent Hummingbird

Red-naped Sapsucker

Madera Kubo Cabins, Madera Canyon:
Much of the above, plus YELLOW-EYED JUNCO. Thanks Cora!

Madera Picnic Area:
A quick stop gave us HUTTON’S VIREO, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, and PAINTED REDSTART.

Painted Redstart

Madera Canyon

Greaterville Rd:
A quick stop at the side of the road to check sparrows turned into a scene straight from National Geographic. An immature COOPER’S HAWK, I suspect a female due to its large size, suddenly appeared and burst into a tree in which the sparrows were congregating. They fled, but a second or two later we noticed that a few doves were still in the tree. The hawk noticed too, launched off, and grabbed a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE as it tried to escape. She took her prize to a nearby fence, and, as the dove expired in the deadly grip of her talons, she eyed us suspiciously, even though were weren’t close, then took off and moved further away, the large prey dragging below her. An awe-inspiring, yet sobering experience. Wow.

Coopers Hawk with Eurasian Collared-Dove

Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Patagonia:
The star of the show, for me anyway, was a male CASSIN’S FINCH which appeared in the pecan tree above the feeders for a while. The usual delights included GRAY HAWK, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, INCA DOVE, VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, CEDAR WAXWING, ‘MYRTLE’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, ABERT’S TOWHEE, and LAZULI BUNTING. Thanks Larry!

Cassin's Finch

Cassin's Finch

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Curve-billed Thrasher

Gambel's Quail

Canoa Ranch Resort, Green Valley:
A pair of GREAT HORNED OWLS have set up their home on the roof of one the resort building entrances, and they can be seen from a window on the floor above. The resort has rather brilliantly set up a web cam, which will go online this week. I got this photo with my phone, showing the female owl, two fluffy little chicks, and the web cam in place. HOODED ORIOLES were also back on territory in the palm trees here.

Great Horned Owl

 

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