Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Part 3 of 7 --- Birding Box Canyon in Arizona

I had never actually heard of Box Canyon when I was researching birding hotspots in Arizona, but this little area blew my mind. It was beautiful to drive through, and every few hundred meters, I would just stop and look at what was on the road. Some birders that were at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds suggested I go check it out... and I did!

I was sold on going after one of the birders mentioned above told me that Varied Buntings were easily seen where the canyon transitions into flatter lands. This area gave me three new sparrow species (Five striped, black throated & Rufous crowned) withing a few KM's of each other.... Amazing. 

The Five striped Sparrow is perhaps one of the rarest, most local birds in the US. It was nice to see one!

Varied Bunting was one of my top three target species for the trip so it was nice to see them as well!

A common desert plant named Palmer's Agave offers hummingbirds in Arizona a nectar treat - and it was quite common to see Hummingbirds nectaring along the canyon road. This is there more natural and dignified habitat, (as opposed to observing hummingbirds at feeders) but its extremely difficult to photograph them and ID them from a great distance due to their tiny size. 

Box Canyon (East of Madera Canyon)
 Five-lined Sparrow 442
 Ruffous capped Sparrow 443
 Black throated Sparrow 444
 Varied Bunting 445

Wow,,, this guy was crossing the road at one point. I did not pick him up :-0


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