Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Part 7 of 7 - Hummingbirds of Southeast Arizona in Late July -Early August + Trip Final Thoughts

I saw the following 8 species in SE Arizona during the last few days of July 2019. Yes - I have already covered these sightings over this 7-part series, but I thought it would be cool to list all of them in one spot.

Its seems that each mountain range [see my travel map from posting #1 of 7] had its 3-5 species, and to get 8 species, you would have to travel around like I did. There were many hummingbirds that I had seen while driving or had brief, distant views that went unidentified. These are the species that I saw:

1-Black throated Hummingbird (Madera Canyon)
2-Rivoli's Hummingbird (Split from Magnificent Hummingbird)  (Madera Canyon)
3-Broad billed Hummingbird  (Madera Canyon)
4-Violet Capped Hummingbird (Patagonia)
5-Broad tailed Hummingbird (Miller Canyon)
6-Blue throated Hummingbird (Mountain Gem) (Cave Creek Canyon)
7-Anna's Hummingbird  (Brown Canyon)
8-Rufous Hummingbird (Patagonia)

All of these hummingbirds are equally amazing ... but I must say that seeing the Anna's Hummingbird at Brown Canyon --- nowhere near a feeder - just out in nature was breathtaking. Seeing a male Anna's with its pink gorget reflection in perfect sunlight is an amazing thing to witness and will not soon be forgotten! The most common hummingbird in SE Arizona during this time period is the thick-billed hummingbird. Its a gorgeous hummingbird - but as one naturalist put it - familiarity breed discontentment.

Some other life birds that I did not mention in my previous series of posts are below. There are some other birds that are lifers as well - such as a female/juvenile Scott's Oriole that I saw in Box Canyon. I never took a photo because - it was just a distant, brief sighting. I had photographed some Ravens as I drove through New Mexico which I'm quite certain were Mexican Ravens (Chihuahuan Raven) --- but I accidentally erased them from my memory card! Another photo that I lost accidentally was Violet Crowned Hummingbirds. I had some stunning photos of this hummingbird perched on a tree branch but somehow, I forgot to protect it from getting erased. (I did have a basic photo at a feeder saved though).

If I had to go back - I wouldn't change much. I think my biggest regret is perhaps not calling the Chiricahua National Monument to see if I could drive through to Portal AZ through the mountains (the road was closed due to heavy rains making the road impassable). Even though I was unable to drive through - and I lost several hours of birding time to driving, I would still state that seeing that national monument (organ-pipe rock formations) was quite stunning.

One other regret was not visiting high elevation sites in the Chiricahua Mountains (partly due to the road closure mentioned above). Even from the Portal AZ side, it was so removed from gas stations, and cellular connectivity, or WIFI - I just didn't have my bearings on getting to some higher elevation parks within that mountain range which could have given me: Mexican Chickadees, Red-faced Warbler and perhaps Zone tailed Hawks.  I was told that the research station staff would be helpful but... the lady there didn't seem to be a naturalist.

Another painful miss was the Rose-throated Becard that was being seen at Tumacácori National Historical Park. Amazingly - someone had gone as far as posting GPS co-ordinates - but I was simply too offline to even consider attempting to use tech out in the field.

I hope you enjoyed this 7-part report on Birding in SE Arizona.
Good birding!

Trip Lifer Summary !!!!

 Cactus Wren 412
 Verdin 413
 Brown Crested Flycatcher 414
 Curve billed Thrasher 415
 Road Runner 416
 Bridled Titmouse 417
 Lesser Goldfinch 418
 Gila Woodpecker 419
 Phainlopepla 420
 Tropical Kingbird 421
 Black throated Hummingbird 422
 Rivoli's Hummingbird (Genetically split from Magnificent Hummingbird) 423
 Broad billed Hummingbird 424
 Hepatic Tanager 425
 Arizona Woodpecker 426
 Harris's Hawk 427
 Dusky Capped Flycatcher 427
 Acorn Woodpecker 428
 Ladder Backed Woodpecker 429
 Canyon Towhee 430
 Botteri's Sparrow 431
 Montezuma Quail 431 (Heard only)
 Anna's Hummingbird 432
 Pyrrhuloxia 433
 Mexican Jay 434
 Ladder backed Woodpecker 435
 Violet Capped Hummingbird 436
 Black Phoebe 437
 Inca Dove 438
 Gambels Quail 439
 Cassin's Sparrow 440 (grasslands between canyons near Patagonia-Sonoita AZ)
 Phainopepla 441
 Five-lined Sparrow 442
 Ruffous capped Sparrow 443
 Black throated Sparrow 444
 Varied Bunting 445
 Grey Hawk 446
 Broad tailed Hummingbird 447
 Albert's Towhee 448
 Gilded Flicker ? 
Scotts Oriole 449
 Sulphur-bellied flycatcher 450
 Chihuahuan Raven 451
 Cassin's Kingbird 452
 Western Screech Owl 453
 Scaled Quail 454
 Graces Warbler 455
 Painted Redstart 456
 Yellow Eyed Junco 457
 Blue throated Hummingbird 458
 Elegant Trogon 459

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