We drove an hour south to the Coronado National Forest and Madera Canyon, a premier birding destination. We walked up beside the canyon from the Proctor Road Parking area. Cacti were interspersed in the forest of sycamore, ash and juniper. Granite boulders were dominant in the canyon.
We had done a bit of research on eBird and knew that there were Sulphur-bellied flycatchers in the area. Their call sounds like a squeaky toy. When we heard that call we took a short diversion from the trail and located three flycatchers. They have a very limited range in the US, so we were very happy to get a “life bird” so early on in our hike.
Further along the trail, in a nice shady area, we saw numerous Bridled titmice, some Black-throated grey warblers and a couple of White-breasted nuthatches. All the birds were darting in the among the trees, but Doug was able to get a photo of one Bridled titmouse.
As we climbed steadily upward we came across a family of Mexican jays. We heard their raucous calls long before we saw them.
We turned around at the Whitehouse picnic area. It’s very civilized when your route has a restroom half way along. On the way down, we saw this Ladder-backed woodpecker. To compare it with woodpeckers that we have at home, its a bit bigger than a Downy woodpecker and a bit smaller than a Hairy.
We drove up the Madera Canyon road to Santa Rita lodge and gift shop. They have a viewing area set up with almost a dozen seed and suet feeders and numerous hummingbird feeders. We stayed for about a half an hour and saw over 30 birds of nine species.
Here’s a female Anna’s hummingbird.
On the left is another Anna’s hummingbird. The large hummingbird on the right is a Rivoli’s hummingbird (previously known as Magnificent hummingbird.)
There were also plenty of Yellow-eyed juncos.
And three Acorn woodpeckers.
A new bird for us was this female Arizona woodpecker.
We were back at our trailer by early afternoon after our successful birding adventure to Madera Canyon. It wasn’t that far away to see some amazing birds. We’re sure to return many times in the months to come.