- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Continental, Madera Canyon

Today I had an enjoyable day in and around Madera Canyon with Kristen Heimerl of Cincinnati, Ohio. We found nine hummingbird species among other exciting highlights.

As is often the case, a few PURPLE MARTINS were flitting over the desert along I-19 south of Tucson. The desert to the west of Continental School had BLACK-THROATED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, a couple of migrant TREE SWALLOWS, BLUE GROSBEAKS and the usual desert species.

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Curve-billed Thrasher

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House Finch

CASSIN’S and BOTTERI’S SPARROWS were up and singing around milepost nine, while a presumably breeding LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE there was my third this month.

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Mt. Hopkins, one side of Madera Canyon

Between Proctor Road and Whitehouse Picnic Area we found BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW, SUMMER TANAGER and recently fledged PAINTED REDSTART.

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Summer Tanager

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White-breasted Nuthatch

There was a good selection of wildlife in general throughout the canyon.

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Golden-headed Scallopwing

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Fungi

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Cactus

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Ornate Tree Lizard

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Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard

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Giant Agave Bug

We found a dragonfly which turned out to be a new one for me, a Spot-winged Glider.

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Spot-winged Glider

Madera Kubo Cabins had a nice selection of birds, including BERYLLINE and VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS, SUMMER and HEPATIC TANAGERS, BRONZED COWBIRD, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS and PLUMBEOUS VIREO. A bit like buses, after waiting for nine years to see one, I saw my second BLACK BEAR of the month, another one-year-old. It ambled across the road right in front of us as we walked uphill from Kubo. It was soaking wet, having taken a bath in the few pools of water along the otherwise dry creek.

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Black Bear

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Black Bear

We stopped briefly at Chuparosa Inn. As we pulled up we were shown two BLACK-TAILED RATTLESNAKES right by the road, which was thrilling. I got lots of photos which I have included in a separate blog post [1].

We added a fine male LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD, along with an equally dapper SCOTT’S ORIOLE. The other hummingbirds present were BROAD-BILLED, BROAD-TAILED, BLACK-CHINNED, MAGNIFICENT and RUFOUS. Thanks Luis!

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Lucifer Hummingbird

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Lucifer and Black-chinned Hummingbird

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Magnificent and Lucifer Hummingbirds

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Scott’s Oriole

On the way back out of the canyon, we found a tarantula on the road, unfortunately dead.

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Tarantula (former)

Another fabulous day in SE Arizona!