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

Tufted Flycatchers Again

Another trip to see the Tufted Flycatchers at Ramsey Canyon, with excellent results. I was accompanying my new English friend, Tony, who has rather sensibly bought a house in Tubac (although he won’t be living in it until he retires in a few years).

S. River Rd., Nogales:

A GRAY HAWK was by the roadside, a regular site for this increasing species.

Sierra Vista:

The usual SWAINSON’S HAWKS drifted around.

Ramsey Canyon Rd:

A SCALED QUAIL did its best to impale itself on the front of the car! Thankfully we were able to take avoiding action.

Ramsey Canyon:

Several WILD TURKEYS and a singing RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW greeted us in the parking lot.

As we paid our entrance fees, both MAGNIFICENT and VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS popped up on the feeder through the window.

A BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD nest was just beyond the visitor center, and a COOPER’S HAWK nest a little further up canyon.

Black-chinned Hummingbird nest [1]

Cooper's Hawk [2]

We hiked up to the famous spot a little over two miles up canyon and were rewarded with immediate views of both TUFTED FLYCATCHERS. The female was mostly on the nest.

Tufted Flycatcher on nest [3]

The male, previously very hard to see, is now conspicuously perching nearby, guarding his mate.

Tufted Flycatcher [4]

Tufted Flycatcher [5]

Tufted Flycatcher [6]

I even managed to get a shot of both birds… sort of.

Tufted Flycatchers [7]

For anyone planning to go, this is the cut, fallen tree just before you arrive at the nest site.

Ramsey Canyon [8]

And this pine (left of center) is where the nest is located.

Ramsey Canyon [9]

As we were watching the Tufted Flycatchers, an ELEGANT TROGON flew past. A short way down from the flycatcher site, we watched a pair of RED-FACED WARBLERS collecting food and going to a nest on the ground. The distinctive sound of squeaking babies could be heard each time they entered. Back down canyon, at the Bledsoe Loop, we heard the male FLAME-COLORED TANAGER singing a few times, but it remained high in the canopy and frustratingly out of sight.

Also in the canyon, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, GREATER PEWEE, CORDILLERAN and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS and HUTON’S VIREOS, BROWN CREEPER, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, HERMIT THRUSH, GRACE’S and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, SPOTTED TOWHEE, YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS (including several streaky babies with dark eyes), HEPATIC and WESTERN TANAGERS, and lots of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS.

Brown-throated House Wren [10]

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher [11]

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard [12]

Juvenile Yellow-eyed Junco [13]

Huachuca City:

A CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN flew by.

Las Cienegas:

We noted HORNED LARK, ‘LILIAN’S’ EASTERN MEADOWLARK and a PRONGHORN as we drove along SR 82.

Rio Rico:

A BLACK VULTURE was picked out as we headed north along I-19 on our way back to Tubac.