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

Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey – Pesqueira Canyon

It was the final scheduled Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey of the season on behalf of Tucson Audubon Society and Coronado National Forest, and Jennie and I were confident we could find some in Pesqueira Canyon near Nogales.

We succeeded! There was still a pair of YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS in the canyon, in an area that had hosted cuckoos on previous visits, and the way they were acting was suggestive of a breeding pair. They were never far apartĀ and were softly calling to each other.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo [1]

Yellow-billed Cuckoo [2]

Yellow-billed Cuckoo [3]

Yellow-billed Cuckoo [4]

Yellow-billed Cuckoo [5]

Pesqueira Canyon is a fairly standard, lower-elevation, mesquite- and oak-dominated border canyon. It isn’t particularly known as a birding site, but it was lively with breeding birds and migrants passing through for a total of 43 species.

The highlights were four GRAY HAWKS, four COMMON GROUND-DOVES, three GREATER ROADRUNNERS, 15 migrant GRAY FLYCATCHERS, VERMILION, ASH-THROATED, and BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, CURVE-BILLED and a minimum of five CRISSAL THRASHERS, a couple of LUCY’S WARBLERS (one of which was singing!), migrant MacGILLIVRAYS, YELLOW, and WILSON’S WARBLERS, an impressive 37 RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, WESTERN TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED and BLUE GROSBEAKS, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE.

Common Ground-Dove [6]