Madera Canyon.

From Tucson my friend and I headed south to Madera Canyon to camp at Bog Springs Campground. Three Acorn Woodpeckers were working on a tree next to our tent while we set up.

The next morning we woke up early to get started on a hike along a trail for which there are no signs.  So we ended up on the wrong trail and never found any trogons (sorry!) but we found other good stuff!  A funny little bird started following us and singing to us at one point...

Bell's Hutton's Vireo!

Also along the trail were some Bridled Titmice:

After the hike (as well as before the hike, and later in the day) we stopped by the Santa Rita Lodge to check out the feeders.  They have an elaborate set-up of seed, suet, and hummingbird feeders that attract loads of birds.

Birds at the feeders included:

Mexican Jay

Arizona Woodpecker

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Wild Turkey

A trail leads behind the lodge along a creek from the upper trail heads down to the lower picnic areas.  We decided to walk part of the trail and found more great birds...

Plumbeous Vireo

Painted Redstart

Painted Redstart

And here is one of them flycatcher creatures I can't decide on an ID for... Ash-throated?  Dusky-capped?  Help?

And while we're at it, here's another:

Hepatic Tanager

In addition to birds there were of course lots of other critters like squirrels and lizards that kept the dogs on their toes...

Lastly, on our way back to the highway from the canyon we stopped at some mulberry trees where some interesting birds had been seen the day before.  They were certainly busy, but nothing too exciting.  I had dismissed this next bird as a mockingbird at the time, but now I'm not so sure...


That's all from the canyon.. Good times!  Next stop: Patagonia!


  1. Looks like Madera was good to you! Patagonia will be glorious. You got some birds down there that I've still not seen. Here's hoping for some Trogons and more cool Hummingbirds.

    Bird it up!

  2. Your "Mockingbird" is a Clark's Nutcracker.

    I'll let those more familiar with the SW Myiarchus tribe to make a definitive call but they both look like Ash-throated to me.

    greg (seriously envious in portland!)haworth

    1. With all due respect, that's totes a Mockingbird. It doesn't have any of the grey on the back.wings for the Nutcracker, plus it's got the slight de-curve to the beak.

      It's peculiar that there is so little white showing on the wing-bars...almost reminds me of a Tropical Mockingbird

  3. Madera must be an awesome place for birding. Wonderful birds and photos, Jen! There are so many I would like to see myself. The feeder set up is cool, I am sure they attract lots of birds there. Wonderful post!

    1. I seriously could have sat and watched those feeders all day.. They were awesome.

  4. Ahhhh Madera. I'm glad it gave you birds. Ok, now that we don't have any tyrannulets...the first flycatcher (and probably the second) is a Dusky-capped...extensive dark brown on the face, back, dark gray throat, yellow way up to the breast, etc...Ash-throated and Brown-crested (which is also in Madera)have a much tanner, or even rufous, tint on the upperparts.

    The mockingbird is.....drum roll....a mockingbird. Nutcrackers have much larger bills, much shorter tails, a dark eye and would be very embarrassed to be seen in an oak woodland. Everything is fine.

    That is a REALLY nice Hepatic Tanager. Not as bright as Summers or Scarlets, but I'm a big proponent of them.

    1. Thanks sir, I am glad I am not crazy on the mockingcracker situation. That tanager was actually a dick, fyi. Gorgeous. But a total dick.

  5. Those are some great canyon birds Jen! The flycatcher is a Dusky-capped, the second shot shows a lack of rufous on the tail. The last bird looks like a mockingbird. The shadows do make it look a little funky. But the bill is too thin and has a slight curve compared to a Clark's Nutcracker. Also, a CLNU would be extremely rare for SE AZ, especially at low elevations.

    1. Thanks, Jeremy.. Dang shadows always confuse me, plus the fact that the bird vanished by the time I made it around to the correct side of the tree.

  6. Madera Canyon is on my bucket list Jen, so glad to see it is WORTHY of being on my list!! have a great line up in your photos...
    Weird mockingbird with a black back or just a weird shadow? many awesome species!

  7. What a fun trip you are having and SO many birds!! It's been fun following along.


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