Cold Lower Madera Canyon Doesn't Stop the Birds!

Tucson Audubon Field trip Report
Report and photos by Mark and Farrish Sharon

12 birders braved the unseasonably COLD temperatures this morning (April 10, 2011).  We started the Proctor Loop with a temperature of 35 degrees.  As we hiked up the canyon temperatures dropped further.  There were icicles on the cacti and trees and ice on the path and bridges.  A dusting of snow created a winter wonderland scene in the mountains.  Those of us from Arizona assured the 4 newly arrived visitors from Pennsylvania and the 2 participants from Newfoundland that this was a very rare and unprecedented (in our collective memories) cold event for this time of year in SE Arizona.  

A HAMMOND's FLYCATCHER was noted feeding near the ground in the early morning and later 2 PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS were active on the lower loop trail.  Other trip highlights included many PAINTED REDSTARTS, HUTTON'S VIREOS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBERS.  HERMIT, TOWNSEND'S, ORANGE-CROWNED and WILSON'S WARBLERS were seen as singletons.

A calling NORTHERN PYGMY OWL was heard at the Whitehouse picnic area and another at Santa Rita Lodge.  A GREATER PEWEE was heard at the Whitehouse Picnic area and later seen by Laurens Halsey's group.

SCOTT'S and HOODED ORIOLES, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, LAZULI BUNTINGS, ARIZONA and ACORN WOODPECKERS were the highlights at both feeding stations.  MAGNIFICENT, BROAD-BILLED, BROAD-TAILED and ANNA'S were the hummingbird species noted.

Special thanks to Cliff Cathers whose expertise was appreciated by all and to Steve Buck who always braves the elements on the Sharon birding adventures.

Hammond's Flycatcher

Hepatic Tanager

Hermit Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Hooded Oriole

Painted Redstart

Red-naped Sapsucker


  1. Love you guys, but I believe this was from a couple weeks ago, was it not? I don't see a date on there other than today's. A bit misleading...unless you really did have a light dusting of snow in Madera today, April 28th?

  2. Yes, sorry I left the date out! I'll add that now.


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