July 10, 2009
Bulletin #84 – SE Arizona #2
I returned to Tucson AZ for another weekend of birding and photography to try and finish up on the areas birds. They are many summering migrants, which would be lifers for me.
I used my 2 previous guides for this trip.
Matt Brown is in Patagonia AZ. His web site is here
Melody Kehl is in Tucson AZ. Her web site is here
Both guides I recommend highly. I have used them twice each. They know where the birds are and can maximize your time and effort.
Correction…In Bulletin 83, the lizard was labeled as a Collared Lizard. It is in fact a Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard. Thanks to Melody Kehl for the correct ID. I am definitely not a lizardologist!
Southeast Arizona is the hummingbird capital of the USA. Almost all the hummingbirds in the guide books can be found there in the summer or during migration. Hummers were one of my target group of birds for this trip.
The Berylline Hummingbird (Amazilla beryllina) is a Mexican species that occurs regularly in summer in the mountains on SE Arizona. I found them in Madera canyon and the Huachuca Mts. It is all green with a red bill tipped with black. It is almost identical to the Buff-bellied Hummingbird seen in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, except the belly is grayish rather then buffy. Their ranges do not overlap. This was a lifer.
Here are a couple of photos.
The other amazilla species is the Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilla violiceps). This bird has a violet top of head and snow white underparts. The bill is also red with a black tip. This was also a life bird for me.
The most beautiful bird was another lifer for me, the Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cyanthus latirostris). The guide books don’t do justice to this stunner. The male has a blue throat and breast fading into green. The bill is bright red. In the photo you can see a band on his right leg.
The female is duller with gray underparts, but the bright red bill and black ear patch are the ID marks.
The White-eared Hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis) ia another Mexican resident that just makes its range into the USA in SE Arizona. This was another lifer for me. Here is the male with the long white stripe behind the eye.
Lastly are a pair of large (5”) hummingbirds. The first is the Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens). The male has a purple crown, bright green gorget that fades to blue on the sides and is otherwise dark overall. Here are 2 photos of the male.
The female is green above, gray below with white on the corners of the tail and a white spot behind the eye.
The other large hummer is the Blue-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae). The male has a blue throat and gray breast and belly. The back is green. He also has a white line behind the eye and bright white patches on the corners of the tail. He was another life bird for me.
In addition to the 6 hummingbird species above, I also saw Black-chinned, Anna’s, and Broad-tailed on the trip. I didn’t take photos of them, as I already had them in my collection.
For you herp lovers, here is another lizard from the trip, The Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister). He was about 6-7” in length and has black patcher on the neck that are just visible in this photo.
Happy birding and photography,
David McDonaldemail: firstname.lastname@example.org
photos copyright 2009 David McDonald
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