The Santa Rita Lodge is a hikers lodge in the Madera Canyon. Aside from being a lodge, they also have many bird feeders. So many that the Lodge became a birding hotspot, the place to see many species that otherwise require a long hike and more luck.
It is indeed a very good place for bird photography. Just install the camera on a tripod and start clicking. The only problem is that birds are sometime too close, within the minimum focus distance.
There are many Dark-eyed junco’s (Grijze junco). This is one of the species for which there are very different subspecies. This picture shows the gray-headed junco.
Dark-eyed Junco (ssp Gray-headed Junco)
Below a picture from the Oregon subspecies of the Dark-eyed junco. A bird with very different colors, mostly overlapping range, and still the same species according to the current classification.
Dark-eyed Junco (ssp Oregon Junco)
A different species for with the Madera Canyon is the northern tip of its Mexican range is the yellow-eyed junco (Geeloogjunco). That name is quite appropriate as you can see.
The Chipping Sparrow (musgors) was also a new species, even though is a common sparrow in all of the US. This trap I saw them at the feeders, but also the next day in Catalina State Park.
Also present in large numbers were the Pine Siskins (Dennensijs). First an action shot.
This portrait shows the small and very pointed bill of the Pine Siskin very well.
There are feeders for many different species, so Jays are also present. The species here is the Mexican Jay (Noord-mexicaanse gaai). Commonly found where there is free food, near feeders and pick-nick tables.
The Acorn Woodpecker (Eikelspecht) is one of the common woodpeckers in the Canyon. We saw them near the feeders, but also at the trail that follows the creek. It is a beautiful woodpecker with a metal-glowing black back.
The white-breasted nuthatch (Witborstboomklever) did not care about the feeders, but it find the telephone pole very useful.
The Bridled Titmouse (Harlekijnmees) was another new species for me, like the yellow-eyed junco a Mexican species that reaches into Arizona.
The Broad-billed Hummingbird (Breedsnavelkolibrie) is a bird from the American Southwest and Mexico. Like most hummingbirds quite stunning to see. And in this case the sun really does help to highlight the bird’s colors.
This Wild Turkey (Kalkoen) is truly a wild bird, but a whole group of them came to visit the feeders as well. Free for all. Turkeys were to big and close for the 600mm lens, so this became a portrait instead.
The feeders are the Santa Rita Lodge are massive; there are many and they are big. This shows one of the big feeders with Lesser Goldfinches (Witbandsijs) on it. Every other day all feeders are completely filled. The owner of lodge told us that this way the birds eat all seeds, when he fills daily they only what they like best.
In this post, I like to show the birds that waiting on the feeder, it looks more natural this way.
Woodpeckers do not care about seeds, but the owner of the lodge found a solution for that too: some kind of fat butter that they do eat. This is an Arizona Woodpecker (Arizonaspecht), a completely brown woodpecker. This is a female, the males do have a small red cap.