Madera Canyon

Aside from the Santa Rita Lodge there are more Lodge on the road up the Canyon. The next lodge had the nest of a Magnificent Hummingbird in a tree above the road. Quite a nice spot for nest photography.

Magnificent Hummingbird

Magnificent Hummingbird

Our next stop was again a the Red-breasted Sapsucker (Roodborstsapspecht), it was still hugging the same tree. Although a nearby Acorn Woodpecker was trying to chase him away. Sometimes that worked, which allowed me to make another nice shot on a different tree. Still the same bird though.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

After our visit to the sapsucker, we did walk a bit in the area. This gave me another shot at the Bridled Titmouse (Harlekijnmees).

Bridled Titmouse

Bridled Titmouse

In the Canyon near the creek our guide heard a Painted Whitestart (Roodbuikzanger). Finding it was not hard for her, but making a picture was a lot harder for me. After following the bird for a while, it did work out quite nicely.

Painted Whitestart

Painted Whitestart

Also flying from tree to tree was a Hutton’s Vireo. Like all Vireo, they have a tendency not to sit still, and to stay high in the trees. Later in the day, I found a more cooperative vireo.

While we had our lunch, a group of Mexican Jays was hoping to get some leftovers. This gave me a nice opportunity for a portrait shot.

Mexican Jay

Mexican Jay

Further down the canyon we went looking for more species. First new species for me was the Canyon Towhee (Bruine towie). It was fairly far away in the shade unfortunately.

Canyon Towhee

Canyon Towhee

The guide knew about Black-capped Gnatcatchers (Zwartkapmuggenvanger), and she did find them too. It helps so much when you look for the small birds if you can find them by voice. This is actually a fairly rare bird, that only occurs in the southernmost parts of Arizona.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

This Hermit Thrush (Heremietlijster) picture looks a bit like an old painting of a Saint. All the light behind the bird makes it quite special.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Flycatchers come in many flavors, the flavor we found was Hammond’s Flycatcher (Sparrenfeetiran). One of the small species that looks like all the other small flycathers.

Hammond's Flycatcher

Hammond’s Flycatcher

Last bird for the day was Hutton’s Vireo (Huttons vireo). This time the vireo posed just long enough for a picture.

Hutton's Vireo

Hutton’s Vireo

Santa Rita Lodge

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.

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.

Oregon Junco

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.

yellow-eyed junco

yellow-eyed junco

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.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Also present in large numbers were the Pine Siskins (Dennensijs). First an action shot.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

This portrait shows the small and very pointed bill of the Pine Siskin very well.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

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.

Mexican Jay

Mexican Jay

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.

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

The white-breasted nuthatch (Witborstboomklever) did not care about the feeders, but it find the telephone pole very useful.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-Breasted Nuthatch

The Bridled Titmouse (Harlekijnmees) was another new species for me, like the yellow-eyed junco a Mexican species that reaches into Arizona.

Bridled Titmouse

Bridled Titmouse

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.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Broad-billed Hummingbird

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.

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

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.

Lesser Goldfinches

Lesser Goldfinches

In this post, I like to show the birds that waiting on the feeder, it looks more natural this way.

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch

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.

Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker

Fields near Madeira Canyon

Friday I went to Madeira Canyon with a birding guide. I had never been to the Canyon before. It is a very rich birding area, because it represents to northern end of the distribution of many Mexican species.

The rock wren (Amerikaanse Rotswinterkoning) is not one these birds, it occurs in all the western states. This bird was nicely posing on a rock, as it should given its name. I have indeed only seen this species on rocks.

Rock Wren

Rock Wren

The guide was looking for Lawrence’s Goldfinches (Maskergeelvink), that she had seen in the fields near the Canyon. We did find them, but my first picture from the car was not very sharp, although it shows the colors very well. And it is new species for me.

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

We did go look for them walking in the fields, we that gave this picture. Not perfect either, I will have to go back to Tucson.

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

While looking for the Lawrence’s Goldfinch I did get distracted by the much more common Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Ladderspecht). I hindsight, I should have stayed focussed on the goldfinches of course.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

The rufous-winged sparrow (Roestvleugelgors) looks a lot like the Chipping Sparrow. The guide says this is a rufous-winged sparrow because of the two mustachio markings under the chin. That is experience!

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

The first stop in the Canyon is at the favorite tree of a red-breasted sapsucker (Roodborstsapspecht). For Arizona, this is a rare bird, usually they stay in California. Click on this picture to see more of the same bird.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker