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Birding Arizona
or "Jim and Carol's Great Adventure"



Adult Zone-tailed Hawk ©www.jimzipp.com

Southeast Arizona in the summer is not exactly the kind of place that Jim and I would normally choose to go to (it was 119 degrees the day we got there) but that is exactly what we did this past July.  It is really a must for serious birders as well as anyone who just likes seeing some great birds want to do at least once.  

          Hummingbirds are one of the main attractions and there was no disappointment there.  Our favorite was the Violet-crowned but there were others such as the Blue-throated and Magnificent that came in a close second.  Even though there were many feeders set up at the areas we visited, the birds still chased each other just like our Ruby Throats do around here.
              

          Hawks were number one on Jim's list and we saw all 3 that we were aiming for.  Common Black-Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk and Gray Hawk.  Gray Hawk was a bit elusive for Jim's photo goals but the other two were fairly accommodating.

          It took us some time to find an Elegant Trogon, one of the specialties of SE Arizona.  Carol had seen Elegant Trogon on one quick trip to Madera Canyon in 1992 but her trip did not allow for much other birdwatching.  It was a lifer for Jim and we finally found a beautiful male singing along a stream bed.  What a sight!

          Don't let anyone tell you that it's a "dry heat".  Maybe if it's in the 90's it's not so bad but the first few days we were there it was well over 100 and at the start of the monsoon season so the humidity was a bit higher than normal.  It was HOTTTT! 

          We saw many other memorable birds on the trip as well such as the Montezuma Quail (check out his face pattern)!  Probably the best "find" was a Barn Owl nest with 4 babies under a bridge.  We had seen swallows flying from the bridge and stopped to take a look.  Jim walked down to look underneath and called me over.  What a treat - and a life bird for Carol.  The babies were about half grown and just stared at us!  The bridge was low so we got good looks too!  We assume the nest was previously a raven nest.  

          We used the American Birding Association's guide to Southeast Arizona, an indespensable guide to say the least!  There are approximately 15 of these guides available for different areas of the US and a few outside the US.  They give very specific directions to areas as well as the birds you can see.  They range in price from $18.95 to about $26.95.  Some titles include Birder's Guide to Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wyoming, Southern California, Texas Coast and many others.  We carry pretty much all of them so check them out next time you are in the store.

          If you are planning a trip that may include birdwatching, we can often special order books for specific places within a weeks time.

 

 

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