Date: 3/11/17 12:19 pm
From: Wyatt Egelhoff <redknot42...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] [NM] Black-capped Gnatcatchers
Shortly before 10:00am this morning I encountered a pair of Gnatcatchers in
Guadalupe Canyon (NM side) that I am confident were Black-capped. I won't be
able to post my recordings or photos until Sunday, but both birds had nearly
entirely white undertails and I got a great look at the bill on the female
bird which definitely appeared long in proportion to the head. When I first
heard the vocalization I though they were Black-tailed (until I looked at
them). The male sounded a little huskier than I initially expected for BCGN,
but after hearing many more BTGN on my hike out I think the vocalization I was
hearing from the male earlier is within range for BCGN.
The male's crown appeared incomplete, as though it was undergoing a
prealternate molt, and I had a difficult time seeing the underside of his
tail. The female however I am quite sure of. I'm hoping my photos of the male
will be sufficient to show one way or the other. The photos of the female look
like a classic BCGN.
The birds were seen just east of the cattleguard about 0.1 to 0.2 mi
immediately east of some large earth moving equipment. Coordinates:
31.363713, -109.030404
This is much farther up canyon than the cistern where the female type was seen
this past summer (but undetected since August).
These birds were posing out in the open quite a bit, calling, and otherwise
acting frisky, so I'm wondering if they may attempt to breed.
The Rufous-winged Sparrows continue their NM presence. I had at least 2, but
they were skulky and didn't call very much. Meanwhile on the AZ side I had
nearly half a dozen giving stuttered renditions of their full songs.
Other notables on the NM side were a few Lucy's Warblers, several singing
Bell's Vireos (seems early...?) A single adult Broad-billed Hummingbird, and
at least 2 Northern Beardless Tyrannulets.
Last night I had a barking Elf Owl 0.4 miles west of the eastern boundary of
the Coronado NF along the Geronimo Trail, along with many Whiskered and
Western Screech-Owls, several Pygmy-Owls (both Mountains and Northern), and
what I believe was a single bark note from a Spotted Owl given several times
(need to review my recordings).
I also had a Magnificent Hummingbird buzz by me near dusk at the pull off for
Upper Cottonwood Canyon (Lucifer spot).
A scan of the AG fields in Animas yesterday afternoon did not produce a
Crested Caracara, but I'm hoping to look again tomorrow morning.
The only notable birds on the Lordsburg WTP was a flock of 17 Ring-billed
Gulls on Friday afternoon.
Happy Birding,
Wyatt Egelhoff
Las Cruces,
New Mexico

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