Date: 7/11/18 12:18 pm
From: Tim Helentjaris <tnhelentjaris...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Florida and Box Canyons
This morning, decided to do a little pre-Festival scouting and headed down to Florida Canyon to see if I could re-find the Rufous-capped Warblers that have not been reported there since April. So, I put in a lot of time and effort, up the canyon past where they have been reported in the past and had no luck at all? Disappointing, spent a lot of time running down chips, listening closely to a lot of singing down there early this morning, even a little active playback, and I was surprised I wasn’t able to relocate them? Perhaps they have moved even further up-canyon? Was a birdy morning down there and I ended up with a pretty good list, just not the main target I was hoping for. Picked up a number of the expected species for the narrow drainage with its vegetation of willows, oaks, etc.: NORTHERN BEARDLESS TYRANNULET, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S VIREOS, SUMMER TANAGER, GRAY HAWK, as well as representative species from the flanking upland desert: VARIED BUNTINGS, RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, SCOTT’S ORIOLE, HOODED ORIOLE. What’s also impressive walking through here is the abundant blooming Bouvardia, making the resident hummingbirds very happy. After getting back to the car, did walk down and picked up the resident BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER just before the paved crossing.

Since I was down that way, decided to pop on over to Box Canyon and look at the habitat where the FIVE-STRIPED SPARROWS are being commonly reported from. I’ve been interested in this species for several years now, why they’re found some places, and not others? Little surprised, they’re on a south-facing slope, which I normally expect to be drier, but in fact it’s vegetation is very lush and much better than the very dry north-facing slope across the drainage, why I can’t say? As I was walking along the road, I think I could discern at least three different territories as defined by separated singing birds, which kind of fits with my limited understanding of this species as often being distributed in loose colonies. Beats going all the way to the Gulch. Didn’t pick up the Lucifer Hummingbird but others had seen it this morning.

Tim Helentjaris
Tucson, AZ

“There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”
- Rod Serling




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