Date: 7/11/18 4:00 pm
From: Chris Chappell <chris.chappell4...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Box Canyon and Five-striped Sparrows
Spent a good chunk of the morning working Box Canyon from top to bottom.
Started at the FSSP stakeout and immediately was greeted with a singing
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW from my car window. A short while later (outside the
car now), another birder and I had pics of a bird (presumed male) with
food, a hefty caterpillar, that it appeared to carry downslope to near the
bottom of the canyon and out of sight. We both figured there were 3 birds
singing (and clearly there was at least one female in the area as well).
This all occurred early, but on my return back down the canyon at 9 am,
there was still a bird singing not far below the road and seen in good
light, with a photographer in pursuit. In terms of habitat, the vegetation
structure and slope steepness and position seem very similar to California
Gulch and upper Sycamore Canyon where the species is more regular, but
shrub species composition appears different, with less diversity at this
more northern locale.

In the same area, there was a singing male INDIGO BUNTING, nice looks at
HOODED ORIOLE, and quite a few hummers (at least COSTA's and BROAD-BILLED).
At 9 am or so, the photograher reported a LUCIFER.

Further up canyon, there were a number of singing VARIED BUNTINGS, and
vocalizing MONTEZUMA QUAIL, among many other birds. SCOTT'S ORIOLES were
scattered throughout, many singing. The bird of the morning in abundance
terms, was ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER. They were pretty much everywhere in the
canyon that I stopped. At the bridge at the mouth of the canyon, saw a
ZONE-TAILED HAWK flying with a TV and heard a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO in
habitat that seemed awfully sparse for what I am used to for that species.

With the monsoons having begun and rain threatening, BOTTERI'S and CASSIN'S
SPARROWS were singing like crazy in the grasslands below the canyon and
along Whitehouse Canyon Road above Florida Wash. Rain had already begun in
Madera Canyon, so I passed on a trip to the feeders there and instead
stopped at Green Valley WWTP on the way back to Tucson. Nothing terribly
interesting there today, a few shorebirds of few species, and a lot of
intergrade and fewer Mexican Mallards. The highlight was a WESTERN

Chris Chappell
Take Flight Birding and Nature Adventures
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