Huachuca Canyon is located in Ft. Huachuca, an active military base. This necessitated us getting background checks in order to secure passes to access the canyons for birding and hiking.
Male Summer Tanager with a meal
Hunter Canyon is located south of Huachuca Canyon and like many of the sky islands has suffered major fire damage in the past 10 years.
Male Scott's Oriole doing battle with reflective foes
Black-chinned Sparrow up singing
Yellow Columbine was found along the cool, shady creek
The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area ( San Pedro RNCA) protects nearly forty miles of the San Pedro River, a stream originating in the Mexican highlands. Now ungrazed for over 20 years, the lush riparian vegetation is a haven for an impressive array of birds. Groundwater pumping threatens the river's survival. There is currently a large development on the books that is in the courts due to the negative impact it would have on local ecosystems and water table.
We spent a number of days along the San Pedro River, consistently seeing over 70 different bird species per day. We witnessed the arrival of many of the migrating species either stopping for a day or 2 to rest and feed or those setting up nesting locations. We never knew what we were going to be seeing:-)
This Gray Hawk was the first thing to greet us- it flew in and sat on this dead tree stump along the river. Gray Hawks are now a common nester along the San Pedro River.
Abert's Towhee can be found along creeks and out in the desertscrub
Bee balls seem to be a more common occurrence during migration
Dusky Flycatcher ?
Cassin's Kingbirds were everywhere!
Male Hepatic Tanager- note the gray cheek
Female Hepatic Tanager also has a defining gray cheek patch
Male Western Tanager
Southwestern Song Sparrow
Western Screech Owls are permanent residents.
Curve-billed Thrasher on the nest
Male Northern Cardinal
Male MacGillivray's Warbler
Banded male Summer Tanager
I saw this banded male Summer Tanager a few day's later along the river. Is is the same bird?
Vaux's Swift flying over the pond
Male Bullock's Oriole
Female Bullock's Oriole
Gray Hawk hunting along the San Pedro River
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Male Bullock's Oriole chowing on the caterpillar cocoons. The Yellow-billed Cuckoos will be coming into the San Pedro River around the first of June to breed. Their favorite food is these caterpillar cocoons.
Male Vermillion Flycatcher
We found this Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet by following their distinctive call
Yellow-breasted Chats' vocalizations could be heard all along the river. They are easy to hear but not easy to see:-)
The World is Full of Beauty & Wonder,
Turtle & Hawk