Monday, January 14, 2019

AZ Rare Bird of the Week

This is my favorite pic of the week.  I'm actually having this framed and hanging it up in my house.
These days, it seems like every week in Arizona, we have a special bird showing up.  Over the past several months, we've added 2 new state birds to our state list, the Ringed Kingfisher and now the White-throated Thrush. Both these birds were first records for the state.

The Elegant Trogon is the cherry on top after finding the main star, the White-throated Thrush.  Although, I will admit the Trogon gets everyone excited.  This photo taken in the rain.
First records draw everyone who I thought had passed away years ago to the current birders that I see on the trails now.  The White-throated Thrush is also an ABA bird which is not often seen in the US.  Therefore, it attracts many birders from Canada and the US who like to play the ABA game. Forget Mexico.  They aren't considered part of the North American ABA game so I don't take the ABA thing seriously.  Yet it is a Mexican bird that is making the news.

The male Elegant Trogon feeds from the Pyracantha bush
While this wasn't a life bird, it was an incredible state bird.  I went right away to observe the bird before the masses arrived.  I was pretty lucky as there were only 20 birders present when I arrived at sunrise. Those numbers don't even compare to the numbers that showed up after its initial appearance.  Hundreds have since observed this bird feed from the berries along the trail. 

The Arizona White-throated Thrush after hitting several ladies with my lens
I tried for a shot, but I kept hitting people in the head with my lens so I gave up:) I observed it well and was fine with the ID-able photo.

A nice close up of a White-throated Thrush, taken in Monteverde, Costa Rica
When a rare bird shows up that I haven't observed often, I have to dig up the data from where I had seen it before. AND I mixed this bird up with my recent observation of a White-necked Thrush in Trinidad which is quite different from the White-THROATED Thrush that is found in Mexico and Central America:)  It appears I had a nice photo of the White-throated Thrush from Costa Rica.  So I didn't need to get a better shot!  I love when I can just be a birder and not have to lug around my camera for that perfect shot. I'm still confused.

A Brown Creeper is new for the 2019 birding tick
Madera and Florida Canyons are where it's at right now in the AZ birding world.  I can't go up to Mt. Lemmon because the highway is either blocked from snow storms OR there are too many people wanting to go up the mountain!  And I have been wanting to do some high elevation birding because Varied Thrushes can still be found here in the state in several key areas of the Catalina Mountains.  I don't have that bird for my state list yet and I am hoping to add it this year.

Townsend's Warbler
But for the moment, I am enjoying the rainy weather.  It's absolutely refreshing to be outdoors.

A curious birder hopes to see this bird closer. 
And while there are birds, I have been working on home projects.  The catio(a patio made for cats) was installed and it's like I'm living in a new home.  I can drink my coffee outside or leave the doors open all day long.  Some people call it an Arizona room, or screened outdoor room.  All I know is that it's wonderful.

Anyhow, I always wonder what amazing bird will show up every new year in Arizona.  This White-throated Thrush did not disappoint.  It's incredible what shows up in this state.  Next week, I join Gordon Karre up in Phoenix as we count water birds around the urban parks and golf courses.  Will we find a rare Eurasian Wigeon or Tufted Duck?   Stay tuned for more!  Until next time:)

Olive Warbler


  1. I've had some frustrating photographic experiences, Chris, but I've never resorted to beating ladies about the head with my camera!!!

    I'd love to hear more about the design of your catio.

    The Elegant Trogon might have the more spectacular plumage, but the plumage of that White-throated Thrush is far more elegant in my opinion!

    Best wishes to you and Micheal - - - Richard

    1. LOL! It wasn't on purpose. Poor ladies! They told me it was ok but I felt terrible:)

      The catio has been years in the making. Just needed money so I bit the bullet and had it finally done. It's security, an outdoor cat space and storage space all at one. Plus people can't see inside. The birds can't see us so me and my kitties can watch the outdoor action up close.

      Both are beautiful birds. Just a thrill to see something really rare for the state. I'd say that there are several birds that were amazing.....any species from the Galapagos!!! The Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels were blown in a from a hurricane several years ago, Upland Sandpiper, Ringed Kingfisher and now this Thrush are really show stoppers for the birding world.

  2. You make me want to move back! Nice finds all around, though you know I'd rather skip the bird paparazzi. Have fun birding with Gordon next week. I can't wait to see the Catio for myself!

    1. Of course. But we'll bring the paparazzi when we're in Maine and find something crazy!

  3. A very interesting and informative read as usual! The pictures are the "icing on the cake" !

  4. I am so pleased you have seen a new bird, tha tis always exciting

  5. The Elegant Trogon is spectacular but the White-throated Thrush and the two Warblers are stunning in a different way. Cheers Diane

  6. Congrats on those rare AZ birds! Saw the Trogon shot though and was so least I've been able to see them in your posts since I didn't get to while we lived there. It's such a gorgeous bird! Love that little olive warbler too. I wish I had a catio...we have to figure out a way to spend more time enjoying our beautiful outdoors, and an AZ room would be perfect, plus I'd love for the cat to have that extra space to watch the birds!

  7. Well done on the new birds - wonderful photos as always. Your catio sounds interesting!

  8. Wow, they are all beautiful birds and great sightings. Lucky you! Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and the weekend ahead.


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