Magnificent Hummingbird

Elegant Trogon

Chiricahua Mountains May 26-29, 2017

On Memorial Day Weekend 23 avid birders headed to the Chiricahua Mountains for four days of birding. Some of us left early Friday morning and caravanned to the Chiricahua's. Our first stop was at the new Chiricahua Desert Museum at the junction of the Portal Road and Highway 80 to Rodeo. They have a nature garden and wildlife exhibits. They were free to view and walk around in. They have very large tortoises with young there that they must protect from the Roadrunners which will kill the young. They have a large netting that covers the tortoise's pen. We saw Cactus Wrens, Curve-billed Thrashers, Blacked-throated Sparrows and red-winged Blackbirds. We got great looks at and pictures of an Eastern Blue Collared Lizard, which was beautiful.  From the Museum, we drove to Portal and checked into Cave Creek Ranch Cabins. There are always lots of birds at their feeders, Hooded Orioles, Northern Cardinals, Arizona Woodpeckers. And not to forget the Hummingbirds, Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Magnificent and Broad-tailed. After checking in and watching the feeders we headed to Portal and Rodriquez's feeders which were formerly Dave Jasper's feeders. There we saw a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak which was the best look at that bird for most of us and a lifer for some. We also saw Western Tanagers, Northern Cardinals, Blue Grosbeaks and a Peregrine Falcon flyover to end the day. Early Saturday we went up the south fork of Cave Creek where heard and some of us saw the Elegant Trogon. There were six or more Trogons in the canyon. Other birds seen were Brown-crested and Dusty-cap Flycatchers, Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse and nesting Hutton's Vireos. From South Fork we went to the research center to eat lunch at their hummingbird feeders. Everybody got lots of looks and pictures of the hummers. That afternoon we birded around Portal and had early dinner at the Portal Café, where we took over the back room and enjoyed the evening. We ended the day owling; we heard the Whiskered Screech-Owl. Sunday morning, we headed up to the Onion Saddle and Rustler Park. On the way up we stopped at Turkey Creek where we had Wild Turkeys and heard Mexican Chickadees. At Onion Saddle, we had Warbling Vireos and Yellow-eyed Juncos. From Onion Saddle, we went down into the Pinery where we got the rarest and lifer for most, the Slate-throated Redstart. The Redstart was next to the road by a small creek. The bird was a female and was building a nest; she was mated with a male Painted Redstart. We also had a Red-faced Warbler at the Pinery. On the way back to Portal we stopped at George Walker's house in Paradise. The owners were friendly and gracious and welcomed us in. The birds we had there were Scott's Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Hepatic Tanager, Summer Tanager, Bridled Titmouse and a cooper's Hawk fly over. Back to Portal and a group dinner outside at Cave Creek. Ended the day with owling again and we heard Elf and Great Horned Owls also a Mexican Whip-poor-will. Monday, our last day, we went back for the Trogon again and we got lots of views and pictures. Back to El Paso and the heat, a great trip for all.     We had 109 species.  Mark & Janet            

Photos by Tom Taylor

El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society