The Azure Gate Bed & Breakfast

9351 E. Morrill Way, Tucson, Arizona 85749
Innkeeper(s): Dennis & Christine Widman

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Yellow Warbler 5 Feb 2016, 6:54 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Yellow Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: plain yellow face with dull yellow eyering; black eye; stout dark bill; variable red streaking on breast; yellow edges on wings; low contrast between underparts and back in southwest;

Frequency: Common

Season: March through September

Range: Throughout the United States and Canada

Habitat:
Mid Tree
Lower Tree and Brush
Wide range from dry scrub to marshes, to forests; from lowlands to 9,000 feet

Nests:
Nests in shrubs or small trees, usually 10 feet off the ground; 

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Diet includes midges, caterpillars, beetles, bugs, and wasps

General Behavior:
Walking (hopping) along small branches
Very active; constant movement
Usually in the tops of shrubs and small trees

Where to Find: San Pedro River, Santa Cruz River, Empire Gulch, Mount Lemmon, Madera Canyon, Pena Blanca Lake

Chance of Finding: 25% in season and preferred habitat






Warblers of Southern Arizona: Wilson's Warbler 3 Feb 2016, 5:20 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Wilson's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: black cap; yellow underparts with olive back; small bill which is black on top and pale below; pink legs; brighter yellow supercilium; long dark tail; 

Frequency: Common

Season: Spring and Fall

Range: Throughout the United States and Canada, though more common in the West

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush

Nesting:
Nests on ground at the base of a shrub; open cup lined with grass

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch;
Occasional Hawking;
Easts mostly insects but occasional berries

General Behavior:
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Riparian habitats in all of the Madrean Sky Island Mountains.


Chance of Finding: 60% in season and preferred habitat.

Male

Female

1st Year

On Ground

In Tree


In shrub



Warblers of Southern Arizona: Virginia's Warbler 2 Feb 2016, 4:46 am



Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Virginia's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: grayish back and head; complete white eyering; variable yellow breast; yellow base of tail; long thin gray tail; chestnut crown patch (seldom seen); 

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April to September

Range: Southwestern United States

Habitat:
Mid Tree
Lower Tree and Brush

Nesting:
Nests are well concealed and little is known; often on steep hillside

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch

General Behavior:
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon

Chance of Finding: usually in small numbers and uncommon makes it a difficult find; best chance is looking where recently reported. At best 10%.








Warblers of Southern Arizona: Townsend's Warbler 31 Jan 2016, 4:22 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Townsend's Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks:  high contrast yellow face with black mask; yellow undereye arc; variable black throat bordered by yellow; side streaking; yellow breast and white belly; dark olive green back; white wing bars; 

Frequency: Common

Season: Spring and Fall with some year round

Range: Western United States and Canada

Habitat:
Tree Tops
Mid Tree
Mature coniferous forests
Those that stay in winter come down to lower elevations in riparian areas

Nesting:
Nests in coniferous trees well concealed by foliage; open cup of bark, pine needles, and small twigs.

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch

General Behavior:
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon, Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains 


Chance of Finding:  80% in the areas mention above during Spring and Fall months.








Warblers of Southern Arizona: Rufous Capped Warbler 29 Jan 2016, 4:53 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Rufous Capped Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: Large warbler with sparrow-like shape; very long cocked tail; strong white supercilium; rufous cap and cheeks; bright yellow throat and upper breast; white malar;

Frequency: Rare

Season: Any

Range: Extreme Southeast Arizona in the United States; otherwise Mexico, Central and South America

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush
Ground

Nesting:
Nests on sides of steep banks

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Eats mostly insects

General Behavior:
Skulking
Wren-like behavior

Where to Find: Pena Blanca Lake and Pena Blanca Canyon (Pajarito Mountains), Florida Canyon (Santa Rita Mountains), Hunter Canyon (Huachuca Mountains)

Chance of Finding: While this is a rare bird to the United States, it resides year round in the four locations mentioned above. Knowing exactly where to look in those four locations increases the odds to 50%.








Warblers of Southern Arizona: Red Faced Warbler 27 Jan 2016, 4:37 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Red Faced Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: red face, throat, and upper breast; black cap and ear flaps; white bar on back of head; pale white rump; white belly;

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April through September

Range:  Southeast Arizona

Habitat:
Mid Tree
Lower Tree and Brush
Occasionally on Ground
High elevations in shaded canyons in mixed forests (fir, pine, oak)

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch (especially caterpillars)
Hawking: perched bird takes prey from air

Nesting:
Nests on ground typically in a small hole beneath and fallen branch; open cup of bark, dead leaves and pine needles

General Behavior:
Very active; constant movement
Will sometimes travel in small flocks or mixed flocks (especially Painted Redstarts)

Where to Find:  Mount Lemmon (Incinerator Ridge, Marshall Gulch, Bear Wallow)


Chance of Finding: 60% during season at the locations noted above

In Ponderosa Pine

In Deciduous Tree

On Open Branch

On Ground

In fall


With Caterpillar

Warblers of Southern Arizona: Painted Redstart 25 Jan 2016, 12:43 pm




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Painted Redstart

Distinctive Identification Marks: Bright red breast; black upper parts with bold white wing patch; white under eye arc; long tail often fanning; 

Frequency: Common

Season: April through September

Range: Arizona and New Mexico

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush
Trunk and limbs
Ground
Pine-oak woodland and riparian areas in middle to upper elevation levels

Nesting:
Nests on the ground with a coarse cup of grasses and pine needles; may be on slopes under exposed roots

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from leaves,branches, and tree trunks
Hawking: perched bird takes prey from air
Pouncing: perched bird takes prey from ground
Uses tail fanning to flush insects out in the open 
Diet is mostly insects but will take sap from tree

General Behavior:
Creeping
Walking
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Chiricahua, Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Catalina Mountains

Chance of Finding: 80% chance of finding in preferred season and habitat where frequently sighted.









Warblers of Southern Arizona: Olive Warbler 23 Jan 2016, 12:47 pm




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Olive Warbler

Note: There is debate on whether the Olive Warbler should be classified as a warbler.

Distinctive Identification Marks: Butterscotch head and upper breast (male); Variable dark mask; white wing bars; long, thin bill; olive crown on females; 

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: April through September

Range: Southeast Arizona and Southwest New Mexico

Habitat:
Tree Tops (primarily Ponderosa Pine) at 7,000 feet elevation or higher

Nesting:
Not a lot is know about its nesting behavior since its nest is 30 to 70 feet high up in pine trees; it is usually 15 to 20 feet from the tree trunk

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch and base of needle clusters;

General Behavior:
Creeping in tree tops

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon, and highest elevations of the Chiricahua, Huachuca, and Santa Rita mountains

Chance of Finding: While it is "uncommon" in its range and habitat, it is rarely seen. It remains in the upper third of Ponderosa Pines. Given that Ponderosa pines can be over 200 feet high it is difficult to find a 5.25 inch bird submerged in 8 inch pine needles at that height. Hiking on canyon edges provides some advantage as you look down into the canyon - or mid tree level. Even in it's range and preferred habitat it's 5% at best.




Warblers of Southern Arizona: Orange Crowned Warbler 21 Jan 2016, 11:05 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Orange Crowned Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: small with sharp pointed bill; low contrast olive-yellow body and grayish olive green back; subtle streaking on breast; faint black line through eye; split eyering; orange patch on crown seldom seen;

Frequency: Common

Season: Spring and Fall

Range: widespread throughout North America (though more common in the West)

Habitat:
Lower Tree and dense shrubbery
Ground (will come to the ground to drink or bath)

Nesting:
Very elaborate nests on ground in open layered cup;

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Hawking: perched bird takes prey from air
They will supplement their insect diet with fruit, berries, seeds, even nectar

General Behavior:
Hovering
Very active; constant movement

Where to Find: Chiricahua, Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Catalina Mountains.  Sometimes in municipal parks as well; Sweetwater Wetlands.



Chance of Finding: high probability during its season and at its preferred habitat.

Low dense brush

At water's edge

Gleaning from tree trunk

Gleaning from deciduous tree






Warblers of Southern Arizona: Nashville Warbler 19 Jan 2016, 7:05 am




Continuing my series on Warblers of Southern Arizona, in alphabetical order, next up:

Nashville Warbler

Distinctive Identification Marks: small and compact with fine sharp bill; olive-green back contrasts with blue-gray head; bright white eye ring; yellow throat, breast and belly; may show chestnut crown patch; no wing bars; dark thin tail; slightly brighter in Arizona than in the East.

Frequency: Uncommon

Season: Spring and Fall

Range: Throughout most of the US (excluding the southeast)

Habitat:
Lower Tree and Brush in second growth or mixed forest with shrubby undergrowth;
Nests on the ground;

Nesting:
Nests on ground  under brushy vegetation with a cup of moss, bark, leaves, grasses, pine needles, 

Feeding Behavior:
Gleaning: perched bird takes prey from branch
Pouncing: perched bird takes prey from ground
Feeds exclusively on insects

General Behavior:
Walking
Hovering
Skulking

Where to Find: Mount Lemmon, Huachuca Canyon, Madera Canyon, Sabino Canyon

Chance of Finding: Often in small flocks; sometimes mixed; 50% when reported, 20% otherwise.