This is a good time of year for watching birds, and Madera Canyon south of Tucson is a great place to find them.
Among the canyon’s most popular winged wonders are hummingbirds.
“Broad-billed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds return to breed and are the most numerous,” says a website entry by the Friends of Madera Canyon. “Most of the broad-tailed and all of the Rufous and Calliope hummingbirds will move through to more northern mountains. The few Anna’s, and magnificent hummingbirds that overwinter become more numerous.”
At the opposite end of the size and splendor scale: wild turkeys.
“Wild Turkeys can be found throughout, from the canyon bottom to the higher elevation oak-covered slopes and occasionally out on the grasslands,” the Friends website notes. “This re-introduced population is wild and flourishing, particularly near bird feeders.”
Elegant trogons, colorful birds sought after by many birdwatchers, usually nest in May in Madera Canyon.
They can be heard along stream beds from the Amphitheater Parking Area up canyon on the Carrie Nation and Super Trails.
Among the many other birds you might spot in Madera:
- Cooper’s hawks and red-tailed hawks are year-round residents.
- Flycatchers — 18 species — have been observed.
- Several kinds of owls live in the canyon, but they can be hard to find unless they area calling.
- Jays and bluebirds make common appearances.
- Eastern meadowlarks and northern cardinals are common.