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Madera Canyon, Arizona

Madera Canyon is located in Southeastern Arizona and is on the migration path for seven species of hummingbirds. Many other types of birds also make their home here, so the area is a birders paradise. It is a known resting place for many migrating species, so most people you run into have either binoculars or a camera around their neck.

There are only three places to stay in the canyon (most of it is within a national forest), and all three places have multiple feeders. Right now there are Anna’s, Black-Chinned, Broad-Billed, and Rivoli’s Hummingbirds here. There are also reports of a few Rufous, an occasional Calliope and a lone Blue Throat, but I did not get to see them. By far the predominant hummingbird in the area at this time is the beautiful Broad-Billed, and the place is thick with them.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird is here, and this is the first time I have ever laid eyes on this bird. The male is truly magnificent. In fact, it used to be called the Magnificent Hummingbird, but there has been a taxonomy update and the Magnificent has been split into two separate species. The Rivoli’s Hummingbird (found in Southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua) and the Talamanca Hummingbird (found in Costa Rica and Western Panama).

There is a flock of wild turkeys here that spend the day grazing under the bird feeders at the Santa Rita Lodge and march up the road before dusk to wherever they roost at night. I found this out when they marched past me while I was trying to get pictures of the Rivoli’s. Before I left the canyon, I spotted one of the males displaying to a female I could not see. He was right in the middle of the road in all his splendor!

Already planning my next adventure. When I lived up in Lake Tahoe I had many Calliope and Broad-Tailed Hummers. I haven’t seen either one since I moved down to Los Angeles, and I never had good enough camera equipment to photograph them when I lived there. As soon as they return to the Sierras (probably sometime in late April/May), I’m going to visit one of my old neighbors. I plan to get great photos of those darling birds.


Studio City, California

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