Feathered Friends – Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia by Mick Thompson Flickr CC

This story originally appeared in the Jan-March 2014 issue of the Vermilion Flycatcher, the quarterly magazine of Tucson Audubon. This amazing desert-adapted bird can be a source of confusion for beginning birders. The male of this species is often mistaken for a female cardinal— and quite understandably, as they are very closely related. Once you know …

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Feathered Friends – Phainopepla

Phainopepla by Richard Fray

This bird’s questioning “wurp?” call is a common sound in desert habitat in and around Tucson. With the male’s handsome glossy black plumage, flashing white wing patches and ragged crest this bird often described as a ‘black cardinal with a red eye.’ The female is similarly attired but in a matte slate gray that is …

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August Is Awesome in Arizona for Hummingbirds

Lucifer Hummingbird

You most likely have heard that Arizona is a special place for Hummingbirds. Both the numbers and diversity of hummingbirds peak in Southeastern Arizona in August and this is just one more reason that Arizona is awesome in August! On this surface this seems rather odd. Why would hummingbirds be most abundant when it is …

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Feathered Friends – Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee by Kenneth Cole Schneider via Flickr CC

This article originally appeared in the October-December 2014 Vermilion Flycatcher, the quarterly magazine of Tucson Audubon. As the weather cools in Tucson listen for the distinctive cat-like “mew” call of a Green-tailed Towhee that has come to stay through the winter months. This very attractive bird has a striking white and black striped face and …

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Not Just Passing Through

Wilson's Warbler in a catclaw acacia by Marshal Hedin from Flickr CC

A Wilson’s Warbler’s Journey Through Southern Arizona This article by Jennie MacFarland originally appeared in the April-June 2014 issue of the Vermilion Flycatcher, the quarterly magazine of the Tucson Audubon Society. As a birder in southern Arizona, it is always a treat to see a Wilson’s Warbler. The appearance of this species in our region …

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