Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Rufous-Capped Warbler

There have been persistent reports of a group of Rufous-Capped Warblers in the Florida Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains since December of 2011. This unusual visitor from Mexico turns up every few years, but this year they seem to be pretty established in the canyon. They were one of the prime targets of the BiF road trip to southeastern Arizona, and were also among the first and most beautiful birds we saw.

They began their morning foraging with first light. While they did not seem to mind our presence at all. they didn't stay put for very long. Their flighty behavior combined with the dim lighting to make photography tricky, but it did make for a great sighting.

I haven't seen that many Warblers yet, but I imagine that when I die at the ripe old age of 165, having seen every bird in the world, these Rufous-Capped Warblers will still be among the most visually captivating birds I've observed.