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Operation PhotoTrogon Cease #4 – Ash Canyon Fowl Sanctuary – Reflections of the Pure World


By Jim Acquire


This weblog sequence chronicles the adventures that Wealthy Brown and I skilled on our quest to search out and {photograph} the wonderful birds of Southeast Arizona in Might of 2022.



Nestled towards the Huachuca Mountain Vary simply south of Sierra Vista and about 10 miles north of the US/Mexico border, the sanctuary was the Ash Canyon B&B owned and lovingly maintained by Mary Jo Ballator. Her dedication and devotion created a vacation spot the place folks from world wide came over to see uncommon and delightful birds just like the Lucifer Hummingbird and Plain-capped Star-throat.

I met Mary Jo in April of 2019 after I spent virtually a whole day birding and chatting along with her and different birders. I keep in mind so distinctly as she pointed to a smaller hummingbird feeder and stating “The male Lucifer Hummingbird prefers to go to this one first and he’ll perch briefly on this department. Be prepared as a result of he’ll be right here shortly!” Not 5 minutes later I obtained this picture as he paused briefly on that precise department. She was such a pleasant particular person and I vowed to return to go to her once more. Sadly, Mary Jo handed away barely a month later.

Lucifer Hummingbird – April 2019


Dr. Mario Molina contacted the Southeastern Arizona Fowl Observatory providing to donate the complete asking worth of the property in order that it may stay protected and open to the general public. With this terribly beneficiant donation and the blessings of Mary Jo’s household, SABO assumed possession of the property on November 1, 2019, to be managed as a everlasting sanctuary for birds, different wildlife, and the individuals who love them.


As we left the Paton Heart, we had been sitting at 67 species for the journey with Wealthy sitting at 3 lifers with the addition of the Ruddy Floor Dove. We had visited the Ash Canyon Fowl Sanctuary after we got here right here in January of 2021 and had been hopeful of getting a few of the migrating birds we had missed then. As we pulled in to the parking space at 4:00 pm, our first ideas had been to search out out if the Lucifer Hummingbird was being seen. Feedback from others appear to point that “somebody” had seen it not too long ago. One other one in all Wealthy’s goal birds, Scott’s Oriole, had additionally been seen. As we watched each the hummingbird feeders and seed feeders, the native birds gave us a lot of “Kodak Moments.”

Mexican Jay
Bronzed Cowbird
Lazuli Bunting – Feminine
Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Shortly after 6:00, a van stuffed with birders pulled into the car parking zone and we now had many eyes watching the feeders.

I occurred to stroll round to the general public blinds space and I seen a small, yellow-faced hen hopping round on the base of one of many smaller Mesquite timber. I instantly acknowledged it as a GRACE’S WARBLER. Fairly than specializing in getting a photograph of it, I referred to as out to the group of birders sitting close by and I attempted to get them on it. Immediately, the chief of the group commented, “It’s in all probability only a Yellow-rumped Warbler, ignore it. Grace’s Warbler doesn’t happen right here.” Two of his group did get on the hen and confirmed the ID. He was appropriate in that Grace’s Warbler is a better elevation hen, however we caught one which was passing by means of.


I spent a number of minutes making an attempt to re-find and {photograph} the warbler to no avail.

A few minutes later, Wealthy comes as much as me to point out me the LCD panel of his digicam to ID an uncommon hen he had simply photographed. Certain sufficient, the Grace’s Warbler had popped up down on the decrease feeding station and was posing for all of the birders there. Photograph by Wealthy Brown


The identify of the hen possible derives from the Latin that means of “Lucifer”, which is interpreted as “light-bearing” and certain refers back to the iridescent gorget of the male.

One of many sanctuary volunteers commented that the hen preferred to return in near nightfall and refill for the evening. Immediately, the decision goes out, “Feeder Station E, it’s right here!” Certain sufficient, the male Lucifer Hummingbird got here in not as soon as, however a number of occasions as nightfall settled in on the sanctuary. Lifer #5 for Wealthy.

Lucifer Hummingbird
Lucifer Hummingbird
Lucifer Hummingbird

Ebird Guidelines Hyperlink

Subsequent Cease: Miller Canyon–Beatty’s Visitor Ranch


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