Sunday, June 2, 2024

Birding at Ramsey Canyon Preserve

Corona de Tucson

June 2, 2024 

Friday morning Joe and I were up and out the door at 7:00. Our destination was Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

We visited this beautiful canyon last November and the maple trees were stunning.  In that post, I included a bit of history about the canyon and lots of fall color. If you want to visit Ramsey Canyon thru my lens, it is the featured post at the top of the right side bar.  

It was no surprise to find ourselves meandering under a canopy of green this time of year. 

Green is said to be the most restful and relaxing color to the eye.  There is definitely something calming about lots of green and being surrounded by it in nature.   

For years, I have wanted to see and photograph an Elegant Trogon in Madera Canyon.  These colorful birds arrive in a tiny little corner of southeast Arizona in April-May for breeding and depart in October-November.   On the way to Ramsey Canyon, my fingers were crossed and we were hopeful we would see this colorful rare beauty. Unfortunately, it did not happen...not yet anyway, but we will keep trying.   Even though we didn't see an Elegant Trogon, we did see three new to us birds and lots of familiar birds. 

Painted Redstart :

These quick moving little birds are quite showy and very hard to photograph.  They hop along branches pivoting their body, fanning their tail and opening their wings to startle insect prey into moving. They will eat butterflies, moths, flies, leafhoppers, and caterpillars. They rarely nest in trees, but prefer the cavities on the ground and under bushes on the side of a creek.  Nests are made of grass so I suppose the Painted Redstart in the photo I took is busy trying to settle in for the summer.  Other than the red breast, a distinctive mark is the white crest below the eye. 

Information from All About Birds

Western Wood-Pewee :

The Western Wood-Pewee is a grayish brownish color and are usually seen on exposed branches.  These flycatchers often put on quite a show (making them hard to capture a clear picture) sallying back and forth while nabbing flying insects.  They sit tall when perched showing off their "partially buttoned gray vest" while singing a nasal version of their name all summer.  Most often the pair will choose a fork in a horizontal branch away from the trunk for a nesting site.  They comically try out the spot by squatting and turning around on the branches while calling to each other.  

Information from All About Birds

 Sulphur-Bellied Flycatcher :

Sulphur-Bellied Flycatchers...thats about as much fun to say as Yellow- rumped Warbler...are described as a large tyrant flycatcher that looks tropical and sounds tropical.  Maybe that is because it is closely related to all the flycatcher species that live in South and Central America.  

The Sulphur-bellied is the most northern of these species and spend its winters in Bolivia.  During the summer, it usually breeds in Mexico and barely enters the United States right here in Southeast Arizona.  It is a beautiful bird with its boldly patterned streaks, large white eyebrows, mustache, bright rufous tail, and yellow belly for which it is named.  

Information from Tucson Audubon Society

We also saw an American Robin, Acorn Woodpeckers, a Summer Tanager, Orioles, and several different hummingbirds.  

A few more favorite photos...

Reflections of the blue sky and green leaves in Ramsey Creek...

Hunting for breakfast...


An Arizona native, Southeastern Prickly Poppy....

My honey-bunny...

To round out the week, Joe had a follow up with the eye doctor.  She was very happy as Joe's eye is healing nicely and he actually saw the BIG letters on the eye chart and could tell how many fingers she held up.  He is still on antibiotic drops and goes back this Friday to have the contact lens taken out.  I had a much needed haircut.  It's a bit of a drive to the salon and I appreciated Joe taking me,  It was a 9:00 am appointment so we enjoyed a nice brunch at Teaspoon afterwards.  This quaint patio restaurant is located in the courtyard where the salon is.    

Crab Benedict with greens (and a yummy dressing) and breakfast fries

Back at the oasis, we enjoyed cool morning air and walks. Afterwards, it is all about feeding the birds, watering flowers, and time in the rocking chair with coffee in hand enjoying the birds in our own backyard.  


Sally amuses herself and us !

Felix and Edith are at the beach !

I love Felix's summer freckles...

and Edith's ocean breeze hair. 

That about wraps up our week.  It was a god one !  I can't believe we turned the calendar again and it's June already !  

Until next time,



  1. Nice sightings on the new-to-you birds! And thanks for sharing yor research on them
    It's easy to see why Joe volunteered to drive you to the salon that breakfast looks amazing
    The usually docile quail are looking feisty
    Is there an inscription in the rock Joe is looking at? Or is that just a shadow?
    The kids are certainly enjoying their beach time!

    1. Good morning Jeff…you are welcome. I thought the info on the Sulphur-Bellied Flycatcher was impressive. He/she was quite beautiful. Those quails actually got in a big altercation…I felt bed for the little female caught in the middle. I’m already happy to find a new and tasty brunch spot…

  2. I too would love to see an elegant trogon! Birds everywhere in Ramsey Canyon in addition to it being so beautifully green in the desert--such an oasis! Love that photo of the two quail arguing! Sweet Sally as always. Felix and Edith--so cute! So glad to hear the good news about Joe's eye!

    1. Good morning Janna…thank you! Ramsey Canyon makes for a nice morning out. I think any season would be a good time to visit. I am hoping to get back there sometime before the Trogons head south for the winter. Those quails were doing a lot more than arguing. It was a first for us to see them behave that way.

  3. Thanks for another pleasant post.... they make my morning! We, too, love wandering Madera Canyon. The birds and the water and the green are so restful and lovely. Your breakfast/brunch stopped Dave in his tracks as he walked behind me this morning - "What is that! It looks so good" says he!

    1. Good morning Sue…thank you so much! I am sure you and Dave would enjoy Ramsey Canyon every bit as much as Madera Canyon. Have you ever seen an Elegant Trogon? My fingers are still crossed! Tell Dave the crab Benedict was yummy! Brunch is my favorite and Teaspoon is another winner!

    2. We're members of the group who have not seen an Elegant Trogon

    3. We will just have to keep trying…fingers crossed!