Wednesday, April 15, 2009


photo credit: 29 August 2008, photos by Chris Benesh 
this photo is of the first Sinaloa Wren found last year at Patagonia.

Found yesterday and confirmed today, a SECOND Sinaloa Wren has been found in Lower Huachuca Canyon!  If accepted, this would be only the 2nd ABA area record!!  The first ABA area record was found at Patagonia, AZ about 8 months ago and is still being seen. This is definitely a different bird! 

Here's the initial post on the AZ-NM listserve: 

4/14/09 Lower Huachuca Canyon. Upstream from Camp Santa Cruz, just downstream from Camp Coconino complex; along creek in muddy area w/willows. Loud singing 11:45 a.m.  Probable SINALOA WREN, seen well, feeding at the base of an oak tree.  Striped face, gray sides, paler throat, short relatively broad reddish-brown barred tail, brownish-gray back.
--Diane Touret, Tucson

Here's a followup post: 

Some further information about my sighting in lower Huachuca Canyon of a possible (probable?) Sinaloa Wren. I was idly birding around 11:30AM in the area downstream from the Camp Coconino complex (the first bathroom area) when I heard a loud, rich, ringing song from the streamside. I walked toward the stream into a muddy area where the creek comes out from the willows. I couldn't locate the singing bird but caught sight of something dropping to the ground from the oak in front of me. When I focused on the bird foraging on the ground at the base of the oak, I saw that it was a wren with what looked like a white eye-line and a striped cheek. The wren foraged slowly and I saw gray sides, a slightly decurved bill, a barred red-brown tail slightly tilted up (shorter and broader than a House Wren's tail, but not as short as a Winter Wren's tail) and a brownish-gray back. I was so astonished at this unexpected find that I didn't recognize the song until I saw the bird! The song also sounded much richer and more complex than the bits of song I've heard from the Sinaloa Wren in Patagonia. The bird didn't call. I certainly hope that this bird hangs around to be confirmed by a photo or sound recording, so I know that I wasn't imagining things!    Since I don't have a camera, I wasn't able to get a picture and since I also don't have a cell phone, I had to rely on the kindness and generosity of Mary Jo Ballator to post my sighting, since I was 2 hours away from my computer.   While at Mary Jo's I was able to get several wonderful views of her male Lucifer Hummingbird. That, plus the windy, but profitable walk (2 male Elegant Trogons and several flycatchers - Hammond's, Dusky, Buff-breasted, Dusky-capped, and a calling Pacific-slope) along the jeep trail in Huachuca Canyon certainly made for one of those memorable days that make birding so exciting!      Diane Touret  (Tucson,AZ) 

Here's the confirming post from today, including a video of the bird: 

Ricki and I refound the bird seen and reported yesterday by Diane Touret
and by Mary Jo of the Ash Canyon B&B.  We were in the same area described
in their posting from 0600 to 0700 this morning, April 15 (tax day, but
not a taxing experience!!!!).  Both types of calls are demonstrated in the
video.  Please read the description that accompanies the YouTube link for
more information.  I've set the video up in the normal way one contacts
this bird-calling first, then sighting.  THANK YOU DIANE AND MARY JO!!!

Rick and Ricki Thompson
Sierra Vista

Here's the confirming post: 

To add to Rick's post:

From the Tucson Audubon Society's RBA voice mail at 520-798-1005 X 1

Erika Wilson reports re-finding the singing SINALOA WREN this AM near the bathroom at the "Camp Coconino" picnic area in lower Huachuca Canyon at 0830 today. They heard it sing multiple times but only got one look at it.

Thanks to Erika for the real time update on this great bird that Diane Touret found yesterday.

Directions to Huachuca Canyon are in "Finding Birds in SE AZ" and also (I think) shown on the map in the ABA/Lane guide.

Mark Stevenson
Tucson, AZ

Good luck if you chase this bird.  If this is anything like the one currently being seen at Patagonia, this bird should hang around for a while. 

I'll be down there most likely by the end of the first week in May. Sinaloa Wren here I come! 

Happy Birding! 


Rick said...

I think it's finally happening, as long predicted:
Rick Wright

Black-Hawk Birder said...

Only a matter of time, in my opinion. I wonder if they will ever become as widespread as Black-capped Gnatcatcher in the United States.