Better lucky than good!! I had a work trip to Tucson, one of my favorite places on earth to bird, so I took a couple extra days of personal time to bird. I had a number of “target” species I wanted to try and find (and photograph). This wasn’t one of them.
Elegant Trogons are dang tough to see in the U.S. They’re only found in a few spots in far southern Arizona, near the Mexican border. In November though? Nearly all Trogons move south for the winter, so you’re not likely to find one this time of year. I started birding this morning in “Florida Canyon”, a place I’d checked out through eBird. Painted Redstarts, Hepatic Tanager, and several other “new” species to me had been seen there recently, henc my decision to start there.
Florida Canyon certainly didn’t disappoint! I saw a gorgeous Painted Redstart right away, and later, a male and female Hepatic Tanager. It was very “birdy”, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened next. As I was watching a tree seemingly filled with Hutton’s Vireo and other birds, this very big, brilliantly colored bird came flying in. My first thought as it came in over my head…Magpie, as it was the big long tail in flight that reminded me of a Magpie. But this certainly wasn’t a magpie!! There in front of me was an absolutely brilliant Elegant Trogon!
Over the course of the next half hour, I watched and photographed the Trogon, with it making a couple of short flights and changing perches in that time. Getting a clean shot was a challenge, but I finally did find a good vantage point.
Great morning! One of my biggest thrills as a birder!