Fast becoming one of my all time “Go To” spots, Florida Canyon, just a few miles north of Madera Canyon has yielded yet another great bird. Just last Saturday, I was up in the canyon, hoping to see the Yellow-billed Cuckoo that has been reported. I was shut out on the cuckoo, but discovered a group of Bushtits, which made them a first time for Florida Canyon for me. As you might know, Bushtits could possibly hold the record for all time “Most Hyperactive Bird” as they just never sit still. Just the thought of trying to get an accurate count for my eBird report was daunting let alone trying to get a decent photograph. Then, I spotted this one bird in the group of 12-14 (OK, 12 to 14 plus or minus) Bushtits, an anomaly. This bird was a Bushtit, but it turned out to be the Black-eared form. A form of Bushtit, not an actual subspecies, which I understand is rarely ever seen north of the Mexico border, and even then usually in Texas. Since it is not a subspecies, it is almost impossible to track other reports, but since posting the photo on the Arizona Birders Facebook Page there has been one more birder, who reported a similar bird April of 2014.

Here is another shot of this very cool bird.

And for the sake of comparison, here is the normal, run of the mill Bushtit.

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Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. Now his wife, Jeanne wanted to travel the world, and he thought that sounded like fun, and a great way to see a bunch of new birds! So far they have sailed north from Seattle, up thru British Columbia, Canada and down the West Coast of the US to settle (for now) in La Paz, Mexico. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it.