Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Madera Canyon Eared Quetzal

Given the spate of recent birds (Eared Quetzal, Crescent-chested Warbler) reported from upper Madera Canyon, I decided to go for a hike. I had the misfortune to miss my friend Jerry by an hour or so and thus he took a different trail (Vault Mine) than I did. He heard the quetzal; I did not. I did have the blessing of enjoying some fine company anyway - Peter, John, Morgan, and Laurens and I hiked the Agua Caliente and Old Baldy Trails.

view looking south... red dots are sightings.

To back up a little... Laurens reported a probable Eared Quetzal on 10-28 along the Agua Caliente Trail (marked yellow); John and Morgan heard it a little east of the original spot on 10-29. Jerry heard it on 10-31 on the Vault Mine Trail.
On 10-30 Matt Brown reported a Crescent-chested Warbler along the Agua Caliente Trail. See the AZNM listserv archives for details.

For anyone thinking of looking for these birds, it is about 2.5 miles from the parking lot to Josephine Saddle via the Old Baldy Trail, then another .6 miles west along the Agua Caliente Trail to the original spot. You can also access the Agua Calinete Trail via the Vault Mine Trail, which a is a very steep and rough trail. The Carrie Nation Trail peters out somewhere above the junction with the Vault Mine Trail.

It was a beautiful day, despite being rarity-free. I created a map of the canyon with the various trails marked, and the locations of the quetzal sightings. The Crescent-chested Warbler was seen near the 10-29 sighting of the quetzal. I measured some of these locations today with a GPS, but standard disclaimer applies: don't use this for navigation.

View Larger Map

A new thing: I'm going to upload it as a Google Earth file too. It has more detail and includes the Super Trail and a topo map. If you have Google Earth, download it and let me what you think.

Get it here:

You can also view it by typing
into the box at

I'm still searching for an easy way to import Google Earth files into Google Maps to make them embeddable - anyone have any ideas?


UPDATE #1: I realize the spot I have marked for the original sighting is further west than originally described, but I got the location by gps while standing next to Laurens, the original observer. The location is the saddle west of Jack Mountain (the "bump" between Mts. Wrightson and Hopkins)- I don't know the name. It is .62 miles west of Josephine Saddle, which is the other side of Jack Mountain.
Andrew 11/1/07 2:00pm

1 comment:

Mathew said...

It has been photographed in a town called Madera, Chihuahua (see URL link). Great work on the maps you created.