Aztec Thrush (Ridgwayia pinicola), Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz County
Part of flock of 6-9 birds first discovered on 24 July 2006 and continuing on 25 July when these photos were taken. The birds were feeding as a flock in a choke cherry tree about 0.5 miles up the Mine Vault Trail in Madera Canyon.
The first US record of Aztec Thrush came in 1977 in Big Bend National Park, TX. The next record came from Madera Canyon, AZ in 1978. Since then there have been at around 50 Aztec Thrushes in the US, mostly from southeast Arizona (including an astonishing 21 in 1996). Between 1996 and 2006, only very few were reported or documented in Arizona.
For additional information see:
Zimmerman, D.A. "The Aztec Thrush in the United States", Birding Vol 23, No. 6, December 1991 (includes identification info that is otherwise hard to find)
AZ Bird Committee Reports: http://ghrosenberg.home.comcast.net/abc_reports.html
Mlodinov, S, & M O'Brien "Americas 100 Most Wanted Birds"
25 July 2006 above photos by Al Tozier
25 July 2006 photo by Mike Moore, Gilbert, AZ.