Botteri’s Sparrow; Peucaca botterii – Madera Canyon, Arizona: A bird of the Mexican grasslands, the Botteri’s sparrow barely crosses the border into the United States in Texas and Arizona.
In June, while photographing hummingbirds at the Santa Rita Lodge I drove out of the canyon to the Proctor Trailhead parking lot to photograph the sunset.
The shoot was a bust, because low lying smoke from nearby forest fires turned the horizon gray. After the sun had set I packed up my gear and headed back to my car. As I approached my van a woman who had pulled in the paring lot while I was shooting the sunset called out and asked, “are you taking photos of the Botteri’s,” I promptly replied “no,” and feeling ignorant I asked, “what’s a Botteri?” She then told me about the Botteri’s Sparrow that is found there in the parking lot. About that time a Botter’s began singing and within seconds I was seeing a Botteri’s in the evening twilight. It was a lifer for me! The evening was not a bust after all, though it was too dark for a photograph.
The next morning I was at the parking lot before sunrise with camera in hand. As the morning grew lighter the Botteri’s began singing and moving from perch to perch in a grassy area within the confines of the barking lot. After watching the bird move from perch to perch I was able to find a spot to get the shot. Not only did I get a lifer, but I got the photograph as well!
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/500 second @ f 5.6, Bean bag used for support