[CT Birds] Off topic: Arizona Brown-backed Solitaire & Camp Chiricahua

Benjamin Van Doren nimajneb3 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 18:21:48 EDT 2009

Hi all,

Obviously Arizona birding usually doesn't have a place on the CT list,
but I thought you might find this interesting.

I spent the middle of July in southeast Arizona with VENT's youth
birding camp, Camp Chiricahua. I had a great time, and I highly
recommend it to any teen birders out there. It was an incredible

More importantly, our group discovered a Brown-backed Soltaire in the
Huachuca Mountains. This is a bird not currently on the ABA checklist,
but is a resident in the mountains of Mexico and Central America.
There have been a few previous reports of it in the United States, but
none have been accepted by the records committees because they were
assumed caged birds (the Solitaire is apparently a common caged bird
in Mexico because of its breathtaking song). However, as far as I know,
is not exhibiting any signs of a captive origin, and the time of year
is right for post-breeding wandering. If accepted, it would
be the first official US record.

Pictures, description, and sound recordings (listen to these!):

There was also a story about it on NPR, titled "iPhone Helps Campers
"Capture" Bird" (my iPhone by the way ;):

On another note, there was quite a nice movement of birds last night
on radar for August!

Good birding,

Benjamin Van Doren
White Plains, NY

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