Dispatches From the Field: 2014 Camp Chiricahua

by Jennie Duberstein

I’m writing this in the common room at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. Pish & Twitch, the duo of Brendan Murtha and Caleb Frome (with support from Will Von Herff)  are serenading 2014 Camp Chiricahua with a performance of Migrants Go By, their birdy parody to the tune of American Pie.

My, my watch these migrants go by
Dropping in, dropping out, cross the nation they fly.
And the good old birders from Maine to Hawaii
Will be birding’ ’til the day that they die…birding ’til the day that they die.

We’re about halfway through camp and the highlights are almost too many to mention. We’ve had a ton of rain, but the birds have been cooperative during the sunny hours and we’ve seen everything from Short-tailed Hawk to Mexican Chickadee since camp started. Everyone in this group is an all-around naturalist, so while birds are our focus, we’re all nerding out on insects, mammals, herps, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, wildflowers, trees, plants, and everything that we come across. To summarize: this group rocks.

We camped for two nights on Mount Lemmon and have been in Portal, Arizona for the past four days. Tomorrow we’re off to Sierra Vista and the Huachuca Mountains and San Pedro Valley, from there to Patagonia, and finally back to Tucson for the last night of camp. Below are a few photo highlights of camp so far–more to come!

Pish & Twitch! Stay tuned for video...

Pish & Twitch! Stay tuned for video… (Photo: Jennie Duberstein)

Happy campers on the first day of 2014 Camp Chiricahua. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Happy campers on the first day of 2014 Camp Chiricahua. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Blue-throated Hummingbird at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Blue-throated Hummingbird at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Michigan young birder Nate Martineau with a friendly vinegaroon.

Michigan young birder Nate Martineau with a curious vinegaroon.

Although owls have eluded us so far, black lighting at night has turned up lots of cool stuff, including this bark scorpion.

Although owls have eluded us so far, black lighting at night has turned up lots of cool stuff, including this bark scorpion. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Texas young birder Caleb Frome tests out a Phone Skope adapter to digiscope a Bendire's Thrasher in Rodeo, New Mexico.

Texas young birder Caleb Frome tests out a Phone Skope adapter to digiscope a Bendire’s Thrasher in Rodeo, New Mexico. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Montezuma Quail pair near the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Montezuma Quail pair near the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

Missouri young birder Marky Mutchler draws a Western Wood-Pewee at this afternoon's field sketching workshop.

Missouri young birder Marky Mutchler draws a Western Wood-Pewee at this afternoon’s field sketching workshop. (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

2014 Camp Chiricahua! (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).

2014 Camp Chiricahua! (Photo: Jennie Duberstein).