Bird #273 — Cassin’s Kingbird

tyrannus (monarch) vociferans (to cry out)

Sunday, April 1, 1984 — 9:50 am

Pima County, Arizona — Road from Continental to Sonoita

We came down out of the Santa Rita Mountains onto flatter pastureland.  We spotted these Cassin’s Kingbirds in one of the fields right along the road.  One was perched on a weed stalk, the other was perched on the top wire of a roadside fence.  Mom stopped the car, and I got out.  As I approached, the one on the fence flew away from me and landed lower down on the fence further away from me.

With this bird, as with many others during this trip, I suffered the disadvantages of birding with a family.  I wanted to watch the birds for a few minutes so I could get to know them.  I didn’t know if I’d ever get back to Arizona to see them again, and I wanted to see them well.  But I’d no sooner left the van than Dad started calling me to get back in so we could go on.  It ticked me off then, and it can still tick me off when I think about it years later.

And what were we in such a hurry to do?  We drove into Sonoita — what there was of it — I can only recall one building, a little cafe. We stopped for breakfast.  There were about 15 tables crowded into two tiny rooms.  We ordered apple pie, and got a huge slices, about four-inches high.  Shortly after our pie came, a motorcycle gang stopped by.  There were about 20 bikes and even more bikers, and they all looked mean and scruffy.  They filled up most of the other seats in the place.  They didn’t kill us, so we finished our pie and left.

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