Floy and I accompanied Ryan Phillips on a birding expedition into Southeastern Arizona. This area is known for some of the most unusual birds in the United States. The reason for these unique birds is that some of the mountains of Southern Arizona are contiguous with mountain ranges in Mexico. This enables some Neotropical birds to “hop” over the border and make themselves at home in Arizona.
The Five-striped Sparrow is a case in point because its distribution is mainly in Mexico over a strip that is about 450 miles long and less than 100 miles wide and extends from a few miles into Arizona and down the western mountain range of Mexico. This species barely makes it into Arizona and six were found about 32 miles north of the Mexican border, a few miles south of Tucson in a dry canyon. To the best of my knowledge this is as far north as they are known to occur. More details of this species can be found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Bird website.