Saturday, February 28, 2015

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
February 21, 2015

Each time Joe and I have visited Tucson, we have tried to visit the Desert Museum. A parking lot full of school and tour buses each time have been an excuse to not stop. We got lucky last Saturday as there were lots of empty spaces! As mentioned in my last post, Mary Ellen and Jim stopped by Lazydays for a 3 night stop over on their way to San Diego. I was thrilled that we finally made it to the museum and even more excited to share it with friends. 

On the "About Us" page in the museum's pamphlet, they proudly boast it is ranked on as one of the top 10 Museums in the country. What I really liked is that about 85% of the museum is outdoors! It is nestled in the desert on 98 acres that include walking paths through various habitats and gardens.

Today's post is all about the birds I enjoyed...

 The State Bird of Arizona...

The Cactus Wren is the largest wren in North America. It is a true bird of the desert and can survive without free standing water. 

They eat mostly spiders and insects, and will occasionally enjoy fruit and scraps at picnic tables. 

White-crowned Sparrows are very common in the Sonora Desert during October - March. They mostly eat seeds from grasses.  

A Gila Woodpecker...what a beautiful wing design...
 Their most common nest hole in the desert is the Saguaro. After the hole is made, the cactus forms a tough callous making the hole durable and dry. Years after the Saguaro dies, the hole remains and are known as "Saguaro Boots" because the resemble the footware. 

This is a Phainopepla...a crested songbird of the desert. These are the most northerly representative of the Central American silky flycatcher. 


 Mary Ellen loves birds as much as I do...we had a fun time "oohing" and "aahing". Our cameras got a good workout!

A Costa's Hummingbird

 The Hummingbird Aviary was a highlight of my day. I have wanted to see a hummingbird nest for quite a long time and even though these were not in "the wild", it was still a thrill.  

A flip book is available to identify the variety of hummingbirds in the desert...

  This Steller's Jay sure caught my eye...

Hope you are having a great week-end. Until next time, take care, and...

happy trails!


  1. This is such an amazing museum. It is almost too large for a one day visit.

    Your bird photos are gorgeous! I love all the close ups. That cactus wren all ruffled in your header is so cute:) Great job capturing the hummingbirds!

    Glad you finally made the visit:) Can't wait for the rest of your trip!!

    1. Thanks is a wonderful museum, not like any other we have been to. Surprisingly, Saturday seems to be a good day to visit.

  2. WOW! We're heading in that direction so I have to put that museum on our must-see list.

    1. Oh yes...well worth the price of admission Jeri. There is so much to see. There is a raptor show at 10:00 am and 2:00pm everyday. We just missed the morning show...maybe next year! Their website offers lots of info as well.

  3. Some amazing bird pictures, looks like a must see place.

    1. We sure thought so to George...glad we finally made it!

  4. If you happen to go back to the Sonoran Desert Museum the Raptor Show is excellent. Worth the price of admission. Raptors flying right over your head within touching distance!

    1. We just missed the morning show Lisa...I would love to go back and see it.

  5. We also enjoyed the the museum. And your bird captures are awesome and you do know I like birds as much as you do. And that Stellar Jays is as gorgeous as the Green Jays of TX.