Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Deciding which pictures will be posted in today's blog has been a big challenge. We started the day early and arrived at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum around 9:00 a.m. Yes, that's right, we actually got up and out of our cozy home early!

We explored for about 3 hours, which is definitely not nearly enough time to see everything. We have visited the museum once before, last year. This morning we got to see quite a few animals that were not out last year. We're also more tuned in to this area so we're quite a bit more familiar with the plant life. When we visited last year, we'd only been in Arizona a few weeks, and we were not staying in Tucson. We were staying in Apache Junction and came to Tucson for a day to visit friends.

Our focus today was the animals, since we can see the plant life just by walking out to the desert trails behind the campground. We saw birds, squirrels, a turtle, coyotes, javelinas, bobcats, gray fox, ocelot, margay, mountain lions, deer, Mexican wolves, wild turkeys, snakes, and prairie dogs. And we didn't even make it to the aviary! We did go through the hummingbird enclosure and got dive-bombed by several of the tiny treaures.
We'll start with the mountain lion

And the bob cats

An ocelot
Gray fox
I'm sorry about the sun spot on this one, but I need one of my birding friends to help identify this bird with the strange hairdo!

Here's a bright cardinal

Mexican wolf


We got to see the raptor free flight exhibit. Here's a barn owl in flight

A large hawk

And a very tiny hummingbird on her nest

I can certainly understand why many people end up purchasing a membership to the museum so they can go back many times. It is an amazing experience.

Lunchtime came, and we were hungry, so we chose a trip to Olive Garden. We were then both ready for a little down time so we came back home. Jim took a short nap while I did some paperwork and e-mails.

Thanks to all my friends and family for the birthday wishes. It's been a good one! Tomorrow's adventure involves crossing the U.S./Mexican border so Jim and friend Doug can have some neded dental procedures done. We'll also be doing some field research for our pending, possible Mexico Camping adventure. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Fred Wishnie said...

I think your bird is a male adult Phainopepla.