We visited missions, Kartchner Caverns State Park, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Sonoran-Desert Museum. Except for the cave, these were sights we have seen before on our previous 6 or 8 trips to Tucson around this time of year. We also hiked on trails in the Saguaro National Monument located on both the east and west side of Tucson.
Perhaps I had not paid attention on our previous trips but it seemed there were an abundance of birds in the desert. The recent rains may have helped or perhaps they were enjoying the warm weather just like me. Everywhere we went, I could hear or see the birds.
My best photographs of birds came from the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum which features native flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert. This Harris Hawk was being held by a museum volunteer.
The Humingbird Aviary is an enlcosed area where it's easy to get some good photos of the birds. I am not sure what species this one is or if it's native.
I am not sure what species this one was either but he cooperated nicely. He was the smallest one there--only about 3 inches.
The Curved Bill Thrasher is a common bird of the desert. This one was singing a lot like a mockingbird in front of the San Xavier del Bac Mission, located south of Tucson. You can almost see his yellow eyes.
On a hike in the Saguaro National Monument, I spotted this Phainopepla, a silky-flycatcher, about 7-1/2 inches in length.
The Cactus Wren is larger than our Carolina Wren. I saw and heard many of these wrens in the desert.
I was surprised to see a Purple Finch in the desert since we have them at our feeders in Virginia. Of course, they have different things to eat, like the fruit of this barrel cactus.
This woodpecker was too far away to identify. It may be using the nest hole of the Gila Woodpecker which makes new holes every year. Then, other birds use the old holes. The saguaro cactus is very plump from the rains in December.