Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Sunny day, no sign of rain so we set off through Gates Pass to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

another jiggy road through the mountains

look real close and you'll see two enormous houses perched on the mountain ridge!

It was a beautiful ride and we were looking forward to seeing the Raptor Flight presentation at 2 p.m.  We've heard from a number of people what a great show this was, and boy, they weren't wrong.    We arrived about half an hour early and wound our way through the desert to the appointed spot.  The narrator gave us some quick rules - from our hats down is "our space" from our hats up is the "birds space".....and a beautiful Grey Hawk came swooping down from the blue sky to land on a bare tree right next to me!

What a beauty she was.   At some unseen cue, she turned her back to show her banded tail, then flew to the other side of the pathway so more people could see her.

All the while the narrator was telling us about the raptors, facts, figures, hunting behaviors, habitat information, etc., but I couldn't take my eyes off  those spectacular birds, how they flew, how they looked right through us, how they showed  themselves from all sides.   They flew so low over our heads, I actually felt a wing graze my head on a flyover......slowly back and forth over us.      I hardly heard a word.

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawks hunt in groups

this juvenile Barn Owl "talked" constantly

This Museum is part desert botanical garden, part zoo.   After the Raptor Flight show we wandered the grounds going from natural animal enclosure to cactus and agave gardens.  We found a walk-through Aviary and a Hummingbird habitat -  the little devils dive bombed us, not wanting to be outdone by the Raptor show I think!

I'll just post way too many pictures for you to see some of what we saw.  (Thank you Lazy Days free internet!)

 Desert Botanical Garden

two crested Saguaros

20 ft. high  Agave bloom

Pincushion cactus in bloom

aptly named Totem Pole Cactus

the desert is slowly beginning to show spring color

this guy looks like he should be in the cast of Lion King!

Desert zoo creatures

Don't look for any pictures of typical desert rattlesnakes, scorpions, mountain lions, javelina's or coyotes.   They were all present, I just didn't photograph them!
Bighorn sheep

I love his teeny tiny feet!

pile o frogs


Black  Bellied Whistling Duck (don't you love his baby pink feet!)




  1. Oh my ...I want to go there!!!!!!! Beam me up, Scottie! (Lewis?Dave?Sue?, not sasha as she might lose me midway with her nap style.)

    thank you so much for the beautiful photos, Sue.

  2. We loved Sonora Desert Museum. The Raptor show was awesome. We recommend this Museum to everyone!

  3. Great pictures. We do have a red tailed hawk that visits our back yard daily. NOthing like what you posted but we are thrilled to see it.

  4. What fun and great pictures! Thanks for the memories...however when we were there, the cactus were not in bloom...wrong timing for us...great timing for you! Travel safe!

  5. So glad you got to see the Raptor show! Great pics!