Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birds in Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Tucson Mountain Sunrise
And you ask, "what is the ASDM?" Answer:  Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.  When you walk through this place you learn all there is to know (that you can in a few hours) about the Sonoran desert, a unique ecosphere area in southern Arizona and northern Mexico.  Filled with different cacti, animals, reptiles, insects, flora and fauna, too numerous to count or mention.

Great Horned Owl
We are staying at this campground in Tucson Mountain park beyond a little mountain range west of downtown Tucson.  Hardly any campers in the whole place and we feel the calm of the desert.  And the occasional army helicopter flying over but nothing like the interstate traffic or Tucson airport noise.  Very still.  Can hear the coyotes howling.

Prairie Falcon
We have visited the ASDM now 3 days in a row.  Monday afternoon went over, scoped it out and joined as members.  We figured it would pay for itself with 3 visits and, indeed, it has.  What a magical place!  Full of subtlleties and sublime beauty, even in winter.

Harris's Hawk really focused on prey
The stars of the show, however, are the birds (of course).  Hummingbird aviary and regular aviary.  But the best is the raptor free flight exhibit.  2 times per day the museum trainers fly birds without tether.  I decided to try photographing them.  On 2 different occasions so far I shot almost 1,000 photos and only 4 of them were worth showing in my opinion.  The rest were discarded as either blurred, out of focus, wrong light, etc.

Of course there are other birds which will appear in this blog from time to time.

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