Friday, February 3, 2012

Wintering Birds in Avra Valley and Santa Cruz Flats

 Pima Cotton, Sorghum and Alfalfa: the Avra Valley north of Marana is flat, fertile, irrigated and heavily used for agriculture.
Dust, pesticide and herbicide bombardment and unrelenting sunshine without shade can be a real turn-off at times, so I hardly ever go there.

Migratory birds have different preferences. Thousands of Blackbirds, mostly Yellow-headed, and Lark Buntings land in freshly harvested sorghum fields.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Lark Buntings

Lark Sparrows

Horned Lark

Northern Harrier

Common Ground Doves
 Scores of other sparrows and Meadow Larks, too shy for good photos. But Lark Sparrows sit nicely in great light. On the side of the irrigation ditch a single Horned Lark, but I have to shoot through the windshield. Same for the Northern Harrier. Other raptors show up and disappear before I get a good look. Lots of Ravens. Little Ground Doves are courting. Spring is coming.


  1. So happy the migratory birds are coming back to my area soon. They are so fun to watch.

  2. Hello!!! It was really nice meeting you today! Do you know that you're the first blogger I've ever met out in the field? Hope your pictures turned out. The closeup of when I was in the woods was of the n. beardless tyrannulet. If you ever see me digging around somewhere and spotting something, I'm not one of those birder types that would be offended if you wanted to take a look. Everyone asks me what my limits are and I say kids and pets because they generally scare away the views:) Hope you have a good week.