Friday, October 19, 2012

Mid-October Birding at Tohono Chul Park

Today was a terrific day for a bird walk in the Park: clear blue skies and temps in the low seventies. I was greeted almost as soon as I arrived by white-crowned sparrows, which I had not seen since early spring.

white-crowned's crown 12-20-2010 9-41-10 AM 732x591

In the front of the Park, a rare treat: a cactus wren building a nest in the saguaro at the top of the trail that enters the Park!

                      Saguaro with nest at TCP 10-19-2012 8-49-26 AM 2299x2421

Cactus wrens build messy, football-shaped enclosed nests throughout the year. Nobody knows why they build multiple nests—possibly some of them are decoys. It’s not unusual in any given month to see a cactus wren with nesting material in its beak.

Cactus Wren Building Nest in Saguaro

  This wren repeatedly selected material from either side of the path, flew up into the cactus, added the new nesting materials, arranged them carefully, then flew back to the ground to repeat the process. Here is a brief video showing the bird’s efforts.

Cactus wren building nest in saguaro at Tohono Chul Park, Tucson AZ


  1. Anonymous6:22 AM

    Now I am really looking forward to my bird walk tomorrow. Sure to beat my count of 3 from last week. S

    1. Have a great bird walk! Take pictures!

  2. I birded Sweetwater this morning...a good variety of species...a little stinky though!

    1. Sue and I planned to go there the other day, but we couldn't figure out how to get there with the exit ramp to Prince closed... so we had a nice birding morning at Reid Park instead. I'm still amazed at all the good birds we saw!

  3. Nice video! Lucky you!