Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Birding Gilbert Ray Campground in Tucson Mountain Park

Eric writes:
Greetings from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument,

While working in the Tucson Mountains Unit of Saguaro National Park I've been camping at Gilbert Ray Campground in Tucson Mountain Park.  This campground is spectacular desert birding and is easily visited from any part of Tucson.  The great thing about this location is that the birds have become acclimated to people, so getting close is not a problem.  

In the mornings and evenings all the common desert birds are present including Rufous-winged Sparrows, Canyon Towhees, Costa's Hummingbirds, and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers.  At night the nocturnal species start vocalizing; Great-horned, Western-Screech, and Elf Owls are all common.  This area is definitely a great spot to stop by if you are birding in Saguaro National Park.

Cactus Wren-a pair nests right along the entrance
road to the campground.

The same Cactus Wren as above.
A Gila Woodpecker at it's nest hole-another
species that nests right along the entrance
road.
The same Gila Woodpecker on the top of the
Saguaro that it is using to nest.

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