Southern Arizona is a birder’s paradise, and even in the heart of Tucson, you will experience a bevy of winged visitors. Here, we profile some of the “usual suspects” you may see in your garden.
The Mourning Dove is known for the soulful cooing sound it makes at dawn and dust. Its neutral coloration offers camouflage as it searches for seeds.
Roadrunners can be seen racing across the landscape as they chase their prey. They usually prefer lizards, but are brave enough to even take on a rattlesnake.
Gila Woodpeckers excavate holes in saguaro cacti, which provide homes for several bird species. They often can be heard as they peck at eaves and evaporative coolers (a territorial signal). Photo by Amy Haskell
The Cactus Wren, Arizona’s state bird, is well known for its brash and inquisitive nature, as it daringly perches on cactus spines.
Lesser Goldfinches have yellow breasts, and the males have black backs (females have olive ones). They feature white bars on their wings, and are particularly attracted to a feeder full of Nyjer (or thistle) seed. Photo by Amy Haskell
The colorful Hummingbird darts around plants with brightly hued, tubular flowers in pursuit of nectar. Many species of hummers inhabit our area. Photo by Ben Wilder