Birds In Our Backyard

Birds In Our Backyard

I find the most productive birding areas within Tohono Chul to be the Performance Garden/Sundial Plaza as well as the Riparian Habitat; mostly due to the trees there. The acacias in the Performance Garden in particular and the trees near the Geology Wall. Good migrant visitors in April and again in September/October. – Docent/Birder Ray Deeney

Series One

Click on its name to hear the bird’s song! Click on it again to stop the audio.

Every two weeks we’ll add more birds to enjoy!

Learn More About The Birds

Lucy’s Warbler
Leiothlypis luciae
Chipe de rabadilla rufa

Tiny Lucy’s is the only warbler that migrates to the Desert Southwest each spring to breed and unlike most warblers, these birds are cavity nesters, using abandoned woodpecker holes or openings beneath peeling mesquite bark. To help this declining species, in 2019 Tohono Chul became a test site for Tucson Audubon’s Lucy’s Nestboxes project. To learn more – https://tucsonaudubon.org/lucys-warblers-and-nestboxes/

b/w illustration attribution – photo by Budgora
photo attribution – Henry T McLin
sound attribution – Scott Olmstead

Gila Woodpecker
Melanerpes uropygialis
Carpintero del desierto

In case you’ve wondered who is responsible for those holes in the sides of the saguaro cactus, Gila Woodpecker is the main culprit. Their excavated nests provide protection from predators, as well as blazing summer temperatures, with nest cavities 10 to 15 degrees cooler than outside.

b/w illustration attribution – Debbie Jensen
photo attribution – Erin and Lance Willett
sound attribution – Richard C. Hoyer


For more fun with feathery friends, check out the week devoted to birds from our Tohono Chul @ Home content series!