Patagonia, Arizona attracts bird lovers from all over the state of Arizona and beyond to see the large variety of birds that are either year-round residents or that migrate through this area rich in riparian habitat. There are some species that venture only as far north in the United States as the Sonoran desert, like the Gray Hawk, which is known to nest in Patagonia. Other species only found in the very far south of Arizona in the US are the Violet-Crowned Hummingbird and Elegant Trogan. So, unless you plan to travel south of the border, Patagonia is a perfect place to see these special birds.
Spending the month of March in town, we were on the early side for peak northward migration, but there was certainly some spring migration occurring. We visited the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve a couple of times and Paton's Hummingbird Haven several times, as it was just a short walk down the road from where we were staying. We discussed both these lovely places in a previous blog post, so I won't repeat the details here. We also saw birds around town, at the Patagonia Lake State Park, on the Train Track Trail, and on our many bike rides.
We gathered most of the bird photos Barry took over the course of the month in this post. So without further ado, here are some of our best bird sightings in Patagonia. Wish we could have gotten photos of every species we saw, but that's always an impossibility!
A very LARGE flock of Black Vultures came to roost nightly in the Cottonwood trees along Sonoita Creek back behind the house we were staying in towards the end of our visit. Although vultures are certainly not pretty nor my favorite birds, it was quite a dramatic sight to see them all come in for their nightly roost, high in the treetops.
Barry got so many great shots of the lovely jewel-toned Broad-Billed Hummingbirds that I had to include an assortment; it was impossible to select just one. I especially love the action shots!
And yes, just in case you were wondering, we did get to see the famed Gray Hawk -- more than once! What a regal creature it is, and worthy of more than one photo for sure.
We were fortunate enough to see another of the birds very rarely seen in the US as Violet-crowned Hummingbirds only venture into the southernmost part of Arizona. We saw these beauties on our first visit to Paton's Hummingbird Heaven, but not on subsequent visits. We were so very lucky!
Note that Barry's photo of the Violet-Crowned Hummingbird in flight (below) was chosen by Tripadvisor to be used as the photo for Paton's Hummingbird Haven, as there was only a generic image up on the site. I wrote a review of Paton's and uploaded several photos Barry had taken there along with it, and a week or so later got a notice that the photo below was chosen to represent Paton's. Certainly nothing we expected but is now Barry's claim to fame!
And last but not least, one of our favorite "yellow birds" we saw so frequently in Belize...
But alas, we never did see an Elegant Trogan. We will have to look for that on a future visit or south of the US border.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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