Cactus Wren, Boyce-Thompson Arboretum

About an hour east of Phoenix (Metro Phoenix) on Interstate 60 is Boyce-Thompson Arboretum, which has plantings representing many of the deserts of the world.  It seems odd to call such a place “lush,” but so it is.

It’s where I saw my first vermilion flycatcher, my first pied-billed grebe, my first hooded merganser, and my only boojum tree.

It’s also where I got my best picture of a cactus wren, sitting, rather atypically, on an ocotillo.  Usually, they’re too far away for me to get any kind of shot at all.

Cactus wren seen fron underneath; feathers fluffed by wind.



    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – OK, this one was definitely over my head and I got lucky to get him at all. Usually they’re a ways away across no-go off-trail terrain in a park, atop a cactus, and backlit too.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Sandy Hornbaker, the Bird Lady of Usery Park (in metro Phoenix), told us that these birds that nest in or land on cacti weigh very little and their feet are covered with something like our fingernails. That, at least, brings it into the realm of the imaginable!

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