As we are wrapping up this winter in Arizona, I traveled to Madera Canyon and Patagonia, Arizona, respectively, to photograph birds for the last time this season.
The drive to Madera Canyon was about 1.5 half hours, but stretched into 2 hours after stopping to buy breakfast and retrieve a forgotten golf rangefinder. Madera Canyon was packed with people, and I got the last remaining parking place at Santa Rita Lodge, a great place for viewing birds. People were moving about, somewhat frightening the birds, but a few posed for photos. My goal was to capture hummingbirds in flight, or a least a good, sharp photo showing their colors. However, those photos will be saved for a future blog. I had planed to hike the long nature trail, but the crowds “drove” me away. Here are photos of other birds.
From Madera Canyon, I drove south and east to Patagonia, Arizona, home of Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Renowned for its backyard birds and scenic location, the Paton Center was acquired by the Tucson Audubon Society early in 2014. It was established as an international birding destination several decades earlier by Wally and Marion Paton, homeowners with a heart for birds and birders alike. When the Patons passed away in 2001 and 2009, the birding community began pulling together to save this gem for future generations. In the years and months since, many people have come forward with very generous donations to ensure a secure future for the site.