Surprising Visitor at Sweetwater Wetlands

Yesterday I led the monthly Sweetwater Wetlands birding walk for Pima County Department of Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation.  I was joined by eight eager birders on a beautiful early November morning. Before we even left the parking lot, we had seen Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers, Verdin, and Song Sparrow.  We also scoped a obliging […]

Southwest Wings Madera Canyon Overnight Trip

The second tour I lead for this year’s Southwest Wings Festival was a Madera Canyon/Santa Cruz Valley Overnight trip.  Joined by birders from Phoenix, California, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, we left Sierra Visit in a light rain and dark skies. Our first stop was the south entrance to Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.  The semi-desert grasslands […]

Moths in Tucson Mountain Park

Last night, Julie Strom and I hosted a Nature Nights: Bats and Bugs event at Ironwood Picnic Area in Tucson Mountain Park.  Julie handled the bat portion of the program and I took care of the bugs.  We had a good turnout of people, bats, and bugs! Julie started things off with a presentation on […]

Nationl Moth Week is here!

The third annual National Moth Week is here.  Last night the first of my moth nights was held at Middle Bear Picnic Area on Mt. Lemmon in Coronado National Forest.  It was a beautiful night in the cool, pine-scented air at about 5,000 feet elevation.  The moths did not disappoint. Among the highlights were a […]

Moth Profile #3

With National Moth Week about a week-and-a-half away, it is time for another moth species profile.  Today’s species in the spotlight is the Clio Tiger Moth (Ectypia clio).  Like the Faithful Beauty (see previous post), this moth is in the subfamily Arctiinae of the Erebidae. This is a striking white moth with black stripes on the […]

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

I was recently leading a dragonfly walk at Agua Caliente Park. I had several children and adults in the group and we were seeing some cool dragons- Roseate Skimmer, Flame Skimmer, and Mexican Amberwing, to name a few. I was a few feet in front of the others, scouting for more odonates. I was intently […]

Another Cool Beetle

In my last post, I described a chance encounter with a beautiful beetle. A day earlier I observed another incredible coleopteran while doing scouting work for the upcoming North American Butterfly Association (NABA) meeting. While driving through the grasslands that lead into Garden Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains with Fred Heath and John Rhodes, we […]

Spectacular Buprestid

I have had the great pleasure of spending a lot of time out in the field lately, mainly scouting for the upcoming North American Butterfly Association meeting in Sierra Vista. While scouring the Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains, I have observed many cool butterflies- Mexican Fritillary, Two-tailed Swallowtail, Ares Metalmark, Juniper Hairstreak, and a host […]

Satyrs are one of my favorite groups of butterflies. They have a characteristic bouncy flight style that makes them easy to recognize. Mostly clad in earthtone browns and reds, there are 12 species found in Arizona. My personal favorite is the Red-bordered Satyr (Gyrocheilus patrobas), a large, dark, very distinctive butterfly. These things show up […]

Lake Cochise Surprises

This morning I headed to Lake Cochise in Willcox (Cochise County) to scout for an upcoming field trip. I went to the lake in search of shorebirds, the subject of the trip. It was a successful mission as I saw hundreds of phalaropes, avocets, stilts, and sandpipers. However the stars of the day were a […]

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