A highlight of the Tucson area, the Desert Museum boasts a variety of attractions, from animals you would find in a zoo, such as this Mountain Lion, to beautiful plants and cactus.
The Bighorn Sheep were also pretty cooperative about getting their photo taken. But the highlight of the Museum are the Raptor Free Flight programs.
A lot of my pictures look like this. These animals are flying free, but trained to go back home when their part of the show is over.
First out in the morning show was the Chihuahuan Raven, slightly smaller than the Raven we usually see. The trainer would put pieces of food on different branches, and the birds would land there, or on her arm.
Next up was the Gray Hawk, I think. Since I didn't take notes, I hope Judy will tell me if I misspeak.
Then came the Great Horned Owl. He was a little spooked by a photographer from PBS who was not where the birds are used to seeing people.
Then came a Prairie Falcon -
And a Ferruginous Hawk. They all flew from branch to branch right over our heads, seemingly oblivious to our presence (with the exception of the PBS photographer).
After the Raptor Free Flight, there was an indoor show about venomous desert animals - the Gila Monster -
And the rattlesnake. I was glad I was back in the fifth row.
Then after lunch there was another fascination Raptor Free Flight, this one all on the Harris' Hawk. There are 3 of them in the group, and they hunt cooperatively and are supposed to share their food. During the presentation, 2 of them took off to hunt, and one came back with what looked like a small bird.
However there was no way he was sharing...
Another highlight of the park was the Hummingbird Aviary. The birds are nesting at this time of the year. This is an extremely short video of mommy feeding the babies.
In case you missed it, here are two pictures extracted from the video - Mommy,
And the babies.
Nearby was a baby from another nest who had just left the nest the day before.
It was a great day, and I recommend a visit to anyone who is in the Tucson area.