Sunday, June 26, 2005

Land of Jaguars

Yesterday I went on a bird walk through the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Led by some experts, our targets were the yellow-billed cuckoo and the tropical kingbird. We found them both. I was even credited with sighting a vermilion flycatcher.

The San Pedro River in Southern Arizona is world-renown for its myriad bird species because of the migratory patterns from South and Central America.

One of the birders, an older woman, has made lengthy travels to Turkey and Peru to watch birds, but she says this region is the best.

In addition to the birds, the San Pedro Valley has the world's second-most concentrated populations of mammals. Costa Rica is first. Did you know we have jaguars in this region? They dwarf the mountain lion. They are extremely rare.

Jaguars! I am in the land of the Aztecs. The realm of the Fabled Seven Cities of Gold and the Conquistadors and the Sixgun and Tombstone.

"And loving every minute." (Maxwell Smart)

It sounds like an interesting day. Thanks for posting all the info! (Were you able to get pictures of any of the birds?)
I didn't take any still photos because it takes a heckuva long lens, but rather I videotaped with my Sony camcorder, which has a decent zoom.

One time I ran afowl of the senior docent, who dressed me down for "improper birding etiquette" because I forged ahead of the birder pack to get a tighter angle on a little chirper who awed us with his presence.
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