On Sunday March 8, 2020, nine (9) PCMN members from Cohorts 1-4 participated in an Advanced Training Skills-Based Field Trip with noted Pima County Natural Resources & Parks and Recreation, Wildlife Viewing Program Specialist, Jeff Babson, to Whitewater Draw in the Sulphur Springs Valley, located east of Tucson and South of Willcox. We were all there to view the memorable sights and sounds of the Sandhill Cranes and other wildlife. More than 20,000 cranes winter here from October through the end of March. The cranes are grayish with black feet and legs and you’ll never forget the sound of hundreds of them flying in and landing. There are several subspecies of Sandhill cranes that visit this area – 1) a Rocky Mountain population that come down from nesting areas in Idaho, Wyoming and Southern Canada and 2) a Mid-Continent population from Northern Canada and Alaska. Other bird-life spotted were Red Tailed Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Eastern Meadowlark, Great Horned Owls, Green Winged and Cinnamon Teals, Pintails, Songbird sparrow, Snow geese, Long-billed Dowitchers and, after further research on my photos, a Bald Eagle. Bobcat tracks and scat by a big old Cottonwood South of the main birding area were spotted as well. A great learning and viewing experience was had by all.
[Photos by Deb Petrich]