Did you know you can get daily reports on where wildflowers are showing in the Tucson and Southern Arizona region? Just go to www.desertusa.com/wildflo/tucson.html. That website has many beautiful pictures of wildflowers currently in bloom. One of the many draws for visitors to the Tucson area and Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast are the many varieties of spring blooms.
Posts Tagged ‘Certified Wildlife Habitat’
April 27th, 2010 by tucsonbb
November 9th, 2009 by tucsonbb
Last week, eleven birds were added to our list of birds seen and identified on the property of Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast in Tucson, Arizona. Guests who are expert bird watchers have identified sixty-two kinds of birds
that visit the Hacienda at different times of the year. There are two fountains on the property that attract birds as well as two wild animal ponds, six hummingbird feeders, and eight birdseed feeders, two garden areas, and many trees and flowers that attract birds.
Abert’s Towhee Verdin
Canyon Towhee Phainopepla
Green-tailed Towhee Say’s Phoebe
Ash-throated flycatcher Gambel’s Quail
Black-headed grosbeak Greater Roadrunner
Bewick’s Wren House Wren
Cactus Wren Inca Dove
Rock Dove Hooded Oriole
White-winged Dove Northern Mockingbird
Morning Dove White-throated Swift
American Goldfinch House Finch
Northern Cardinal Gilded Flicker
Pyrrhuloxia Bendire’s Thrasher
Yellow-headed Blackbird Curved-bill ed Thrasher
Great horned owl Elf Owl
Little Brown Bat Purple Martin
Western Kingbird Red-naped sapsucker
Brown-headed Cowbird Black chinned Hummingbird
Bronzed Cowbird Costa’s Hummingbird
Cedar Waxwing Common Raven
Turkey Vulture Gila Woodpecker
Anna’s Hummingbird Magnificent Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird White crowned Sparrow
House Sparrow Chipping Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow MacGillivray’s Warbler
Lucy’s Warbler Black-throated Gray Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler Cooper’s Hawk
Common Nighthawk Red -tailed Hawk
Lesser Nighthawk Cooper’s Hawk
Black-tailed gnatcatcher Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Kestrel Lesser Goldfinch
October 13th, 2009 by tucsonbb
A recent article in our Tucson, Arizona paper highlighted a rare form of Saguaro cactus which grows bizarre and sometimes beautiful fan-shaped crests. The growing tip produces a fan like form which is referred to as
crested or cristate. Scientists haven’t yet found a definitive cause for this unusual growth. It could be genetic mutation, a lightning strike, or freeze damage. Only one in 200,000 mutates like this, so we are privileged to have one on our property, Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast. The picture is of the one on our Tucson Bed & Breakfast property.
The main trunk of a mature Saguaro may be 40’ high and 2’ thick. A woody inner skeleton provides the strength to support ten arms or more. They start to grow when the cactus is around 60 years old. They can live about 200 years. The medium green skin covers 12-24 ribs which expand and contract depending on the among of stored moisture within the plant. In May and June, in a tree at least 35 years old, the tips of the arms and the main stem are crowned with funnel-shaped, 3” wide flowers with waxy white petals. Each flower blooms only once, opening at night and staying open into the next day. The smooth-skinned green fruits, the size and shape of a chicken egg, split open at maturity. The pulp, which contains tiny black seeds, is edible and very tasty. Baby Sahuaro like to grow in the shelter of trees like the Palo Verde or Mesquite. Frequently, one or two end up growing right up through the tree. A mature Sahauro can weigh 6 tons and be 50’ tall.
The sahuaro provides a home to a variety of birds: gilded flicker, Gila woodpecker, owls, purple martins, finches, sparrows, ravens, and hawks.
October 8th, 2009 by tucsonbb
Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast in Tucson, Arizona is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. We have let important trees and shrubs grow without pruning in areas close to our home but not in areas which require
architectural landscaping which has created nesting areas for birds and cover for small animals to escape from predators.
We have two fountains and two wildlife ponds at the Hacienda which provide water to javalina, birds, rabbits, bobcats, coyotes, and other desert animals. Various arid plants, especially red flowering ones, attract
“By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young–and by incorporating sustainable gardening practices–you not only help wildlife, but you also qualify to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat.”
Hummingbirds are attracted by all the flowers, especially the red ones.
See more beautiful gardens and a butterfly garden while visiting Tucson at Tucson Botanical Gardens.
June 12th, 2009 by tucsonbb
Mr. Roadrunner has created quite a stir at our Tucson Arizona Bed & Breakfast Inn. He flies through the wooden grill near our front gate into the enclosed courtyard and drinks from the fountain there. He then hunts for moths and bugs which have collected during the night, drawn by the inside lights. Guests love to watch him clean up the windowsill as they are eating breakfast in the dining area. Of course as soon as they go to get their cameras, he often scoots away.
He also likes to watch as outdoor work is being done, as if to supervise the task. He wants to know what is going on in “his” territory.
Arizona Roadrunners nest in the cactus and among scrubby Sonoran desert shrubs and bushes and seek refuge in higher areas if being chased or hunted. The bird doesn’t fly high like other birds but gets his name from racing across roads in front of cars, reaching a speed of 15 miles per hour. His speed also helps protect him from predators in the desert.
May 29th, 2009 by tucsonbb
What a sight! Yesterday afternoon we watched a cardinal land on our copper water fountain which was created to look like a yucca plant by Tucson Arizona artist Robert Dunklee of Falling Waters Fountains. The copper turns green after awhile with the added white of hard water calcification which makes the fountain look like the real yucca plant. All kinds of birds land there constantly to drink and bath in the metal flower cups. Of course, when I wanted to photograph the red bird, he wouldn’t cooperate, but I did get a shot of a Morning Dove sitting on top of the fountain flower cup. I can really appreciate the patience of wildlife photographers with their specialty lenses.
We were challenged some years ago by an in-ground spa which was never built for efficiency and which we wanted to get rid of. After attempts to make it into a flower garden with only mild success, we purchased this fountain which lent drama to the small patio and could be seen from the living room. We lined the spa with plastic and added stone and pottery so that it looked natural. In the winter when it occasionally drops to freezing, the water forms icicles which lends it another kind of beauty. Guests at our Sonoran desert accommodation often enjoy this feature.
May 19th, 2009 by tucsonbb
One of the most common animals we and our guests see here in the beautiful Sonoran desert is the cottontail rabbit photographed here by wildlife photographer Paul Berquist of Tucson, Arizona. Because so many different animals prey on them such as snakes, hawks, and coyotes, most don’t live past the first year of life. For that reason, they reproduce in large numbers starting at three months of age. Their only real defense is their good hearing, eyesight, and speed. They love the environment here at our Tucson Bed & Breakfastwhere we are a Certified Wildlife Habitat, having lots of flowers and desert growth as well as two wild animal ponds where they can drink when water is hard to come by in the dry desert.
If one sits quietly long enough outside our protected patios and courtyards, you might even see another type of rabbit which is actually a “hare”, the Jack Rabbit. It is much larger than the cottontail with extremely long back legs which allow it to jump as high as 15 feet over brush and run as fast as 35 miles an hour when chased by a predator. This high jump also allows it to look around to see which way its enemy is headed. His ears are also very long. Most often we see one as we are walking or driving down the long lane to our B & B inn.
May 4th, 2009 by tucsonbb
Over the years, we have been fortunate a few of our guests have been experienced wildlife photographers. Scott Robinson and his wife come every year in the spring for Southern Arizona bird watching, and this year he captured the stunning picture you see here of our mother sitting on her nest. I should have asked him at the time if he knew which type of hummingbird it is, but I didn’t think of it.