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Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Tucson, Arizona: Guess what? We are back in Tucson! Just too much to do around this area for us to not return for a few days. We are even back at the same RV park - just a few spaces down.

We had a very busy and active day. The weather was just fabulous. We ran loops around the RV park, showered and then fueled up (lunch) before our afternoon adventure. I just had to go back to Teresa's Mosaic Cafe and have that 3-chile chimichanga again!

DT had the same 3-chile filling inside a burrito (center, right) and instead of a post-run Gatorade, I had a margarita. Basically the same ingredients, right? Corn and flour tortillas are made to order at a center counter in the pretty restaurant. Not only did I order the same chimichanga, we were seated at the exact same table... now known as "our" table.

Dave and I spent the entire afternoon at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum - a zoo - starring all the critters living in the area. Admission was $14.50 each. The drive west of Tucson to the Desert Museum is through miles and miles of massive saguaro cacti. They are everywhere. Just stunning.

I wonder if Tucson residents are equally amazed when driving through mile after mile of our Oregon Douglas Fir?

We were greeted at the front gate by a volunteer with a pretty American Kestrel

I know it looks just like a desert - but there is a zoo hidden amongst all those rocks and cactus

King snake (held by a brave volunteer) and a sleeping Javelina

DT, having a close encounter with a Prairie Dog

This was our fourth visit to the Desert Museum and we keep finding more and more things to explore. One of the best features at the zoo is the 3-time-daily raptor "show", where they have hawks and owls fly over guests heads while the zoo guides talk about the species.

We saw a Grey Hawk (above) and a Barn Owl and then they "released" four Harris Hawks. Harris Hawks (18-30 inches long) are quite unusual as they live and hunt in a group of two-to-six birds. After they kill their prey, one group member watches over while the others "dine". Only one other hawk species hunt this way - and they live on the Galapagos Islands.

Can you see the radio tag on the hawk? A little disk on the back rear with a wire extending over the tail? The hawks are released from their cages during the show and fly around, come to rest often for "treats" and later return to their roosts. It was quite windy this afternoon during the show and the hawks spent more time than usual enjoying the wind and "floating" above the zoo crowds. Amazing. If you are ever in Tucson, take time to enjoy the raptor show at the Desert Museum.

After enjoying the raptor show, we continued through the exhibits and I photographed a few more critters.



Desert Bighorn (Borrego Cimarron/ovis canadensis mexicana)

The Desert Museum has a walk-in aviary and a walk-in hummingbird-only aviary

A very long and fun day.

Until my next update, I remain, your nature-loving correspondent.

RV PARK:  LazyDays RV Resort - Huge campground. Pull-through and back-in full-service sites, cable TV, free wifi, 2 pools, spa, fenced dog run, bathhouse, laundry, pickle ball, horse shoes, putting green, bocce ball, restaurant, bar and rally facilities. Camping World store and RV sales on-site. Security. We paid $41 per night with our Good Sam discount.