Elkhorn Ranch — Songbird Paradise
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Louisa and I just returned from our annual week at the Elkhorn Ranch. The Elkhorn Ranch sits in the foothills of the Baboquivari Mountains, about 60 miles southwest of our home in Tucson. Run by Charley and Mary Miller, the ranch is delightful, offering great accommodations, delicious food, an incredibly beautiful setting, and an array of activities that include trail riding and hiking. We’ve been going there for more than 25 years.
I made this image of the ranch from a nearby hilltop. The ranch’s buildings are spread out along the course of a large wash that runs through the mouth of a canyon.
The Elkhorn Ranch features a wide range of habitats that include desert, desert grasslands, riparian, and oak and pinyon pine forests. The habitat variation has to do with changes of elevation on ranch property and also with the flow of seasonal streams that run through the place.
Those habitats are home to a variety of wildlife. One of the charms of the place is that it attracts a huge array of songbirds. At times, the concentration of these birds in the vicinity of the ranch’s cabins and outbuildings is stunning. Among the birds that I saw were numerous Northern Cardinals.
I also encountered large numbers of the Cardinal’s cousin, the Pyrrhuloxia.
I’ll be posting about these species, and others, in the days to come.
First image made with an Apple iPhone 5. Second image made with a Canon 5Div, 100-400 f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens, aperture priority setting, ISO 1250, f5.6 @ 1/400. Third image made with a Canon 5Div, 100-400 f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens + 1.4x telextender, ISO 640, f8 @ 1/640.