Following the recommendation from my Twitter friend Liz Kylin, Shuwen and I stopped at the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona as part of a road trip in March this year. This is a mostly outdoor museum (with some indoor exhibitions) and it is a lovely place.
Unfortunately, we only had half a day there – if we had known how big it is and how much it has to offer, we could have spent an entire day there, easily. They do have animals too – Bighorn sheep, otter, beaver, for example, and two aviaries: one for “other” local birds, and one specifically for hummingbirds.
In the hummingbird aviary, the birds are so used to humans that it is possible to get a pretty close-up photo of some of the hummingbirds even with a cellphone! I had my 200-500mm lens with me (“Big Bertha”) and in quite some situations, I had to back off a little bit because I was below the minimum focusing distance of the lens (in other words: too close).
At the time we were there, they had three hummingbirds in the aviary: Costa’s, Rufous and Broad-billed. We do have Costa’s Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbird in San Diego County, but I’ve only seen Costa’s in the desert, and the Rufous seems to be far less common here. The Broad-billed Hummingbird was entirely new to us – it’s range does not include California, at all.
Here are some photos. On small-screen devices like phones or tablets, you can just scroll down. On larger screens, you may also click on any image to open it in the slideshow gallery view – for the best effect, I suggest switching your browser to full-screen mode (Windows: F11, Mac: ^⌘F).
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