Saturday, May 14, 2011

San Pedro River Riparian National Conservation Area

Happy International Migratory Bird Day!
On March 18th we made our second visit to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area near Sierra Vista. San Pedro is the first officially designated global important bird area in the United States. The San Pedro River winds it's way northward from Mexico and is the life blood of the beautiful cottonwoods that line it's banks as well as the millions of birds that pass through here each year.

The San Pedro House is the primary entry point to the preserves 56,000 acres and is located on route 90 south of Sierra Vista.
Located within the preserve are 100 species of breeding birds as well as 250 species of migrant and wintering birds. 40% 0f all nesting Gray Hawks in the United States are found at San Pedro. Each year approximately 4 million migrating birds pass through San Pedro.
On this trip we decided to head north from San Pedro House which is operated by the Friends of The San Pedro River. Information about the Friends of The San Pedro River can be found here:
On our walk we encountered many of the birds that call San Pedro home but our primary focus was on photographing the trees and the river itself so that we may document the transformation over the year of both the river and the cottonwoods some of which are over 100 years old.
We hope to return once or twice a month through the year to photograph and hike this amazing place. Our next visit will focus on the life at the ponds within San Pedro and frankly I can't wait.
The next time we head to San Pedro these trees will be fully leafed out and will provide a beautiful soft green canopy.
A ribbon of cottonwoods flows northward just like the San Pedro. Here we see that the trees are beginning to shed there winter blahs and will soon provide much needed shade for both the river and it's inhabitants.

Each visit we have made to San Pedro we have been watched closely by this hawk that perches at San Pedro House.

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