Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sandhill Cranes of Sulfur Springs Valley

Sulfur Springs Valley extends south of Wilcox to the border in South Eastern Arizona. In the winter months the sky is periodically filled by huge flocks of sandhill cranes as they move from roost in wetland areas to feed in the corn fields. They begin to arrive as early as late September and stay until March. Flocks are estimated to be around 30,000.

As we drove south of Wilcox on
Kansas Settlement Road and
hwy 191 toward White Water draw
we could see flocks rising
and landing in the fields.
It is essential to stop the car,
open the window and listen
to the sound of
the thousands in flight.

This area is also known as "hawk alley" for the variety of northern species that winter here. Specifically this ferruginous hawk.

The predominant quail in this region is the scaled quail, seen foraging in the grassy areas.

Take the time to look for other bird species such
as the ducks and waders in the wetlands and
horned larks in the fields.

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