Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum

Harris’s Hawk in Flight

We drove back into Tucson today to visit the Sonoran Desert Museum. It was a little over an hour each way, but well worth the visit and today’s weather was a huge improvement over what we had yesterday. This is definitely a place that warrants a full day visit if you want to take in everything. By far the most interesting was the raptor free flight demonstration. We missed the morning demo but caught the afternoon one and it was definitely worth the wait. Our demonstration involved four Harris’s hawks, each showing us their amazing acrobatic skills as flew between handlers. One of them even took a little break while it swooped down and grabbed an unsuspecting mouse in it’s talons. Very cool.

Harris’s Hawk in Flight

We also spent about an hour in the hummingbird aviary. Boy, are these little guys fast. Some were nesting and you can’t imagine how tiny a hummingbird egg is. The nest measures less than 2 inches across.

Hummingbird On Nest

Harris’s Hawk in Flight

I’m still working on perfecting the auto focus system on my new Canon 1D mk IV. I used the center point and surrounding AF points for these shots but think I may have been able to get away with the full 45 AF points for the in flight shots, given there weren’t any distractions in the the background to fool the AF system. I took over 200 shots and am still working on a few more before posting them.

We stopped in at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson afterwards but decided to give it a pass this trip. We got there about 90 minutes before it closed and there were simply too many aircraft to see in such a short time period. Something to save for our next visit. Instead, we did a scenic drive back to St David via the Old Sonoita Highway (Hwy 83) down to Sierra Vista and then back up through Tombstone. Awesome scenery. We arrived back at PP pooped from a very long day. May check out Bisbee tomorrow.