Birds ... I love them ... I love their colors ... I love their songs.
And in my photography, it seems -- instead of me looking for them -- they come looking for me.
I stopped at the Arboretum in Flagstaff to shoot flowers when a beautiful barn owl appeared during a raptors show. I found an Arizona cardinal at Colossal Cave while photographing actors in a movie. A southwestern blue bird sat down on a nearby limb as I was shooting Lakeside Lake in the White Mountains. I was 11-thousand feet up on Sunrise Peak when a snowbird stopped by to say hello.
For sandhill cranes, head to Cochise County and Whitewater Draw during Wings Over Willcox every winter. In that same location, you might even see an eagle float by.
If you want a peek at some peacocks, head to Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David.
Of course, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum gives you great views of Harris hawks and other predators.
You’ll see a great assortment of exotic birds at Oasis Sanctuary in Cascabel. Be sure to take some earplugs.
During the spring and early summer, you just might catch some juvenile great horned owls hangin' around in the palm trees.
You may not know that the Ostrich Ranch at Picacho Peak also has a great collection of lorikeets more than willing to get up close and personal.
For hummingbirds ... a trip to Patagonia and the Paton Center for Hummingbirds will get you within 20 to 30 feet of the hummers. Take your long lenses and binoculars.
All it takes for quail -- is to keep your eyes open.
Same for road runners. I found a great blue heron one winter day at Sunglow Ranch in the Chiricahua’s.
And did you ever wonder why saguaros can be so full of holes? It’s because Gila woodpeckers -- once they've bored a hole for a nest -- insist on carving a completely new one the next year.