Winter Birds in Sedona 2017-2018

I for one am a big fan of the changing of the seasons.   The winter in the mid-desert of Sedona is wonderful. Cooler temperatures and moisture licking the Red Rocks creating beautifully varnished sheens. Thousands of wintering resident birds agree, existence is comfortable here. Juniper berries abound, Pinyon Pine nuts are easily extracted, seed laden grasslands are havens for sparrows, and fallen scrub-oak acorns are easy pickins. The winter of 2018 has been an interesting season, with very little moisture, warm temperatures, and an influx of birds that normally winter at higher elevations, such as Mountain Chickadees, Steller’s Jays, and Evening Grosbeaks. There was the Thanksgiving surprise of the American Bittern that spent almost 2 months at the Sedona Wetlands, and a Ross’s Goose that spent just a night.

As spring arrives, I have no complaints. There is an excitement to spring: the lighting changes, the desert bloom brought on by late winter rains and warming temperatures commences, smells emerge, both bitter and sweet, and birds perched on high points singing everywhere. And so the cycle continues, many of our summer breeders have returned from winter adventures in the warmer climes of Mexico, Central and South America. And many, many more are on their way.