Tag Archives: Catalina State Park

~Nature at its best – an Anna’s Hummingbird

~December, 2022 Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

They are so fun to watch, postering to defend they territory.
Looking tough!

When the light hits their head and throat it is a gorgeous sight. I saw my first Anna’s on January 3, 2009 at Catalina State Park.

 Like the Rufous Hummingbird, Anna’s are pugnacious and well known for its territorial behavior. Males fiercely defend feeding areas and chase away other male hummingbirds and even large insects such as bumblebees and hawk moths that try to feed there. They are known to eat more insects than any other hummingbird. They can live up to eight and half years.

From the flowers and insects they feed on, to the trees and bushes they rest and nest in, to their brilliant colors and strengths – all astonishing examples of nature’s creations.

Look for them in your yard this season! 

~Catalina State Park

~Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ – End of 2022

I don’t believe there is anything negative I could say about this park. It is a “gem” of an Arizona state park. It is so well loved that it is hard to get reservations during the winter months.

Catalina State Park is located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is home to nearly 5,000 saguaros and desert plants. There are 5,500 acres of foothills and canyons that offer opportunities for camping, hiking, and bird watching. The park is home to more than 150 species.

If you get tired of bird watching you can ride your horse or your bike. Right outside the  park you can connect to the walking/riding trail system called The Loop and ride or walk for miles and miles. I believe The Loop is 131 miles long.

There are restaurants and shopping minutes away. If you get tired of the serenity of the park you can visit some of the other local attractions: https://azstateparks.com/catalina/things-to-do/area-attractions

 We have visited this park so many times over the years and it never gets old. It is a favorite destination of ours.

Clouds over the Santa Catalina mountains.

I think I might have a few bird photos to share  😉 along with some beautiful sunset photos. Until next time….

~Things are just humming along…

~The many faces of an Anna’s Hummingbird.

These were taken at Catalina State Park:

These were taken at Picacho Peak State Park:

If you would like to read more about this beautiful Hummer go to: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/annas_hummingbird_k6.html


Grab your binoculars, go for a walk and have some fun!

~Sunset over the Catalina Mountains

~December 22, 2018, Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

A lovely walk, at sunset, on the Romero Ruin Loop Trail.

Howard at the beginning of the Romero Ruin Trail in Catalina State Park (6:15pm)
The mountains are gorgeous with the beginning of the evening sunlight shining on them. (6:16pm)
Shadows add to the drama taking place.
(6:20pm) Sunlight kissing the Saguaro Cacti.
(6:22pm) The evening sunlight turns these mountains into a fiery, gorgeous sight.
(6:30pm) Looking west.
(6:31pm)  A different view

The Romero Ruin Trail Loop is one of my very favorite trails. The views, from atop this hill of the Catalina Mountains are spectacular, the foliage diverse, and the birding rewarding. At sunset, the scene is peaceful and breathtaking.

Earlier in the day, on the same trail:

Curved-billed Thrasher

A list of all the other birds I observed while visiting Catalina State Park:

Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk(new), Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gilded Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gila Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Common Raven, Western Scrub-Jay, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Pyrrhuloxia, House Finch, Cassin’s Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

I wish I would have seen more!


~The Moon Sits Atop a Saguaro

December 20, 2018, Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ

A stroll at dusk back a nature trail in Catalina State Park to watch the moon rise over the Catalina Mountains was a lovely way to spend the evening.

The Moon sits atop a cactus.

The evening light brings out the gorgeous colors of the Catalinas.
The Moon rises higher.

It was a lovely walk, watching the glow of the setting sun play its magic over the mountains.

On Saturday, December 22nd, the moon will be full and it is also the winter solstice. Winter is here.