Tag Archives: Cave Creek Regional Park

~Next 2022 park visit – Cave Creek Regional Park

~Cave Creek Regional Park is located in Maricopa County in Cave Creek, AZ.

We have visited this park many, many times over the years. The park is known for camping, hiking, birding and stargazing just to mention a few.

Here is a blurb from the park’s  website.

Welcome to Cave Creek Regional Park. The park, which is located north of Phoenix, became part of Maricopa County’s regional park system in 1963. This 2,922-acre park sits in the upper Sonoran Desert and ranges in elevation from 2,000 feet to 3,060 feet. This desert oasis provides any hiker and equestrian majestic views. The Go John Trail loops around a mountain to provide the illusion of being miles away from civilization. In the 1870s, fever stricken gold seekers staked their dreams on the jasper-studded hills. Guided trails to these sites give visitors an opportunity to travel back in time.

If one is so inclined to venture out of the regional park you are within easy access to Cave Creek, Carefree, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. But, truly why would you want to leave the park? You’re there to enjoy nature. Right?

Well, perhaps, to grab a bite to eat. One of my favorite places to eat in Cave Creek is Harold’s.  According to their website it has been around since 1935. If you like the feel of an old, western style place serving great food try Harold’s. Here is a bit of their history: https://haroldscorral.com/about/harold-s-history/

If you enjoy watching a sunset and stargazing, Cave Creek is one of the best locations for these activities.

Well, I had to try.

One of my favorite things about this park is the variety of birds that call this area home. And, one of my treasured  things to do is to take photos of them. A few from this visit.

Black-throated Sparrow
Phainopepla
Verdin
Gambel’s Quail

Where to next…..

 

~Arizona Birding Series – Canyon Towhee

November/December 2020

These Towhees are difficult to photograph, and it is funny that the best photo I got was when it landed on the curbing. Oh well, I’ll take it! [Grins].

 

Taken at Cave Creek Regional Park. Cave Creek, AZ
This one was taken at Madera Canyon.

Canyon Towhees keep a low profile across their range in the Desert Southwest. These big, warm-brown sparrows are common on the ground and underneath shrubs in a variety of scrubby habitats, but they easily blend into the background. Look for a fairly long-legged, long-tailed sparrow that’s the same color as the dirt, with warm rusty brown under the tail. They look very similar to the widespread California Towhee (the two were once considered the same species), but their ranges don’t overlap.

Cool Facts:

  • Canyon Towhees are desert creatures and they pay attention to water supplies. They can nest twice a year, timing their attempts to coincide with winter and summer rains, which produce a flush of plant material and insects.

  • Canyon Towhees’ seemingly simple songs contain lots of variation and have been well studied. In 1968, two scientists described this variation colorfully: “At its worst, the song is a dull series of chips, but at its best, it is a gay, sustained jingle to be compared with that of a titmouse. A male whose dawn singing has been dull and perfunctory during late winter and early spring will become transformed into a polished singer when his mate disappears to incubate….”

  • Present-day Canyon Towhee and California Towhee were once considered the same species, named the Brown Towhee. Mitochondrial DNA, which traces genetic history along the mother’s gene line, provided the evidence needed to split the two species.

  • The oldest recorded Canyon Towhee was a male, and at least 7 years, 2 months old when he was recaught and rereleased during banding operations in Texas in 1998. He had been banded in the same state in 1992.

Birding in Arizona – Black-throated Sparrow and others

From Cave Creek to Catalina State Park…

It is nice to have internet connectivity again. After leaving Catalina State Park we spent four nights over the Thanksgiving holiday at South Llano River State Park. Verizon just doesn’t work there at all.

These are the final bird photos from Cave Creek Regional Park in Cave Creek, Arizona. Up next photos from Catalina State Park.

~Black-throated Sparrow

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~House Finch

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~Phainopepia

 Phainopepias, always sitting at the top of a bush or tree making it hard to get a good photo. The male is glossy black, and has a white wing patch that is visible when it flies; the female is plain gray and has a lighter gray wing patch. Both sexes have red eyes, but these are more noticeable in the female than the male.

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~White-crowned Sparrow

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~Happy Birding~