Tucson Mountain Hike: Flowering Plants Welcome Hummingbirds Back From Central America

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

The yellow flower of the creosote plantThe ocotillo "flame" provides food for hummingbirds migrating northUnknown flowering shrub on Cat Mountain, Tucson, AZ










March is one of my favorite months in the Arizona Sonoran Desert.  I took an off-trail hike yesterday.  My destination was Cat Mountain, the dominant feature of the Ajo Pass which leads up and out of the Tucson basin heading west.

The trailhead is at the end of Sarasota Road off of Ajo.  It's only five minutes from our home, and the trail leads up and over the Tucson Mountains into Tucson proper.  Mountain bikers appreciate this relatively easy trail.  It winds along an arroyo in a break between Cat Mountain and Cat's little moutain sister, Catback.  Both are part of the Tucson Mountain Park, 44,000 acres of pristine desert surrounding our little neighborhood, Tucson Estates II.

I left the trail and made my way up and across the western flank of Cat Mountain, to a vantage point which overlooks my neighborhood, the older community of Tucson Estates I, and several newer communities built in the last five years.  There's also a Boy Scout Ranch with nearly 400 acres of open land along Kinney Road west of the mountains.

Because the varied terrain includes flatland, foothills, and even sheer cliffs, this place is a birders paradise. I saw one Peregrine falcon and an Anna's hummingbird during my four hour hike, as well as several Cactus wrens (Arizona's state bird) and a Canyon wren.

The plants which flower in March provide essential nourishment to the many varieties of hummingbird which are migrating back from Central America to their summering grounds in the United States.

Several REALTORS specialize in this particular area of Tucson, and prices are very reasonable. 

Ocotillo flame in the Tucson Mountains, Tucson, AZ


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, AZ Mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your Tucson mortgage expert.

Call me if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;
(520) 349-9090

photos copyright Mike in Tucson (all rights reserved)


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Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Mike, gosh I really have to come visit. It looks beautiful every time I see your photos. BTW - Brian absolutely loves hummingbirds. ~Rita

Mar 15, 2009 05:51 PM #1
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for being the first to comment!  It really is spectacular here, and we have more species of hummingbird than just about any place in the United States.

Mike in Tucson

Mar 15, 2009 06:00 PM #2
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Another good morning!

When we first moved to Las Vegas, the hummingbirds amazed us, twice as big as the ones in Michigan and totally fearless.


Mar 15, 2009 10:56 PM #3
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. I love spring.

Mar 15, 2009 11:36 PM #4
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Way ahead of us.  I did pick up some Pansies yesterday to put in an old tub in my yard. 

I also picked up some fake Tiger Lilies for color.

Got to have color. 

Mar 16, 2009 12:03 AM #5
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Beautiful photos, Mike.  We are loaded with cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees, tufted titmouse and red-tailed hawks around here.  But no matter where one is ... they are all beautiful.

Mar 16, 2009 12:29 AM #6
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


You sure love the great outdoors and always have some good pics to show off your area.

Mar 16, 2009 02:05 AM #7
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


I believe you're right about that!  LOL


So true!


Another four weeks, and you'll have color to spare in Maryland.


You're welcome!  Me too!


Good morning to you!  Those hummingbirds are headed north to Las Vegas and beyond.

Mike in Tucson

Mar 16, 2009 03:44 AM #8
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas - Leander, TX
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 23 US States

I was amazed to see that there are some year-round hummingbirds to be found here in Southern Oregon. Have to make sure we keep the feeder loaded for them though, because nothing but sticks and evergreens to be found in our yard in the winter time. I wonder how the lil' guys survive the freezing temps?

Mar 16, 2009 08:43 AM #9
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


What a wonderful way to start off my morning! Thanks for these works of art! Great photos!!!

Mar 16, 2009 11:04 PM #10
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Remember when film had to be sent away and developed?  I'm loving digital technology.


I didn't know they stayed all winter; it must be because people like you make them welcome!

Mike in Tucson

Mar 16, 2009 11:18 PM #11
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Mike,

Great photos! Now I didn't realize their was more than one species of hummingbirds...or as my hubby calls them hummingbees! LOL! :)

Mar 18, 2009 09:00 AM #12
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Mike - Beautiful shots. We get humingbirds up here as well but probably not as much as you down in the desert. I think I recognize those mountains. I drove down to old Tucson one day and it looks like those mountains which I don't remember the names of. Just remembe a lot of cactus on the way down there. Am I correct?  

Mar 19, 2009 05:28 AM #13
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


You're correct about the mountains.  As you drive down Kinney toward Old Tucson Studios, this ridge is on your right, between you and the City of Tucson. 

Where the cactus used to be, we have a couple of thousand new homes!


There are dozens, ranging in size from the smallest (bumblebee size) to larger than you would imagine (nearly the size of a robin.)

Mike in Tucson

Mar 19, 2009 05:44 AM #14
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