Monday, September 10, 2007

Bird Condo

The Saguaro (pronounced sa-wa-ro) cactus only grows in the Sonoran desert. They are symbols of the west. How many times have you seen greeting cards, cookie cutters, sun-catchers, and any number of items in the shape of a saguaro? I think I even have a cast iron cornbread pan with those shapes. On my last trip to Arizona, I really wanted to go to the Saguaro National Park to see them. Lots of them.

They are very slow growing; not reaching adulthood until they are about 125 years old. Birds use them to nest in. Gila Woodpeckers and Flickers peck away at the flesh to make a nest hole that they only use for 1 year. The next year they will start over. Leaving the old holes to be used by other birds. Inside the cactus it can be 20 degrees cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter than the outside air. Some of the big saguaros have so many holes they look like apartment buildings. I looked in many, many of those holes hoping for an Elf Owl.


No luck. But I will be back.

1 comment:

Lavender said...

Fabulous shot & story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope your next excursion will bring you face to face with an Elf Owl - or maybe Elf Owls and more!