The Desert Museum is one of the crown jewels of Tucson. The raptor show there is a regular highlight. Wild birds fly in to get snacks from the trainers, but are free to leave again whenever their tummies are full. Some birds like the owl work solo, but for the last act a family group of hawks arrived together, which is their usual hunting style. The alpha female feeds first, but the hunting party does not leave until everyone has had a decent meal. They like to perch up high and the saguaro cactus are a great spot for that. Occasionally, the alpha female booted someone off this favorite spot to rest and look for the next food morsel.
This was our fourth visit here and we would be happy to come back again and again. The collection of desert plants and the animals that hide beneath them is a marvel. It is not Disneyland so you never know what you will see, but it's always amazing. Many people volunteer at the park and as we wandered around, we encountered people holding young or injured birds that we could see up close. Others had information tables where we could learn more about the local plants and how they were used by native residents. Even those animals like bob cats that are confined, have many nooks and crannies in their enclosures so they can hide while they nap and spotting them is almost as challenging as seeing them in the wild. There was even a little stream where desert animals like frogs and turtles hung out. Yes, there can be water in the desert if you know where to look.