Whitewater Draw Workshop

Sandhill crane fly across the morning sky in the distance.

Have you heard of Whitewater Draw? Whitewater Draw is a swampy marsh area in McNeal, in southern AZ, east of Bisbee and north of Douglas (pretty much the border of AZ / Mexico).

Because of the food sources (namely corn fields) and marsh ponds, the sandhill crane flock to Whitewater Draw in droves in the winter months, Oct – March.

They sleep in the ponds to protect themselves from predators. Every morning they lift-off and go to graze in nearby fields.

In the afternoon some come back (between 10 am – noon) to rest and socialize in the ponds.

Just before sunset there is a mass fly in when the cranes come back for the night.

It is a sight to see! The noise of the cranes is deafening. The shear quantity of birds is impressive to say the least.

We participated in a Photo Workshop put on by Arizona Game & Fish (AZGFD). We watched the cranes take off from a distance crossing the moon in their path.

George Andrejko, AZGFD’s professional photographer for more than 20 years, walked around with us through the walking paths, pointing out different birds, and ducks along the way. Where else can you get a one on one with such a gifted and renown Arizona photographer? It was a special experience, one I would do again in a heartbeat.

The mere $25 fee to participate goes to a good cause so that the AZGFD can continue to care for the site and put on more such events.

We not only learned about the site, but were able to speak with talented and knowledgable AZGFD personnel. We met new and interesting like-minded people, enjoyed the outdoors, and had a ‘show’ throughout the day.

See more bird pix here ….https://kritterspaw.com/2022/02/06/birds-a-feather/ and https://kritterspix.com/2022/02/06/birds-in-flight-bif-photography/

Sandhill Cranes

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I have never been much of a bird watcher, but being retired, and living in the ‘wilderness’ has made me so much more aware of the animals and birds around me that I ever was living in the big city going to work every day.

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There are so many interesting animals and birds out there, that I feel I have barely scratched the surface of being able to appreciate and identify the wide variety of species we have in AZ.

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The sandhill cranes are among the more interesting migrating birds that call AZ their temporary home.

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Then their are the snow geese that come for the summer – and I’m not talking about the east coasters that come in travel trailers and crowd Phoenix during Noreasters back home!

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Northern shovelers with their platypus-type bills are among some of the interesting ducks we have.

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Along with the pintail ducks that flock to our AZ lakes.

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At Whitewater Draw in southern AZ, you might find yourself saying ‘who?’ to any number of bird species in this small, confined riparian area that serves as home to a snow bird of another feather.