I was on a quest to see the Arizona State Bird, the Cactus Wren. So I visited Lost Dutchman State Park, who hosted “Getting to Know the Birds Around You!” this February.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Thank you to Arizona State Parks & Trails for the passes to experience the Lost Dutchman State Park. All opinions, photographs, and videos of the area are ours.
Scattered clouds and lots of sunlight greeted us as we drove into Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona. Since our truck was reading the outdoor temperature in the mid-50s degree Fahrenheit, I made sure I had my trail shoes, long pants, thick coat, hat and gloves in my pocket. As I slid out of the truck I grabbed my day hiking pack with lots of drinking water. Then I put the camera bag strap over my head. Last but not least, I hung a pair of binoculars around my neck.
We met “Birder Babs”, at the Saguaro Day use area. Birder Babs is a volunteer, who has many, many years of experience and likes to share her knowledge with others. We would soon learn that she is also able to recreate/mimic bird sounds with her mouth. This is impressive because many people will use a phone application to make bird calls.
After our group introductions, of approximately 20 people, our journey took us on a walk towards Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. As we listen to Birder Babs point out locations in the park that are great for birding, I started to get to know the participants in our group. There were novices like myself, camping in the park that just so happens to learn about the “Getting to Know the Birds Around You!” event and came along. Then there were the experienced birders, who had their phone applications with their “list of birds.” These birders traveled to different areas around the state to build their list of birds that they have seen/heard. As I chatted with everyone, I shared my goal to spot the Arizona State Bird, the Cactus Wren.
Identifying the Cactus Wren
Birder Babs would stop walking when she located a bird walking on the ground or sitting in a tree. She shared a way to distinguish between birds and what they eat is by their beaks. If the beak is thick, it was for cracking seeds.
As with any education, the more classes you take the more you learn. Last year, I attended the Lost Dutchman State Park Bird Walk and I was glad to be building on the tips of bird identification from that class.
At the start of the hike, I would take a photo of any bird on a saguaro cactus, and then ask if it was a Cactus Wren. It would end up being a House Finch. About an hour into the walk, a fellow birder in the group turned to me and said, “I hear the Cactus Wren but I can’t see it.” This got me excited as my chances of spotting the Cactus Wren had increased. Then it happened. About two hours into our adventure, Birder Babs says, “There is a Cactus Wren.” I picked up my binoculars and looked in the direction she pointed and viewed the Cactus Wren. Next, I grabbed my camera and brought it up to focus in and guess what…. The Cactus Wren flew off before I could take the photo. The good news is that I was able to see the Cactus Wren and I have 19 others to back up my story.
Arizona State Parks Future Birding Events
For more information Click here for Birding Events in the Arizona Parks
Click here for info on the next Lost Dutchman State Park “Bird Walk” – March 12, 2020, from 7:30 am-10:30 am
The next “Getting to Know the Birds Around You!” event at Lost Dutchman State Park – March 18, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
More on Arizona State Parks – https://azstateparks.com
Cactus Wren – Searching for the Arizona State Bird at Lost Dutchman State Park
Whether you are an experienced birder or a novice I suggest you attend a future birding event near you. Do you know what your state bird is? Have you taken a quest to see your state bird?
37 thoughts on “Cactus Wren – Searching for the Arizona State Bird at Lost Dutchman State Park”
My husband and kids would love this experience! Thanks for the great summary and providing links to events.
You are welcome.
Never visited Arizona. I imagine it being extremely hot or humid. It’s definitely on my travel bucket list. Thanks for sharing.
Arizona has many different ecosystems. The lower desert is dry and warmer. The mountains is wet and full of trees.
We just had some bird hunters at our house. We have a couple eagles, a bunch of hawks and the blue jays and cardinals are already coming out. We live on a lake and the mountain is behind us so we get all sorts of birds. Happy bird hunting!
Wow, that is fantastic.
I love bird watching. It is not difficult to find my state bird.But we have many other birds that are just awesome!
Glad to hear that your state bird is not difficult to find.
I actually saw our state bird last week when I was at the gym. Crazy California Seagull in the middle of Salt Lake City!
My sister is an avid bird watcher, so she would appreciate this post. I also want to say thank you for encouraging some learning on my part. I looked up what my provincial bird is and I learned that in the Province of BC our bird is the Stellar Jay! Now I will have to be on the look out for one.
That is great. You taught me something too. Now I know the Province of BC bird is the Stellar Jay.
It’s awesome that you got to see one! The cacti are so amazing and so different than anything we have up in the Northeast!
I enjoy plant diversity too.
My kids would love to go find the birds in the desert. I love the photo with the bird on top of the cactus. So amazing.
There are so many wonderful birds to find.
This inspired me to learn what Florida’s state bird is, and see if we can find them when we are exploring!
That is awesome. Let us know when you find your state bird.
My grandmother used to take me bird watching when I was a kid and I always used to find all the birds so fascinating. This is inspiring me to pick it back up again!
That is wonderful to hear.
What a fun and rewarding experience (sorry you didn’t get the pic but I believe you). Our state bird is the common loon and am always excited to hear and see them.
Thank you for believing me. 🙂
Interesting search for the wren. I’d like a longer length lens to do bird photography.
Yes, that would be very helpful.
Yay! Glad you got to see one!!! Sounds like a fun day!
Hiking & outdoor adventures are my thing! I would love to explore this state park!
AZ state parks have many great adventures and hiking for you to explore.
It looks like a great place to watch the birds. He looks rather cute.
It was. There are many shaded locations in the park to sit and watch.
what a fun trip!!!
We learned alot.
Birder Babs huh? 😉 Glad you guys had fun and had an experienced Birder to guide you!
Yes, that was on her name tag. She was a fun and knowledgable lady.
One of my daughters loves bird watching. She would love this!
Yes, she would. The instructor was a great teacher.