Birders who attended this year’s Wings Over Willcox were treated to a record number of sandhill cranes in Willcox and Cochise County. Rich Glinski gave the keynote on Saturday evening and about 20 of the 45 workshops were sold out!
You can read Carol Broeder’s article “A walk on the wild side” in the Arizona Range News for a complete account. The article reports sightings of the Ruddy Ground-Dove of Mexico, a Hairy Woodpecker and a seldom-seen Greater Scaup.
One thing I thought was really cool was the Easy Birding Sampler tour. It gave Northern Cochise Nursing Home residents a chance to get out and share their knowledge of birds and the annual sandhill crane migration. They seemed to love the tour, and the leader was excited too. Unfortunately, nursing home residents can sometimes be a forgotten population, and I was impressed that the Wings Over Willcox organizers included a program for them!
This was the 17th year of the festival. Will you be there for the 18th? It’s always on the weekend of Martin Luther King Day. If you’ve always wanted to go, follow the festival on Facebook or simply check their website. Registration for the tours opens in fall, so be on the lookout!
Sandhill cranes usually stay in the area until about March, so there’s still plenty of great birding opportunities in Cochise County.