Sweetwater Wetlands A Water Treatment plant yields urban wilderness

Sweetwater Wetlands is an excellent example of a constructed wetland designed to be highly accessible to visitors; it is one of the prime places in urban Tucson to see native wildlife. The wetlands, built to re-create part of the wetland and riparian woodland habitat that once flourished along the Santa Cruz River, provide guided tours and educational programs for school groups and other visitors.

Several bobcats wandered the area, avoiding birdwatchers while looking for breakfast.
A regal pose...
Looking for small furry creatures...
No need to hurry.
A male Ruddy Duck in winter plumage. During mating season, the males grow rusty brown backs and their bills turn sky blue.
A male Anna's Hummingbird showing off his iridescent throat ruff.
The American coot (Fulica americana) is also known as a mud hen. Though commonly mistaken to be ducks, American coots belong to a distinct order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land
Along quiet streams or shaded riverbanks, a lone Green Heron may flush ahead of the observer, crying "kyow" as it flies up the creek. This small heron is solitary at most seasons and often somewhat secretive, living around small bodies of water or densely vegetated areas. Seen in the open, it often flicks its tail nervously, raises and lowers its crest. The "green" on this bird's back is an iridescent color, and often looks dull bluish or simply dark.
The elegant Great Egret is a dazzling sight in many a North American wetland. Slightly smaller and more svelte than a Great Blue Heron, these are still large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill.
Created By
John Chaplock


All photos by John Chaplock Copyright 2015

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