A History Of The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge Land

In 1864 Pedro Aquirre, Jr. created the Buenos Ayres Ranch. After passing through several owners it in the following century it became the centerpiece of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge when it was established in 1985. The Spring 2006 edition of the Journal of Arizona History published an article about the origin of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge titled IN THE LAND OF GOOD WINDS: An Informal History of Buenos Aires Ranch. It includes black & white photographs and an informative narrative by Betty Leavengood. She is an outdoor person and freelance writer. Her work includes the Tucson Hiking […]

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Among Friends. 10 February 2021. Mimids.

By Walt Anderson There is a striking contrast between a MIME, one who performs silently by using gestures and motions, and a MIMIC, one who parrots or apes (funny how we use animal terms!) words or phrases or behaviors of another. The bird family Mimidae is anything but silent, and its members go far beyond mere imitation. In fact, the mimids are some of the most vocally versatile of all bird songsters. Arizona is blessed with great mimid diversity, with five breeding species of thrashers (plus Brown Thrasher as a vagrant), widespread Northern Mockingbirds (and casual visits by the tropical […]

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Jim, A Volunteer At The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

by Ricardo Small Jim started spending winters in Southern Arizona about 15 years ago. He’s been a full time resident for two years. He happened upon the Refuge during a November Festival years ago and hiked on the Refuge ever since. He’s volunteered for a couple years.  Jim said, “BANWR is a wonderful place filled with quiet, beauty, solitude and nothingness. A delight to hike and volunteer in, BANWR rewards the person with joy and tranquility. It is sublime.” Jim volunteers other places, too, because he likes to contribute to our cultures, our surroundings and our communities, building a happiness for all […]

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Among Friends, 3 February 2021. Melt. by Walt Anderson

Arizona has been enduring drought for quite some time. January storms this year provided some relief, though so many plants and animals were hurting from the lack of water that recovery may only be partial. Of course, waterbirds forsake the dry grasslands when the few ponds with standing water have dried up. Yet when the rains come, the plants and animals respond rather remarkably. Winter is not over yet, so we wait to see if more moisture is in the offing.   Too often the clouds have rolled through, creating memorable sunsets but sending moisture elsewhere. The wind, in fact, […]

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Gila Monsters

by Ricardo Small Not really a “monster” this species of reptile is one of the most memorable to see while visiting the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Highly colorful, Gila monsters are easy to see when they’re above ground. That’s not very often. In their book titled Gila Monster Facts and Folklore about America’s Aztec Lizard, Dave Brown and Neil Carmony describe the color as “… Halloween-hued skin the texture of Indian corn …” Most of the time, Gila monsters are in underground burrows. They find food in the underground nests of prey species like cottontail rabbits. Since this lizard […]

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