Portal, Arizona! Where the Hell is Portal, Arizona? Well, it’s on the AZ/NM border about 8 miles from Rodeo, New Mexico and 60 miles north of Mexico. It’s in a part of our country that has no gas stations; no grocery stores; 2 cafes that may, or may not be open; and a lot of land covered with mesquite and creosote bush. If you’re in Portal and need gas it’s 30 miles by gravel road back to I-10. So why would anyone want to go there? It’s for the birds! Birds that live there; birds that migrate there from Mexico and South America; desert birds and mountain birds. This was my second trip there, lodging and dining at some single cottages after loading up on groceries (and some beer) for the week before I left Tucson.
Cool weather had delayed the migration so most of the birds found were residents. But the week provided some excellent opportunities for photography, over 20 species. Here are some of the results:


Scott's Oriole 13

Scott’s Oriole


Bullock's Oriole 4

Bullock’s Oriole




Hooded Oriole 4

Hooded Oriole


Crissal Thrasher 1

Crissal Thrasher


Curve-billed Thrasher 18

Curve-billed Thrasher


Canyon Towhee 1

Canyon Towhee


Roadrunner 17

Greater Roadrunner



Painted Redstart


Mexican Jay 6

Mexican Jay


Bridled Titmouse

Bridled Titmouse


Chipping Sparrow 3

Chipping Sparrow


Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco (red-backed race)


Lucy's Warbler 3

Lucy’s Warbler


Pygmy Owl 17

Pygmy Owl


Inca Dove 1

Inca Dove



Red-naped Sapsucker 1

Red-naped Sapsucker



Arizona Woodpecker


Pyruloxia 9




Black-throated Sparrow



Coati 5




Coues Deer








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