Enriching Environments

What is animal enrichment and why do we do it? We’re not talking vitamin supplements (though they might be included!) but ways to engage and entertain the animals in our care. Read on to learn from our amazing young collaborator Sarah Green, who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her project researching and creating…

Respect the Rattlesnake

Scared of rattlesnakes? You’re not alone. Many people fear or simply misunderstand these incredible animals. Legend and lore may talk up the fearsome qualities of these venomous pit vipers, but ultimately humans are much more of a threat to these animals than they are to us. At the Desert Museum, we believe the best way…

Plant with Purpose

Build backyard biodiversity with native plants from the Desert Museum’s Annual Plant Sale! Imagine sipping your morning coffee or tea with a kaleidoscope (the beautiful and fitting name for a group of butterflies) of butterflies fluttering around your backyard garden as early sunlight creates a mesmerizing glow. Birds fill the morning air with their calming…

Clues from the Past: Geologic Origins of the Sonoran Desert

How did the Sonoran Desert form? And why should we care about the geologic origins of our region? Geology creates topography, which influences climate, watersheds, temperatures, and migratory pathways. Understanding the geology of a place is like unfolding the story of the land itself, which sets the stage for understanding our local ecology. But it also reminds…

Monsoon Magic: Your Next Hike

On your walk, you’ll find every color of the rainbow. Don’t forget to bring a camera or sketchbook, and if you have one, a magnifying glass.

Beautiful Shiner Released into Wildlife Refuge

Arizona Native Fish, Beautiful Shiner, Released into San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge Visualize the Sonoran Desert and saguaros, rattlesnakes, and lizards might come to mind. But the region’s waterways contain an amazing aquatic universe! The desert’s native aquatic animals have adaptations allowing them to thrive in a unique environment, and are an essential link in…

The A Bee Cs of Arizona’s Native Bees

Conjure an image of bees in your mind. Do you imagine a fuzzy insect with black and yellow stripes, a honeycomb nest, maybe a queen bee? If so, you’re not alone. But did you know there are over 20,000 species of bees worldwide, and only a few that produce honey? Of the approximately 5,000 different…

Wildlife Cams: It’s a Snap to Get Started!

By Catherine Bartlett, Education Program Manager   At the Desert Museum, we use wildlife cameras (also known as trail cams or camera traps) in exhibits (to track health and activity of animals), in student research projects, and in partnership with the Sky Island Alliance’s FotoFauna Project. You too can capture backyard biodiversity with these devices. Give…

Stunning Saguaros: Ten Fascinating Facts About Saguaro Cacti

Our ‘forests’ look a little different here in the Sonoran Desert. Instead of towering trees, we have giant columnar cacti! While saguaro cacti are the most well-known of these giant cacti in the U.S., several other species occupy different regions of the Desert, including organ pipe cactus, senita cactus, candelabra cactus, and cardon cactus. The…

Swing into Spring with These 11 Beautiful Blooms

While it may not be a banner wildflower year in the Tucson metro area due to low germinating fall and winter rainfall, the desert is still blooming and awash in color and new growth. Swing into spring and look for these 11 blooming plants at the Desert Museum and in your neighborhood! Hedgehogs, Echinocereus The…