In June, our ambassadors took a trip to Signal Peak to meet with staff from the National Forest Foundation and Tonto National Forest’s Globe Ranger Station. Signal Peak is a destination just a two-hour drive from Phoenix where you can walk beneath towering, shady Ponderosa Pine trees and observe many wildlife species. Ambassadors discussed forest ecology and wildfire recovery and learned to identify bird species throughout the scenic drive.
“Such an amazing day with the Sonoran Insiders! We headed to Globe for a morning spent with skilled birders, Paul Wolterbeek and Camden Bruner, Wildlife Biologist at U.S. Forest Service.”
Ambassadors had a chance to climb up into the Signal Peak Lookout Tower and learn about the recovery of the Pinal Mountains a year after the 180,000-acre Telegraph Fire. They observed that most of the upper elevation forest was spared and now serves as ideal nesting habitat for many bird species, which – as Lisa explained – are a crucial indicator of environmental health because they are sensitive to habitat change and easy to observe.
By the end of the day, our ambassadors observed several bird species – such as the Rivoli’s hummingbird, painted redstarts, acorn woodpecker, Cooper’s hawk, and blue-gray gnatcatcher – and had the most sightings of the spotted towhee!