In the portions of the Santa Cruz River that have surface water running through Marana, thick riparian habitat is home to a variety of warblers in the summer, and to many resident birds throughout the year. Bird rarities have been reported in this section of the river. Thick vegetation creates cool summer shade from willow, cottonwood, mesquite, and paloverde trees, interspersed with invasive tamarisk species.
You are likely to hear the high-pitched single note or chattering calls of Abert’s towhees. They love the underbrush, and are more often heard than seen. They’re about robin-sized, brown birds with black around their beak and eyes.