Birds returning to Kino pond

2013-09-24T00:00:00Z 2013-10-17T16:02:34Z Birds returning to Kino pondBy Doug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

One of Tucson’s best urban bird-watching sites is once again attracting avian visitors — including an egret last week — now that a pond there is refilled after being drained earlier this year.

The Deep Pond at Pima County’s Kino Environmental Restoration Project, on Forgeus Avenue about a block north of Ajo Way, was drained to allow for maintenance work and removal of non-native bullfrogs.

Monsoon rains have refilled the 3-acre pond and other basins at the site. That has restored the habitat for egrets, herons and other types of waterfowl, as well as native frog and toad species.

The big egret waded at the pond’s edge Friday and later swooped gracefully over the water. Great blue herons and other birds have visited the pond in the past and are expected to return.

Meanwhile, scientists have documented successful breeding of native frogs and toads since the refilling, said Jennifer Becker, principal hydrologist with the county’s Regional Flood Control District.

“These and other species are now expected to thrive” at the site, Becker said.

Bird-watchers should be aware that sighting egrets and other species can be hit and miss. It depends on when the birds feel like showing up. The hours just after sunrise and before sunset often offer the best bird-watching.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz

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