Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a definite must see near Phoenix. For those who have yet to make the trip, I would recommend going now-ish. The arboretum is great to visit in the spring and summer (though it might be a bit warm!). Not only does the arboretum contain a great diversity of plant life, but it also attracts a large number of animals, especially birds, especially during spring migration.


I recently went to Boyd Thompson with my mom when she visited. We had some weird weather (cold and rainy) but still saw a lot of cool animals and enjoyed many spring flowers.


The cool thing about Boyce Thompson, is that it has more than just a Sonoran desert environment, which is still awesome by the way! There is a Chihuahuan desert area, an Australian area – complete with a eucalyptus forest! – a Sonoran desert riparian area, and a South American area. Here are a few images of some of the environments you can visit:


A view of the Sonoran desert area


This is a view of the Sonoran desert riparian zone before the trail depends into its heart.

The hummingbird garden was also fun to visit, especially now, as you can see several species of hummingbird there. Here is a picture of a broad-billed hummingbird, which is typically only found in Arizona and Mexico.


There is also the demonstration garden, which has many different plants arranged to fit different garden plans/types. There were lots of things flowering while we was there, and I was able to get some pretty awesome bird photos.


A flowering bottlebrush plant.



A curve-billed thrasher


This male Gambel’s quail posed for us for quite some time.


A verdin picking at a flower.

The best moment was when a northern cardinal got within a few feet of me and let me take some really up close photos. Here is the best one!


Again, I would highly recommend visiting this place; you will see amazing things and learn a great deal about plant diversity and natural history!

2 Comments on “Boyce Thompson Arboretum

  1. Hey Thanks for the MOM mention!!1 The cardinal is just beautiful!! Love ya!

  2. I visited this lovely place in the Fall of 2016. We found it by accident in the late afternoon and we will be visiting again when we are in the area! Jenny

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