Portal Arizona – A Bird Photographer’s Paradise

What, you’ve never heard of Portal, Arizona? Well, if you enjoy bird watching, bird photography or just plain “getting away from it all”, I think you need to Google it. I visited there for a few days early in October and I loved it for the birds, for the scenery, and for the solitude. The town is located on the east side of the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains and is home to an abundance of year-round and migratory birds and other wildlife. If you’re a hiker or bicyclist it is a gateway to miles of trails for you to explore and enjoy the Chiricahua/Cave Creek Canyon area.

The town of Portal is very small, but local lodges, private homes and even the Post Office have bird feeding areas that draw a wide variety of birds. Of particular interest to me were the hummingbirds, and I’ve included several varieties in this post. In addition to birds, there is other wildlife such as Coues White-tailed deer, Coatis, Ringtails, etc.

However I’ll warn you, if you’re looking for night life, shopping centers, fancy restaurants, casinos, hotels or other city-life niceties you’ll be very disappointed. There are only a couple of cafes (both with very good food), no shopping centers, no large grocery stores, no gas stations, no traffic signals, no street lights, and limited or no cell phone/Internet coverage. As for hotels, think cabins, think rustic, but also think very relaxing and comfortable spaces to spend a few days and nights. I highly recommend the Cave Creek Ranch run by Reed Peters and his wonderful staff.

Cave Creek Ranch website: https://www.cavecreekranch.com/

Click on any thumbnail below to click though the larger images.

This entry was posted in Birds, Travel, Wildlife.


  1. Linda Grasse-Murray October 28, 2022 at 2:55 am #

    Tom, What great photos !! I just love the hummers. Now I have to go look up which ones they are. I only get the Ruby-Throats here in Northern NY. Must be wonderful to see so many without going to the Amazon. Thanks for posting. Linda

    • Tom October 28, 2022 at 9:35 am #

      Hi Linda…

      Thanks very much for the comments. No Need to look them up. I’ve identified them with a caption on the bottom of each enlarged photograph.


  2. Gordy & Barb Holter October 28, 2022 at 1:41 pm #

    Tom you never disappoint:) Once again your pictures are absolutely beautiful!! You continue to amaze me how you capture these wonderful pictures and you always have such a great array of subjects!!!

    • Tom October 30, 2022 at 9:40 am #

      Hi Gordy…

      Thanks so much for commenting. It’s appreciated.


  3. John Rodwick October 30, 2022 at 8:48 am #

    Beautiful photos Tom. I especially like the in flight photo of the Blue throated mountain gem. I’ve never seen one of them before. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.

    • Tom October 30, 2022 at 9:42 am #

      Hi John…

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. The Blue-throated hummers are truly elegant, and the largest hummingbird species in North America. If you visit Portal, you’ll find them there but they are difficult to find.


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *