What’s Happening in the Sonoran Desert During the Month of November!

What’s Happening in the Sonoran Desert During the Month of November!

November is a month of transition- from warm days and cool nights, to cool days and cool nights!

Between the end of the wonderful and unusual October rains and the first freeze, the Sonoran Desert is awash in life. This is especially visible in warm, sunny afternoons when butterflies, bees, birds and lizards are active.

Go outside and walk around to see what is happening in the Sonoran Desert – of course you can always check here first!


  • Fremont Cottonwood, (Populus fremontii)  toothed leaves are turning a golden-yellow in response to shorter days and cooler temps. Cottonwoods once grew abundantly near riparian areas such as the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers where the water table was high. Large trees can still be found along Sabino Creek.
  • Desert broom -or- Escoba amarga (bitter broom), Baccharis sarothroids. This woody shrub is made of fine twigs covered in tiny, green, linear leaves.  As a ‘pioneer plant’, it efficiently grows in newly-disturbed soil. Desert broom flowers are known to attract the rare great blue hairstreak butterfly. They also produce a fluffy, white seeds that looks like fresh snow when it takes to the air.


  • White-crowned Sparrow: Zonotrichia leucophrys. As winter approaches, the diversity of sparrows will increase in the Sonoran Desert. Make sure to listen for the arrival of these migratory birds as they join the Sonoran Desert from the northern parts of North America. You can find the white-crowned sparrow foraging for food on the desert floor and living in washes/ arroyos. They are distinguished by their  grey and black streaked head, tan back and grey body.


  • This fall has been exceptionally wet due to an extended hurricane season.
  • Get ready for balmy weather. In the Sonoran Desert the temperature continues to drop with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s.

Community & Culture

  • November 3. Mission Garden is celebrating the arts by hosting 15 Tohono O’odham artists who will be displaying their work. Artists will include basket makers, potters, jewelry makers, painters and carvers.
  • November 11. Saguaro National Park is having a Free Entrance Day in celebration of Veterans Day.

Know of other natural events happening this month?? Share them with us on Social media or shoot us an email at admin@ironwoodtreeexprience.org.

-Happy Exploring Everyone –