In an arid region, the few permanent springs, oases and ponds create a very special desert environment.
Desert springs range from swift creeks to quiet, limpid pools in caves. The creeks and ponds formed may be fresh or very saline, cool or hot depending on a complex relationship between the surface of the water supply, the size of the pond, and seasonal climatic conditions. For example, ponds supplied by water moving down mountain drainages will usually be relatively cool and fresh, while deep sources of water are often discharged along faults and may be heated deep in the earth.
The freshwater Sonoran Desert pond, with its border of moisture-loving trees and shrubs, attracts many species of birds as well as being a source of water for the local mammals and reptiles.
Cottonwood, sycamore, willow and ash provide shelter and nesting sites for orioles, flycatchers, and many other species of songbirds, as well as birds of prey.
The reeds and rushes along the water’s edge provide cover for water fowl. Because of the moisture and abundant plants, insects are plentiful, attracting insect-eating birds and other animals.
|Botanical Name||Common Name||Family|
|Chilopsis linearis||Desert Willow||Bignoniaceae|
|Muhlenbergia rigens||Deer Grass||Poaceae|
|Populus fremontii ssp. fremontii||Fremont Cottonwood||Salicaceae|
|Suaeda nigra||Bush Seepweed||Chenopodiaceae|
|Typha domingensis||Southern Cattail||Typhaceae|
|Washingtonia filifera||Desert Fan Palm, California Fan Palm||Arecaceae|
|Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida||Devil River Sunflower||Asteraceae|