A century ago, Reef was a mining town in the Huachuca Mountains of southernmost Arizona. Today its site is a
Forest Service campground. Anyone willing to negotiate the hairpin turns of the cliff-edge single-lane road is
treated to a spectacular vista and a peaceful and cool campground in the pines at 7,200 feet. And the place is
full of interesting "Mexican Mountain" bird species, such as "Azure" Eastern Bluebird, Greater Pewee, and Buff-breasted
Flycatcher. I led the
Flocks and Rocks Trek up there in 2018 to see as many of them as possible.
The Elf Owl is thought of as a desert species, probably because of engaging photos of this tiny owl (the
world's smallest, some say)
peering out of woodpecker holes in saguaro cacti. But, they occupy the foothills and canyons, too. The Reef
seems a bit high, but here it was laughing the night away. We followed it around for a while, but the owl
got the last laugh, as we never got a look at it. We sure did hear it, though, and well after Taps.