Westward Look Resort – Where The Wild Things Are
Tucson, AZ (06/13/11) – One of the unique draws of Westward Look Resort is its incredible setting: 80 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert nestled at the base of Tucson’s breathtaking Santa Catalina Mountains. With this impressive location comes an abundance of natural beauty – from striking desert blooms to awe-inspiring desert wildlife – which inspires guests from all over the world. Recent local wildlife visitors to the resort grounds include a family of great horned owls and a family of Cooper’s hawks that caught the attention of University of Arizona researchers.
A natural draw for wildlife, the certified green Westward Look Resort has hosted quail, cottontail rabbits and even an occasional visiting bobcat. No stranger to flying friends, such as butterflies and hummingbirds in the resort’s specialty gardens, resort staff and guests have learned to look up when exploring the grounds or walking the hiking trails. That’s how a family of great horned owls, two adults and three babies, were spotted nesting at the top of one of the resort’s palm trees this spring.
Soon after the owls garnered even more attention thanks to “OWLbum” photos on Westward Look’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/westwardlookresort), a large family of grey Cooper’s hawks was discovered taking up residence at Westward Look. The hawk family includes both parents and five babies, and every now and then, guests can catch a glimpse of the father hawk resting on a rooftop in the midst of hunting for food.
Researchers from the University of Arizona have stopped by to tag the hawks. “Tagging hawks allows researchers to study the population dynamic, make survival estimates and track movement,” said Dr. Bill Mannan, a professor and program chair of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management Options at the University of Arizona.
Researchers are 20 years into their study of local Cooper’s hawks, said Dr. Mannan. The male hawk at Westward Look was tagged earlier this year, and just last week Dr. Mannan and Liz Urban, a student employee at the University of Arizona, tagged the five nestlings. Tagging the baby hawks allows the researchers to see how far they move over time if they choose to nest in Tucson as adults, as approximately 20% of Cooper’s hawk nestlings do, says Dr. Mannan. He expects to be monitoring these particular birds for at least two to three more years.
Aware of the distinctive draw of the desert’s natural beauty and wildlife inhabitants, Westward Look offers nature programs that help guests explore and enjoy the 80-acre grounds. Guests can sign up for an early morning guided nature walk, tour the on-site butterfly and hummingbird gardens, read about and share recent animal sightings in the resort’s Discovery Journal or on its Facebook page, pick up binoculars and a birding guide from the front desk, and even stargaze through a high-powered Celestron 2000 telescope.
For more information about Westward Look Resort, please visit www.westwardlook.com. To view photos of the hawks and owls at Westward Look, please visit the Westward Look Facebook page at www.facebook.com/westwardlookresort.
Photos of Westward Look’s flying friends are available by calling or emailing the above contacts.
ABOUT WESTWARD LOOK RESORT
Westward Look Resort is set in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains on 80 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. It offers 244 suite-sized rooms, two award-winning restaurants, a chef’s garden, the Sonoran Spa, eight tennis courts, desert hiking trails, on-site stables for horseback riding and multiple pools. In 2010 and 2011, the resort was named an AAA Four Diamond Award® recipient, which honors the hotel for its commitment to excellence throughout the entire property, including GOLD restaurant, the resort’s extensive array of amenities, guest services and attention to detail. More information is available at 1-800-722-2500 and http://www.westwardlook.com/
ABOUT RIVER HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
River Hospitality Management is a hospitality management company that strives for successful management partnerships through offering a unique blend of integrated disciplines, experienced leadership and multiple resources. A focus to improve guest service quality, inspire staff performance and ignite revenue production creates a sustainable model for increased profit margins and enhanced asset value under a variety of ownership structures. www.riverhospitality.com.