"A flash of red streaked through the trees: a vermilion flycatcher. The brightly colored bird chirped and trilled, adding to a chorus that rang from the towering trees.
Beneath the shady canopy of cottonwoods and willows, the San Pedro River flowed shin-deep, gurgling through smooth rocks.
This green artery, which snakes north from the Mexican border into southeastern Arizona, nourishes an astoundingly rich variety of life, including more than 350 species of birds, many of which stop here during migration. The forests and wetlands along the river teem with animals from frogs to bobcats to butterflies.
The ecosystem depends on the river, and the river itself depends on an unseen source. Much of its flow is fed by groundwater, emerging from the aquifer in springs and seeps, sustaining the river."
Ian James and Rob O'Dell report for the Arizona Republic December 6, 2019, with photos and video by Mark Henle.
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