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Birding Excursions

See new birds and travel to interesting destinations on one of our Birding Excursions! Your travel dollars support our education programs, including youth programs that get kids outdoors, and allow us to offer programs to a broader and more diverse audience.

These multi-day trips (occasionally single day) provide the opportunity to explore different habitats and learn about the birds, and all of the animals and plants that live there. We offer trips throughout the southwestern United States, northern Mexico and beyond.

We typically travel in 15-passenger vans with 7-9 participants per van and explore the best birding hotspots along the way. Experienced leaders will help you get the most out of your trip while at the same time promoting the welfare of birds and their environment.

What is included?

Unless otherwise stated, the following is included in the cost of the trip:

  • Ground transportation as noted in the itinerary
  • Double-occupancy lodging for the dates of the program
  • Meals (except most dinners)
  • Fees for planned activities
  • Educational services of the trip leaders and local guides

Trip costs are based on double occupancy. The availability of a single occupancy rate will vary from trip to trip. Fees do not typically include dinners, alcoholic beverages, or airfare to and from your destination. A deposit is required to secure your place on a trip. Register for one of our Birding Excursions today!

Please contact Education Programs Manager Eric Scheuering (520 629-0510 x7009) with questions.

El Aribabi Conservation Ranch: Sonora, Mexico

May 3–5, 2019

Trip is FULL. Please click here to be added to the wait list and then check out our other trips below!

Have you been curious about exploring some of the rich and diverse habitats in Mexico just a short drive away but have been hesitant to take this trip on your own? Join Tucson Audubon for a trip across the border for a two-night stay at El Aribabi Conservation Ranch along the lush Río Cocospera.

Jim Rorabaugh, Gordon Karre, and Eric Scheuering will lead you on this three-day trip to explore this diverse and beautiful area. Located 35 miles south of the border in Sonora, Mexico, many of the tough to find specialty birds of SE Arizona are much easier to find here. Species we hope to see include Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Five-striped Sparrow, Sinaloa Wren, and Buff-collared Nightjar, and we’ll also likely find Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Green Kingfisher, Thick-billed Kingbird and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. If we’re lucky we may even find White-tipped Dove, Rose-throated Becard, or Elegant Trogon, as well as other Mexican and riparian specialties. Birding and naturalist walks will be conducted along the Río Cocospera and adjoining areas. We’ll also enjoy an authentic taste of Sonora with meals prepared by an experienced local cook. See elaribabi.com/ for more information about the ranch.

Leaders: Jim Rorabaugh, Gordon Karre, and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $495 members // $595 non-members
Deposit: $250

Trip includes all transportation, lodging, and meals, as well as the services of your skilled leaders.

The rooms at El Aribabi have just one​ full-size bed. Some rooms have the option of an additional small bed or cot. If you are a single traveler, you will likely need to share one of these rooms with another traveler.

Trip limited to 10 participants.

Sinaloa Wren, Jim Rorabaugh
Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Jim Rorabaugh

Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona

May 31–June 2, 2019

Perhaps the most well-known of the sky island mountain ranges, the Chiricahua Mountains are a region in themselves, ranging from semi-desert grassland and arid Chihuahuan desertscrub to forests of Engelmann spruce and alpine fir. The size of this mountain range and its proximity to the Sierra Madres in Mexico contribute to its diversity. On this three-day trip, we’ll explore the variety of habitats found here and many of the bird species that inhabit this famous hotspot of avian diversity.

This is one of only two places in the U.S. to find Mexican Chickadee, and the most reliable and easy to access. It is also one of the easiest places to see Blue-throated Hummingbird. Other species we can hope to see include Montezuma Quail, Band-tailed Pigeon, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Virginia’s, Grace’s, Olive, and Red-faced Warblers. The Chiricahuas are one of the best places for night birds as well, so we’ll try in the evening for Mexican Whip-poor-will, Elf Owl, and Whiskered Screech-Owl. We’ll make a stop in Willcox at Cochise Lake as well to take a quick look for lingering waterfowl and shorebirds.

The Chiricahuas combine the breathtaking scenery of three major canyons with many unique birdwatching opportunities. Join Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering to explore this sky island jewel.

Leaders: Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $550 members // $650 non-members
Deposit: $300

Trip includes transportation, lodging, and all meals except dinners, as well as the services of your skilled leaders.

Trip limited to 14 participants.

Grace’s Warbler, Jim Burns

Sonoita Grasslands & Vineyards, Arizona

September 28, 2019

This unique ecosystem provides habitat for many avian species, notably grassland specialists, including up to 14 species of sparrow. Here we can find Cassin’s, Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, “Lilian’s” Eastern Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike, Horned Lark, and White-tailed Kite. This is also Arizona’s wine country and we’ll make a stop for a tasting at Sonoita Vineyards.

Leaders: Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $150 members // $185 non-members
Deposit: $75

See the details of this trip

 

Salton Sea, California

October 18–20, 2019

We’ll search for Ridgway’s Rail, American and Least Bittern, White-faced Ibis, Sandhill Crane, Snow Geese, and multiple types of grebes. Shorebirds will test our ID capability, including American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, sandpipers and dowitchers, and with some luck, Mountain Plover. Another unique species found here is the Yellow-footed Gull, joining many other gulls (like Laughing Gull) and terns, as well as possible Black Skimmers.

Leaders: Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $595 members // $795 non-members
Deposit: $300

See the details of this trip

 

Bosque del Apache, New Mexico

December 5-8, 2019

Experience the spectacle of flocks of tens of thousands wintering geese, ducks, and cranes on this four-day trip to New Mexico. World-famous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to provide a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl to rest and refuel as they follow the Rio Grande on their migration. Large numbers of raptors and sparrows add to the incredible array of wintering bird species found here each year.

Leaders: Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $750 members // $950 non-members
Deposit: $400

See the details of this trip

Trip Policies

Deposit Policy A deposit is due at the time of registration for our trips. A deposit is the only thing that guarantees your place on the trip.

Payment Policy Payment in full is required 30 days prior to the trip departure date for van-based trips and 90 days prior to the trip departure date for any trip involving flights.

Cancellation Policy In the event a participant needs to cancel a reservation, the following policies will apply:

  • 90 days or more prior to trip departure date, deposit is refunded, minus an administrative fee equal to 25% of trip deposit.
  • Less than 90 days / more than 60 days prior to trip departure date, 50% of deposit is refunded.
  • Less than 60 days prior to trip departure date, no refunds will be given.

If for any reason, Tucson Audubon Society cancels a trip, prior to its start, full refunds will be given to all participants. In the event the trip is cancelled while underway due to unforeseen circumstances not within the control of Tucson Audubon Society, no refund will be issued. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip insurance and trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself from unforeseen circumstances.

Tour Date and Trip Leaders Changes Disclaimer Leaders and schedules are determined up to a year in advance of our tours. In the event that we have a change in a trip’s dates or leaders, we reserve the right to do so, and will strive to inform participants as early in the process as possible. Additional leaders will be added to tours according to the group size and will be specified in the tour itinerary. We also reserve the right to cancel any trip for which there are insufficient reservations.

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447