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Birding Field Trips

General Information

  • Tucson Audubon proudly offers a variety of free field trips requiring no pre-registration. For those field trips with online registration, a $6.00 service fee will be required. This fee helps to cover some of the expense associated with organizing and promoting these special programs. We hope you’ll consider this an investment in the future of these long-running Tucson Audubon programs!
  • It is customary for carpool passengers to help pay for fuel and other vehicle-related costs at the end of each trip. 10 cents/mile is a good place to start; use Google Maps for mileage.
  • For general questions or help registering, contact the Education Programs Manager, Eric Scheuering, 520-209-1808.
  • Trip leaders: Learn more about them! Leaders are in charge of all aspects of the day’s birding.
  • Trip birding ethics: Tucson Audubon adheres to the American Birding Association’s position on birding ethics: http://listing.aba.org/ethics. Also useful, Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography
  • To register for a trip: Click on the registration link at the end of that trip’s description and you will receive a confirmation email. If the trip is full you will be put on the waiting list but will not receive an email.
  • Waiting list: If a place becomes available, you will be contacted by us.
  • Cancellations: To cancel your reservation, please email Eric Scheuering or call 520-209-1808. Please contact Eric and the trip leader as soon as possible to free your space.

NEW multi-day trips! 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. Click here for more details.

August

August 1–Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
After Hours at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds
After the sun sets and the air begins to cool the night comes alive with many types of animals not usually seen during the day. This will be a unique opportunity to visit the Paton Center after dark and discover what nocturnal creatures are out and about, including bats and other mammals, reptiles and amphibians, insects, and maybe even owls and nightjars. Notably, large numbers of bats representing up to 11 different species have been observed coming to drink from the ponds and this will be a good opportunity to see and/or hear several of these species. We’ll attempt to identify the bats both visually (using either installed or handheld lighting) and aurally (using a smartphone app that filters and amplifies the ultrasonic sounds the bats emit). Meet at the Paton Center entrance at 477 Pennsylvania Ave., Patagonia. Wrap up around 9 p.m. Bring a headlamp or flashlight for use afterwards. Limit: 10 participants. Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the wait list.
Leaders: Bob Orenstein (rmorenstein1960@gmail.com), Tina Hall, and Bruce Ventura

August 7-11
Southeast Arizona Birding Festival
Join one of the many field trips or take in the free Nature Expo with over 40 free nature talks and workshops. More details and registration here

August 8–Thursday, 7:00 a.m.
Mission Garden
Trip difficulty: Easy. Distance 0.25 to 0.50 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: Smooth, ADA-accessible dirt trails.
Explore this reconstruction of the four-acre 18th-century garden at the base of “A” Mountain that was associated with the Mission San Agustin (the northern-most mission in Arizona). See a variety of birds among gardens, crops and orchards depicting all the eras and ethnic groups associate with Tucson’s past. This site has been farmed for over 4,000 years and is considered Tucson’s birthplace. This walk is good for beginning bird watchers, gardeners and those interested in attracting birds to their yards. Along the way you’ll see the wide variety of food-plants that can grow in Tucson and we’ll point out some of the many bird-friendly plants at the garden. Suggested $5 donation at the gate. No online registration necessary. Meet at Mission Garden, 946 W Mission Lane (just east of Grande Road on Mission Lane).
Leader: Kendall Kroesen, kkroesen@cox.net, 520-971-2385

August 30–Friday, 7:30 a.m.
WOW Arizona!

This private property, enhanced with amazing plants over years of work by owner Christopher Vincent, is nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Oro Valley. By special arrangement, we are able to visit in a small group to take advantage of the height of hummingbird migration. Last year at this time, Christopher estimated that over 150 hummingbirds were visiting his feeders daily. He also has a lot of other avian visitors, including Northern Beardless-Tyrranulets, Pyrrhuloxia, and more common desert species. Entrance fees are $10 per person; photography is $20 per camera. Tripods are limited. We’ll need to stick to the groomed trails because of resident snakes, themselves a remarkable sighting. Wrap up around 10:30 a.m. Limit: 7 participants. Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the wait list.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net


				
Wednesday Mornings at Sweetwater Wetlands

No registration needed!
May - August starts at 6 a.m.

Trip rating: easy; Walking distance: 1 mile; Trip duration: 2 hr; Elevation gain: none; Ground condition: concrete and dirt trails. Restrooms at the trailhead.
Join Luke Safford for an easy walk through the Sweetwater Wetlands to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive.
Contact Luke with questions, 520-209-1811, lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org.
Every Wednesday. Start times: Mar - Apr: 7 am, May - Aug: 6 am, Sep - Oct: 7 am, Nov - Feb: 8 am.

Learn about Sweetwater Wetlands

There are no public programs scheduled while the pond restoration project is in progress. Current information on the pond restoration project can be found at www.pima.gov/nrpr

Birding Canoa Ranch

Pima County leads this walk -- online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr.
Join longtime local birder Brian Nicholas to see a wide variety of sparrows, raptors, and the possibility of waterfowl on the newly restored pond at Historic Canoa Ranch. All ages welcome.

When: Saturdays, August 24 and 31, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Where: Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Road, Green Valley 85622
Cost: Free with PCNRPR Membership, Non-PCNRPR Member $5 fee. Online registration required: www.pima.gov/nrpr
For more information: www.pima.gov/canoaranch; email: CanoaRanch@pima.gov or call 520-724-5375

Share your eBird checklists from our trips with our account: "tasfieldtrips"

Meet our fantastic field trip leaders!

Liability Waiver: All participants on Tucson Audubon field trips are required to sign a standard waiver. If you would like to read the waiver before the trip, view it here.

Departure Times: Please arrive before the departure time listed in the trip description. Trips will leave promptly at the time given.

Please dress appropriately for your field trip. Always wear sturdy shoes, a hat, and use sun protection. Bring plenty of snacks and water for yourself. Always bring your binoculars, your field guide, and for most trips a scope can be useful. Bring money to cover your share of the carpooling expenses and any required entry fees (i.e. state parks).

Tucson Audubon strongly encourages carpooling and the sharing of the driver's fuel expenses. Drivers and trip leaders are not expected to contribute.

Basha's Grocery Store: Catalina, AZ. parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection of Oracle Rd. and Golder Ranch Rd.
 
Commuter lot at Oracle and Ina:  One block west of the intersection of Oracle and Ina, on the south side of the street.  Actual location is Via Ponte and W. Ina Rd.
 
Empty Grocery Store Lot at Irvington and I-19: On the north side of Irvington just east of I-19.
 
Houghton and I-10: Exit 275 off of I-10 on the north side of I-10 there is a large dirt parking lot used by commuters
 
McDonald's (Tucson) on the northeast corner of Tanque Verde Rd. and Catalina Highway.   We meet on the east side a bit away from where patrons would park.
 
McDonald's (Green Valley) Use the Continental Rd. exit off of I-19 and turn right to the McDonald's.  We meet in the right most portion of the parking lot as one is facing the restaurant.

Sweetwater Wetlands

Sweetwater Wetlands is a gem of urban bird and wildlife activity right in urban Tucson. 306 bird species have been documented here. Join our weekly bird walks on Wednesdays and see what you can find!

Learn more

Birding Southeast Arizona App

A great interactive companion to our Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona, our new app covers over 130 birding sites in six subregions in and around Tucson, all vetted by local experts. Search by nearest site, by bird, or by city and get exact directions! Keep track of your sightings and share with friends on Facebook.

Learn more and download now!

Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona

Revised 8th Edition, 2015
Tucson Audubon’s updated edition brings together all the latest information on finding birds in southeast Arizona. This is your best source of detailed information that will help in planning bird watching adventures in the region.

Learn more

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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

color_square_face_right

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

color_square_face_right

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