Select Page

Tucson Audubon is responding to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All activities through May 4 are canceled or postponed. READ MORE

Advocacy, conservation, restoration, and science are not on pause. The Tucson Audubon Emergency Fund has the goal of raising $75,000 to ensure that we can support the organization over the next 3–5 months. Thank you!

Birding Field Trips-ALL trips now canceled until further notice

General Information

  • Tucson Audubon 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!
  • NOTE: Carpooling is temporarily suspended on Tucson Audubon field trips due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) . 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 Luke Safford.
  • 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. 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 Luke Safford. Please contact Luke 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.

Field Trips canceled at least through May 4 and until further notice.

May – tentative dates after May 4

May 5–Tuesday, 8 am
Santa Catalina Mountains: Mountain Birds for Beginners
Trip difficulty: Easy. Walking distance: 0.5 miles. Trip duration: 4 hr . Elevation gain: 30 feet. Ground condition: dirt road and forest floor.
This will be a slow-paced, easy-going trip to look at birds that spend the summer up in the mountains. It can be challenging to find these little warblers, nuthatches and woodpeckers moving around in the high branches above us, but we will try our best. After birding the Middle Bear picnic area and the lower road at Incinerator Ridge, the trip will end at the hummingbird feeders at the Palisades Ranger Station. Bring water, snack, car-pooling money and USFS or NPS pass. Round Trip Mileage: 50 miles. Restrooms at Middle Bear and near the ranger station. Meet at the McDonald’s parking lot at the NE corner of Tanque Verde Road and Catalina Highway. No limit and no registration necessary. Contact leader if any questions.
Leader: John Higgins (520-609-2361, jghiggins@cox.net)

May 14–Thursday, 7 am
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 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)

May 15-Thursday, 6:30 am
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a jewel in the desert. Opening at 6am in the summer allows visitors to enjoy relatively cool temperatures for a couple of hours, particularly in the shade of the towering eucalyptus and other trees. The birding usually presents a rainbow of summer residents, including some orioles, tanagers and grosbeaks, along with familiar desert species and an occasional surprise on Ayer Lake or flying by. Staffers know where to find nests and are happy to point them out. You can check out recent sightings on the Arboretum website. We’ll start at 6:30am at the Arboretum, and wrap up about 10am. Some may want to bring a picnic lunch and extend their stay. Limit: 9 participants. Entrance fee: $15. Registration link will be active here when/if we decide the trip is a go.
Leader: Kathe Anderson (kathe.coot@cox.net)

May 16–Saturday, 6:30 am
Mason Center/Arthur Pack Park
Trip difficulty: Easy. Walking distance: 2.5 miles. Trip duration: 2 hr 45 min. Elevation gain: none. Ground condition: groomed trail. Restrooms at two locations along the walk. Drinking water not available on trail.
Join us for an introduction to birdwatching basics at our Mason Center. After feeder watching at the Center, stroll across Hardy Rd to Arthur Pack Regional Park for some 20 to 30 more species along the trails and golf course pond. Great for families. Loaner binoculars available. Meet at the Mason Center (3835 W. Hardy Rd.) on the corner of Hardy and Thornydale in NW Tucson. No registration necessary.
Leaders: Ray Deeney, Mary Ellen Flynn, or Jim Gessaman, call 520-209-1811 with any questions.

May 28-Thursday, 6:00 am
Lemmon and Lunch
Trip difficulty: Difficult. Up to 5 miles of hiking, some at high elevation. Not appropriate for individuals with mobility or respiratory issues.
Make a full morning of birding Mt. Lemmon from bottom to top, and top it off with lunch at Sawmill Run or the Iron Door in Summerhaven. Stops along our route include Molino Basin Campground, Gordon Hirabayashi Campground, Middle Bear Picnic Ground, Windy Point, Palisades Ranger Station, Incinerator Ridge, Mt. Bigelow Road and Summerhaven. At each stop we will have different target species, that will require parking and walking at each location. We will see Yellow-eyed Juncos, Acorn Woodpeckers and Mexican Jays! Other birds we will try for include Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, White-throated Swift, Rivoli’s Hummingbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Olive Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Band-tailed Pigeon, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Turkey, Stellar’s Jay, and Hairy Woodpecker. We should finish the day with 40 or more species for our efforts. Wear hiking shoes, hat for sun, and dress in layers; the mountain can still be surprisingly cool at times. Bring binoculars, water, funds to purchase lunch in Summerhaven, and a few dollars for gas money for drivers. Meet in the Safeway parking lot at Tanque Verde and Catalina Hwy, near the McDonalds. We will carpool from there in two vehicles that can hold five each. Wrap up by 2 pm. Limit 8 participants. Registration link will be active here when/if we decide the trip is a go.
Leaders: Holly & George Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

June – tentative dates

June 7-Sunday, 7:00 am
Miller Canyon
Difficulty: Moderate. We will be hiking a total of about 3 miles (round trip), with some elevation gain, on rocky trails.
Join professional birding guides Ken Blankenship and Allee Forsberg to explore the breeding birds of beautiful Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. We’ll start with a session at the famous hummingbird viewing area on the Beatty Guest Ranch. Targets include Rivoli’s, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Violet-crowned, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Next, we’ll hike up through juniper-oak-sycamore habitat and (eventually) mixed conifers in search of species such as Red-faced Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Painted Redstart, “Mexican” Brown Creeper, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler, “Mexican” Spotted Owl, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Mexican Jay, Virginia’s Warbler, Olive Warbler, and much more. Meet at 7 am at the top-most parking lot for the Miller Canyon Trail, just outside the Beatty Guest Ranch. Participants should each bring a $5 donation to the Beatty Guest Ranch to access their property and feeders. Registration link will be active here when/if we decide the trip is a go.
Leaders: Ken Blankenship (kenblankenshipbirding@gmail.com) and Allee Forsberg

June 10-Monday, 6:30 am
Pinal Mountain
Start at 6:30am outside of Globe for a journey up through a variety of habitats to top out at about 7,800 feet for possible Olive Warblers and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Desert species may include a rainbow of birds with Yellow Warblers, Vermilion Flycatchers and Blue Grosbeaks. Transition zones could get us sparrows, raptors, towhees and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay. Ponderosa pine offers woodpeckers, warblers, vireos and possible Western Tanagers. A hummingbird stop near the top usually has Broad-tailed and possible Magnificent Hummingbirds. Wrap up back in Globe about 2:30pm. Limit: 7 participants. Registration link will be active here when/if we decide the trip is a go.
Leader: Kathe Anderson (kathe.coot@cox.net)

June 14-Sunday, 7:00 am
Miller Canyon
Difficulty: Moderate. We will be hiking a total of about 3 miles (round trip), with some elevation gain, on rocky trails.
Join professional birding guides Ken Blankenship and Allee Forsberg to explore the breeding birds of beautiful Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. We’ll start with a session at the famous hummingbird viewing area on the Beatty Guest Ranch. Targets include Rivoli’s, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Violet-crowned, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Next, we’ll hike up through juniper-oak-sycamore habitat and (eventually) mixed conifers in search of species such as Red-faced Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Painted Redstart, “Mexican” Brown Creeper, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler, “Mexican” Spotted Owl, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Mexican Jay, Virginia’s Warbler, Olive Warbler, and much more. Meet at 7 am at the top-most parking lot for the Miller Canyon Trail, just outside the Beatty Guest Ranch. Participants should each bring a $5 donation to the Beatty Guest Ranch to access their property and feeders. Registration link will be active here when/if we decide the trip is a go.
Leaders: Ken Blankenship (kenblankenshipbirding@gmail.com) and Allee Forsberg

Wednesday mornings at Sweetwater Wetlands

No registration needed!
Start time: 7 am, March-April
(Please note changes to access from the north: https://azdot.gov/node/15795)
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: 6:30 am, Oct: 7 am, Nov - Feb: 8 am.

Learn about Sweetwater Wetlands

Thursday Mornings - Birding Agua Caliente Park

Pima County leads this walk -- online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation offers this guided birding walk in the desert oasis of Agua Caliente Park to spot wetland birds, hummingbirds, songbirds, and raptors. Binoculars are available for use. 

When: Mar – Apr: 8:00 am, May – Aug: 7:30 am., Sept – Oct: 8:00 am, Nov – Feb: 8:30 am.

Where: Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Visit the Tucson Audubon Nature Shop at Agua Caliente Park after the walk.

Cost: Free with PCNRPR Membership, Non-PCNRPR Member $5 fee. Online registration required:  www.pima.gov/nrpr 

For more information: email eeducation@pima.gov , or call 520-615-7855. Further Pima County birding trips can be found here.

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: Every Saturday in March and April, 8-10 am.
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).

NOTE: Carpooling is temporarily suspended on Tucson Audubon field trips due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). 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.

email-iconSign up for email updates. Stay Informed!

Choose from weekly updates, volunteer news, conservation alerts, Paton Center news, IBA news and more.

Sign up here

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

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