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SOUTHEAST ARIZONA BIRDING FESTIVAL | August 8–12, 2018| Tucson, AZ

Field Trips

Expert leaders guide half-day, full-day and NEW overnight birding field trips. Learn more about our expert leaders from tour companies such as: WINGS, Sky Island Tours, Field Guides, Borderland Tours, Adventure Birding Company, VENT, Desert Harrier Guiding Services, Fun Birding, Aplomado Environmental, Naturalist Journeys and Tropical Birding!

Field trips include van transportation (with a few exceptions, such as overnight trips).  A packed lunch and drinking water are provided on full-day field trips. A light snack and drinking water is provided on half-day field trips. All trips depart from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Reid Park

NEW! Overnight trips to Southeast Arizona’s best birding locales and lodging:

Disappointed to come to the Festival previously and not have access to some locations and target species? Missed out on the opportunity for night birding for Arizona owls and nightjars? Don’t like the longer van rides out and back to some of the farthest locations? Or perhaps you would just like to sample what it’s like on a bird tour, then these trips are for you, six to choose from at southeast Arizona’s premier locations. Find your own way to the designated lodging, meet your professional guide and other birders for an early dinner and afterwards head out with them for evening birding to look for local owls and nightjars. The next morning, enjoy quick access to nearby birding locations with your guide and group and spend your morning birding, not riding in a van.

Overnight trips begin at afternoon check-in (either Wednesday or Thursday) and finish up at noon the following day. After a Wed–Thu trip, this will allow you to travel to another destination during the afternoon and enjoy a second overnight trip Thu–Fri. Overnight trips include lodging (double occupancy rates), evening dinner, breakfast, van transportation (during birding, not to the location), and bird guiding. Single occupancy rooms are available at some locations. Ask us! Single applicants not desiring to pay for a single room will be matched up with another compatible applicant.

The Chiricahua Mountains trip is by necessity two nights long, beginning at check-in on Wednesday and finishing on Friday at noon. It includes two night’s lodging, two dinners, one lunch, and two breakfasts as well as guided birding with van transportation on site.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received on or before July 1, 2018 will be refunded less a 10% processing fee. No refunds will be issued after July 1. Tucson Audubon reserves the right to cancel or revise any event for any reason. If it becomes necessary to cancel a paid event (field trip or dinner) for which you have a reservation, we will notify you and issue a full refund. No refunds will be issued for no-shows.

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NEW! Overnight Trips

SOLD OUT California Gulch and the Atascosa Highlands, hosted by John Yerger of Adventure Birding

  • Lodging: Amado Territory Inn
  • Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9, also Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10
  • $240/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

We will start with a drive out to California Gulch in time to look for Five-striped Sparrow and then search for other specialties until dark when we’ll listen for Buff-collared Nightjar and Elf Owl. Enjoy local birding the next morning before heading down to Pena Blanca Canyon and Lake to look for Hepatic Tanager, Elegant Trogon, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler, and Varied Bunting. Limited to 9 participants each trip.

Madera Canyon, hosted by Laurens Halsey of Desert Harrier Birding and Nature Guide Services

  • Lodging: Santa Rita Lodge
  • Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9, also Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10
  • $235/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

Check in and enjoy the birds at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders (Rivoli’s Hummingbird, Arizona Woodpecker, Wild Turkey) before evening birding in the mouth of Madera Canyon and proceeding up into the oak-juniper habitat, looking for nightjars and owls characteristic of these habitats (Mexican Whip-Poor-Will, Whiskered Screech-Owl & Elf Owl).  We’ll get an early start the next morning and explore the same range of habitats looking for Botteri’s and Cassin’s Sparrows lower down as well as Painted Redstart, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and Elegant Trogon in mid-canyon.  Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Patagonia area, hosted by Chris Benesh of Field Guides

  • Lodging: Stage Stop Inn
  • Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9, also Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10
  • $245/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

Evening and night birding in the nearby highlands around Patagonia looking for nightjars and owls common to this area as well as a bit of black-lighting for scorpions.  Early morning start and head to Patagonia Lake State Park, the top eBird site in AZ, looking for Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Lucy’s Warbler, Rufous-winged Sparrow. We’ll make some stops on the way back at the famous Patagonia Roadside Rest Stop and the Paton Center for Hummingbirds for Gray Hawk, Thick-billed Kingbird and Violet-crowned Hummingbird. While birds will be our primary focus, we will pause to look at interesting dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies along the way. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Sierra Vista Area focusing on Hummingbirds, hosted by Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson of Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory

  • Lodging: Casa de San Pedro
  • Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9, also Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10
  • $260/person
  • Difficulty: 2, shorter walking distances over unpaved trails

Check in and enjoy the birds at the feeders at Casa de San Pedro, perhaps to observe hummingbird banding.  After dinner, birding in the nearby areas to find night birds including Lesser Nighthawk and owls.  The next morning, plan to visit feeders at nearby locations possibly including Ash Canyon B&B, Beatty’s, and Ramsey Canyon for a survey of hummingbirds (Rivoli’s, Broad-billed, Calliope, Lucifer, Broad-tailed, White-eared) as well as many other species including Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, and Scott’s Oriole. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Huachuca Mts., hosted by Jake Mohlmann of Wings Birding Tours & Adventure Birding Company

  • Lodging: Ramsey Canyon Inn
  • Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9, also Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10
  • $255/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes and steps possible.

Check in and enjoy the birds at the various feeders at the lodge and nearby Nature Conservancy preserve which could include Rivoli’s Hummingbird and with luck Violet-crowned or Blue-throated. After dinner, we will visit Ramsey Canyon for night-birding to find Whiskered Screech-Owl and others. The next day’s route will prioritize areas in the bird-rich Huachuca Mountains to find possible rarities such as Flame-colored Tanager and Tufted Flycatcher but also the more regular specialties of this region including Elegant Trogon, Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, and Red-faced Warbler. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

SOLD OUT Two-night trip to the Chiricahuas, hosted by Peg Abbott of Naturalists Journeys

  • Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge
  • Wednesday, August 8 –Friday, August 10
  • $425/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

Geologically and ecologically fascinating, the Chiricahua Mountains are the backdrop to a bird-rich outing aimed to find a mix of species from grasslands to pines.  Night birding will try for several species including Whiskered Screech-owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, and Mexican Whip-poor-will.  Thursday morning, the group will head up to the higher elevations to find specialties of this area including Mexican Chickadee with Olive, Red-faced and Grace’s Warblers and Greater Pewee.  Visit feeders at different locations where one might find Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Rufous, and Rivoli’s Hummingbirds, plus a chance for rarities.  Time spent  Friday morning in the neighboring grasslands will also add in more possibilities such as Bendire’s and Crissal Thrashers, Cassin’s and Botteri’s Sparrows, Scaled Quail and more.  If any special species are around, such as the Slate-throated Redstart, they’ll be targeted as well, a great opportunity to find a number of species specific to this area. Limited to 9 participants.

 

NEW! Overnight Trips

California Gulch and the Atascosa Highlands, hosted by John Yerger of Adventure Birding

  • Lodging: Amado Territory Inn
  • Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10, also Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9
  • $240/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

We will start with a drive out to California Gulch in time to look for Five-striped Sparrow and then search for other specialties until dark when we’ll listen for Buff-collared Nightjar and Elf Owl. Enjoy local birding the next morning before heading down to Pena Blanca Canyon and Lake to look for Hepatic Tanager, Elegant Trogon, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler, and Varied Bunting. Limited to 9 participants each trip.

Madera Canyon, hosted by Laurens Halsey of Desert Harrier Birding and Nature Guide Services

  • Lodging: Santa Rita Lodge
  • Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10, also Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9
  • $235/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

Check in and enjoy the birds at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders (Rivoli’s Hummingbird, Arizona Woodpecker, Wild Turkey) before evening birding in the mouth of Madera Canyon and proceeding up into the oak-juniper habitat, looking for nightjars and owls characteristic of these habitats (Mexican Whip-Poor-Will, Whiskered Screech-Owl & Elf Owl).  We’ll get an early start the next morning and explore the same range of habitats looking for Botteri’s and Cassin’s Sparrows lower down as well as Painted Redstart, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and Elegant Trogon in mid-canyon.  Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Patagonia area, hosted by Chris Benesh of Field Guides

  • Lodging: Stage Stop Inn
  • Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10, also Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9
  • $245/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes

Evening and night birding in the nearby highlands around Patagonia looking for nightjars and owls common to this area as well as a bit of black-lighting for scorpions.  Early morning start and head to Patagonia Lake State Park, the top eBird site in AZ, looking for Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Lucy’s Warbler, Rufous-winged Sparrow. We’ll make some stops on the way back at the famous Patagonia Roadside Rest Stop and the Paton Center for Hummingbirds for Gray Hawk, Thick-billed Kingbird and Violet-crowned Hummingbird. While birds will be our primary focus, we will pause to look at interesting dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies along the way. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Sierra Vista Area focusing on Hummingbirds, hosted by Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson of Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory

  • Lodging: Casa de San Pedro
  • Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10, also Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9
  • $260/person
  • Difficulty: 2, shorter walking distances over unpaved trails

Check in and enjoy the birds at the feeders at Casa de San Pedro, perhaps to observe hummingbird banding.  After dinner, birding in the nearby areas to find night birds including Lesser Nighthawk and owls.  The next morning, plan to visit feeders at nearby locations possibly including Ash Canyon B&B, Beatty’s, and Ramsey Canyon for a survey of hummingbirds (Rivoli’s, Broad-billed, Calliope, Lucifer, Broad-tailed, White-eared) as well as many other species including Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, and Scott’s Oriole. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Huachuca Mts., hosted by Jake Mohlmann of Wings Birding Tours & Adventure Birding Company

  • Lodging: Ramsey Canyon Inn
  • Thursday, August 9 – Friday, August 10, also Wednesday, August 8 – Thursday, August 9
  • $255/person
  • Difficulty: 3, moderate walking distances over unpaved trails with some steeper slopes and steps possible.

Check in and enjoy the birds at the various feeders at the lodge and nearby Nature Conservancy preserve which could include Rivoli’s Hummingbird and with luck Violet-crowned or Blue-throated. After dinner, we will visit Ramsey Canyon for night-birding to find Whiskered Screech-Owl and others. The next day’s route will prioritize areas in the bird-rich Huachuca Mountains to find possible rarities such as Flame-colored Tanager and Tufted Flycatcher but also the more regular specialties of this region including Elegant Trogon, Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, and Red-faced Warbler. Limited to 10 participants each trip.

Half-day Trips

Las Cienegas NCA with Richard Fray

  • 5:30am – 12:00pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some walking on mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces. Drive time to location approximately one hour plus driving on gravel roads)

Las Cienegas is a 45,000-acre national conservation area with high desert grasslands, riparian strips and perennial streams, marshes, and juniper-oak woodlands. Here we can find grassland breeders such as Cassin’s, Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, “Lilian’s” Eastern Meadowlark, and Loggerhead Shrike, as well as riparian-associated species including Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, and Summer Tanager. Las Cienegas is great for mammals, too — we’ll visit a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (to look for their Burrowing Owl neighbors!) and keep an eye out for pronghorn antelope. Limited to 9 participants.

Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountains with John Higgins

  • 5:30am – 11:00am
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Paved roads, less than 1 mile walking)

Come see the birds that actually like it the desert during the summer. We will travel through the saguaro cactus forest of the Pima County Tucson Mountain Park and the west side of the Saguaro National Park, looking for Gilded Flicker, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher and other desert denizens. The tour will stop at the National Park Service visitor center with its exhibits, restrooms and air conditioning. Limited to 9 participants.

Molino Basin with Chris Chappell

  • 5:30am – 12pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 40 minutes on paved road)

A small campground surrounded by oak woodland and chaparral with intermittent streams, Molino Basin is a favorite stop for local birders on their way up Mt. Lemmon. We will walk around the good trail system looking for resident Acorn Woodpeckers, Bridled Titmouse, Bushtit, and Rufous-crowned Sparrows. Gray Vireo is a possibility as one or two were seen and heard off and on last year. Colorful summer breeders such as Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, and Hooded Orioles are always crowd pleasers. Limited to 9 participants.

Florida and Box Canyons with Ken Blankenship

  • 6:00am – 12pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately one hour on some gravel road)

Join local guide Ken Blankenship and explore a well-watered oak-sycamore canyon along with rocky desert slopes in the Santa Rita Mountains. We will start by hiking the rocky trail of infamous Florida Canyon, where we hope to find highlights such as Rufous-capped Warbler, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Scott’s Oriole, Gray Hawk, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Summer Tanager, and more. Next, we will make a series of roadside stops in rugged, beautiful Box Canyon. In late summer 2016, at least one pair of Five-striped Sparrows and a family of Lucifer Hummingbirds established territories in the canyon! Will they return? Other highlight birds include Varied Bunting, Hooded Oriole, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Pyrrhuloxia, and Verdin. Limited to 9 participants.

Pond at Elephant Head Photography with Brian Gibbons

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm
  • $140/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Cool morning will quickly turn into a hot day, close-toed shoes, long pants and long sleeves, sun hat and sunscreen recommended. Some walking over uneven, rocky terrain expected. Most of time spent in photography blinds.)

Join us for a early departure to a private wildlife photography ranch, The Pond at Elephant Head, on the west flank of the Santa Ritas, where the Sonoran Desert scrub yields to desert grassland and montane woodland nearby ensuring a good variety of birds. We will be largely sedentary in the early morning while we wait, in blinds, at a pond that is maintained for wildlife. Hummingbirds, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Sparrows, Doves, Thrashers, Quail, Roadrunner and a variety of early migrants are all possible at the pond as well as other wildlife. Collared Peccary, Coyotes, Deer and Bobcat are all regular visitors, but we would be lucky, on a single morning, to catch any of these. Butterflies and reptiles might be roaming the desert around the pond too. Late morning, when activity at the pond subsides, we might wander around searching for other subjects ranging from birds, butterflies and mammals to reptiles.
Needed Equipment: DSLR Camera, telephoto lenses, tripod, small tripod-type folding chair if desired, and binoculars.

Half-day Trips

Local Drive Yourself: Sweetwater Wetlands with James Gessaman

  • 6:30am – 9:00am
  • $10/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Less than a mile walking on excellent surfaces.)

Sweetwater is a “must see” destination for any birder with a few hours to spend in Tucson, and a great place to get started as a beginning birder. This artificial wetland is the premier waterbird location in the Tucson Valley, offering a stunning variety of species that can be found here at any time during the season. Cinnamon Teal, Green Heron, Common Gallinule, Tropical Kingbird, and Abert’s Towhees are some of our prime targets. Limited to 20 participants.

Paton Center for Hummingbirds “Big Sit” with Festival Keynote Speaker, Bill Thompson III and short excursions led by Chris Chappell

  • 5:30am – 12:00pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Some wheelchair accessibility. Will include a short walk on groomed connecting trail to Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve.)

Join BT3 at the famous Paton Center for Hummingbirds which is known for its backyard birds and scenic location. Wally and Marion Paton first began inviting birders into their yard shortly after moving to Patagonia in 1973, and after their passing, the center was acquired by the Tucson Audubon Society with generous help from the American Bird Conservancy and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. It is a place to explore and experience the special birds of southeast Arizona and it is dedicated to the celebration and conservation of hummingbirds—and all of southeast Arizona’s astounding biodiversity—through recreation, education, and sustainable living. Violet-crowned Hummingbirds are common and the many feeders attract a wide array of bird species. Sit and watch the bird show with Bill and Paton Center Director, Jonathan Lutz, or take a short walk along trails and the Richard Grand Memorial Meadow with Chris Chappell. Limited to 27 participants.

Madera Canyon Sampler with Robert Mesta

  • 5:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails)

This loop starts in grassland habitat around Proctor Road looking and listening for singing sparrows first thing in the morning. Black-capped Gnatcatcher has been a regular along this nature trail along with Bell’s Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, and Varied Bunting. Next we’ll head into the mid-elevation oak-juniper habitat, looking for desirable southeast Arizona species like Arizona Woodpecker, Painted Redstart, and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. After this we’ll spend some time walking along the riparian trail and investigating the hummingbird feeders that make Madera one of the best spots for hummingbird diversity in the country. Back by noon. Limited to 9 participants.

Cienega Creek & Davidson Canyon with Pima County Naturalist Jeff Babson

  • 5:30am – 11:30am
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 45 minutes.)

The perennial stream flow and lush riparian vegetation is an important nesting and migration corridor for a multitude of avian species. Home to Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, and Lucy’s Warbler, the creek has also hosted a number of vagrants. Cienega Creek has potential for Yellow-billed Cuckoo as well. Under the shade of towering Fremont cottonwoods, we will explore this well-watered and increasingly rare habitat on a half-day outing. Limited to 9 participants.

SOLD OUT Rio Rico & De Anza Trail with Richard Fray

  • 6:00am – 12:00pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Flat walking trails. Drive time to location approximately 1 hour.)

This tour takes you through the important migration corridor of the Santa Cruz River. Isolated wetlands around Rio Rico could hold Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Common Ground-Dove, Tropical Kingbird and a variety of migrants. The De Anza trail along the Santa Cruz River is a beautiful walk through towering cottonwoods with excellent chances of Gray Hawk, Varied Bunting, and Blue Grosbeak. Limited to 9 participants.

Santa Cruz Flats with Kathe Anderson and Dave Pearson

  • 5:15am – 12:30pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Birding from vehicles and the road but very hot by mid-morning. Drive time to flats area approximately one hour. Will include driving on smooth gravel roads.)

This flat area of agricultural fields, mesquite bosques, pecan groves and desert scrub is rarely birded in the summer, but it holds many surprises.  Tropical Kingbirds will be fledging their young at this time, and we can expect to see between 20 and 40 individuals in the rows of pecan trees along the road. Desert species such as Bell’s Vireo, Bendire’s Thrasher, Crissal Thrasher and Lucy’s Warbler should be common. Black Vultures and Swainson’s Hawks, and if we are lucky, an early Crested Caracara are possible. Sludge ponds and flooded fields at this time of year have yielded rarer shorebirds like Ruddy Turnstone, Willet, Snowy Plover and Sanderling. It will be very hot by 10 am so put on sunblock, bring a water bottle and wear a hat. Limited to 18 participants.

Full-day Trips

Pena Blanca Lake and Canyon with Ken Blankenship

  • 5:00am – 2:00pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 90 minutes, some gravel road.)

An interesting man-made lake makes a great water source and stopover for migrants (like Painted Bunting seen last year) and nesting birds. The adjoining canyon is a good location for Elegant Trogon, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, and Hepatic Tanager. Montezuma Quail favor the hillsides surrounding the lake and other interesting species include Gray Hawk, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Varied Bunting are expected species. Expect to walk on groomed trails around the lake and a gravel/loose rock forest service road through the canyon. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

SOLD OUT Mt. Lemmon: Sonoran Desert to Mixed Conifer Forest with Brian Gibbons and Matt Griffiths

  • 5:30 am – 3:00pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to final location approximately 75 minutes.)

Rising over 6,000 feet above Tucson, Mount Lemmon is the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains at 9,157 feet, and a popular escape from urban life and the Arizona’s dry early-summer heat (before the relief of the cooling monsoon rains). It is also an incredible birding experience and biology lesson. Traversing six life zones, from the Sonoran Desert at the base to mixed conifer forests at the highest elevations, the 25-mile drive up the wide, paved, two-lane Catalina Highway is equivalent biologically to traveling from Mexico to Canada. Our efforts will be concentrated on the higher elevations far above the desert below. We’ll look for typical mountain species like Steller’s Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, and Plumbeous Vireo. We’ll make a special effort to track down a variety of warblers; Painted Redstart and Olive, Red-faced, and Grace’s Warblers all breed in these mountains and by August they are beginning to form mixed-species foraging flocks. A few hummingbird feeders are scattered about our route as well. Combine the birds with temperatures nearly 30 degrees cooler at the top and unparalleled scenery, it is hard to beat the Catalinas in August! Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

California Gulch Adventure with Rick Wright and Jennie Macfarland

  • 5:00am – 3:30 pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 4 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 2 hours on some rough road.)

This trip sets out in search of some of the avian treasures (at the very northern edge of their ranges here) for which southeast Arizona is renowned. The main event for the day is the chance to bird the rugged and remote California Gulch in search of Five-striped Sparrow, Varied Bunting, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Gray Hawk, and Montezuma Quail as well as other species from south of the border. California Gulch is set in the stunningly beautiful Atascosa Highlands and requires a full two hours in the van each way to get to this spot, including some rough roads. Depending on recent reports, we will try to maximize our time in this area by birding other nearby sites such as Pena Blanca Lake or Arivaca to look for other SE Arizona specialties. Note: this trip may include a steep mile-long (round trip) trek into the canyon or we may be able to simply take a short walk on a rocky jeep track. Access conditions are variable and can be impacted by the monsoon rains. Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

Carr & Ash Canyons with Gavin Bieber

  • 5:00am – 3:30pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to locations approximately 2 hours on some rough road.)

We’ll get an early start from Tucson to explore the Madrean oak woodland and open pine forests of Carr Canyon. This scenic canyon on the east flank of the Huachucas supports species such as Arizona Woodpecker and Painted Redstart on its lower slopes, and species such as Olive Warbler, Buff-breasted Flycatcher and Greater Pewee along the upper stretches of the road. Tufted Flycatcher frequented the canyon’s Reef Townsite Campground last year. We’ll spend a few hours exploring along the main road that winds up to near the peaks of the Huachucas before taking our picnic lunch and then descending to nearby Ash Canyon, where a private bank of hummingbird feeders at Mary Jo’s B&B should be buzzing with activity, including perhaps the range-restricted and very attractive Lucifer Hummingbird. We will be walking slowly along nearly level dirt roads at up to about 7000 feet in elevation. Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

Evening Trips

Night Hike for Birds and Herps in Sabino Canyon with Jim Rorabaugh and Luke Safford

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • $45/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Will include walking in the dark, some uphill on paved road, groomed trail. Total distance about 4 miles.)

Bring your flashlight as we walk up in the light and walk down in the dark in search of birds, toads, snakes, and more! Good possibilities for Elf Owl and Common Poorwill after sunset and we’ll hope for monsoon rains so we can see and hear Spadefoots and giant Sonoran Desert Toads. Lizards, scorpions, and tarantulas are crowd favorites and maybe we’ll run into a Gila Monster. We will go at a slow pace but we hope to get to the 2 mile marker on the paved road before we turn around. Back about 9pm. Bring a water bottle and be prepared for hot weather. Limited to 20 participants.

Going Batty with Karen Krebbs

  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • $30/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Easy watching from pathway/parking area and short drive.)

Join Karen Krebbs on an adventure to watch thousands of bats come out of their roost at dusk. Karen has studied bats for more than 30 years and will share her vast knowledge of these misunderstood night creatures. This nightly Tucson spectacle even brings in a Peregrine Falcon on occasion. Limited to 10 participants.

Moths: A Nocturnal Exploration with Pima County Naturalist Jeff Babson

  • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • $30/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Easily accessible location with a short drive)

This trip is the field counterpart to accompanying moth workshop. On this trip, we will set up a UV light and see what treasures the night produces.  UV lights, also known as black lights, emit wavelengths that attract many insects, including moths and beetles. Many of these insects are common, but live their lives in darkness and many people are unaware of their existence. This trip will shine a light into the hidden diversity that exists at night in the Sonoran Desert.

SOLD OUT Night Birds of the Catalina Mountains with Tim Helentjaris

  • 6:45pm – 10:30pm
  • $55/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Very short walks from vehicle at night with several stops along the paved Mt. Lemmon Highway, good hearing required)

Driving up into the Catalina Mts and stopping at different elevations affords us the opportunity to find a number of owls and nightjars specific to this area.  Target species will include Elf Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Whiskered Screech-Owl, Common Poorwill, Mexican Whip-Poor-Will, and Flammulated Owl.   Hopefully we’ll be able to detect several of these and even be able to spot-light one or two, but the timing this late in the year can be challenging. Limited to 9 participants.

Youth Event

Youth Birding Outing at Sweetwater Wetlands with Richard Moncrief of Zeiss Sports Optics and Bill Thompson III of Birdwatcher’s Digest

  • 7:00am-9:30am
  • Free with Registration

Get ready for a fun and easy walk through Tucson’s favorite wetlands to see exciting species like Green Heron hiding in the reeds and Tropical Kingbirds in the mesquites. Birders ages 6 – 17 and of all experience levels are welcome to participate in an expert-led trip! Binoculars will be available to use, courtesy of Zeiss Sports Optics. Limited to 30 participants.

Half-day Trips

Madera Canyon Sampler with Robert Mesta

  • 5:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails)

This loop starts in grassland habitat around Proctor Road looking and listening for singing sparrows first thing in the morning. Black-capped Gnatcatcher has been a regular along this nature trail along with Bell’s Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, and Varied Bunting. Next we’ll head into the mid-elevation oak-juniper habitat, looking for desirable southeast Arizona species like Arizona Woodpecker, Painted Redstart, and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. After this we’ll spend some time walking along the riparian trail and investigating the hummingbird feeders that make Madera one of the best spots for hummingbird diversity in the country. Back by noon. Limited to 9 participants.

Montosa Canyon with Gavin Bieber  

  • 5:00am – 12pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately one hour with some gravel roads.)

While Madera Canyon has long been the most visited spot in the Santa Rita Mountains, this adjacent canyon to the south is deserving of more birders’ attention. Join us on a half-day exploration of Montosa Canyon, which supports some hackberry thornscrub habitat as well as a nice drainage with scattered oaks and mesquites. Our top target is Black-capped Gnatcatcher, which has been breeding in the area for several years, and we should also see dazzling Varied Buntings on territory. Some more common species we can expect to encounter include Bell’s Vireo, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Wren, and Ladder-backed Woodpecker. Limited to 9 participants.

Las Cienegas NCA with Chris Rohrer and Ken Murphy

  • 5:30am – 12:00pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some walking on mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces. Drive time to location approximately one hour plus driving on gravel roads)

Las Cienegas is a 45,000-acre national conservation area with high desert grasslands, riparian strips and perennial streams, marshes, and juniper-oak woodlands. Here we can find grassland breeders such as Cassin’s, Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, “Lilian’s” Eastern Meadowlark, and Loggerhead Shrike, as well as riparian-associated species including Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, and Summer Tanager. Las Cienegas is great for mammals, too — we’ll visit a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (to look for their Burrowing Owl neighbors!) and keep an eye out for pronghorn antelope. Limited to 18 participants.

Saint David Monastery and Environs, Benson with Jim Rorabaugh

  • 5:30am – 12:30pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes but excellent surfaces. Drive time to location approximately one hour on paved roads.)

Saint David is a curiously lush oasis bordering the San Pedro River, characterized by artesian wells and springs that support high groundwater levels and abundant trees and ponds. The Holy Trinity Monastery is open for birding, and Summer Tanager, orioles, Tropical Kingbird, Gray Hawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and others are likely to be seen, as well as migrants. We will also search for Mississippi Kites, which nest nearby, and any other rarities that happen to be in the area. If the mosquitoes aren’t too bad (bring repellent), we will visit the San Pedro River from the Monastery’s trail system. Limited to 9 participants.

Tubac De Anza Trail and Area with John Yerger

  • 6:00am – 12:00pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Flat walking trails. Drive time to location approximately one hour.)

An easy stroll through this lush riparian corridor along the Santa Cruz provides many opportunities for migrants, Gray Hawks, flycatchers, and hordes of Yellow-breasted Chats. Rose-throated Becard nested along this trail last year. A stop at the Amado Wastewater Treatment plant on the way back should be good for Black-bellied Whistling-Duck. Limited to 9 participants.

Sparrows of Southeast Arizona with Homer Hansen

  • 5:00am – 12:00pm
  • $75/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some walking on mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces. Drive time to location approximately one hour plus driving on gravel roads)

Upstream and uphill of Cienega Creek near the town of Sonoita are the Las Cienegas grasslands, a haven for sparrows throughout the year. In the monsoon season one can expect to find Botteri’s, Cassin’s, Grasshopper, Lark, Black-throated, and more which makes it the perfect place to hone one’s sparrow identification skills. An added attraction is the tall cottonwoods which run through the riparian corridor providing a home for Gray Hawks and other raptors. Prepare for this trip by taking Homer’s workshop on Friday; see the workshop page for more details. Limited to 9 participants.

Full-day Trips

SOLD OUT Wildcard Leader’s Choice with Rick Taylor

  • 5:30am – 3:00pm
  • $100/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces.)

Join local expert Rick Taylor (author of Birds of Southeastern Arizona and ABA’s A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona) for a wildcard exploration of several of the region’s “can’t miss” birding sites. Target birds and trip location(s) will be selected by the leader. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

Hummingbird Photography Field Workshop with Steve Vaughan

  • 6:00am – 2:30pm
  • $100/person

This trip is the field counterpart to accompanying hummingbird photography class. Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, which can present quite the challenge for a photographer. This is the perfect opportunity to learn the specialized techniques needed to create stunning images of hummingbirds. The field portion will be limited to 8 participants from the workshop and will be traveling to the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. We will cover ambient light, fill-flash and high-speed flash photography techniques. Join professional nature photographer Steve Vaughan for this fantastic opportunity to experience the joys of photographing these flying jewels. Recommended equipment: Digital SLR, TTL flash, tripod and a telephoto lens capable of focusing close enough the fill the viewfinder with a 5 x 7 inch object. You can email Steve at StephenHVaughan@Gmail.com if you have questions. Limited to 8 participants.

SOLD OUT Mt. Lemmon: Sonoran Desert to Mixed Conifer Forest with Chris Chappell and Brian Nicholas

  • 5:30 am – 3:00pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to final location approximately 75 minutes.)

Rising over 6,000 feet above Tucson, Mount Lemmon is the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains at 9,157 feet, and a popular escape from urban life and the Arizona’s dry early-summer heat (before the relief of the cooling monsoon rains). It is also an incredible birding experience and biology lesson. Traversing six life zones, from the Sonoran Desert at the base to mixed conifer forests at the highest elevations, the 25-mile drive up the wide, paved, two-lane Catalina Highway is equivalent biologically to traveling from Mexico to Canada. Our efforts will be concentrated on the higher elevations far above the desert below. We’ll look for typical mountain species like Steller’s Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, and Plumbeous Vireo. We’ll make a special effort to track down a variety of warblers; Painted Redstart and Olive, Red-faced, and Grace’s Warblers all breed in these mountains and by August they are beginning to form mixed-species foraging flocks. A few hummingbird feeders are scattered about our route as well. Combine the birds with temperatures nearly 30 degrees cooler at the top and unparalleled scenery, it is hard to beat the Catalinas in August! Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

California Gulch Adventure with Richard Fray and Brian Gibbons

  • 5:00am – 3:30 pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 4 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 2 hours on some rough road.)

This trip sets out in search of some of the avian treasures (at the very northern edge of their ranges here) for which southeast Arizona is renowned. The main event for the day is the chance to bird the rugged and remote California Gulch in search of Five-striped Sparrow, Varied Bunting, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Gray Hawk, and Montezuma Quail as well as other species from south of the border. California Gulch is set in the stunningly beautiful Atascosa Highlands and requires a full two hours in the van each way to get to this spot, including some rough roads. Depending on recent reports, we will try to maximize our time in this area by birding other nearby sites such as Pena Blanca Lake or Arivaca to look for other SE Arizona specialties. Note: this trip may include a steep mile-long (round trip) trek into the canyon or we may be able to simply take a short walk on a rocky jeep track. Access conditions are variable and can be impacted by the monsoon rains. Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

Sky Islands Naturalist Saunter with Vincent Pinto

  • 5:30am – 4:00pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 4 (Sun exposure, steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails, 3-4 miles hiking. Drive time to location approximately 90 minutes.)

Join Naturalist, Wildlife Biologist, Ethnobotanist, and Wilderness Survival Instructor, Vincent Pinto, for an in-depth exploration of the Grasslands, Desert Scrub, Riparian Areas, and Madrean Evergreen Woodlands of the Patagonia region, making for a very diverse trip, bird and plant-wise! Vincent will lead you on a series of short to medium distance walks to investigate the flora and fauna of the 42-acre Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary, spectacular Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Patagonia Lake, and the Patagonia mountains. This trip has a good chance at Varied Bunting, Bell’s Vireo, Rufous-winged and Botteri’s Sparrow, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Common Black Hawk, Gray Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Elegant Trogon, Montezuma Quail, Arizona Woodpecker, and Painted Redstart. Come prepared for a wide variety of weather and a varied terrain, bringing: a good and fairly spacious backpack, sunscreen, wide-brimmed sunhat, rain gear, sturdy hiking shoes, plenty of water, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and any personal medication you may need. The pace of explorations will be moderate during your outing, but expect to cover about 3 miles for the day. There will be a few steep ups and downs as well as frequently rocky terrain. This is monsoon season, so higher humidity and possibly high temperatures may prevail. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

Carr & Ash Canyons with Scott Olmstead and Matt Griffiths

  • 5:00am – 3:30pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to locations approximately 2 hours on some rough road.)

We’ll get an early start from Tucson to explore the Madrean oak woodland and open pine forests of Carr Canyon. This scenic canyon on the east flank of the Huachucas supports species such as Arizona Woodpecker and Painted Redstart on its lower slopes, and species such as Olive Warbler, Buff-breasted Flycatcher and Greater Pewee along the upper stretches of the road. Tufted Flycatcher frequented the canyon’s Reef Townsite Campground last year. We’ll spend a few hours exploring along the main road that winds up to near the peaks of the Huachucas before taking our picnic lunch and then descending to nearby Ash Canyon, where a private bank of hummingbird feeders at Mary Jo’s B&B should be buzzing with activity, including perhaps the range-restricted and very attractive Lucifer Hummingbird. We will be walking slowly along nearly level dirt roads at up to about 7000 feet in elevation. Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

Half-day Trips

Local Drive Yourself: Catalina State Park with Michael Welch

  • 6:30am – 9:00am
  • $10/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces.)

This state park on the northwest side of Tucson sits adjacent to the western slopes of the Coronado National Forest’s Santa Catalina Mountains and contains a good mixture of desert scrub, mesquite bosque, and riparian vegetation. These habitats support a varied mix of bird species including Brown-crested Flycatcher, Rufous-winged Sparrow, and Blue Grosbeaks. We will explore the Birding Trail which crosses a seasonal wash and depending on monsoon storms you may get your boots wet. Limited to 20 participants.

Madera Canyon Sampler with Scott Olmstead

  • 5:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails)

This loop starts in grassland habitat around Proctor Road looking and listening for singing sparrows first thing in the morning. Black-capped Gnatcatcher has been a regular along this nature trail along with Bell’s Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, and Varied Bunting. Next we’ll head into the mid-elevation oak-juniper habitat, looking for desirable southeast Arizona species like Arizona Woodpecker, Painted Redstart, and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. After this we’ll spend some time walking along the riparian trail and investigating the hummingbird feeders that make Madera one of the best spots for hummingbird diversity in the country. Back by noon. Limited to 9 participants.

Peaking Down The Rabbit Hole: A Beginner’s Look at Dragonflies and Damselflies in Southeast Arizona with Chris Benesh and Laurens Halsey

  • 6:30am – 12:00pm
  • $55/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes, but some rocky surfaces.)

This is the field trip portion of the Saturday workshop aimed at examining some of the odonate diversity found around Southeast Arizona. Have you been curious about dragonflies but mystified by the challenge of identifying them? Join Chris Benesh and Laurens Halsey for a Saturday workshop aimed at providing a foundation for how to go about identifying these challenging arthropods. Limited to 9 participants.

Cienega Creek & Davidson Canyon with Pima County Naturalist Jeff Babson

  • 5:30am – 11:30am
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 45 minutes.)

The perennial stream flow and lush riparian vegetation is an important nesting and migration corridor for a multitude of avian species. Home to Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, and Lucy’s Warbler, the creek has also hosted a number of vagrants. Cienega Creek has potential for Yellow-billed Cuckoo as well. Under the shade of towering Fremont cottonwoods, we will explore this well-watered and increasingly rare habitat on a half-day outing. Limited to 9 participants.

Spotting Scopes 101 and Willcox Shorebirding with John Yerger

  • 5:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • $65/person
  • Difficulty: 1 (Flat walking on groomed trails or roads. Drive time to location approximately 80 minutes.)

Thinking about buying a new spotting scope or want to know how to use your scope to its fullest capability? Join John Yerger on a half-day trip to the Willcox Twin Lakes and add a wide variety of shorebirds to your Arizona and festival species list. Likely species include Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Wilson’s Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Western, and Least Sandpipers. The lakes also play host to an array of migrant swallow species, as well as birds of the open grassland like Scaled Quail and Lark Sparrow. With sometimes hourly turnover nearly every visit during migration has a good chance of turning up something unusual. This will be a very relaxed paced half-day trip with limited walking on level surfaces. Bring your scope! Limited to 9 participants.

Full-day Trips

Big Day Vans with Tim Helentjaris or Luke Safford

  • 5:00am – 3:00pm
  • $100/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (May include some walking on steeper slopes or rocky/rooted trails. Fast-paced and may include lots of drive-time)

Have you ever experienced the thrill of a “Big Day?” This is a fun, and somewhat competitive, way to see a wide variety of species and locations throughout the Tucson and Southeast Arizona area. Locations will be up to the discretion of the leader. Lunch included. Limited to 16 participants.

Mt. Lemmon: Sonoran Desert to Mixed Conifer Forest with Jake Mohlmann

  • 5:30am – 3:00pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to final location approximately 75 minutes.)

Rising over 6,000 feet above Tucson, Mount Lemmon is the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains at 9,157 feet, and a popular escape from urban life and the Arizona’s dry early-summer heat (before the relief of the cooling monsoon rains). It is also an incredible birding experience and biology lesson. Traversing six life zones, from the Sonoran Desert at the base to mixed conifer forests at the highest elevations, the 25-mile drive up the wide, paved, two-lane Catalina Highway is equivalent biologically to traveling from Mexico to Canada. Our efforts will be concentrated on the higher elevations far above the desert below. We’ll look for typical mountain species like Steller’s Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, and Plumbeous Vireo. We’ll make a special effort to track down a variety of warblers; Painted Redstart and Olive, Red-faced, and Grace’s Warblers all breed in these mountains and by August they are beginning to form mixed-species foraging flocks. A few hummingbird feeders are scattered about our route as well. Combine the birds with temperatures nearly 30 degrees cooler at the top and unparalleled scenery, it is hard to beat the Catalinas in August! Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

SOLD OUT Parker Canyon Lake Area with Jim Rorabaugh

  • 5:00am – 3:00pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to final location approximately two hours on some rough and curvy road.)

This 130-acre, deep water lake is tucked back on the west slopes of the Huachuca Mountains and because of its location is under-birded but holds great potential. Grassy hillsides dotted with oaks may hold Montezuma Quail, Western or Eastern Bluebirds, Bushtits, flycatchers, and early migrants. Ospreys have been seen catching fish out of the lake during summer and Cassin’s Kingbirds are quite common. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

SOLD OUT Fort Huachuca with Jennie Macfarland and Chris Rohrer

  • 5:00am – 3:30pm
  • $110/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to locations approximately 2 hours on some rough road.)

Fort Huachuca, established in 1877, is an active U.S. Army post on the eastern slopes of the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista. Garden and Huachuca Canyons are home to southeast Arizona specialties Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, and Painted Redstart. Flycatchers such as Sulphur-bellied, Dusky-capped, Buff-breasted and Greater Pewee are commonly seen hawking insects while striking Hepatic Tanagers and Red-faced Warblers show off their colors. You will need a Security Clearance ID to enter Fort Huachuca. Lunch included. Limited to 17 participants.

NOTE: Fort Huachuca Access
If you are going onto Fort Huachuca you will need to start the process to acquire an access badge from the Fort Security prior to getting on your van for your field trip. We will stop at Fort Security in the morning to finish the process for everyone but please read the following carefully. We cannot take foreign visitors onto Fort Huachuca. Click here to see and download the form you will be required to fill out; please have it ready for when we arrive at the Fort. You will need to bring a government issued photo ID, a drivers license will work unless your drivers license does not meet the federal standards; in the case your ID is from a non-compliant state, you will need an additional form of acceptable ID such as a passport. In most cases you will need two forms of ID to get your access badge. Click here to read more about accessing Fort Huachuca.

Hummingbird Safari with Karen Krebbs

  • 6:00 am – 2:30 pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces. Drive time to location approximately two hours.)

This small-group excursion is a “can’t miss” for beginner birders interested in getting to know some of the area’s most dazzling birds and a few popular hummingbird locales around Southeast Arizona. Locations are up to the discretion of the leader and based on current observations. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

SOLD OUT Patagonia & Sonoita with Gavin Bieber

  • 5:00am – 2:30pm
  • $95/person
  • Difficulty: 3 (Steeper slopes or more rocky/rooted trails. Drive time to location approximately 90 minutes.)

The Patagonia area is one southeast Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Nearby, the grasslands adjacent to Sonoita hold an entirely different set of species. Some of the specialties found around Patagonia are Gray Hawk, Thick-billed Kingbird, Varied Bunting, Violet-crowned Hummingbird and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. There are many famous places to bird here including the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, Harshaw Canyon, and of course the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Our exact itinerary will be at the leader’s discretion, based on where our target birds are being seen most readily. Our short visit to the open grasslands around Sonoita will complement the riparian habitats of Patagonia, with species such as “Lilian’s” Eastern Meadowlark and Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows. We should see a wide variety of species throughout the day. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

SOLD OUT Wildcard Leader’s Choice with Richard Fray

  • 5:00am – 3:00pm
  • $100/person
  • Difficulty: 2 (Some mild slopes, but still on excellent surfaces.)

Local expert and professional guide, Richard Fray, leads this adventure on the last day of the festival to look for some of those sought after Southeast Arizona specialties you may not have found yet. Target birds and trip location(s) will be selected by the leader. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

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 and purchase a copy from our online Shop

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!

Workshops and Programs

Choose from evening keynote presentations and workshops led by local and international experts.
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

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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