Santa Cruz River ⋆ Tucson Audubon Skip to content

Documenting changes in the bird community along the Santa Cruz River

Tucson Water officially began the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project in June 2019, with the release of reclaimed water into the Santa Cruz River channel. This project adds up to 2.8 million gallons of recycled water daily to the Santa Cruz River near downtown Tucson.

Volunteers with Tucson Audubon have conducted monthly surveys along this stretch of the river to document changes in the bird community associated with increased stream flow and the growth of native vegetation. Volunteers have seen increases in species like Killdeer, but also documented the presence of shorebirds and species that are wetland obligates, like Greater Yellowlegs and Virginia Rail. For more information about these surveys, contact Olya Weekley, Community Science Coordinator at