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Discover Birding

The birds of our region will continue to surprise and delight you, and the more you get to know them, the more amazing they'll become.

From backyard favorites like Gila Woodpeckers and Cactus Wrens to the more exotic species of Southeast Arizona, like the Rose-throated Becard and Lucifer Hummingbird, you’re sure to find great birds once you start birding. Begin with these simple tips: 

FOUR tips to discover birding:

1

Start with the basics

Learn the common birds first. The House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches that come to your home feeders, the Phainopeplas in your neighborhood, and the unmistakable Mourning Dove you hear calling at the park are great ones to know first. Once you know your “everyday” birds and their habits, colors, and songs, start to learn the less common ones. Meet Your Birds with our online guide.

2

Spend time outdoors

The best way to see birds is to be where they are! Almost anywhere you go in and around Tucson will have birds to enjoy. Find your favorite outdoor spot and get to know the local birds. The more you learn the common birds of your “home patch”, the sooner you’ll be able to spot an uncommon visitor.

3

Get a good field guide

An expertly written and illustrated field guide can be invaluable in learning to identify birds. Some of our favorite guides are:

Kaufman Field Guide to the Birds of North America
and
Sibley Guide to Birds.

Tucson Audubon’s Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona is the essential guide to birding locations across the region. Don’t leave home without it!

The Tucson Audubon Nature Shop has these and other options for you. 

Additionally, online resources, such as the Merlin App and allaboutbirds.org are free and can identify birds with just a few clicks.

4

Engage with other birders

One of the best ways to learn about birds is by going out and birding with other people. Tucson Audubon offers all sorts of ways to do this, from field trips and lectures to more in-depth classes and courses. Our weekly walk at Sweetwater Wetlands is the perfect way to start engaging with birds and other birders!

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