Difficulty: Moderate (Some mild slopes–mostly flat ground and good surfaces.)

We’ll head out to the headwaters of the Santa Cruz River in the San Rafael Valley where the beautiful grasslands stretch out for miles. These grasslands are a specialized wintering ground for many bird species, most notably Chestnut-collared Longspurs. While we won’t see longspurs, we’ll look for breeding birds such as Say’s Phoebe, Botteri’s & Grasshopper Sparrows, and Chihuahuan Meadowlark. Our Director of Conservation and Research, Jonathan Horst, and Phil Chaon, co-author of Habitats of the World, will guide you through this sensitive habitat that is facing many threats. The tour will also visit the riparian and oak woodlands leading up to the grasslands to add to the variety of bird species. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.

Botteri’s Sparrow by Jim Burns