Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. (Mostly flat, even terrain with occasionally uneven sections, covering 2–3 miles total. Drive time to location approximately 60 minutes; drive time back approximately 75 minutes.)
On this outing, we’ll combine the joy of birding with the meaningfulness of learning about the ecological and human impacts of U.S. border policy and the border wall in our region. We’ll spend several hours birding at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), starting and finishing at the Arivaca Cienaga trailhead, a stop at a saguaro where Desert Purple Martins nest. We’ll then take a short drive to the BANWR Visitor Center, where we’ll have lunch (in the shade) and hear how birds, other animals, habitats, ecosystems, and human beings have been impacted by the border wall, and how local organizations are working to protect life along the border. Then we’ll visit the wall itself, near the town of Sasabe (just a 10-minute drive from the BANWR Visitor Center), after which we’ll drive back to Tucson, making a stop along the way for some additional birding to end the field trip on a joyful note. This outing pairs with a panel discussion on Thursday of the festival. Lunch included. Limited to 8 participants.
Loggerhead Shrike by Mick Thompson