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Birding Field Trips

General Information

  • All Field Trips are designed to maximize your safety, while also enjoying birds. CDC Guidelines are followed, maximum group size is no more then 12 birders total, participants are encouraged to observe safe distancing, and face coverings are strongly requested for those who are not fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
  • Participation in social activities, such as field trips, comes with an inherent risk of exposure to infectious disease. Prospective participants should self-evaluate or discuss with their doctor if their participation merits this risk. If you’re sick or experiencing any symptoms that indicate you might be sick, STAY HOME.
  • For general questions or help registering, contact lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org
  • Trip leaders: Learn more about them! Leaders are in charge of all aspects of the day’s birding.
  • Trip birding ethics: Tucson Audubon adheres to the ABA’s position on birding ethics.
  • To register for a trip: Click the registration link at the end of the trip’s description and you will receive a confirmation email. If the trip is full you’ll be put on the waiting list but won’t receive an email.
  • Waiting list: If a place becomes available, you will be contacted by us.
  • Cancellations: To cancel your reservation, please email lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org and the trip leader as soon as possible to free your space.
  • Limit of two field trip/month because of smaller groups. Thank you for understanding.

September Field Trips

September 19-Sunday, 7:00 am
Lincoln Park-Atturbury Wash
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Easy. 1.5 mile loop over mostly level dirt paths. Public restrooms are available.
The portion of Lincoln Regional Park along Atturbury Wash in SE Tucson provides a mix of urban and natural habitat. This is good place for beginning birders to get to know some of the most common birds living in the Tucson area, as well as many of the plants and trees they rely upon. Expect to see around 20 species of birds. Meet in the Atturbury Wash parking lot at the NE corner of Lincoln Regional Park off Escalante Rd. Wrap up around 8:30 am. Limited to 10 participants.
Leader: Holly Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

September 22-Wednesday, 6:30 am & 6:45 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here for the 6:45 am walk
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Robert Mesta & Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

September 29-Wednesday, 6:30 am & 6:45 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here for the 6:30 am walk; Register Here for the 6:45 am walk
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Robert Mesta & Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

October Field Trips

October 6-Wednesday, 6:45 am & 7:00 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

October 8-Friday 7:00 am
Pink Hill Loop-Saguaro NP East
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
Trip difficulty: Moderate. 4.25 mile loop on mostly level trails, though sometimes soft or rocky. No facilities available.
Greet the sunrise with the songbirds on this moderately paced hike in Saguaro National Park East. We should see and hear many of the iconic birds of the Sonoran Desert including Gila Woodpecker, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Pyrrhuloxia, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Verdin, Black-throated Sparrow, and Rufous-winged Sparrow. Gilded Flicker and Greater Roadrunner are always possible. We’ll pause a few minutes on top of Pink Hill to take in the glow of the morning light on the expansive view of the Park and Tucson, and then bird our way back to the parking lot with the rising sun at our backs, listening and looking for those birds we haven’t yet seen. Meet in the Broadway Trailhead parking area on the north side of Saguaro NP. Wrap up by 9:30 am. Limited to 10 participants.
Leader: Holly Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

October 11-Monday, 7:00 am
Sabino Canyon Birding & Natural History
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
Trip difficulty: Moderate. 3 mile hiking loop on some uneven rocky trails.
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, with particular attention to the natural history of the canyon and the surrounding habitats, walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian area. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. Requires national recreation area parking fee or pass. Sunhat, water and walking shoes are always recommended. Beginning birders welcome. Limited to 10 participants.
Leader: Sabino Canyon Naturalist, Karen Vandergrift (kvandergrift@me.com)

October 13-Wednesday, 6:45 am & 7:00 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

October 17-Sunday 7:00 am
Lakeside Park
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
Trip Difficulty: Easy. 1.75 mile round trip on concrete and paved surfaces. Restrooms are available.
Lakeside Park in southeast Tucson is a great place to get to know your urban birds. We’ll explore the lake and the adjacent lawns and ball fields. Likely sightings include Black-crowned Night-heron, Vermillion Flycatcher, Cooper’s Hawk, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Lark Sparrow, and 25-30 more species! Winter waterfowl are also showing up, allowing us to brush up our duck identification skills. Meet in the upper parking lot on the east side of the lake, accessed from S Sarnoff Drive. Wear good walking shoes, and dress in light layers, and bring your binoculars. Wrap up around 8:30 am. Limited to 10 participants.
Leader: Holly Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

October 20-Wednesday, 6:45 am & 7:00 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

October 21-Thursday, 8:00 am
Accessible Birding: Rose Canyon Lake
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
This field trip is designed to meet the needs of participants with accessibility needs.
Celebrate Birdability Week and join us for a new area for our accessible birding field trips. This area is located in the Rose Canyon Lake Campground area on Mt. Lemmon. A fee is required ($10) which can be paid at the entrance to the campground. We will meet at the last parking area, near the accessible bathroom. Depending on the needs of the participants we may carpool and drive to the lower area handicapped parking area, or walk down the road slowly, birding on the way. We will also use the fishing sidewalk to bird along the lake entrance. Excellent birding all along this area. The upper parking area is also great for birding, and we will end our trip there. If needed, each participant may bring along a person to assist. The group is limited to six participants. Birds expected are Acorn woodpeckers, Hairy woodpeckers, Yellow-eyed junco, Brown creeper, White-breasted nuthatch and more. Masks are not required while outdoors, but must be worn if carpooling to the lower lot. Please call or text the leader if you have any questions about this field trip.
Leader: Marcia OBara, 623-451-7064

October 27-Wednesday, 6:45 am
Salt River Recreation Sites
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
We’ll meet at a local coffee shop at 6:45am to form carpools to the Salt River. We’ll visit a variety of recreation sites to see what wintering waterfowl have arrived on the Salt River, plus whatever desert species and possible vagrants are showing up. We should find ducks, cormorants, grebes, and possibly Common Gallinules in addition to probable Bald Eagles, Osprey, shorebirds, waders and reliable desert species. Plan on a picnic lunch somewhere along the river. Wrap up about 1:30pm. Uneven surfaces, but fairly easy walking. Participants should bring their National Parks pass if they have one. Limited to 6 participants.
Leader: Kathe Anderson (kathe.coot@cox.net)

October 27-Wednesday, 6:45 am & 7:00 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here beginning Saturday, September 18
This popular birding hotspot in urban Tucson offers an easy walk through marshes created by Tucson Water to see waterfowl, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 total participants.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

Birding Agua Caliente Park

Pima County leads this walk -- online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation offers this guided birding walk in the desert oasis of Agua Caliente Park to spot wetland birds, hummingbirds, songbirds, and raptors. Binoculars are available for use. 

When: Varies. Check PCNRPR website for times.

Where: Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Meet at the Visitor's Center.

Cost: Free with PCNRPR Membership, Non-PCNRPR Member $5 fee. Online registration required:  www.pima.gov/nrpr 

For more information: email eeducation@pima.gov , or call 520-615-7855. Further Pima County birding trips can be found here.

Birding Canoa Ranch

Pima County leads this walk -- online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr.
Join birding enthusiast Brian Nicholas to see a wide variety of sparrows, raptors, and waterfowl on the pond at Historic Canoa Ranch. All ages welcome. Masks are mandatory; social distancing will be enforced. Group size strictly limited. No walk-ins accepted.
When: 
Wednesday, June 2 -- 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, June 15 -- 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Where: Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Road, Green Valley 85622
Cost: Free with Membership, Non-Member $5 fee.
Online registration required: www.pima.gov/nrpr
For more information: www.pima.gov/canoaranch; email: CanoaRanch@pima.gov or call 520-724-5375

Share your eBird checklists from our trips with our account: "tasfieldtrips"

Meet our fantastic field trip leaders!

Liability Waiver: All participants on Tucson Audubon field trips are required to sign a standard waiver. If you would like to read the waiver before the trip, view it here.

Departure Times: Please arrive before the departure time listed in the trip description. Trips will leave promptly at the time given.

Please dress appropriately for your field trip. Always wear sturdy shoes, a hat, and use sun protection. Bring plenty of snacks and water for yourself. Always bring your binoculars, your field guide, and for most trips a scope can be useful. Bring money to cover your share of the carpooling expenses and any required entry fees (i.e. state parks).

NOTE: Carpooling is temporarily suspended on Tucson Audubon field trips due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Tucson Audubon strongly encourages carpooling and the sharing of the driver's fuel expenses. Drivers and trip leaders are not expected to contribute.

Basha's Grocery Store: Catalina, AZ. parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection of Oracle Rd. and Golder Ranch Rd.
 
Commuter lot at Oracle and Ina:  One block west of the intersection of Oracle and Ina, on the south side of the street.  Actual location is Via Ponte and W. Ina Rd.
 
Empty Grocery Store Lot at Irvington and I-19: On the north side of Irvington just east of I-19.
 
Houghton and I-10: Exit 275 off of I-10 on the north side of I-10 there is a large dirt parking lot used by commuters
 
McDonald's (Tucson) on the northeast corner of Tanque Verde Rd. and Catalina Highway.   We meet on the east side a bit away from where patrons would park.
 
McDonald's (Green Valley) Use the Continental Rd. exit off of I-19 and turn right to the McDonald's.  We meet in the right most portion of the parking lot as one is facing the restaurant.

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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

color_square_face_right

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

color_square_face_right

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