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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, and participants must wear face coverings and observe safe distancing.
  • 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 one field trip/month because of smaller groups. Thank you for understanding.

May Outings

May 18-Tuesday, 6:30 am
Catalina State Park
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
We will bird areas undamaged by the Bighorn Fire in this beautiful NW Tucson state park. Easy walking for a mile or so, with very minor elevation gain. We will meet at the very end of the entrance road in the picnic area that is fenced off from the parking lot (there is a small raised platform for concerts in this picnic area). Free entry with AZ State Park Pass or $7 per vehicle. Limited to 10 total participants and face covering required.
Leader: Mary Ellen Flynn (me.flynn@comcast.net)

May 19-Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
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 and face covering required.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

May 22-23, Saturday/Sunday
Scotia Canyon and Parker Canyon Lake Campout
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate; walking distance 3 miles, some elevation gain.
Trip duration: Depends on whether you camp. Campers should arrive in Scotia Canyon by 5:00pm on the 22nd at the first campsite after two creek crossings (31.448387, -110.401251). If arriving on the 23rd, try to be at the campsite no later than 8:00 am (about a 2-hour drive from Tucson).
We will leave Scotia Canyon for Parker Canyon Lake at around noon, bird the Lake for an hour or two, and then people can head back home. We should see a variety of sky island montane birds in Scotia (e.g. Hepatic Tanager, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Arizona Woodpecker, Elegant Trogon) and various waterfowl, water birds, warblers, and others at Parker Canyon Lake. If you camp, we will surely hear Mexican Whip-poor-wills and Whiskered Screech Owls, with a possibility for Flammulated Owl and Mexican Spotted Owl. Limited to 8 participants. Face coverings required. High clearance vehicles required, AWD or 4WD preferred to access Scotia Canyon. Contact the Trip Leader for directions and further logistics.
Leader: Jim Rorabaugh (jrorabaugh@hotmail.com)

May 25, Tuesday 7:00 am
Madera Canyon
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate. Approximately 4 miles round trip over some variable and uneven trails with 500 ft. elevation gain.
Birding from Proctor Road to Santa Rita Lodge up the Madera Creek trail and back. Variable and uneven terrain in some areas but we will take our time. Meet at Proctor Road parking lot at 7 am to beat the heat. $8 to park in the Coronado National Forest or free with Federal Interagency/Senior Pass. If the temps are looking particularly high, we may revise our starting location (further up canyon) and/or time (earlier). Registered participants will be advised in the confirmation email a few days before the bird walk. With a 7 am start time, you can expect to be back to Proctor Road between 11:30 am and 1 pm depending on birdiness. Water is a must. Please carry 1 to 2 liters as May can be hot even in the mornings. Suggest you also carry snacks/lunch although Santa Rita Lodge does sell beverages and snacks. Madera Picnic area will be our target eating spot but we will stop, as needed by anyone, to eat or drink. Restrooms are available at Proctor Road and 2 other locations along our birding route. Madera is about an hour drive south of Tucson and 20 minutes from Green Valley. Limited to 7 participants.
Leader: Mary Ellen Flynn (me.flynn@comcast.net)

May 26-Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Register Here for the 6:15am outing
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 and face covering required.
Leaders: Thomas Brown and Luke Safford (lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org)

May 27-Thursday, 7:30 am
Accessible Birding in Madera Canyon
This trip is designed for participants with mobility concerns who need enhanced accessibility.
Register Here
Join us for a leisurely birding experience in beautiful Madera Canyon. We will meet at the Proctor Road parking area at the entrance to Madera Canyon. The lot has several accessible parking spaces and the trail is paved and easy to maneuver; there is a day use parking fee of $8. As an added bonus, after we bird the trail, we will head to Santa Rita Lodge to view the feeders. Currently limited to 10 total participants and face covering required.
Leader: Marcia OBara (ntbirder@gmail.com)

May 28, Friday 7:30 am
Summerhaven & Marshall Gulch
Field Trip is FULL. Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate. 2+ miles on foot with some elevation gain on pavement and on uneven terrain at 9,000+ ft. altitude. Restrooms available at the Visitor Center in Summerhaven.
Early summer hosts brilliant Red-faced Warblers and Painted Redstarts at the top of Mt. Lemmon, as well as Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Warbling Vireos & Cordilleran Flycatchers. The high elevation also provides views of other many other year-round resident species that can’t be seen in the Tucson Valley such as Steller’s Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Mountain Chickadee. We will bird the business and residential area of Summerhaven, and then bump down the road to the USFS Marshall Gulch Picnic Area to poke around a bit more. Dress in layers; the morning is likely to be quite cool! Wear good walking shoes, and bring your binocs, water & snacks. Meet in the public parking lot across the street from the Visitor Center in Summerhaven near the Sawmill Run Restaurant. Wrap up around 10:30 am. Limit 8 participants.
Leader: Holly Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

Birding Agua Caliente Park--Walks Canceled Until Further Notice

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: Mar – Apr: 8:00 am, May – Aug: 7:30 am., Sept – Oct: 8:00 am, Nov – Feb: 8:30 am.

Where: Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Visit the Tucson Audubon Nature Shop at Agua Caliente Park after the walk.

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--Walks Canceled Until Further Notice

Pima County leads this walk -- online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr.
Join longtime local birder Brian Nicholas to see a wide variety of sparrows, raptors, and the possibility of waterfowl on the newly restored pond at Historic Canoa Ranch. All ages welcome.

When: Every Saturday in March and April, 8-10 am.
Where: Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Road, Green Valley 85622
Cost: Free with PCNRPR Membership, Non-PCNRPR 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