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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 khowe@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: We encourage you to sign up on the waiting list for any trip you’re interested in as we do regularly have cancellations. If a place becomes available, you will be contacted by us.
  • Cancellations: To cancel your reservation, please email khowe@tucsonaudubon.org and the trip leader as soon as possible to free your space. For fee-based trips, please see below for our refund policy.

Pima County's Environmental Education and Interpretive Programs require online registration here.
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation offers guided birding and nature outings in various parks throughout Pima County.  

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.
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"
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.

Please limit yourself to two field trips/month. Thank you for understanding.

June ’22 Field Trips

Open Trips:

June 1- Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here: 6:00 AM Walk | 6:15 AM Walk
Trip difficulty: Easy; Walking distance: 1.5-2 miles, Trip Duration: 2.5 hrs, Elevation gain: none, but with chance of slight inclines/declines; Ground condition: groomed gravel trails. Drinking water and restrooms available at park’s entrance. Benches available at periodic intervals around the Wetlands.
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 12 participants per group.
Leaders: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org) and Robert Mesta (robertmesta@cox.net)

June 1- Wednesday, 7:00 AM
Birding For Every BODY at Agua Caliente Park
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here
Join Marcia OBara for a leisurely birding experience designed for nature lovers with accessibility challenges; wheelchairs, walkers, or other assistive devices are welcome. The pace is slow, distance short, and terrain even. This month’s birding explores the birding hotspot of Agua Caliente Park where we hope to see waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, and a lot more. Finish up by 8:30 am. Each registered participant is welcome to bring a support person. To view a complete accessibility review for this location, visit the official Birdability Map. For more information: email fieldtrips@tucsonaudubon.orgeeducation@pima.gov, or call 520-724-5375. Limited to 8 participants.
This program is offered in partnership with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation (NRPR). To view more programs offered by the NRPR Environmental Education Team, visit here
.
Leader: 
Marcia OBara, (623-451-7064)

June 8- Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here: 6:00 AM Walk | 6:15 AM Walk
Trip difficulty: Easy; Walking distance: 1.5-2 miles, Trip Duration: 2.5 hrs, Elevation gain: none, but with chance of slight inclines/declines; Ground condition: groomed gravel trails. Drinking water and restrooms available at park’s entrance. Benches available at periodic intervals around the Wetlands.
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 12 participants per group.
Leaders: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org) and Robert Mesta (robertmesta@cox.net)

June 11- Saturday, 6:30 am

Accessible Birding: Reid Park
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here
This field trip is designed to meet the needs of participants with accessibility challenges.
Join us for an accessible outing to one of Tucson’s urban birding hotspots. We will meet in the parking area next to the Rose Garden, staying on paved sidewalks for most of this field trip, and will venture onto grassy areas if the group agrees. Birds to be expected include a variety of ducks, geese, Black-crowned Night-Herons and Neotropic Cormorants, as well as many others. If needed, each participant may bring an assist person. The group is limited to 10 participants.
This program is offered in partnership with the Southern Arizona Accessible Wildlife Refuge (saawr.org)
Leader: Kimberly Aikins (kimberly.aikins@saawr.org)


June 15- Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here: 6:00 AM Walk | 6:15 AM Walk
Trip difficulty: Easy; Walking distance: 1.5-2 miles, Trip Duration: 2.5 hrs, Elevation gain: none, but with chance of slight inclines/declines; Ground condition: groomed gravel trails. Drinking water and restrooms available at park’s entrance. Benches available at periodic intervals around the Wetlands.
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 12 participants per group.
Leaders: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org) and Luke Safford

June 22- Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here: 6:00 AM Walk | 6:15 AM Walk
Trip difficulty: Easy; Walking distance: 1.5-2 miles, Trip Duration: 2.5 hrs, Elevation gain: none, but with chance of slight inclines/declines; Ground condition: groomed gravel trails. Drinking water and restrooms available at park’s entrance. Benches available at periodic intervals around the Wetlands.
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 12 participants per group.
Leaders: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org) and Luke Safford

June 29- Wednesday, 6:00 am & 6:15 am
Sweetwater Wetlands
Registration for this walk is free. | Register Here: 6:00 AM Walk | 6:15 AM Walk
Trip difficulty: Easy; Walking distance: 1.5-2 miles, Trip Duration: 2.5 hrs, Elevation gain: none, but with chance of slight inclines/declines; Ground condition: groomed gravel trails. Drinking water and restrooms available at park’s entrance. Benches available at periodic intervals around the Wetlands.
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 12 participants per group.
Leaders: Luke Safford
(lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org) and Robert Mesta

Sign up on the Waitlist:


June 1- Wednesday, 7:00 AM
Beginner Level Birding at Madera Canyon
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate. Approximately 1.5 miles on trails, roads and uneven terrain.
Marie Davis and Peggy Steffens are leading a bird walk for beginner birders at Madera Canyon Picnic Area and Santa Rita Lodge. We will provide an easygoing atmosphere for you to appreciate birds and their behaviors. You will meet other new birders, develop fundamental birding skills and become familiar with some of the birds in Madera Canyon. We will meet at Madera Canyon Picnic Area and walk the trails and visit the feeders at Santa Rita Lodge for about 2.5 hours. Madera Canyon has a daily use fee of $8 per car or you must have a valid Coronado National Forest Annual Pass or Interagency (America the Beautiful) Pass, including the Annual, Senior, Access, or Military Pass, displayed on the driver’s side of the vehicle dashboard. Limited to 8 people.
Leaders: Marie Davis (marietucson520@gmail.com) and Peggy Steffens (peggysteffens1@gmail.com)

June 9- Thursday, 6:00 pm
Evening Birding: Sweetwater Wetlands
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Easy. ~1 mile on mostly paved surfaces with some slight declines and rocky areas.
Join Kirsten Howe on this outing to see Sweetwater in a new light- the light of the setting sun! While most agree that morning is the optimal time to see as many birds as possible, evening birding can be just as rewarding and can offer a new perspective on bird behavior. Plus, we have a better chance of seeing some nocturnal species! We’ll meet at 6:00 PM and bird until we lose the light. Birders of all experience levels welcome, but beginners are especially encouraged to join! The Wetlands are located at 2511 W Sweetwater Drive. Meet near the bathrooms at the Wetlands’ entrance off of Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 12 participants.
Leader: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org)

June 11, Saturday 6:00 am
Isabella Lee Natural Preserve
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate. 2.5 mile loop over level, but often soft, uneven and dusty terrain. No restrooms are available.
Isabella Lee Natural Preserve, at the confluence of Agua Caliente and Tanque Verde washes in northeast Tucson, is a dry mesquite bosque providing year-round habitat for resident and migrant birds. Summer hosts Lucy’s Warblers, Bell’s Vireos, and Ash-throated Flycatchers. One or two pairs of Blue Grosbeaks are also possible.  At this time of year we could see lots of birds or it could be very quiet, but it’s always a pleasant, if dusty, morning pad about this wild spot in the middle of northeast Tucson.  Join us for this listen and locate treasure hunt.  Wear good walking shoes, and bring binoculars. Meet in the dirt parking area on the northeast corner of the Preserve; from Tanque Verde Road take Bonanza Road south to the end of the road. Wrap up around 8:30 am. Limit 10 participants. 

Leader: Holly Kleindienst (hollykleindienst@gmail.com)

June 12- Sunday, 6:30 am

Birding the Tubac De Anza Trail with Leica Sport Optics
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Moderate, ~2 miles walking distance over mostly level terrain, some ups/downs in river area, muddy conditions are possible in sections.
Join Leica representative Whitney Lanfranco and TAS Community Engagement Coordinator Kirsten Howe for a morning of birding along the historic De Anza Trail! The De Anza Trails parallels the Santa Cruz River, which feeds a lush riparian corridor and provides vital habitat to many species of birds. Along the trail we’ll look for summering hawks and vultures, breeding tyrannulets, kingbirds, and warblers, as well as resident birds such as Abert’s Towhees and Northern Cardinals. Along the way, participants will have the opportunity to try out a range of Leica optics.
Dress in layers, as dawn can be cool near the river. Please bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and snacks. Wrap up by 10:30 AM.
Limited to 10 participants. Full details will be emailed to registered participants prior to the walk.
Leaders: Whitney Lanfranco and Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org)

June 19- Sunday, 6:30 am
Urban Birding at Christopher Columbus Park

Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip difficulty: Easy, 1-1.5 miles on level, mostly paved surfaces and some grass. Bathrooms and water available at the park.
Christopher Columbus Park in Western Tucson is one of the best parks for birding in the urban center. With a large lake, plenty of native flora, and adjacent desert habitat, you can easily find 25-30 species of the most common Tucson birds, as well as some rarities and migrant visitors! On this walk, we will make a loop of the lake and explore some of the desert scrub habitat on the Eastern side of the park in hopes of finding warblers, wrens, herons, blackbirds, and many more. Wrap up by 8:30 AM.
Limited to 12 participants. Full details will be emailed to registered participants prior to the walk.
Leader: Kirsten Howe (khowe@tucsonaudubon.org)

June 20- Monday, 6:30 am
Golf Club at Vistoso Nature Preserve
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.

Trip difficulty: Easy. 1.5 miles on flat, paved paths (except for 100 yards on hard dirt). Trip duration: no more than 2.5 hours. No restrooms or water on site.
We’ll do a loop walk near the old clubhouse of this abandoned 200-acre golf course (soon to officially become a nature preserve managed by the City of Oro Valley).
Driving directions: Take Tangerine Rd. east, turn left on Rancho Vistoso Blvd., go 2.2 miles to the traffic light at Vistoso Highlands Rd. Turn left and go 0.6 miles to the large parking lot on the left (take either of two entrances to the ‘abandoned’ parking lot and drive to the far end near the abandoned clubhouse).
Leader: Gerry Hodge (gnthodge@msn.com)

Please limit yourself to two field trips/month. Thank you for understanding.

May ’22 Field Trips

Sign up on the Waitlist:

May 27- Friday, 7:00 am
Madera Canyon
Field trip is FULL. | Click here to be added to the waitlist.
Trip Difficulty: Moderate; Walking distance: 3.5 miles; Trip Duration: 5-6 hrs; Elevation gain: 450 ft; ground conditions: uneven terrain.
We will slowly bird Madera Canyon from Proctor Road up the canyon to Santa Rita Lodge and back. Walking on uneven terrain for about 3.5 miles with a 450’ elevation gain. Recommend bringing water, snacks and/or lunch, although Santa Rita Lodge does sell beverages and snacks. Depending on birdiness, we expect to be back at Proctor Road between 12pm and 1pm. Limited to 6 participants.
Leader: Mary Ellen Flynn (me.flynn@comcast.net)

BIRDING EXCURSIONS WITH TUCSON AUDUBON

South Africa Birding and Wildlife Safari, in partnership with Birding Ecotours
  • Kruger National Park and Area: October 1–10, 2022. Cost: R77,500 per person—shared room (prices in South African rand); R8,100 for single supplement
  • Pre-trip: Cape Town and Pelagic. Sept. 24–October 1. Cost: R55,915 person–shared room; R6,145 for single supplement

Join Luke Safford and local experts on a wonderful trip to South Africa! We’ll spend 10 days in one of South Africa’s richest areas for birds, mammals and other wildlife, in one of the world’s most famous game parks, Kruger National Park. This massive park covers is teeming with Africa’s mammals, including African Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and many more. For birders, the park is full of easy to see, spectacular-looking species, such as rollers, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbills, vultures, owls, storks, the spectacular and colorful Bateleur (photo by Bernard Dupont), Secretarybird, Kori Bustard (the world’s heaviest flying bird), and Southern Ground Hornbill. This will be an adventure you will never forget! Add on the Cape Town and Pelagic pre-trip to make the most of your experience!

See all the details and register now! For more information you can email lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org

Field Trip Cancellation Policy

Cancellations of paid field trips received in writing seven or more days before the date of the field trip will be fully refunded less a 10% processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations within 6 days of the field trip start date. Tucson Audubon reserves the right to cancel or revise any field trip for any reason. If it becomes necessary to cancel a paid field trip for which you have a reservation, we will notify you and issue a full refund. No refunds will be issued for no-shows.

 

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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