State of Arizona
For most birders, Arizona means just Southeast Arizona and much of what follows does indeed pertain to the southeast corner of the state. However, central Arizona is also an excellent birding area and visitors (especially those from the east) should definitely consider spending a few days in the White Mountains. Northern Arizona is also worth a look for some of its montane species and the spectacular scenery of the Grand Canyon.
Given its size of some 18,000 square miles and lack of coastline, it is a surprise that Southeast Arizona has recorded more species of birds than any other area of its size in the country. Because of its proximity to Mexico and the diversity of habitats in such a small area, Southeast Arizona has earned a reputation as one of the best birding spots in North America. Moreover, there are many species here that are hard to find or simply cannot be seen elsewhere in the United States. Birds like Elegant Trogon, Buff-breasted and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Thick-billed Kingbird, Rose-throated Becard and Mexican Chickadee to name just a few. The abundance and variety of birds is hardly surprising when you consider that the short trip from Tucson to the top of Mt. Lemmon, a scant 50 miles away, is the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada in terms of habitat and associated birdlife. Each of the spectacular mountain ranges (Sky Islands) and the deserts, valleys, grasslands and riparian areas have their own special character and birds to offer. If you are only able to visit one area of the state, from a birding standpoint Southeast Arizona is without a doubt the best place to be.
East Central Arizona
Located on a high plateau known as the Mogollon (MOG-o-yon) Rim, the White Mountains of east central Arizona are one of birding's best kept secrets. Although only a few hours from the distinctly Mexican birdlife of Southeast Arizona, the lakes, forests, and alpine meadows of this scenic area are home to many northern species. From the juniper-clad foothills near Springerville at 7,000 feet, the terrain on the rim quickly changes to an average elevation of 9,000 feet with pine and fir forests. Among the many species found here are Lewis's Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Gray and Pinyon Jays, and in fast flowing streams, American Dipper. Even at this altitude there are peaks like Mt. Baldy near Greer, and Escudilla near Nutrioso. In this 11,000 foot spruce-fir and aspen environment, live birds like Blue Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker and Clark's Nutcracker. Yes folks, this is Arizona too! If you have the time, plan to spend a few days here after your trip to Southeast Arizona and experience the tremendous contrast in both birds and landscape. If you like solitude, spectacular scenery, and some great birds to boot, then this is the place.
Most visitors flock to the south rim of the Grand Canyon where the accessibility is good and the views are, admittedly, spectacular. However, for birds you would do well to take the road less traveled (and much further) to the north rim. Here, and particularly further north in the boreal-like forests of the Kaibab Plateau, there are more birds and far fewer people. The 8-9000 feet ponderosa pine, spruce-fir, and aspen forests support many montane species including N. Goshawk, Williamson's Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Blue Grouse, Clark's Nutcracker, Townsend's Solitaire, Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Cassin's Finch and occasionally, Pine Grosbeak. Further south near Flagstaff are the San Francisco Mountains and the almost 13,000 feet high Humphrey's Peak, which is about as close to timberline as you can get in Arizona. The surrounding Coconino National Forest, several nearby lakes, and picturesque Oak Creek Canyon combine to offer an impressive variety of birds and beautiful scenery.
There are other areas of the state that you can visit, of course, but with the exception of a few water birds, the three mentioned above will produce almost every bird that can be seen in Arizona. If you`re into state birds, the Colorado River corridor from Yuma in the south to Bullhead City in the north is a productive area. There are some great birds to be found here all year, but summer is dangerously hot and winter and fall are the best times to visit the various National Wildlife Refuges and Lake Havasu for some good Arizona water birds.
Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.
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South East Arizona
San Pedro River has migratory species the year round - 335 species have been spotted, including Vermillion Flycatchers, nesting herons, green kingfishers, gray hawks and other raptors are an easy walk from the San Pedro House.
Ramsey Canyon is a spectacular canyon where streams, trees, cliffs and wildlife delight nature lovers. It is home to big and small - fourteen species of hummingbirds and resident turkeys.
South East Arizona
Ash Canyon has White-throated Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Scott's Oriole. There have been up to 13 species of hummingbirds seen here in a single day!
Carr Canyon is home to whiskered Screech-Owl, Strickland's Woodpecker, Bridled Titmouse, and summering Black-throated Gray Warbler and Painted Redstart.
Miller Canyon, just as close, boasts Flame-colored Tanager, a Spotted Owl pair, and is referred to locally as the Hummingbird Capital of the World with 15 species - Allen's, Anna's, Rufus, Beryline, Black-chinned, Blue-throated, Calliope, Costa's, Lucifer, Magnificent, Plain-capped Star-throat, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Violet-crowned and White-eared.
South East Arizona - Birders Vista B&B
The richness of bird habitat makes Birders Vista Bed and Breakfast southeastern Arizona location a birders paradise. From our own backyard, thanks to the enviable gift of flight, midway as we are between the San Pedro River Riparian area and the multiple bird inhabited canyons, we have seen Black-chinned, Broadtail and Rufus Hummingbirds, Scaled and Gamble Quail, White Winged, Mourning and Inca Doves, nesting Roadrunners, Cactus Wrens, Verdin, Curved-bill and Crissal Thrasher, Mockingbird, Canyon and Green-tailed Towhee, Great Horned Owl, Vermilion Flycatcher, Painted Bunting, Hooded Oriole, Bells Vireo, Lesser Goldfinch, Northern Cardinals, Pyrrhuloxia, Phainopepla, Northern Mockingbird, Lazuli Bunting, Bullocks Oriole, Chihuahuan Raven, White-crowned and Black-throated Sparrows, common goldfinches and the ubiquitous House Finches. Would you like to add a pair of nesting Elegant Trogons to your life count? An easy morning outing to Garden Canyon will allow you to see them. The Trogons have been there like clockwork in mid-April for several years. Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Bridled Titmouse, and Painted Redstart are among other regular residents in the summer.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 555
As of 1st January 2016
Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
A Birder's Guide to Southeastern Arizona
RC Taylor Series: ABA/LANE BIRDFINDING GUIDES 341 pages, b/w illus, maps. American Birding Association 2005
ISBN: 1878788221Buy this book from NHBS.com
A Guide to Southern Arizona Bird Nests & Eggs
by Pinau Merlin 2001 ASDM Press
ISBN: 1886679177Buy this book from NHBS.com
Arizona & New Mexico Birds
Kurt Radamaker and Gregory Kennedy Lone Pine Publishing - forthcoming
ISBN: 9789768200280Buy this book from NHBS.com
James Kavanagh 12 pages Waterford Press 2001
ISBN: 1583551077Buy this book from NHBS.com
Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas
Edited by Troy E Corman and Cathryn Wise-Gervais 636 pages, maps, illus. University of New Mexico Press 2005
ISBN: 0826333796Buy this book from NHBS.com
Bird Songs of Southeastern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico
Geoffrey A Keller Series: MACAULAY LIBRARY OF NATURAL SOUNDS 2 CD's. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology 2001
ISBN: 123184Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Arizona
Ayer Hardcover (1988) Primer Publishers
ISBN: 1558380930Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of the Southwest
- Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California and Southern Nevada John H Rappole 329 pages, 456 col, 44 b/w photos, 1 line drawing, 457 maps. Texas A & M University Press 2001
ISBN: 0890969574Buy this book from NHBS.com
Davis and Russell's Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona
WA Davis and AM Russell 302 pages, figs, maps. Tucson Audubon Society 8th Edition
ISBN: 9780964503168Buy this book from NHBS.com
National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Arizona and New Mexico
Jonathan Alderfer Series: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STATE FIELD GUIDES TO BIRDS 272 pages, maps, photos, drawings. National Geographic Society 2006
ISBN: 0792253124Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birds of Arizona
Russell Rogers Series: INTERNATIONAL FIELD CHECKLIST SERIES 10 pages Russell Rogers 1993
ISBN: 9999003907Buy this book from NHBS.com
Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Arizona Bird Committee
Hosted by Gary Rosenberg.
Audubon Society in Arizona
Desert Rivers Audubon
Educating and inspiring our community to protect and preserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats…
Huachuca Audubon Society
Located in Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA… Birding in Southeastern Arizona…
Maricopa Audubon Society
The Maricopa Audubon Society (MAS) is the Phoenix metropolitan area chapter of the National Audubon Society. The chapter has almost 3000 members. What We Do? Birding! The chapter has a very active membership, with numerous field trips throughout the year, mostly to sites near the Phoenix metropolitan area, but also to other parts of Arizona and (occasionally) out of state. Although southeast Arizona is the most well known region of the state for birds, many of the same species are found in the Phoenix area. In recent years, the area has had sightings of Eared Trogon (pictured at left); Tufted Duck, Neotropic Cormorant, Blue-Footed Booby, and other unusual species.
Nature Conservancy of Arizona
A very nice site with lots of info and pages on each NC preserve. Much better than it used to be.
Northern Arizona Audubon
The purpose of the Northern Arizona Chapter of the National Audubon Society is to promote the understanding and appreciation of birds and to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and earth's biological diversity.
Prescott Audubon Society
The mission of Prescott Audubon Society is to preserve and protect our environment for all who inhabit it. The society pursues these goals through education, field work, social activities, and activism…
Sonoran Audubon Society
The purposes of the Sonoran Audubon Society are to educate its members and the community about birds, other wildlife, habitats, and the beauty and importance of the complex interactions that make for a healthy environment, and to encourage and support their involvement in the conservation, preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems and of biological diversity.
Tuscon Audubon Society
Tucson Audubon Society is dedicated to improving the quality of the environment by providing education, conservation, and recreation programs, as well as environmental leadership and information. Rather a novel presentation on this site.
White Mountain Audubon Society
The White Mountain Audubon Society is dedicated to the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife, by providing environmental leadership and awareness, through fellowship, education, community involvement and conservation programs in the White Mountains, and surrounding areas.
Yuma Audubon Society
The Yuma Audubon Society is dedicated to conserving natural resources, educating members on conservation issues, and increasing awareness about the diversity of nature in the Yuma area…
Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
If seeing an osprey hover over a clear mountain lake or hearing a mountain chickadee's cheer song is your idea of a great outdoor experience, then this bird list is for you. The wide variety of birds found in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest can provide you many memorable moments…
Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch
The Research Ranch conservation philosophy is that the most effective way to maintain biological diversity is to begin to safeguard species before they become threatened or endangered. The Ranch's 15 square miles of semi-desert grassland, oak savannah, and oak woodlands ribboned with riparian habitats create a safe haven for native species, especially those not adapted to certain human activities. Conservation projects which benefit plants and wildlife are always being undertaken. Some of these projects include eradicating invasive exotics, creating wildlife watering areas, stringing wildlife friendly fence, and restoring a fire regime.
Arizona State Parks
Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 State Parks and Natural Areas. The agency also includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and more. Arizona State Parks provides over 1,400 camping and RV sites throughout the parks and manages 8 of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Welcome to the American Southwest`s oldest and most spectacularly situated arboretum and botanical garden…
Chiricahua National Monument
The rugged fault-block range that makes up the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona is home to a wide variety of birds, partially because of the many different habitats that the mountains encompass…
Coronado National Forest
Wend your way up into those mountains, however, and you'll learn the astonishing truth: The environment of these ranges is a total departure from what you'll find on the flats. Temperatures are far lower, water is relatively abundant, and the wildlife and flora are largely what you'd expect to find high in the Rocky Mountains…
Empire-Cienega Resource Conservation Area
Over 170 species of birds have been identified on the RCA by members of the Audubon Society and other volunteers. Three species of quail, Gambel's, scaled, and Montezuma (also called Mearn's or Harlequin) inhabit the area, as well as the gray hawk, Baird's sparrow, Sprague's pipit, green kingfisher, yellow-billed cuckoo, and northern beardless tyrannulet. Numerous common species also inhabit the ranches…
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge protects wildlife habitat along 30 miles of the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California, including the last unchannelized section before the river enters Mexico…
Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area
The Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area encompasses a five mile stretch of the Salt River just south of downtown Phoenix. This once deteriorated dumping site is now transformed into a lush riparian corridor for visitors to enjoy. The trail system brings you through various habitats - explore the demonstration wetland pond inhabited by wintering waterfowl, observe a jackrabbit in the mesquite bosque, walk under a canopy of cottonwood and willow trees, or enjoy the view of a waterfall from one of the lookouts. The four staging areas listed below provide access to the paved trails. Keep an eye on this page for the latest information. We also recommend calling the Ranger Office with any questions or concerns before heading out to the area…
San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Birding
San Pedro attracts thousands of birdwatchers from all over the world each year. Over 100 species of breeding birds, and another 250+ species of migrant and wintering birds occur in this area, representing roughly half the number of known breeding species in North America…
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Mailing List - Discussion GroupDiscussion of birds in Arizona and New-Mexico
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Mailing List - Discussion Group - For those friendly, tolerant people that would like to discuss Arizona Birds, Bird Feeding, Trips, Binoculars and Spotting Scopes, and some offtopic - no rudeness - regardless of differences of opinions.
Guides & Tour Operators
Aimophila Adventures offers the experience of birding for experts and beginners alike, from precisely targeted searches for the latest tropical rarities to in-depth introductions to the lives and habits of common desert birds….
From tall mountains to vibrant canyons, rolling grasslands to lush desert, it’s also a region rich in natural beauty. With comfortable lodgings, great food and warm weather, it makes for the perfect birding vacation…
+1 520-744-6780 - P.O. Box 91856, Tucson, AZ 85752-1856 - Our mission at Avian Journeys is to offer very high quality birding tours, at the most affordable prices possible — a different, if not new concept in bird tour companies. Simply stated, our low overhead costs allow us to price our tours more economically, without sacrificing anything in terms of quality…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Borderland Tours was founded in 1980 to provide well-organized tours to premier birding and natural history destinations. Dates are selected when each location is at its seasonal best. Mornings usually begin early to catch peak bird and wildlife activity. Our days are designed to allow ample time for identification, interpretation, education, and especially for your enjoyment. Small group sizes—typically 14 or fewer—enhance our opportunity to both see and appreciate the birds and wildlife, as well as to visit cultural sites. To keep guide to participant ratios low, two leaders accompany most groups.
Focus on Nature
Fun Birding Tours in SE Arizona
Welcome to Fun Birding Tours based in Tucson, Arizona. My name is Richard Fray and I’ll be your guide… When birding, my emphasis is always on having a good time, even if the birds don’t cooperate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, if you’re chasing a particular species or just want to experience birding in southeast Arizona; I aim to give you the best chance of seeing the fabulous wildlife of this unique region, and make sure we all have fun doing it!
High Lonesome Ecotours
High Lonesome Ecotours is committed to providing high quality, personalized trips for birders who seek the benefits of a small group experience. Our tours maintain a relaxed pace that is appropriate for any age or level of birding experience. Due to our own extensive travelling experience, we have designed our client-based tours to deliver maximum comfort, convenience and opportunity.
Melodys Birding Adventures
Whether you are a birdwatcher or a bird-a-holic (like your guide); come and join Melody Kehl and her local expertise. With 21 years of poking around Arizona (particularly Southern Arizona) and 13 years running Outdoor Adventures, she knows where the birds are!! Add that to the fact that she is an amateur naturalist (meaning to say she knows a little bit about almost everything and not a whole lot about anything.) With Melody, you don't just see the birds, you experience them. Each adventure is designed with a schedule and pace tailored to give a unique and personalized birding adventure…
Sierra Nevada Avian Monitoring Information Network
In 2001, Point Blue began a project monitoring birds across meadows on the Almanor Ranger District of Lassen National Forest. In 2009, we expanded our work to the entire Feather River Watershed in Plumas County, including monitoring a number of sites that have been, or are being proposed for restoration by the Feather River Coordinated Resource Management Group. The objectives of this project are to collect information on bird distribution in meadows and their response to different restoration techniques and use this information, along with our local knowledge working with partners, to help guide future meadow restoration actions across the Sierra Nevada…
Our goal at Southwest Birders is to increase your enjoyment of birds and nature. We offer custom birding tours that cover California, Arizona, and Texas. Our web site offers bird-finding tips, detailed site guides, quality bird & nature photos, and hundreds of illustrated trip reports going back to 2001…
Wezil Walraven Bird Tours
Here you will find the current tours offered by Wezil Walraven, professional bird guide. Wezil is the sole owner and operator of Wezil Walraven Bird Tours, as well as a senior tour guide for High Lonesome Bird Tours. If you are interested in a private trip lead by Wezil, he will take out groups of any number in the AZ/NM region. Contact Wezil: email@example.com 828-575-3107 (new number)…
For such a short tour, we tallied an impressive number of both butterfly and bird species, owing to the richness of Southeastern Arizona at our most diverse time of year…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2009 [01 January] - Hans-Ake Gustavsson
Detailed report in pdf format from Hans-Ake Gustavsson
2010 [08 August] - Brad Weinert & Lynn Ferguson-Weinert
For the third consecutive year I was able to get out to one of my favorite areas in the United States for the summer “monsoon” season in Southeastern Arizona. The monsoon season or more correctly called the monsoon thunderstorm season, is a rainy period that occurs throughout the southwest portion of North America during the summer…
2011 [08 August] - Brad Weinert & Lynn Ferguson-Weinert
I made my annual pilgrimage during “monsoon season” to the “Sky Islands” of SE Arizona August 10th through the 14th of this year. As I have learned over the years, each trip is different, areas never stay the same, certain things can be expected and the unexpected is certain to happen. This trip was certainly a text book case of the above and also, I must admit, my most grueling jaunt into the field in quite some time….
2012 [05 May] - Barry Zimmer
The success of our recent Spring Grand Arizona tour can easily be summed up in a recap of our first 24 hours in the Chiricahua Mountains:..
2013 [02 February] - Richard Coomber - Arizona & New Mexico
…White-crowned Sparrows feeding from the ground and one of the bird-tables, whilst the nyjer seed cylinder was smothered in Pine Siskins. Colour came in the form of Red Cardinals, these south- western males are particularly bright and in the early morning sun they seemed to glow from within. Unusually they were outnumbered by their desert cousins, Pyrrhuloxias….
2013 [05 May] - Barry Zimmer
As we gazed up into the oaks, we suddenly saw the active little warbler creeping about near the trunks with its tail fanned. The rich salmon-red breast shone brightly in the afternoon sun and was a perfect complement to the slaty-black body. The bird kept coming closer until it was practically right overhead, giving everyone in the group superb views. An accidental visitor from Mexico, this Slate-throated Redstart in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona was an ABA lifer for everyone, including me, and was the first time the species had ever been seen on a VENT trip in the United States! Incredibly, this was only the second favorite bird of the tour!
2013 [05 May] - Chris Benesh
A wonderful group and some wonderful birds made for a memorable visit to Arizona's southeast corner this year. Highlights were many, including a bunch of nightbirds, three species of quail, many colorful warblers, orioles, tanagers, and buntings. Oh, and there were an assortment of poster birds for southeast Arizona: Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Montezuma Quail. All in all, there was a lot to see and experience. Thanks to all of you for all of the great spotting, the laughs, the stories, etc. This trip was a reunion for a few of you, and I look forward to traveling with all of you again in the future. Until that time, good birding to all…
2013 [07 July] - Barry Zimmer
A summer trip to Arizona always offers a wide variety of avian treats and this year was no different. The monsoon season was in full force, lowering temperatures, making the landscape lush and green, and bringing a flurry of bird activity…
2013 [10 October] - Bruce Wedderburn - California & Arizona
…This was a month-long trip to California and Arizona in the USA. Whilst I have travelled to the USA many times, this was my first holiday there and it was also Yvonne’s first visit…
2014 [01 January] - Barry Zimmer
…Once again our Winter Arizona tour was a huge success. In four action-packed days of birding, we tallied over 150 species and enjoyed spectacularly warm weather (while most of the country was being crushed by winter storms)…
2014 [01 January] - Dave Stejskal
…I'm going to have to write a big, fat check to the weatherman for giving us such incredible weather during this very successful, short tour! I couldn't have asked for anything better. Not a drop of rain, hardly a breeze in the air, and a near-perfect temperature range made for some very comfortable birding during our week in southern Arizona. If I could only arrange for next year's trip to follow suit….
2015 [01 January] - Dave Stejskal & Tom Johnson
...The group met in Phoenix, our home for the first two nights of the tour. We headed straight out for an afternoon walk along the paths at Gilbert Water Ranch, seeing a desert surprise in the form of a Brown Pelican flying along the van as we passed Tempe Town Lake. The hedges and water at Gilbert Water Ranch provided our first looks at desert birds like Gambel's Quail, Curve-billed Thrasher, and Abert's Towhee, and we even found a rare Cackling Goose mixed in with a flock of Canadas...
2015 [05 May] - Barry Zimmer
...We began in the Tucson area, ranging as far north as Aravaipa Canyon. Ten species of raptors the first day (including Common Black-Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, and Prairie Falcon among others) were largely overshadowed by a big Gila Monster on the road. This rarely seen reptile put on a great show and was only the fourth I have ever seen in 40 years of birding the state! Other highlights included Burrowing Owl, Costa’s Hummingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and Abert’s Towhee.
2015 [05 May] - John Coons - Birding the Border
...Our birding started in the Tucson area, where we found a couple of Sonoran Desert specialties in Gilded Flicker and Rufous-winged Sparrow. A few Tropical Kingbirds, a nice comparison of Ash-throated and Brown-crested flycatchers, along with Pyrrhuloxias, Verdins, Abert's Towhee, Burrowing Owls, and Vermillion Flycatchers were a nice way to get started. On our way east to the Chiricahua Mountains, Joann spotted a soaring Mississippi Kite as we were enjoying Western Tanagers, orioles, and Phainopeplas feeding in some mulberry trees. At Willcox there was an array of waterbirds with five Long-billed Curlews, Baird's and Western sandpipers, many American Avocets, and lots of spinning Wilson's Phalaropes; a number of Scaled Quail were also nearby.
2015 [05 May] - Julian & Sandra Hughes
...We didn’t see the hoped-for Five-striped Sparrows (they were seen a couple of days earlier), but had our first Mexican Jays, Bridled Titmouse, and our only Canyon Wren. As we walked back towards the road, a Great Horned Owl flew the length of the canyon.
2015 [06 June] - John Coons - Northern Arizona's Canyons and Condor
During our four full days of birding we'll search for these species along with Zone-tailed Hawk, Lewis's Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray and Cordilleran flycatchers, Mountain Bluebird, Green-tailed Towhee, and Black-chinned Sparrow along with more widespread western birds. We'll explore the Red Rock area of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona's highest mountains at 12,600 feet, and visit the Grand Canyon, where we'll seek the majestic California Condor, which was returned to the wild here in 1996 and has successfully nested on nearly inaccessible ledges of the canyon.
2015 [06 June] - Simon Colenutt - California & Arizona
Photo rich report
2015 [07 July] - Barry Zimmer
... Costa’s Hummingbird, Arizona Woodpecker, Gilded Flicker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, the rare Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager, plum-colored Varied Buntings (one from twenty feet singing atop a mesquite for fifteen minutes!) and Rufous-winged and Botteri’s sparrows among others.
2015 [08 August] - John Coons
...We started off with an introductory loop through the desert west of Tucson, finding Gilded Flickers, Rufous-winged Sparrows, and other Sonoran Desert specialties. We ended the evening with stops at Sweetwater Wetlands and a dusk watch along the Santa Cruz River to see evening birds like Lesser Nighthawks and the remarkable nocturnal emergence of thousands of free-tailed bats...
2015 [08 August] - Megan Edwards Crewe
A Plain-capped Starthroat sipped from a backyard hummingbird feeder near Portal, flashing us with its distinctive white rump patch. Hundreds of Wilson's Phalaropes spun like tops on a lake, while Black-necked Stilts strode on long, pink legs and American Avocets snoozed on a nearby sandbar. A pair of Thick-billed Kingbirds brought mouthful after mouthful of wriggling supper to a nest full of youngsters still too small to see. A Greater Roadrunner eyed us from its perch in a roadside tree. Two Burrowing Owls snoozed in the shade of an air conditioning unit.
2015 [08 August] - Michael O'Brien
....This is always a great way to start off camp, and it’s especially nice to wake up on that first morning to such Arizona specialties as Greater Pewee, Buffbreasted Flycatcher, and Yellow-eyed Junco right at our campsite. And a little exploration of this delightful area produced another highlight—ten warbler species in one day, including Olive, Grace’s, and Red-faced! The Red-faced Warblers gave especially close views as they gleaned box elder leaves to feed on a hatch of aphids.
2015 [08 August] - Michael O'Brien - Camp Chiricahua
...Our exploration of Southeast Arizona took us to the desert near Tucson, the “sky islands” of four different mountain ranges, riparian forest along the San Pedro River and Sonoita Creek, and the grasslands near Sonoita. With so many different habitats, we saw an outstanding diversity of wildlife. Of course, there were many, many highlights during our travels. Some camper favorites included the whole camping experience at Rose Canyon Lake....
2015 [09 September] - South-eastern Arizona
...The birding landscape in SE Arizona is focussed on the various small mountain ranges (sky islands) and the canyons which penetrate these ranges, which are the home of a number of species which only occur is this small area e.g. Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Arizona Woodpecker, Mexican Jay, Mexican Chickadee and Montezuma’s Quail. These ranges are separated by flatlands which are also good for birds, though not such specialised species. There are riparian areas in these flatlands which are excellent birding spots and were full of migrants at the time we were there....
2016 [01 January] - Barry Zimmer - Southern Arizona
We arrived at Catalina State Park in the mid-afternoon of the second day of our Winter Arizona tour. The morning, spent scouring the desert scrub and agricultural fields of the Santa Cruz Flats, had been a huge success...
2016 [01 January] - Chris Benesh
...The last day of the year found us heading southeast to the natural grasslands of the Empire Ranch and the San Rafael Grasslands. We had a handsome family group of White-tailed Kites, and a beautiful male prairie Merlin. A Sora paraded in the open in front of us. In the afternoon, we visited Pena Blanca Canyon where our best sightings had to be a couple of coveys of Montezuma Quail....
2016 [02 February] - Richard Coomber - Arizona & New Mexico
...We had flown in to Phoenix before driving south to explore the desert country around Tucson and our introduction to some of the south-west specialities including the iconic Greater Roadrunner – the bird of the trip for some of the party. We visited the ‘living’ Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and a very clean water treatment works – a great place for birds known as Sweetwater...
2016 [04 April] - Dave Stejskal
Southeast Arizona in late spring can have fantastic weather, but it's usually the windiest season. I think we dodged a bullet on the first run of this short tour this year, as it was very windy right before the trip started and right after it ended -- but we hit it just right! Temperatures were pretty pleasant too, especially in the Huachuca and Chiricahua mountains.
2016 [05 May] - Dave Stejskal - Arizona: Birding the Border II
This tour started out pretty hot, but below the century mark. As the days went on, our temps cooled to the point where some folks actually had to break out light jackets and sweaters for the evenings and early mornings in the mountains. Nice! If you can get that in mid-May in southeastern Arizona, enjoy it! It was toasty enough during the daytime, especially away from the high mountains, but it certainly wasn't awful. Late spring in southeastern Arizona can be hot and windy; I'd say that we had it just right for this lovely tour!
2016 [05 May] - John Coons - Arizona: Birding the Border I
We had a great nine days of birding in a variety of habitats in southeastern Arizona. We were fortunate to have a cool spell at the start of the trip, after a 100º day in Tucson just before we started.
2016 [05 May] - Max Berlij - Southern Arizona
Diary & list etc
2016 [05 May] - Tom Johnson - Arizona Nightbirds & More II
Though the wind seemed like it might conspire against us, we had fantastic luck with nightbirds on this short loop through Southeastern Arizona, getting to see 9 species of owls and 4 species of nightjars in just four days! In addition to the nightbirds, we tracked down a hearty chunk of Southeastern Arizona's diurnal specialty birds, including some nice rarities.
2016 [06 June] - John Coons & Cory Gregory - Northern Arizona's Canyons and Condor
...Upon arriving in Flagstaff, we wasted no time in seeing some sensational birds; the first bird of the trip was a Mountain Bluebird right on the grounds of the airport! A trip to a local wetland included such highlights as a bold Sora, Virginia Rails, nesting Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a soaring Bald Eagle. This came just after a visit to a recent forest fire area, where we snagged an uncommon American Three-toed Woodpecker, and additional highlights like Olive, Red-faced and Grace's warblers....
2016 [06 June] - John Coons & Cory Gregory - Northern Arizona's Canyons and Condor II
...Our first day of birding found us near Flagstaff, where we saw uncommon species such as American Three-toed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Grace's, Red-faced, and Olive warblers. We closed the day out with a quick side trip, where we saw a locally rare Gray Catbird...
2016 [07 July] - Barry Zimmer - Avian Jewls of Arizona
Twelve species of dazzling hummingbirds! Seven species of owls! Nearly all of the southeastern Arizona specialty birds! Our Avian Jewels of Arizona tour had all of that and more. We began with some brief afternoon birding in Tucson, where we tallied Burrowing Owl, Tropical Kingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Western Tanager, and Abert’s Towhee to get our birding adventure off to a great start.
2016 [07 July] - Michael O'Brien - Camp Chiricahua
The 2016 Camp Chiricahua was a very special one because it marked the 30th anniversary of VENT’s very popular youth birding camps. Kudos to Victor Emanuel for realizing the value of connecting young people to nature through birding and natural history study, and for making it happen through this program.
2016 [08 August] - John Coons & Doug Gochfeld - Arizona's Second Spring II
Arizona’s second spring was truly just that this year, as our tour coincided with a very active monsoon season that coated the southeast Arizona landscape in lush green as far as the eye could see...
2017 [01 January] - Barry Zimmer
... So on the last afternoon, we returned to the Santa Cruz Flats for one more try at the robin. The bird was quickly spotted upon our arrival, but just as quickly disappeared before everyone had seen it. We had about an hour to wait it out, and just before we needed to depart, it appeared again in a small pomegranate bush. Quick scope views were obtained before the robin disappeared again. A great last-minute find! Finally, we saw two different pairs of Black-capped Gnatcatchers—one in Florida Canyon and the other at Patagonia Lake....
2017 [01 January] - Chris Benesh
...This area has become a premier winter destination for birders. We spent a fair bit of time at a stakeout spot hoping to see a pair of Rufous-backed Robins. While they were no-shows, we did see a nice a Ruddy Ground-Dove there. Elsewhere we had nice looks at some Mountain Plovers and a secretive Sprague’s Pipit, as well as some longspurs and Ferruginous Hawks. Fortunately, the weather held off long enough for us the enjoy the day....
2017 [08 August] - Bob Meinke
...After a halfhour stop to don field clothes, we continued south to Rio Rico, turning west on Ruby Road as we headed to California Gulch, famed for its occurrences of Five-striped Sparrow and Buff-collared Nightjar...
Places to Stay
Amado Territory Ranch B&B
The Inn is situated on-site, at the Amado Territory Ranch, one of Arizona's historic landmarks. Visitors to the Inn experience the aura of the Southwest together with the sights and sounds of the wild. Surrounded by open vistas of multiple mountain ranges and cattle land, the inn offers a peaceful and relaxing place to sit back and enjoy!
Ash Canyon B&B
Lodging for Birders in Southeastern Arizona`s birding paradise - When Ash Canyon is mentioned in the trip reports, it is my yard (open to birders) which is meant. [See Norita`s World Trip Report for May, 2003]. For the past two summers, I have been fortunate to host the only Plain-capped Starthroat seen in the U.S…
Casa de San Pedro
If you are arranging your Winter & Spring visit to Southeastern Arizona, plan to spend four to five days with us. Our central location gives you easy access to 16 popular birding hot spots such as Ramsey Canyon, Beatty`s Orchard, Patagonia Preserve, San Pedro Riparian Area, Kino Springs, White-water Draw and Cave Creek. See table below for more details. Let us arrange for local guides to make your birding experience more productive.
Cave Creek Ranch
Unique Lodging for Naturalists - Blue-throated & Magnificent Hummingbirds continue to be seen at our feeders. Anna`s and Violet-crowned are still in the area and possible. A Townsend`s Warbler was in our feeding area on December 8, 2000…
The Chuparosa Inn is located 40 miles Southeast of Tucson, Arizona, nestled in the heart of Madera Canyon. A stay in Madera Canyon is ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the Santa Rita Mountains. The Inn offers a wonderful environment for couples with a romantic heart, nature lovers, hiking and biking enthusiasts, or anyone who enjoys meeting others in a relaxed atmosphere.
Cochise Stronghold Bed & Breakfast
…birdwatch from the shade of a large tree or your private patio …
George Walker House
Located in Paradise, about 6 miles from Portal, the George Walker House is a guest house owned and operated by Winston & Jackie Lewis (520) 558-2287, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Situated approximately equidistant from lowland and high elevation habitats, this is a convenient place to stay during your time in the Chiricahuas. In my opinion, this is one of the better feeder setups in the mountains and a visit here in any season (except, perhaps, in the heat of the day in summer) will be well worth your while. Non-guests are welcome to enjoy the birds. In addition to many hummingbirds you`ll find a variety of other species…
Mary & Piet's Chiricahua Cottages
Piet & Mary's Chiricahua Cottages are located at 4800ft on 80 quiet and scenic acres at the base of 8500ft Portal Peak. See rugged beauty rise up oak-filled rhyolite canyons to sky islands of high elevation pine and fir forests. Grand vistas call you to take in awesome summer thunderstorms marching across the wide valley to light distant mountains with their flashing lightning. Winter is mild, with plenty of sunshine. Delight at the simple pleasures of the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and stars falling through the black sky…
Mi Gatita B&B
Experience the plants, animals, and history of the High Sonoran Desert surrounding Mi Gatita Bed and Breakfast…
Miraval is a top-rated all-inclusive destination retreat - a resort, an award-winning spa, and a great getaway. Situated in the warm shade of Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson, Arizona on 400 acres of idyllic land…
Rail Oaks Ranch
A nature lover`s paradise, the area teems with many species of birds, including raptors (Gray Hawks, Mississippi Kite and Crested Caracara) and sparrows (black-throated sparrow, Botteri`s Sparrow). Great Horned Owls, hummingbirds and other birds also migrate to the area…
Ramsey Canyon Inn B&B
A stay at Ramsey Canyon Inn is ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat, close encounters with nature, and gracious hospitality from an attentive staff. Come be our guest and participate in a wide range of interpretive programs under the leadership of our staff naturalist - including walks, talks, and slide shows - or enjoy the preserve`s majestic beauty on your own. The Inn is located adjacent to The Nature Conservancy`s Ramsey Canyon Preserve and features six charming B&B guest rooms and two housekeeping apartments.
San Pedro River Inn B&B
Abundant food, water and cover provide for a spectacular mtay of wildlife in their natural habitat. The San Pedro RNCA, named the First Globally Important Bird Area in the U.S., supports over 300 species of birds and over 80 species of amphibians and reptiles. Notable birds include over 25 species of raptors, the Green Kingfisher, Yellow Billed Cuckoo and many more.
Santa Rita Lodge
The Santa Rita Lodge is situated above a stream in the heart of Madera Canyon at an elevation of 4,800 feet. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the abundant wildlife of the Coronado National Forest. The Lodge offers morning bird walks every weekday in March, April and May, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during June, July and August. The fee is $12.00 per person and reservations must be made. In addition to the walks the lodge offers an extensive natural history program with classes on geology, astronomy, bats (eleven species found in Madera Canyon); mammals, hummingbirds, insects and botany.
Westward Look Resort
Set high in the foothills overlooking Tucson and warmed by an abundance of desert sunshine, Westward Look Resort is a rejuvenating resort environment inspired by the beauty of its pristine natural surroundings. Home to an amazing variety of birds, plants and wildlife, this lush 80-acre oasis is an ideal choice for nature lovers…
Arizona's Longest Running Nature Festival Southwest Wings is an educational celebration of the diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects, in their unique environment; the sky islands in southern Arizona…
Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival
Tucson Audubon and the Riverpark Inn invite you to join the fun at the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival, August 15-19. This event celebrates the unique biodiversity of southeast Arizona with exciting educational opportunities for birders and nature enthusiasts to discover and enjoy the Sonoran Desert and Sky Islands…
Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival
The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival provides a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world and fosters awareness of the importance of habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley…
Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival
The Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival, held annually by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, occurs during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend of January in Willcox, Arizona. The festival has many supporting affiliates, including government agencies, businesses, organizations and interested individuals..
Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory
The South-eastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the birds of south-eastern Arizona, their habitats and the diversity of species which share those habitats through research, monitoring and public education.
Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
Migratory Pollinators Program…
Thick-Billed Parrot - The thick-billed parrot is brightly coloured in green and red, the only parrot native to Arizona. However, this bird is also very noisy making it an easy target for predators - animals and humans. This animal is highly endangered with none left in the wild. Since the 1980s, the Arizona Game & Fish Department has coordinated captive breeding programs on behalf of the thick-billed parrot at several locations. In 1988, The Phoenix Zoo joined this conservation effort by providing a breeding facility located on the Arizona Trail.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona's Bird Collection containing over 17,600 cataloged specimens is the largest bird collection in the state. Specimens include traditional study skins, taxidermy mounts, wings, tails, disarticulated skeletons, nests, eggs and the Arizona Bird Committee's photographs and records. The collection was begun in 1884 by Arizona resident Herbert Brown. The current geographic representation of the collection in decreasing order of importance is: Arizona, Sonora, Southwestern United States, Northwestern Mexico, North America and other continents. The Bird Collection is housed on the University of Arizona's main campus in room 117 of the Biological Sciences East Building. Dr. Carlos Martinez del Rio is Curator, Dr. Stephen M. Russell is Curator Emeritus, and Mr. Tom Huels is Collection Manager.
Arizona Native Wildlife
Exploring our diverse wildlife through education, conservation, and research...
Jeremy Medina - A native of Tucson, AZ I have always loved exploring the outdoors. Over the years this has turned into a passion for birding. I'm lucky enough to live in one of the best places in the country to find birds. When I’m not watching sports or spending time with my three beautiful girls and lovely fiance, you can find me out birding somewhere in SE Arizona trying to snap a photo of one of our many breathtaking birds…
Birders on the Border
This is our online journal, in which we periodically record our thoughts and experiences at home and on the road. We'll also post links to other sites on the Web that we hope will inform, inspire, and entertain you as much as they do us…
Birding Without Barriers
In search of accessible birding in Arizona
Butlers Birds and Things
Adventures & Accomplishments… Arizona Birding & Beyond. Laurence and Maria Butler are the same age, live in the same place, have similar interests, and are part of the same marriage…
Hotspot Birding Blog
I am Jonathan Coffey, father, marketer, photographer, and birder. My story is unlike many others. I began birding due in part thanks too the movie The Big Year. Oddly enough as it may seem, The Big Year opened my eyes to a variety of species of birds that I never knew existed. Thirsty for knowledge and curious for adventure I set out to learn how to bird. I bought my first field guide, a pair of cheap binoculars and got to work…
LAS AVENTURAS is about the birding adventure around the world. It's also about nature and so much more....
Mad AZ Monk
Journal of birding in Northern Arizona and beyond…
Nature's Archive is a natural history and backyard biology site focused on the animals, insects, and plants of the desert southwest. The initial incarnation of the site was to simply keep family and friends abreast of the interesting encounters we have here in Arizona. Over time, it has been refined to generally profile individual encounters with slightly more depth…
Paul Ollig - Wandering Tattler
The limitless ramblings of a wandering, liberal birdwatcher…
A blog about birds and birding in the Tucson area and beyond…
Arizona Bird Field Data Resources
This site contains collected images, sound recordings, and explanatory text about Arizona birds. Most of the material has been gathered during work on the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas project (ABBA) administered by Arizona Game and Fish. A collection is usually a sound recording or photograph, and some text, that explains the significance of the material presented. Sometimes both photos and sound recordings are included in the same collection. This copyrighted material may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes so long as mirror-pole.com, and all the authors of the material, are credited with its production. Commercial users must check with us to verify that the material can be used by them before it is redistributed.
Arizona Birding Books
Since Arizona is one of the premier birding locations in the US, there is an abundance of books focused on Arizona birds and birding locations. I admit to being an information junkie, so I buy and read a lot of books. But I still don`t have all the books covering Arizona locations…
Arizona Unofficial County Bird List
Checklists by county…
Birding in Southeastern Arizona
The best birding opportunities in the Southwestern states are found in the southeastern corner of Arizona, along the San Pedro and Santa Cruz rivers and their tributaries. This is an amazing happenstance, considering the arid nature of the desert which surrounds the riparian habitats. Whichever location you choose, you`ll know that the wildlife viewing will be exceptional.
Birding Southeast Arizona
We would advise spending as much time as possible in the wooded canyons of one of these mountain ranges…
Birding Without Barriers
Accessible birding in Arizona…
Birds of the Zone-tailed Ranch, Mojave County, Arizona
The Zone-tail Ranch is a 320 acre (half of a section; one mile long and half a mile wide) piece of beautiful desert near the crest of the Aquarius Mountains, Arizona, at an elevation of about 5000 feet. It is located east of Kingman (east of US-93) and south of I-40…
A campaigning site against the draining of this lake containing information of interest to birders.
The best of Arizona bird watching
If you can tell a great kiskadee from a crissal thrasher, then you belong in southern Arizona, one of the best birding regions in North America. It is here that dozens of bird species reach the northern limits of their ranges, and due to the scarcity of water, these birds are often easily located-just park yourself by a body of water and wait for the birds to come to you. OK, so maybe it isn't quite that easy, but where else can you sit on a bench and spot a dozen species of hummingbirds in an afternoon? Nowhere else in this country, that's for sure…
The Prairie Falcon
Tucson Bird Count
The Tucson Bird Count (TBC) is a cooperative project begun by members of Tucson's science, conservation, and birding communities. Each year, TBC volunteers (each on a morning of their choosing) collect data on the abundances and distributions of bird species from hundreds of sites in and around the Tucson area. In addition to being a lot of fun, the TBC emphasizes a scientifically rigorous survey design to ensure quality data for a number of uses.
Wild Bird Store of Tucson
Species-specific bird feeders and much more…
Yuma Area Birding Guide
This map of southwest Arizona displays fourteen areas which are good for birding. Click on the site numbers* (or the brief descriptions below) to access web pages that provide detailed maps and information about each location…
Photographers & Artists
Gallery - Selected SE Arizona bird photos
e.g.This is a Burrowing Owl, photographed at the Marana Pecan Grove…
Photographer - Gary H Rosenberg
A Photogallery of (mostly) American birds
Photographer - Jim Burns - Natural Impact
Jim Burns is an outdoor writer/photographer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English Literature and became hooked on birding while backpacking with his wife, Deva, trying to place proper labels on the birds they were seeing along the trail…
Photographer - Monte M Taylor
Monte M. Taylor and Christopher H. Taylor - a gallery of birds from a trip to Arizona…
Photographer - Richard Ditch
Some really excellent photos…