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Home Free Birding Field Trips

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General Information: Tucson Audubon field trips are free! Contact trip leader for more information about each field trip, or the Field Trip Coordinator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , for general questions.

TRIP BIRDING ETHICS - PLEASE READ
Approach birding with the health and safety of nesting birds and bird populations as your first priority. For more on how to protect birds while birding, see the American Birding Association's statement of birding ethics at www.aba.org/about/ethics.html.

Field trip leaders are in charge of all aspects of the day's birding. You MUST follow their instructions at all times.

IF YOU MUST CANCEL a trip registration, PLEASE contact the leader or trip coordinator ASAP to free up your space!!

 

Announcements

Weekly Walks

Sweetwater Wetlands - Wednesdays
Join Bryon Lichtenhan for an easy walk through the Sweetwater wetlands to see waterfowl in the hundreds, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome!  Contact leader for start time and to sign up, 520-307-6728, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wake up with the Birds at Agua Caliente Park - Thursdays
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation offers guided bird walks especially for beginning bird watchers. Binoculars will be available for use during the walk. Location: Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Free. For meeting time and more information, call 629-0510, 615-7855 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Birding Hikes at Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve - First Fridays
The Nature Conservancy's Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is partnering with Tucson Audubon to provide guided birding hikes. These roughly 2 hour hikes, led by the Tucson Audubon's Paton Center for Hummingbirds caretaker Larry Morgan are suitable for birders at any level. While there is no special fee for the hike, normal preserve fees will apply. For more information and start time, please see the TNC site.

Mason Center Saturday Morning Birdwalks - Every other weekend October through April
See our calendar to find the next walk
Learn the very basics of birdwatching and how to identify the backyard birds commonly seen in the Tucson area. A brief presentation is followed by a slow stroll around the 1/2 mile trail. Advanced signup required. Walk begins at 8am, see the Mason Center page for details. Led by Ken Murphy, Jim Gessaman, or Mary Ellen Flynn.

Arivaca Cienega/Buenos Aires NWR - Saturdays, November thru April
Tucson Audubon bird walk at Arivaca Cienega,  8 AM. Meet at the trailhead for a mostly level walk of approximately 2 miles. You can expect to see 30 to 50 species depending on the season. To get there, take I19 to exit 48 at the town of Amado, then southwest on Arivaca Road approximately 25 miles to the well-marked trailhead about ½ mile before the town of Arivaca. For more information call Bob Rolfson at 520-399-2873.

 

Current Trips

November 23--Sunday, 8:00 AM
Feeder Bird Watching at WOWAZ in Catalina with Bob and Prudy TRIP FULL
If you're not up for a birding hike, this outing is for you. 'Wild Outdoor World of Arizona' (WOWAZ) is a 3-acre haven for birds and butterflies west of the Canada del Oro Wash in Catalina. The owners have spent more than a decade converting a dusty parking area into a native plant garden with pathways, trees, water features and bird feeders. This oasis adjacent to the CDO Wash draws some remarkable birds, with over 140 species documented to date. A short walk along the paths will be offered, but participants can choose to bird solely from chairs on a comfortable, shaded patio surrounded by hummingbird and other feeders. Ideal for anyone with mobility issues, as well as seniors, beginners and anyone interested in seeing a lot of birds with little effort. The $5 entry fee will be waived for this trip, although contributions for bird food will be appreciated by the owners. Note that pre-trip online registration is required, and is limited to 14 participants. In addition to TAS acknowledgement, you will receive emailed details from the leaders within 3 days. If you don't, email them. We will carpool from the SaddleBrooke drug store parking lot at 8:00 AM and depart WOWAZ by 10:30 AM. Register online.

Contact Bob and Prudy Bowers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions

November 25 – Tuesday 5:00 AM
San Rafael Grasslands TRIP FULL - Email leader to be placed on waiting list
This trip provides an opportunity to see raptors and grassland sparrows. The number of bird species we will see is not large, but we hope to see some birds not easily seen elsewhere. Mostly birding from cars, but some walking through tall grass and over rocky slopes. If you don't have a high-clearance vehicle, plan to carpool with someone who does. Bring lunch. Scope will be useful. Meet at Houghton Road north of I-10 before 5:00 a.m. Please email the leader before the trip. Register online.

Leader: Jim Hays This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

November 28--Friday 7:30 AM
Black Friday Birding  TRIP FULL
Join Tucson Audubon for bargain sparrows and other riparian species as we shop the habitats of northeast Tucson. Limit 16. Meet at the Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway McDonalds at 7:30 AM. Please do not show up if you did not register. Register online.

Leader: Clifford Cathers 520-982-3272.

November 29--Saturday, 8:30 AM
SaddleBrooke Canada del Oro Wash
As our guests, this walk gives you an opportunity to bird a trail above the Canada del Oro Wash closed to the public. We'll meet in SaddleBrooke (location and other details will be emailed to registered participants), and carpool to the trail head. The wide dirt trail has some slopes and rock, but is mostly level. The return section may include a quarter mile walk in a rocky wash that feeds the Canada del Oro Wash. Total distance less than 2 miles with some uneven and off-trail sections. Total trip time 2-2.5 hours. A large number and variety of sparrows and other winter wash residents are expected. Beginners and seniors welcome. Participation limited to 12. Register online.

Contact Bob and Prudy with any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

December 6 – Saturday 8 am
Sabino Canyon TRIP FULL
We'll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert uplands and Sabino Creek riparian areas. The 4-mile walk includes rocky uneven trails. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor's Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by noon. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. You must register online.

Leaders: Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh, contact with questions This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

December 13—Saturday 7:30 am
Atturbury-Lyman Bird and Animal Sanctuary at Lincoln Park 
Join us to find resident and wintering birds at Atturbury Wash, Lincoln Regional Park, on Tucson’s east side. This is one of Tucson’s premier washes and the site of a Tucson Audubon project to improve habitat. The location is lower Lincoln Park off Escalante east of Pantano Road (not upper Lincoln Park off Pantano south of Escalante). Finished by 11 a.m. Register online.

Leader: Kendall Kroesen, 971-2385, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

January 17—Saturday, 7:30 am
Himmel Park
Himmel Park is a convenient, mid-town park. This is a great place for beginners to familiarize themselves with common suburban and park birds in Tucson. Cooper’s Hawks, American Kestrels, Lesser Goldfinches, Gila Woodpeckers and Vermilion Flycatchers are seen here. This time of year there may be Red-naped Sapsuckers and other wintering species. Finished by 10 a.m. Register online starting December 6.

Leader: Kendall Kroesen, 971-2385, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

January 24--Saturday 8 a.m.
Hawks for Beginners: Avra Valley
We will drive around and get out on the side of the road to look at hawks perched on the power poles: Red-tailed Hawks, Kestrels and who knows what else. New birders and non-birders of all ages, as well as those who are challenged by mobility, are especially invited. We will have scopes and hawk charts. 40-mile round trip on paved and graded dirt roads. Car-pooling encouraged. Meet at Mission Library parking lot (NW corner of Mission Road and Ajo Way) at 8 a.m. Back by noon. There is no limit, but you must register online.

Leader: John Higgins, contact with questions, 578-1830, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

February 17—Tuesday 7:30 am
Rio Vista Natural Resources Park
This city park combines playgrounds, a small turf area, equestrian access to the Rillito and lots of native vegetation. This results in a good mix of bird species. We will walk around the park and the out to the trail along the Rillito. We should see a combination of resident desert, wintering birds and some of the raptors that prowl the Rillito in the winter. It’s a great place to become acquainted with Tucson’s birds. Register online starting January 6.

Leader: Kendall Kroesen, 971-2385, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

February 24--Tuesday 10:30 a.m.
Reid Park Ramble
We will walk around the park looking for ducks, hawks, herons and other birds wintering there. Distance of a mile on flat ground for two hours. Drive to the parking lot for the zoo (from 22nd St., go north on Randolph Way then west on Zoo Court). Meet at the bus stop in front of the Edith Ball Adaptive Pool (looks like big white circus tent), not the zoo entrance. Non-birders and people new to birding are especially invited. There is no limit, but you must register online.

Leader: John Higgins, contact with questions, 578-1830, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 14—Saturday 7:00am
Reid Park
We will walk around the park looking for waterbirds, raptors, early spring migrants and any possible rarities. Drive to the parking lot for the zoo: from 22nd Street, go north on Randolph Way then west on Zoo Court. Meet on the east side of the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center, looks like big white circus tent. We'll plan on finishing up by around 9 a.m. Register online starting January 31.

Leader: Ken Murphy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

April 4—Saturday 7:00 am
Fort Lowell Park
This is one of the best suburban public parks for birding in Tucson. We’ll begin a loop around the park looking for birds looking for common park birds and any waterfowl on the pond. We’ll check a mesquite thickets for birds like Lucy’s Warblers, Verdins and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers. By 8:30 we will get to the east side of the park where hundreds of Turkey Vultures circle to gain altitude for migration. Sometimes rarer migrant hawks appear here too. Finished by 11 a.m. Register online starting February 21.

Leader: Kendall Kroesen, 971-2385, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Phone Numbers

General Info: 520 629-0510
University Nature Shop: 520 629-0510 x1
Rare Bird Alert: 520 629-0510 x3
Education: 520 629-0510 x7012
Membership: 520 629-0510 x7002
Agua Caliente Nature Shop: 760-7881
Executive Director: 520 629-0510 x7001
FAX: 520 623-3476

Sick or injured birds, please call:
Tucson Wildlife Center at 520-903-1104

Additional numbers

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Important Field Trip Information

General Information: Tucson Audubon field trips are free! Contact trip leader for more information about each field trip, or contact Field Trip Coordinator Ken Murphy.

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. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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).

Carpooling: Tucson Audubon strongly encourages carpooling and the sharing of the driver's fuel expenses.  Drivers and trip leaders are not expected to contribute. Directions to frequently used carpooling locations.

Rare Bird Alert
Listen to the latest rare bird alert at 520 629-0510 x3. To report rare birds call the same number, or write to rarebirdalert

After Your Trip
Stop by the Audubon Nature Shop! Check out new books, see wonderful nature items, and chat with volunteers.

More Birding Info
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