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General Information

  • Tucson Audubon field trips are free, unless stated otherwise. 
  • Contact the trip leader with questions. For general questions or help registering, contact the Field Trip Coordinator,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-209-1806.
  • Trip birding ethics: Approach birding with the health and safety of birds as your first priority. Tucson Audubon uses the American Birding Association's position on birding ethics, including the use of playback, at www.aba.org/about/ethics.html.
  • Field trip leaders are in charge of all aspects of the day's birding. Please follow their instructions at all times.
  • For more field trip information, see "Important Field Trip Information" in the column to the right.

Announcements & Resources


Weekly Tucson Audubon Bird Walks - No registration required

Wednesday Mornings at Sweetwater Wetlands
This walk is year-round and starts at 6 a.m. from May - August. If you arrive late, check the "sightings/information" box just before the bridge and there will be a note about which way the walk went after the bridge. In September the start time will return to 7 a.m.
Trip rating: easy; Walking distance: 1 mile; Trip duration: 2 hr; Elevation gain: none; Ground condition: concrete and dirt trails. Restrooms at the trailhead. 
Join Luke Safford and/or Bryon Lichtenhan for an easy walk through the Sweetwater wetlands 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 2617 W Sweetwater Dr. Contact leader with questions, 520-576-6044, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Note:
Every Wednesday. Start times: November - Feb: 8 a.m.; March - April: 7 a.m.; May - August: 6 a.m.; September - Oct: 7 a.m.

First and third Saturday Mornings at Tucson Audubon's Mason Center
This walk is now suspended until November.
Trip Rating: Easy; Walking Distance: 2.5 miles; Trip Duration: 2 hr 45 min; Elevation Gain: none; Ground Condition: groomed trail. Restrooms at 2 locations along the walk. Drinking water not available on trail.

Join Tucson Audubon for an introduction to birdwatching basics and our Mason Center. After feeder watching at the Center, stroll across Hardy Rd to Arthur Pack Park for some 20 to 30 more species along the 2.3 mile Maeveen Behan desert trail and golf course pond. Great for families. Loaner binoculars available. RSVP not required. Call 520-209-1815 with questions. See map. Led by Jim Gessaman, Mary Ellen Flynn or Ray Deeney.
First and third Saturday. Start times: November - April: 8 a.m.

Saturday Mornings at Arivaca Cienega, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
This walk is now suspended until November.
Trip rating: Easy. Walking distance: 1.25 miles. Trip duration: 2 hours. Elevation gain: minimal. Ground condition: good dirt trails and sometimes boardwalks. Restrooms at the parking lot only.
 
Join Bob Rolfson and one of several other guides for a walk through this great birding site consisting up upland desert, grassland and wetlands. You will likely see 30-55 species depending on the season, including potentially some southeast Arizona specialties. RSVP not required. From Tucson, go south on I-19 42 miles to Amado. Go west on Arivaca Road a short distance, jog north, and then again turn west on Arivaca Road. Go 25 miles on a slow, winding road. Contact Bob Rolfson at 520-399-2873 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The trailhead (plenty of parking) is located 1/4 mile east of the town of Arivaca. 
November through April. Start time 8 a.m. 
 

Weekly Walks from Tucson Audubon Partners

Wake up with the Birds at Agua Caliente Park - Thursdays NOW $5 FEE 
Pima County leads this walk--please register below on Pima County's website
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. Online registration required at Pima County's website at www.pima.gov/nrpr. Location: 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.
Meeting times: Sept – Oct: 8:00 am,  Nov – Feb: 8:30 am, Mar – Apr: 8:00 am, May – Aug: 7:30 am.
Online registration now required, $5 fee. Online registration: www.pima.gov/nrpr. For more information, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call 520-615-7855.

 

Current Trips - Please register for trips by clicking on the registration link found in the trip descriptions below.

THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT REGISTERING
1. To register for a trip, please click on the registration link at the end of that trip's description
2. You will receive a confirmation email if the trip is not full (or has no limit)
3. If the trip is full you will be put on the waiting list (but you will receive no email)
4. If you are on the waiting list and a place becomes available, you will be contacted by the field trip leader
5. If you are registered and must cancel, contact the leader or coordinator ASAP to free your space.
6. If you have trouble signing up, contact the field trip coordinator, 520-209-1806.

 

AUGUST

August 27---Saturday 7:00 AM
West bank of Santa Cruz River south of Cortaro Rd (Crossroads at Silverbell District Park)
Trip rating: easy. Walking Distance: about 2 miles. Elevation gain: none, Ground conditions: paved.
"Relaxed birding" while looking down 75 feet to the stream, bank, and riparian vegetation along the Santa Cruz River. Expect a mix of swallows, warblers, vireos, flycatchers, finches, sparrows, and other groups (~25 species; some migrants, others residents). Call or email leader, if any questions. Duration: 2 1/2 hours. Limited to 15 people. Please sign up for this trip here. Those who sign up will receive instructions about where to meet. 
Leader:
 Jim Gessaman, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-572-6713 (home); 520-359-3250 (cell or text message)

August 28--Sunday 6:00 AM
Hummingbirds at WOW Arizona--TRIP FULL, register for waiting list below
Difficulty: Easy/moderate.  Distance: less than 1/2 mile.  Surface: Gravel/path/pavement.
Sixty-nine feeders, 5 water features, riparian areas: WOW Arizona, an e-bird Hotspot, 3 miles east of Catalina is a 3-acre haven for birds and wildlife over 150 species documented to date (see bird list). On this trip we will take an abbreviated walk through the grounds to all of the hotspots, but spend most of our time on the Hummingbird Patios, surrounded by feeders within arm's reach. Expect six to eight species to be frequenting our location. Coffee, tea, and water provided. Please wear neutral colors and be respectful of others. NO OBTRUSIVE CAMERAS, TRIPODS, PROS (Smugmug, Flickr, etc.). Parking limited, please carpool if possible. Money for feed fund happily accepted. WOW Arizona, a 501(c)(3). Trip limited to 8 people. Please sign up for this trip here--waiting list. Before the trip you will receive directions. 
Leaders: Christopher Vincent & MaryEllen Landen  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 520.907.8735.

 

SEPTEMBER

Note: We will be scheduling periodic member-only, or member-priority, birding trips to encourage membership in Tucson Audubon. The September 7 trip below is one such trip. Most trips will remain free and open to the general public. 

September 7 - Wednesday 6:00 a.m.
Chino Canyon Explorations--Priority Sign-up for Tucson Audubon Members
Trip rating: moderate.  ~3 mile walk over old road/trail with little elevation gain.  
We will drive to the trailhead over a gravel road with a couple of rough spots and then explore this very scenic area on foot. Target birds include high desert and foothills species but we’ll specifically be looking for Black-capped Gnatcatcher and comparing it with its two more common cousins also found here (Black-tailed and Blue-gray gnatcatchers). We will also look for the elusive Five-striped Sparrow. Return by noonish. Sunhat, water, snacks, and good walking shoes recommended. Trip limited to twelve participants total, in three vehicles, so registration required. We’ll need two drivers, besides the leader, to volunteer with high clearance vehicles (please indicate). Priority sign-up will be given first to Tucson Audubon members and volunteer drivers. Please register for this trip here starting at 1 p.m. Monday August 29. 
Leader: Tim Helentjaris,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

September 10--Saturday 8 a.m.
Avra Valley Wastewater Ponds: Fall Shorebird Migration for Beginners
Trip Rating: moderate  Walking Distance: one mile  Elevation Gain: none Ground Condition: dirt and gravel road
Come see which sandpipers, plovers and other shorebird are headed south. Scope and bird ID charts provided. Be ready for sun and heat. No restrooms at the ponds. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Mission Library parking lot at the NW corner of Ajo Way and Mission Road (southwest Tucson.) Non-birders and those new to birding are especially invited. Contact leader if questions. Back by 11 a.m. No limit but please register for this trip here
Leader:
John Higgins, 520-578-1830, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

September 11--Sunday 7 a.m.
Birding, Biking and Brunch!--TRIP FULL
Trip Rating
: moderate  Walking Distance: one mile Biking Distance: 15 miles Elevation Gain: minimal Ground Condition: biking on Rillito Path and city streets with shoulders, walking on level dirt paths
Meet at Bashas’ Grocery parking lot at Swan and Camp Lowell. Arrive at 6:45 a.m. to roll out at 7. We’ll ride over to Fort Lowell Park, on to McCormick Park, then to Rio Vista Park.  Let’s see how many Vermillion Flycatchers we can find. You don’t have to be a strong bicyclist to do this, but you must be able to start and stop your bike safely in a group. Back by about 10:30 a.m. Optional stop on the patio at Bashas’ or Tucson Coffee Roasters for coffee, food and conversation. Bring your bike, helmet, bike lock, and money for food or drink. Limit 10 bikers, please register for this trip here--waiting list
Leader: Linda Matson, 520-488-3730, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

September 17--Saturday 7 a.m.
Tanque Verde Ranch
Trip rating: moderate walking. Walking distance: one mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: dirt trails, occasional deep sand.
We have permission to bird this private guest ranch located at the very end of East Speedway. Done before noon. We will bird along Tanque Verde Wash with 2 ponds, mesquites and cottonwoods. Bathrooms and snack break midway at the cars. A good trip for beginning birders and those who have errands later in the day. MEET AT McDONALD's located on the northeast corner of Catalina Hwy and Tanque Verde Rd (9075 east). Please do not come to the ranch first. Wear good walking shoes as conditions at times are sandy. No limit but please register for this trip here
Leader:
Bill Wieboldt 520.885.1227 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

September 20--Tuesday 9 a.m.
Birding at the Tucson Botanical Gardens 
Difficulty: Easy. Distance 0.25 to 0.50 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: paved and smooth dirt trails.
Tucson Audubon partners with the Tucson Botanical Gardens 
for a garden bird walk. The walk is especially good for beginning bird watchers and those interested in attracting birds to their own yards. Along the way we'll point out some of the many bird-friendly plants at the gardens and give you ideas for how to bring birds into your own yard. There will be a limited number of loaner binoculars for for guests to borrow. The birding is free but there is an entrance fee to the gardens. Meet at the gardens--2150 N. Alvernon Way. No online registration necessary.
Leader: Kendall Kroesen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-209-1806 

September 25--Sunday 7:00 a.m.
A Stroll Along the De Anza Trail
Difficulty: Easy, Distance: 2-3 miles over mostly level ground.
Join Tucson Audubon for a stroll along this lush riparian corridor as migration continues and begins to wind down. Meet at the Green Valley McDonalds at Continental Plaza at 7:00 AM. Bug spray is suggested. There is a limit of 20 birders so registration is required. If you don't sign up and don't receive confirmation, please do not show up at the meeting site. Please register for this trip here.
Leader:
Clifford Cathers, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 520.982.3272.  

 

OCTOBER

October 1--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails.
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday September 5 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

October 15--Saturday 7 a.m.
Pena Blanca Lake

Difficulty: Easy, Distance: 1-2 miles over mostly level ground. 
Join Tucson Audubon for a birding saunter around this picturesque little birding spot. We'll be looking for late migrants and whatever else dares to be found. Meet at the Green Valley McDonalds at Continental Plaza at 7:00 AM. Bug spray is suggested. There is a limit of 20 birders so registration is required.  If you don't sign up and don't receive confirmation, please do not show up at the meeting site. Please register for this trip here starting on September 19 starting at 1 p.m. 
Leader:
Clifford Cathers, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 520.982.3272

October 18--Tuesday 9 a.m.
Birding at the Tucson Botanical Gardens 
Difficulty: Easy. Distance 0.25 to 0.50 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: paved and smooth dirt trails. 
Tucson Audubon partners with the Tucson Botanical Gardens for a garden bird walk. The walk is especially good for beginning bird watchers and those interested in attracting birds to their own yards. Along the way we'll point out some of the many bird-friendly plants at the gardens and give you ideas for how to bring birds into your own yard. There will be a limited number of loaner binoculars for for guests to borrow. The birding is free but there is an entrance fee to the gardens. Meet at the gardens--2150 N Alvernon Way. No online registration necessary.
Leader: Kendall Kroesen,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-209-1806 

 

NOVEMBER

November 5--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 a.m. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday October 10 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

November 15--Tuesday 9 a.m.
Birding at the Tucson Botanical Gardens 
Difficulty: Easy. Distance 0.25 to 0.50 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: paved and smooth dirt trails. 
Tucson Audubon partners with the Tucson Botanical Gardens for a garden bird walk. The walk is especially good for beginning bird watchers and those interested in attracting birds to their own yards. Along the way we'll point out some of the many bird-friendly plants at the gardens and give you ideas for how to bring birds into your own yard. There will be a limited number of loaner binoculars for for guests to borrow. The birding is free but there is an entrance fee to the gardens. Meet at the gardens--2150 N Alvernon Way. No online registration necessary. 
Leader: Kendall Kroesen,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-209-1806 

November 15--Tuesday 10:30 a.m.
Reid Park Ramble
Trip rating: easy. Walking distance: 1 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: paved paths, grass. 

We will walk around the park for two hours looking for wintering waterfowl, raptors and woodpeckers. Easy pace. Meet at the bus stop in front of the Adaptive Rec Center Pool (looks like a big white circus tent) north of the zoo entrance. Turn off 22nd St. on to Randolph Way and left onto Zoo Ct. Call or email leader if any questions. No limit but please sign up for trip here starting Monday October 24 at 1 p.m.
Leader: John Higgins. 520-578-1830  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

November 25--Friday 7:30 a.m.
Black Friday Birding

Difficulty:  Easy, Distance: 1-2 miles over mostly level ground.
Skip the crowds and join Tucson Audubon for an early morning birding adventure around northeast Tucson hotspots.  Doorbusters begin at 7:30 a.m. when additional species after the first ten are 50% off! Meet in the parking lot behind the Pima County Sheriff's Department in northeast Tucson at Tanque Verde and Bear Canyon Road at 7:30 AM. There is a limit of 20 birders so registration is required. If you don't sign up and don't receive confirmation, please do not show up at the meeting site. Please register here starting Monday October 31 at 1 p.m. 
Leader:
Clifford Cathers, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 520.982.3272

 

DECEMBER

December 3--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon

Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday November 7 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

December 7--Wednesday 9 -11 a.m.
Kennedy Park Big Sit
Trip rating: Easy.  Distance: 0.  Ground conditions: paved, ADA accessible
Join John Higgins for a "big sit"--that is, an effort to see how many birds can be seen from one spot. Non-birders, beginning birders and mobility-challenged people are especially encouraged to attend. More details available here later. Please register for this trip here beginning on Monday November 14 at 1 p.m.
Leader: John Higgins, 520-578-1830,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

 

JANUARY

January 7--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday December 5 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 

FEBRUARY

February 4--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday January 9 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

February 21--Tuesday 10:30 a.m.
Reid Park Ramble
Trip rating: easy. Walking distance: 1 mile. Elevation gain: none. Ground conditions: paved paths, grass. 

We will walk around the park for two hours looking for wintering waterfowl, raptors and woodpeckers. Easy pace. Meet at the bus stop in front of the Adaptive Rec Center Pool (looks like a big white circus tent) north of the zoo entrance. Turn off 22nd St. on to Randolph Way and left onto Zoo Ct. Call or email leader if any questions. No limit but please sign up for trip here starting Monday January 30 at 1 p.m.
Leader: John Higgins. 520-578-1830  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

MARCH

March 4--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday February 6 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 

APRIL

April 1--Saturday 8 a.m.
Sabino Canyon
Trip rating: easy hiking. Walking distance: 3.5 miles. Elevation gain: 25 ft. Ground conditions: Rocky trails. 
We’ll bird Sabino Canyon Recreation Area walking a loop that includes both Sonoran desert upland and Sabino Creek riparian areas. Meet at the ramada by the Visitor’s Center at 5700 N Sabino Canyon Road. $5 parking fee. Return by 11 am. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Please register here starting Monday March 6 at 1 p.m. 
Leaders:
Jean & Mark Hengesbaugh ( 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 520-290-9453

Additional numbers

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AGUA CALIENTE PARK

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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 Kendall Kroesen.

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@tucsonaudubon.org

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

More Birding Info
Tucson/region additional bird walks

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Tucson Audubon's
Mason Center

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