Tucson Audubon Society

 
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Home What We Do Birds and Birding Free 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

October 25--Saturday 7:00 am
Urban Birding By Bike
October is a great month to be on a bike, so join me for a ride around town to see what birds have come to winter or just passing through along with all the endemics. I’ll keep the itinerary open until the week of the ride to be flexible and get the most out of the trip. If you like, call a few days before the 25th for more info. Meet at the Rillito Park parking lot on First Ave just south of River Rd. at 7 AM. Be sure to have a helmet,water, snacks and lunch. You must register online.

Leader: Michael Bissontz 520-577-8778 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

October 25—Saturday 8:00 am
WOW—Arizona Backyard Habitat Restoration demo site NEW TRIP
Join hosts CJ and Mary Ellen for a free tour of the extensive meadow and backyard habitat restoration they've done at their property nestled at the base of the Catalina Mountains in Catalina, AZ. They've restored ~3 acres of meadow to native bunchgrasses and wildflowers surrounded by hummingbird and pollinator gardens and a large natural area. Top it all off with 33 hummingbird feeders, 27 other feeding stations, 4 water features, and you've got an incredible birding site that constantly brings in rarities and is a proper birding hotspot. Please wear neutral colors and be respectful of others. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and get necessary directions.

October 26--Sunday 7:00 AM
Empire Cienega NEW TRIP
Join Tucson Audubon for a fall stomp through the riparian areas at Empire Cienega. Be prepared for large number of mosquitos! They were ferocious two weeks ago. Limit 16. Meet at the Houghton and I-10 meeting place at 7:00 AM. Please do not show up if you did not register. You must register online.

Trip Leader: Clifford Cathers 520-982-3272.

November 1 – 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

November 11--Tuesday 6:30 AM
Miller Canyon Fall Colors NEW TRIP
We will hike a couple miles up Miller Canyon to enjoy the fall colors on display there-especially the maple trees. While already looking at the trees we will also look for higher elevation wintering birds,did someone say "Juncos"! Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots,dress for the weather and elevation,bring water, snacks and lunch. Meet at Houghton and I-10 at 6:30 and back by 3:00. Register online.

Michael Bissontz, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 520-577-8778

November 15--Saturday 7:30 AM
Seven Saturdays, Patagonia: Guajolote Flats TRIP FULL
Join Tucson Audubon as we explore the Patagonia Mountains via Harshaw Rd. to Guajolote Flats. We will be looking for the Azure (Eastern) Bluebird, as well as every other feathered inhabitant of the area, and enjoying the amazing diversity of this mountain range. Meet at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds at 7:30 AM. You must register on the Tucson Audubon website. Please do not show up unregistered. Limit 10.

Leader: Bryon Lichtenhan 520-307-6728 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

November 16--Sunday, 7:45 AM
Oracle State Park with Bob and Prudy NEW TRIP
This is easy birding, primarily on the patios at the Kannally Ranch House. A short optional walk from the patios to the Group camping area ramada involves some stairs and trail walking, but anyone with mobility issues can remain in the shaded and seated patio area to bird the very productive feeders and trees. Ideal for seniors and beginners as well as anyone else interested in birding this rich habitat at 4,600 feet, which is open only on weekends. Online registration required and limited to 14 participants. Meet to carpool at Basha's parking lot in Catalina at 7:45 AM, or at the Kannally Ranch House parking lot in the park (in Oracle on Mt. Lemmon Road) at 8:15 AM. Bring your state parks pass to avoid the $7 per car entry fee. Registered participants will receive more details and directions by email. Register online.

Leaders: 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 18 -- 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

November 19--Wednesday, 7:30 AM
Catalina Regional Park with Bob and Prudy NEW TRIP
This small, under-birded Pima County park lies just 4 miles north of popular Catalina State Park. We'll bird the south pond and adjacent Canada del Oro Wash (an eBird hot spot), and then drive just 3 tenths of a mile to the north gate into Catalina State Park, where we will bird a half mile of the same wash. This area includes 4 of the 7 point counts for the Tucson Bird Count's CDO 'park', and many species have been documented. Note there are no improvements or bathrooms, and that gunfire from the (very) nearby Pima Pistol Club can be unnerving for birders (but it doesn't rattle the birds!) Less than 2 miles of level walking that includes some sandy wash 'trails'. Pre-trip on-line registration required and limited to 12 participants. Beginners and seniors welcome. Meet to carpool (limited parking at destinations) at Basha's in Catalina at 7:30 AM. Will return to Basha's by 10:30 AM. The park is less than a mile and a half from Basha's. Details and directions will be emailed to registered participants. 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 23--Sunday, 8:00 AM
Feeder Bird Watching at WOWAZ in Catalina with Bob and Prudy NEW TRIP
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 NEW TRIP
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.

December 6 – Saturday 8 am
Sabino Canyon 
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

 

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
Tucson/region additional bird walks

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