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
Join Tucson Audubon for an introduction to birdwatching basics and our Mason Center. After brief feeder watching at the Center, stroll through the desert to Arthur Pack Park for a chance at more species! Great for families! Loaner binoculars are available. RSVP no longer required. Call 520-209-1815. Walk begins at 8am, lasts about 2.5 hours, 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

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 Sign up for trip.

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

January 31—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. Sign up for trip.

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

January 31Saturday 6:00 AM
Whitewater, Willcox & Wine
The Willcox Bench has become a flourishing wine producing region in Arizona. Besides Sandhill Cranes, wintering raptors and sparrows there are also fine wines to be sampled. We will visit 2 wineries in the area after looking for the above mentioned birds. Dress for the weather, bring water , snacks , lunch and $7.00 per tasting (subject to change). Please register for the trip by Thursday, January 22nd so I have time to give a heads up to winery personnel. Designated drivers are appreciated! Meet at Houghton Rd & I-10 6:00 A.M Sign up for trip

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

February 7Saturday 6:15 AM
Tubac (De Anza Trail) NEW TRIP
We'll bird the de Anza Trail along the Santa Cruz River. The tall cottonwoods provide important wintering habitat for a variety of migratory songbirds such as warblers, flycatchers, and vireos as well as the resident Bridled Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and others. Plan to walk about 2 miles or perhaps a little more; terrain is fairly level. We may stop at the Amado water treatment pond on I-19 on the return to Tucson. Limit 8 people, leader will contact participants with information on meeting place. Sign up starting January 30.

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

February 8—Sunday 8:15-11ish
Birding @ WOW Arizona! NEW TRIP
Wild Outdoor World of Arizona' (WOW Arizona, 3 miles east of Catalina) is a 3-acre haven for birds and wildlife, with extensive meadow and backyard habitat restoration. This oasis, adjacent to the CDO Wash, draws some remarkable birds, over 140 species documented to date. (See the 'house bird List' HERE) "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" (J. Horst, Restoration Ecologist, Tucson Audubon Society). Birding walk will take place through the ground's pathways to known activity areas amongst the diverse habitats. Then, time on the Hummingbird Patios, two areas surrounded by 26 feeders within just a few feet of the seating area. After observing here, guests are free to roam for the rest of the time.

Limit 8 people. The $5 suggested donation will be waived for this trip, although contributions for bird food will be appreciated by WOW Arizona, a 501(c)(3). Coffee, tea and water provided. Please wear neutral colors and be respectful of others. Cameras not inhibiting to others are welcomed, please, no tripods. Note that pre-trip online registration is required, in addition to Tucson Audubon acknowledgement, you will receive emailed details from the leaders. Parking limited, please carpool if possible. Sign up starting January 30.

Leader: Christopher Vincent This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 520.907.8735

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. Sign up for trip.

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

February 21—Saturday 5:00 AM
LeConte's Thrashers NEW TRIP
A long trip for some great birds. With any luck we should have Sagebrush and Bell's Sparrow, 4 species of thrasher with the LeConte's as the dessert to entice us. Terrain is uneven and you will want good walking shoes. On our way back, we will take a side trip into Santa Cruz Flats and see what we may see. Meet at Ina Road at the Motel 6 parking area on the southeast corner behind the Jack in the Box at 5:00 am. 400 miles. Sign up for trip.

Leader: Melody Kehl This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 245-4085

February 21 to 23—Saturday to Monday 6:00 AM
Rosy-Finch at Sandia Crest, Albuquerque, NM NEW TRIP
$50 to cover leaders' expenses
Depart Tucson early Saturday morning arriving in Albuquerque for dinner and a good night's sleep. Sunday, up Sandia Crest in quest of all three species of Rosy-Finch, even if that means coming back the next day. Time permitting, we'll enjoy some of the area's other birding hotspots. Monday we're back to Tucson via a quick trip through of Bosque Del Apache. Limited to 12. Contact leaders for details, including motel info. Sign up for trip.

Leaders: Vivian MacKinnon - 323-6452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Ken Murphy

February 24--Tuesday 10:30 AM
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 Sign up for trip.

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 28Saturday 8:00 AM
Wildflowers in Saguaro NP
Lets look for flowers at Saguaro National Park West. We usually see 50-100 species depending on the weather. We will meet at 8 AM in the Saguaro National Park West Visitor Center parking lot. Bring sun block, a hat, binoculars or a hand lens, water and lunch. We will be done by early afternoon. Sign up for trip.

Leader: Contact Anthony Mendoza This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

March 7—Saturday 8:00 AM
Sabino Canyon NEW TRIP
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 before noon. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Sign up starting February 27.

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

March 10—Tuesday 6:00 AM
Patagonia Lake State Park NEW TRIP
There are almost always plenty of birds at Patagonia Lake at this time of year. We'll walk a mile or two on mostly level but not always clearly marked trails. Expect some mud. Bring lunch and park fee or pass. We may visit other sites in Patagonia and its environs as well. Meet at Fry's at Irvington and I-19 at 6:00 am or at the Green Valley McDonald's (Continental Road Exit) by 6:30 am. (140 miles round trip). Trip limited to 12 participants. Sign up starting March 2.

Leader: Dave Dunford  520-909-1809 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 14—Saturday 7:00 AM
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. Sign up starting March 7.

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

March 21—Saturday 7:00 AM
Reddington Pass in the Rincon Mountains NEW TRIP
Meet at Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde at the McDonald's We will make a short stop at Wentworth and check the wash, then head into the Rincon Mountains as far as Bellota Pond. High-clearance vehicles are desired. Short excursions over uneven terrain is to be expected. With any luck, we should find Western Scrub Jay, Juniper Titmouse, Black-chinned Sparrows, Western Bluebirds, Crissal Thrasher. . . maybe??? Return after lunch. Bring plenty of water and your lunch. 35 miles. Sign up starting March 13.

Leader: Melody Kehl This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 245-4085

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. Sign up starting March 20.

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

April 4—Saturday 8:00 AM
Sabino Canyon NEW TRIP
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 before noon. Sunhat, water and walking shoes recommended. Leaders are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists. Limit 15 participants. Sign up starting March 27.

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 520-903-1104

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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Mason Center

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