​FIELD TRIPS | Guides | trip TIPS  

 

2022 sPRING FLING field trips

TUE. MAY 3Wed. MAY 4 | thu. MAY. 5 | Fri. MAY 6 | Sat. MAY 7

 
 

PLEASE NOTE

Spring Fling 2022 festival will be small-group, car-caravan style guided field trips in participants' own vehicles (marked CAR CARAVAN) along with a limited number of Group Van Field Trips to more remote or less accessible by car-caravan locations (marked GROUP VAN).

 

Each car caravan will have a set meeting point and time, where you will meet your guide while all group van trips will leave from Cochise College, Sierra Vista.

Bag lunch is provided on Group Van trips consisting of a sandwich of your choice on Wheatberry bread, whole fruit (based on availability), chips, cookies and water. Please select your choice of sandwich from the menu below Field Trip descriptions on the registration page. 

 
TUEsday, MAY 3, 2022

4:30 - 5:30 PM

FREE WELCOME JAMBOREE

Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus, Student Center, Bldg 1000 (See map)

Our Welcome Desk will be open in the Library Building, adjacent to the Student Center, on Tuesday May 3, 2022 from 2:30 pm-4:00 pm. Afterwards, festival participants are cordially invited to join us as our guest for our pre-festival FREE Welcome Jamboree festivities from 4.30-5.30 pm.

Enjoy a chance to safely* meet your fellow Southwest Wings participants, guides, and the faces behind “The Greatest Little Birding Festival in the United States”, along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages (non-alcoholic, due to licensing restrictions).

* Please note: For the well-being of all, we will be following enhanced Covid-safe protocols during the Jamboree (or anytime indoors at the college) - touchless temperature check before entry, honoring social distancing and masks required indoors when not eating or drinking.

Kindly RSVP for the pre-festival Jamboree in the Field Trip Section when registering. Early Birds, let’s get this party started!

 

 

Wednesday, MAY 4, 2022

 

6:30 AM - 4:00 PM

W1 Coronado National Memorial   CAR CARAVAN

Enjoy a scenic exploration of the south side of the Huachuca Mountains with professional guide and environmental educator, Jeff Babson. The tour begins with a drive through the grasslands which carpet the foothills on the way to the entrance to the Coronado National Monument. Here there are both Botteri's and Cassin's Sparrows as well as familiar Western and Cassin's Kingbirds, and Loggerhead Shrike. The visitor centre, has a large observation window at the back and a trail runs from the centre through to a picnic area and this is good for Arizona Woodpecker. Driving upwards the road becomes a track, and there is a chance anywhere along here of encountering Montezuma Quail. The area is good for mid-elevation species, such as Painted Redstart and Black-throated Gray Warbler. The trip reaches its highest point at Montezuma Pass, with its incredible views over to Mexico. Here we will stop and hike up the Coronado Peak Trail, an easy walk with a 300ft elevation gain. Venturing over the other side, we will explore along the trail to Copper Canyon, where a small stream crosses the road. Always good for butterflies, this area also hosts Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Hepatic Tanager. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking difficulty 2-3 easy to moderate. Guide Jeff Babson.

 

Meeting place: The junction of Hwy 92 and S Coronado Memorial Road, in the pull off. Map link

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

W2 Carr Canyon   GROUP VAN

Join professional guide, Kristy Gallo, on this tour of Carr Canyon, beginning in the lower canyon, where we will look for Gambel's Quail, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. We may stop at the Carr House Nature Center to check the hummingbird feeders. Venturing to the top of Carr Canyon, we may see up to six species of hummingbirds, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Junco, Hepatic Tanager, Scott's Oriole and other mountain and canyon specialties. Be prepared for a slow walk covering a mile or two with a 200ft elevation gain and uneven terrain. This trip is best suited for intermediate birders. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear comfortable, sturdy trail shoes.  Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate with elevation. Guide Kristy Gallo.

 

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6.30 AM - 3:00 PM

W3 MIller Canyon   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional guide Ken Blankenship, on an exploration of one of the finest Huachuca Mountain Canyons. Miller Canyon is known to local birders as a reliable place to find Red-faced Warblers and there may even be a chance of a Mexican Spotted Owl. Other SE Arizona specialties including Arizona Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager are all found here. This trip includes a visit to the famous hummingbird feeders at Beatty's B&B where up to 10 species of hummingbirds can be found, including a chance of the rare White-eared Hummingbird. Bring hat, sun protection and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Ken Blankenship.

 

Meeting place: Top parking lot at Miller Canyon. Drive up Miller Canyon Road, which is rough but very driveable, until you reach the end where there is parking at the entrance to Beatty's B&B. Map link

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

W4 Madera and Box Canyons   GROUP VAN

Join wildlife guide Julie Michael on a trip which will take you to Madera Canyon via Box Canyon and the Santa Rita grasslands and explore this famous birding site. For the last couple of years Box Canyon has hosted breeding Five-striped Sparrow and we will stop to look for this rare species, also hoping to see Varied Bunting and Scott's Oriole. Moving on to Madera Canyon we will bird the many habitats it has to offer - grassland, riparian, and woodland. We will also enjoy a picnic lunch and watch feeding stations. Target species would include Rivoli's Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Botteri’s Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco and Scott’s Oriole. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Julie Michael.  

 

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

W5 Huachuca and Garden Canyons   GROUP VAN

Join professional guide, Chris Chappell on a full day within Fort Huachuca where destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons. We will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager. In the grassland areas, we may encounter Loggerhead Shrike, Cassin’s and Western Kingbirds, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, “Lilian’s” Meadowlark, and raptors. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a shady spot. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide: Chris Chappell.

PLEASE NOTE: This trip enters Fort Huachuca and a visitor's pass is required. If you are eligible, please obtain your pass before the trip as there may not be time to get one on the day. See Visitor access

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:30 AM - 12 :00PM

W6 Gray Hawk Nature Center   CAR CARAVAN

Flowing north from Mexico the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in Arizona and was the first Globally Important Bird Area to be designated in the US. This green ribbon of life supports 100 species of breeding birds and provides a critical corridor for millions of migrants. The lush cottonwood/willow forest in May is dripping with birds including Gray Hawk, many species of flycatchers (Vermilion, empids, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, kingbirds, 3 species of Myiarchus flycatchers), Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler and possibly Green Kingfisher. Teacher and guide Sandy Anderson will show you around the amazing Gray Hawk Nature Center which includes a private section of the river with great trails and a yard list of 251 species. Flat walking, plenty of shade, varied habitats and a naturalist guide guarantee a fun and comfortable morning for birders of any age or experience level, beginner to advanced. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Guide Sandy Anderson.

 

Meeting place:  Gray Hawk Nature Center, N Gray Hawk Lane. Turn right off E Charleston Road, along E Escapule Road, and then left along N Gray Hawk Lane. Map link

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

WP1 Blacklight Adventure   CAR CARAVAN

After the sun sets, a whole new world awakens, largely unseen by most. Join Jeff Babson to explore the Huachuca Mountains at night and step into the nighttime world of moths and other insects. At historic Carr House, set in the entrance to Carr Canyon, we will set up a black (or UV) light to see what we can draw out of the darkness. Southern Arizona is as famous for insects as it is for birds, and is home to over a thousand species of moth as well as a great variety of beetles. This is an easy, casual way to get acquainted with nature after dark and we may even be serenaded by owls. Bring a camera, flashlight, light jacket, and hat. Guide Jeff Babson.

Meeting place:  Carr House, about 2.3 miles up Carr Canyon Road, off Highway 92. Drive through gate to park. Map link.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

WF1 Overnight California Gulch/Santa Cruz Valley (two nights)    GROUP VAN

(Return Friday, May 6)

The rugged canyons of the Atascosa Mountains and Pajarito Wilderness are some of the most celebrated birding spots on the Arizona/Sonora border. This double-overnight tour, with professional guide Richard Fray, will focus on the search for the area’s most famous specialty birds, among them Rose-throated Becard, Montezuma Quail, Buff-collared Nightjar, and Five-striped Sparrow. This tour also provides excellent opportunities for seeing a good cross-section of southeast Arizona’s many specialties, including Elf Owl, Gray Hawk, Elegant Trogon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Tropical Kingbird, Painted Redstart, Botteri’s, Rufous-winged and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and Scott’s Oriole. We begin in Patagonia, where we will hit prime locations for Violet-crowned Hummingbird, and other exciting possibilities. After lunch our route takes us directly to California Gulch, where we will look for the rare Five-striped Sparrow, Black-capped Gnatcatcher and other species. We will remain in the area until the end of the day to look for Buff-collared Nightjar, which breeds there, as well as the chance of other night birds. We will have a 'picnic' dinner and be late back to our accommodation.

 

The next morning, after a little sleep in and a home-cooked breakfast, we will explore the “birdy” Santa Cruz Valley, where we hope to spot Rose-throated Becard, Thick-billed Kingbird and others. Sites around Rio Rico and Nogales could produce Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and Elegant Trogon. The final day, we'll head back to Sierra Vista via Box Canyon, which could produce Five-striped Sparrow and Lucifer Hummingbird, and the grasslands of Las Cienegas. Most of our birding will be from the vehicle or on level, sometimes rocky paths. This trip includes all meals and lodging at the Rancho Santa Cruz B&B. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills. Bring binoculars, camera, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Guide Richard Fray.

Price is for double occupancy, however, if you are interested in single occupancy please contact admin@swwings.org.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

 
thursday, MAY 5, 2022

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

T1 Ramsey and Brown Canyons   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional guide, Kristy Gallo, on a trip around Brown Canyon Ranch, ponds, and grasslands early, then heading up to Ramsey Canyon Preserve. From there we will hike two miles up into upper Ramsey Canyon onto Forest Service land where Flame-colored Tanager and Tufted Flycatcher have been seen in recent years. The lower canyon yields Gambel's Quail, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. The canyons are home to Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers, Hepatic Tanager, Scott’s Oriole, Painted Redstart, and Red-faced Warbler. Be prepared for a slow steep hike up the stairs on the Hamberg trail in Ramsey Canyon. There are nine rest benches along the trail in Ramsey. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Guide Kristy Gallo

Meeting place:  Brown Canyon parking lot, at junction of Brown Canyon Trail and Ramsey Canyon Road. Map link

6:30 AM - 12:00 PM

T2 Hunter Canyon   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional guide Jennie MacFarland on a hike up Hunter Canyon where the 2011 Miller Peak Wilderness fire left its mark, with the result being a unique combination of habitats that are home to a nice diversity of bird species. The initial hike is dominated by successional oak-scrub with birds like Crissal Thrasher, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Black-chinned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and Scott’s Oriole. Higher up, the trail enters a stand of soaring conifers that were spared when the fire “jumped” the canyon; here we hope to find Band-tailed Pigeon, Buff-breasted and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Grace’s and Virginia’s Warblers, “Mountain” Pygmy-Owl and more. The pine forest wasn’t completely spared, however, and the scrubby disturbed habitat here is home to a resident pair of Rufous-capped Warblers, which we hope will be a well-earned highlight of our hike. Bring hat, sun protection, water and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

 

Meeting place: Parking lot next to Ricardo's restaurant just north of the junction of Highway 92 and Hereford Road at 6.30am. Map link

6:30 AM - 12:00 NOON

T3 San Pedro River Trails   CAR CARAVAN

The San Pedro River in May is a vibrant green ribbon of life, an avian super highway through the desert for millions of migrants. The dense cottonwood/willow forest is alive with bird song as those species that stay to breed set up territories and get down to business. Join naturalist guide Robert Weissler in an exploration of the lush cottonwood/willow forest which in May is home to Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, low elevation warblers including Lucy's Warbler, Abert’s Towhee, and many more. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Guide Robert Weissler.

 

Meeting place: San Pedro House parking lot. Follow Hwy 90 to the east of Sierra Vista and turn right just before the San Pedro River. Map link.

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

T4 Sonoita/Patagonia Specialties   GROUP VAN

Join tour leader Julie Michael on a search for the best birds of the Sonoita and Patagonia area. The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is one of southeastern Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Stops will be made at the Preserve, Las Cienegas NCA, Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia roadside rest stop, and Paton’s Hummingbird Center in search of a wide range of riparian and brushy grassland specialty species, hummingbirds, and possible Mexican vagrants. Search birds include Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Thick-billed Kingbird, Varied Bunting and Rufous-winged Sparrow. Our exact itinerary may vary based on where the target birds are being seen. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way. Lunch is included. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Julie Michael

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T5 Carr Canyon   GROUP VAN

Join professional guide, Jeff Babson, on this tour of Carr Canyon, beginning in the lower canyon, where we will look for Gambel's Quail, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. We may stop at the Carr House Nature Center to check the hummingbird feeders with up to six species of hummingbirds. Venturing to the top of Carr Canyon, we may see Zone-tailed Hawk, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Junco, Hepatic Tanager, Scott's Oriole and other mountain and canyon specialties. We will also be on the lookout for some of the characteristic plants, mammals, and reptiles of the Huachuca Mountains. Be prepared for a slow walk covering a mile or two with a 200ft elevation gain and uneven terrain. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Jeff Babson.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T6 Sierra Vista Area Butterflies and Dragonflies   CAR CARAVAN

Join leader Rich Bailowitz (co-author of several butterfly books as well as Field Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of Arizona and Sonora) as we search for some of the butterflies and dragonflies of the Sierra Vista area. The day will include stops in Escapule Canyon (near the San Pedro River) and in Huachuca Canyon, at various elevations between 4,500 and 6,500ft. A net will be used to catch and release insects for up-close species identification. This trip is best suited for butterfly and dragonfly enthusiasts of all skill levels. Wear good walking shoes, a hat, and bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rich Bailowitz.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up Huachuca Canyon can be rough and is only suitable for vehicles with good clearance

 

PLEASE NOTE: This trip enters Fort Huachuca and a visitor's pass is required. If you are eligible, please obtain your pass before the trip as there may not be time to get one on the day. See Visitor access

Meeting place: Parking lot of Plaza Vista Mall, Sierra Vista at 8.00am. On the north side of E Charleston Road just off Hwy 90, in front of Bealls Outlet/Ulta Beauty/Planet Fitness. Map link.

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

T7 Chickadee Chase   GROUP VAN

Join professional bird guide Chris Chappell for a trip to the Chiricahua Mountains to search for the Mexican Chickadee. The trip starts with a drive across the Sulphur Spring Valley and the chance to see grassland species before ascending into the Sierra Madrean pine-oak woodlands along past Pinery Canyon where we will look for Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Painted Redstart and Bridled Titmouse, and as we get higher and enter the coniferous forest there are Virginia's, Grace's, and Olive Warblers. Up at Rustler and Barfoot Parks there is Greater Pewee, Red-faced Warbler, Pygmy Nuthatch and Steller's Jay. The most special bird up here is the Mexican Chickadee - this is the only public land on which it occurs in the entire United States. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Chris Chappell.

 

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

TP1 Blacklight Adventure   CAR CARAVAN

After the sun sets, a whole new world awakens, largely unseen by most. Join Jeff Babson to explore the Huachuca Mountains at night and step into the nighttime world of moths and other insects. At historic Carr House, set at the entrance to Carr Canyon, we will set up a black (or UV) light to see what we can draw out of the darkness. Southern Arizona is as famous for insects as it is for birds, and is home to over a thousand species of moth as well as a great variety of beetles. This is an easy, casual way to get acquainted with nature after dark and we may even be serenaded by owls. Bring a camera, flashlight, light jacket, and hat. Guide Jeff Babson.

Meeting place:  Carr House, about 2.3 miles up Carr Canyon Road, off Highway 92. Drive through gate to park. Map link.

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM 

TP2 Owl Prowl   CAR CARAVAN

The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, professional bird guide Jennie MacFarland will target these birds with the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers.

 

Owl trips are conducted only at the spring event and, like all birding, there are no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

 

Meeting place: Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking lot, at the top of Ramsey Canyon Road. Map link

 
friday, MAY 6, 2022

6:30 AM - 12:00PM

F1 Gray Hawk Nature Center   CAR CARAVAN

Flowing north from Mexico the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in Arizona and was the first Globally Important Bird Area to be designated in the US. This green ribbon of life supports 100 species of breeding birds and provides a critical corridor for millions of migrants. The lush cottonwood/willow forest in May is dripping with birds including Gray Hawk, many species of flycatchers (Vermilion, empids, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, kingbirds, 3 species of Myiarchus flycatchers), Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler and possibly Green Kingfisher. Teacher and guide Sandy Anderson will show you around the amazing Gray Hawk Nature Center which includes a private section of the river with great trails and a yard list of 251 species. Flat walking, plenty of shade, varied habitats and a naturalist guide guarantee a fun and comfortable morning for birders of any age or experience level, beginner to advanced. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Guide Sandy Anderson.

Meeting place:  Gray Hawk Nature Center, N Gray Hawk Lane. Turn right off E Charleston Road, along E Escapule Road, and then left along N Gray Hawk Lane. Map link

 

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

F2 Garden and Huachuca Canyons   CAR CARAVAN

JJoin professional guide, Jeff Babson on a full day within Fort Huachuca where destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons. We will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager. In the grassland areas, we may encounter Loggerhead Shrike, Cassin’s and Western Kingbirds, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, “Lilian’s” Meadowlark, and raptors. Bring hat, sun protection and walking shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Jeff Babson.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up both Garden and  Huachuca Canyons can be rough and is only suitable for vehicles with good clearance

PLEASE NOTE: This trip enters Fort Huachuca and a visitor's pass is required. If you are eligible, please obtain your pass before the trip as there may not be time to get one on the day. See Visitor Access 

 

Meeting place:  Fort Huachuca Visitor Center parking lot, Hatfield Street at 6.30am. Follow signs to Fort Huachuca, Van Deman Gate from the junction of Hwy 90 and Buffalo Soldier Trail. Map link

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

F3 Chasing Rarities   GROUP VAN

Join professional guide Chris Chappell, on a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeastern Arizona. This trip's destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and the group's desires. With no pre-planned destination your guide will be free to chase after what's available in any direction or location. The trip may include any of the areas covered by our regular trips or may try a new location to see what is available. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Chris Chappell.

PLEASE NOTE: This trip may enter Fort Huachuca and a visitor's pass is required. If you are eligible, please obtain your pass before the trip as there may not be time to get one on the day. See Visitor access

 

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

F4 Ash and Miller Canyon   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional guide Kristy Gallo on this trip to explore parts of Ash and Miller Canyons. On this canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below Miller Canyon, where we will look for Rufous-crowned and Botteri’s Sparrows, Blue Grosbeak, and other lowland species. Upper Miller Canyon is known to local birders as a reliable place to find nesting pairs of Red-faced Warblers and there may be a chance of a Mexican Spotted Owl as well as other SE Arizona specialties including Arizona Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager. A visit to Beatty’s hummingbird site is also possible. There will be a lunch break followed by a stop at the famous Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary for up to 10 species of hummingbirds, including a chance of seeing the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, plus other foothills birds. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 300-foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Kristy Gallo.

 

Meeting place: Parking lot next to Ricardo's restaurant just north of the junction of Highway 92 and Hereford Road at 6.30am. Map link

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

F5 Las Cienegas NCA   GROUP VAN

​Join professional guide Joe Woodley on a visit to what was formerly one of the Southwest’s largest cattle ranches. This expansive BLM National Conservation Area is home to Pronghorn Antelope, Prairie Dogs and a wide variety of birds. We will visit rolling grasslands, mesquite thickets and cottonwood-lined Cienega Creek, one of the area’s only sources of permanent water, looking for Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks, Burrowing Owl, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Abert’s Towhee, and Cassin’s, Botteri’s, Song, Lark, and Grasshopper Sparrows. If time permits, it may be possible to visit Patagonia for a short look at hummingbirds and some riparian species. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Joe Woodley.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:45 AM - 12:00 PM

F6 Kartchner Caverns/Guindani Canyon Trails   CAR CARAVAN

Accessed from Kartchner Caverns this area is good for typical desert species. Join Kartchner Caverns Park Ranger Stefany Boleyn who will take you on a naturalist walk to see the wildlife of this fascinating area and explore a little up Guidani Canyon. Desert birds include Costa’s Hummingbird, Vermilion and Ash-throated Flycatchers, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Phainopepla, Black-throated Sparrow and Lucy’s Warbler. There may be a fee for entry. This Car Caravan only involves driving to the meeting place. Bring hat, sun protection, walking shoes and water.  Hiking Difficulty: 3 Moderate. Guide Stefany Boleyn.

 

Meeting place: Take the Kartchner Caverns State Park turn off Hwy 90 and follow the main park road back until you reach the Guindani Loop Trailhead parking lot, which is at the end of the main road. Map link.

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

FP1 Owl Prowl   CAR CARAVAN

The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, professional bird guide Jennie MacFarland will target these birds with the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers.'

Owl trips are conducted only at the spring event and, like all birding, there are no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

 

Meeting place: Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking lot, at the top of Ramsey Canyon Road. Map link

 
saturday, MAY 7, 2022

6:30 AM - Noon

S1 Ramsey Canyon   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional bird guide, Robert Weissler on a visit to the world famous Ramsey Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. Owned by The Nature Conservancy, this area has been a hot spot for birding for decades. The lower canyon is good for Montezuma and Gambel's Quails, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. Ramsey Canyon is a reliable location to find Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers, Hepatic Tanager, Grace's and Red-faced Warblers and Painted Redstart as well as hummingbirds around the information centre. Be prepared for a slow hike covering two miles with a steep 200-foot elevation gain. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Robert Weissler.

Meeting place: Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking lot, at the top of Ramsey Canyon Road. Map link

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

S2 Madera and Box Canyons   GROUP VAN

Join professional guide Richard Fray on a trip which will take you to Madera Canyon via Box Canyon and the Santa Rita grasslands and explore this famous birding site. For the last couple of years Box Canyon has hosted breeding Five-striped Sparrow and we will stop to look for this rare species, also hoping to see Varied Bunting and Scott's Oriole. Moving on to Madera Canyon we will bird the many habitats it has to offer - grassland, riparian, and woodland. We will also enjoy a picnic lunch and watch feeding stations. Target species would include Rivoli's Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Botteri’s Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco and Scott’s Oriole. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Richard Fray.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

S3 Ash and Miller Canyon   CAR CARAVAN

Join professional guide Kristy Gallo on this trip to explore parts of Ash and Miller Canyons. On this canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below Miller Canyon, where we will look for Rufous-crowned and Botteri’s Sparrows, Blue Grosbeak, and other lowland species. Upper Miller Canyon is known to local birders as a reliable place to find nesting pairs of Red-faced Warblers and there may be a chance of a Mexican Spotted Owl as well as other SE Arizona specialties including Arizona Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager. A visit to Beatty’s hummingbird site is also possible. There will be a lunch break followed by a stop at the famous Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary for up to 10 species of hummingbirds, including a chance of seeing the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, plus other foothills birds. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 300-foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Kristy Gallo.

 

Meeting place: Parking lot next to Ricardo's restaurant just north of the junction of Highway 92 and Hereford Road at 6.30am. Map link

6:30 AM - 4:00 PM

S4 Saint David/Wilcox   CAR CARAVAN

​The focus of this trip with professional bird guide Chris Chappell will be the Benedictine’s Holy Trinity Monastery, a 132-acre site on the east side of the San Pedro River in St. David, Arizona. A popular retreat center, the grounds include a 1.3-mile birding trail, several small ponds, a pecan orchard, mesquite woodland, a working farm, and magnificent cottonwoods. Nesting birds are numerous and include: Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Mississippi Kite (at one of its only nesting sites in Arizona), Bell’s Vireo, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager, and Blue Grosbeak. Tropical Kingbird, another local breeder, can usually be found here. Time and weather permitting, we will make a trip to Twin Lakes in Willcox, where we could add a number of shorebirds such as Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes, Least and Baird’s Sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew, and Horned Lark. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Chris Chappell.

 

Meeting place: Parking lot at Fry's Food on the north side of Highway 90 just east of junction with Highway 92. Meet in the parking lot opposite exit to Fry's Fuel Center. Note that Fry opens at 6am, including Starbucks Coffee inside. Map link  

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

S5 Sonoita/Patagonia   GROUP VAN

Join professional tour leader Scott Olmstead for a trip to the Patagonia area. Patagonia is one of south-eastern Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Specialties that can be found here include Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Thick-billed Kingbirds, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet and Rufous-winged Sparrow. Good birding sites in Patagonia are numerous and our probable itinerary will include Harshaw Canyon, Patagonia Lake State Park and the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Our exact itinerary will be at the discretion of the leader, and may vary based on where the target birds are most readily being seen. A short visit (about an hour) to the open grasslands around Sonoita will complement the riparian habitats of Patagonia, and we should see a wide variety of species. We will enjoy a lunch break in the shade somewhere along the way. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Scott Olmstead.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

6:30 AM - 12:00 PM

S6 San Pedro River Trails   CAR CARAVAN

Join Ken Blankenship on a half-day exploration of the San Pedro River which starts at the renowned Casa San Pedro. After a look at the feeders which attract many hummingbirds and other species, the tour will take you along the riverine habitat of the San Pedro River. The shady cottonwoods and lush riverside vegetation are home to a wide range of species including Gray Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, the local race of Song Sparrow, Abert's Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat and Blue Grosbeak while in nearby grassland there may be Botteri's Sparrow. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Ken Blankenship.

 

Meeting place: Car park at Casa San Pedro, 8933 S Yell Lane, Hereford. Map link.  

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

S7 Carr Canyon    GROUP VAN

Join professional guide, Jennie MacFarland, on this tour of Carr Canyon, beginning in the lower canyon, where we will look for Gambel's Quail, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's Sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeaks, and other canyon outlet species. We may stop at the Carr House Nature Center to check the hummingbird feeders. Venturing to the top of Carr Canyon, we may see up to six species of hummingbirds, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Junco, Hepatic Tanager, Scott's Oriole and other mountain and canyon specialties. Be prepared for a slow walk covering a mile or two with a 200ft elevation gain and uneven terrain. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

Meeting place: Cochise College, Sierra Vista. Follow Campus Drive to east of Colombo Avenue and park in parking lot on the left. Map link

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