2020 summer festival field trips

Wed. JULY. 29th | thurs. JULY. 30TH | Fri. JULY 31st| Sat. AUG. 1ST

 
 
 

TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020

 

4:30 PM  - 5:30 PM

FREE WELCOME KICKOFF JAMBOREE MIXER!

Early Bird arrivals are invited to join us Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 4:30–5:30pm immediately after early check in registration from 2:30-4:00pm, to be held in the Banquet Hall at the adjoining Student Center. Meet and mingle with your fellow Southwest Wings participants, guides and the faces behind “The Greatest Little Birding Festival in the United States!”. Enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and soft beverages (non-alcoholic due to licensing restrictions).

Please RSVP by signing up in the Tuesday field trip section by July 15 to secure your place.

 
Wednesday, JULY 29, 2020

 

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

W1 Carr Canyon

Join professional guide, Laurens Halsey, 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, 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 provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Laurens Halsey.

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

W2 Huachuca Canyon

Join professional guide Bradlee Sulentic for an exploration of this exciting canyon, hidden at the back of the Forth Huachuca military base that is rich in both American West history and Southeast Arizona avian specialties. Rarities like the Sinaloa Wren have been seen here and Elegant Trogon and Gray Hawk are present in good numbers. Tanagers, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, other Empidonax and Myiarchus flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, warblers, including Painted Redstart, and other lower mountain residents are usually seen. Montezuma Quail is also a possibility. This a fairly easy hike with a nice picnic area. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Bradlee Sulentic.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

W3 Sonoran Desert Sampler

Join professional bird guide and environmental educator, Jeff Babson, on a trip to explore the saguaro forest and other habitats of the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert. We will visit locations that are stunningly beautiful and rich in biological diversity. We will be seeking species such as Gilded Flicker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Purple Martin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Lucy's Warbler, Black-throated and Rufous-winged Sparrows, and more. It will be hot, so bring plenty of water, sunscreen, hat, and lip balm. Lunch provided. Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Jeff Babson

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

W4 Escapule Wash and San Pedro River

Flowing north from Mexico through the Sky Island region of SE Arizona, the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in the state. The San Pedro is a vibrant green ribbon of life, an avian super highway through the desert for millions of migrants, which also supports 100 breeding species. In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy named the San Pedro the first Globally Important Bird Area in the US. The dense cottonwood/willow forest supports a wide range of breeding species and the nearby grassland is also alive with birds. Join Expert guide Ted Mouras to explore Escapule Wash and the area around San Pedro House and search for Gray Hawk, low elevation warblers, Abert’s Towhee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Zone-tailed Hawk and much more. The feeders at San Pedro House are good for Common Ground-Dove and Inca Dove. Lunch is provided. Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Ted Mouras.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

W5 Madera Canyon

Join professional guide Matt Brown 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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Matt Brown.

 

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

W6 Garden Canyon

Enjoy a trip to the Huachuca Mountains in the company of expert guide Tim Blount. Visit Garden Canyon, situated on Arizona’s largest military base, and famous for over a century for its Arizona specialties. Explore a wide range of habitats from grasslands to pine-oak woodlands. The grasslands are home to Botteri's and Cassin's Sparrows, and higher in the canyon we hope to encounter Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, and Dusky-capped and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers. When we reach the top we will walk along the gentle trails of Sawmill Canyon, and try for Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s and Olive Warblers, and Hepatic Tanager. This is one of the few trips that access the highest elevations in the Huachucas. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Tim Blount.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

W7 Las Cienegas and Box Canyon

Join Julie Michael on a visit to what was formerly one of the Southwest’s largest cattle ranches with. 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, 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. We will enjoy a picnic lunch, then head through the oaky foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains to Box Canyon. In this lush succulent-thornscrub habitat, we hope to find Five-striped Sparrow, Varied Bunting, Costa’s Hummingbird, Scott’s and Hooded Oriole, and more. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 1-2 easy. Guide Julie Michael.

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

W8 River to Mountains

This field trip will cover all of the habitats in the San Pedro River Valley and the Huachuca Mountains. Beginning at Escapule Wash we will search for Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Bell's Vireo, several different orioles, tanagers, thrashers, warblers and other riparian specialties. The cottonwood forest along the river is particularly lush and may yield Gray Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, Black-headed Grosbeak and several species of Empidonax flycatchers. We will finish our river avian smorgasbord with hummingbirds, kingbirds and perhaps even a Green Kingfisher at San Pedro House. Generally flat terrain but there may be some ankle deep water.


Moving on we will head up to the Huachuca Mountains to explore a variety of habitats, including foothill grasslands, sycamore lined canyon riparian woodland and pine forest searching for regional and mountain specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace's and Olive Warblers, Hepatic Tanager, Cassin’s Sparrow, and hummingbirds. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3-4 moderate to difficult. Guide Vincent Pinto.
 

6:00 AM Wednesday - 4:00 PM Friday

WT1 Double Overnight Santa Cruz Valley

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 repellent. Guide Richard Fray.

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

 

6:30 AM Wednesday -  4:30 PM Friday

WT2 Double Overnight Chiricahua Mountains/Cave Creek

The Chiricahua Mountains are the largest and the highest of the border ranges that rise like islands out of the desert grasslands of SE Arizona. Predictably, they also host the most diversified community of birds. Exploring this ecological layer cake we will start with Cassin's and Botteri's Sparrows in the prairies at the base, climb into the Sierra Madrean pine-oak woodlands and search for Arizona Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, and Bridled Titmouse, and as we enter the coniferous forest in the highlands we'll flirt with the so-called "women warblers": Virginia's, Grace's, and Olive. Here, too, are Greater Pewees and cherry-headed Red-faced Warblers from the Sierra Madres living in conjunction with Rocky Mountain species like Pygmy Nuthatch and Steller's Jay. A Chiricahua specialty is the Mexican Chickadee, on public lands not found anywhere else within the entire United States.

 

Situated at the mouth of majestic Cave Creek Canyon, 3,000 feet below tiers of immense red cliffs, we have two nights in the village of Portal. There will be enough time to meander into sycamore-laced South Fork for Elegant Trogon, as well as for encounters with Zone-tailed Hawk, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, and Hepatic Tanager. Habitués of the breezeway feeders at Portal Peak Lodge, Rivoli's, Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, and migrating male Rufous Hummingbirds are all expected, mixed with possible Calliope, Violet-crowned, and Lucifer Hummingbirds.

 

On a pre-breakfast excursion into the desert below Portal we'll try for Scaled Quail and Bendire's and Crissal Thrashers while the air is still cool. Adjacent foothills harbor Juniper Titmouse and Black-chinned Sparrow, Great Basin birds at their southern limits in the Chiricahuas. A night run up Cave Creek may net us Whiskered Screech-Owl and Elf Owl, the world's smallest member of the owl tribe, along with an advertising Mexican Whip-poor-will. This trip includes all meals and two nights accommodation at the Portal Peak Lodge. Single participants will be paired in double occupancy. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills. Bring your binoculars, camera, pocket flashlight, wear sturdy hiking boots, and do not forget your hat and sunscreen. With birding stops en route, this trip may get back after 4 pm. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide: Rick Taylor

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

7:00 PM - 9: 30 PM

WP1 Blacklight Adventure 

Join Jeff Babson to explore the Huachuca Mountains at night on this trip, heading to Carr Canyon to see what insects and other nocturnal creatures are out and about. We will set up a blacklight sheet to attract insects, especially a great variety of moths and beetles. Southern Arizona is as famous for insects as it is for birds, come and see why, as southern Arizona comes alive at night, thanks to the monsoon rains. All the while we will be serenaded by owls and who knows what else will be out there! Bring a camera, flashlight, light jacket, and hat. Guide Jeff Babson

thursday, JULY 30, 2020

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

T1 Sonoita-Patagonia Specialties

Join professional guide Laurens Halsey on a trip to the Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. The Preserve is one of SE Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Stops will be made at the Preserve, Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia roadside rest stop, and Paton’s backyard in search of a wide-range of riparian and brushy grassland specialty species, hummingbirds, and possible Mexican vagrants. Search birds include Neotropical Cormorant, Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Violet-crowned Humming and Rufous-winged Sparrow. Additional stops will be made in the Sonoita grasslands and oak savanna, south of the state park, time permitting. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way. Lunch is provided. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Closed-toed shoes and headgear are necessary for this field adventure. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Laurens Halsey

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T2 Fort Huachuca Birds and History

Join Robert Weissler of the Friends of the San Pedro River on a trip to famous Fort Huachuca, a National Historic Landmark that evokes a feeling for the past. Fort Huachuca is the custodian of southwestern military history. It is a product of the Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s. In February 1877, a camp was established in the Huachuca Mountains. This camp would offer protection to settlers and travel routes in southeastern Arizona while simultaneously blocking the traditional Apache escape routes through the San Pedro and Santa Cruz valleys to sanctuary in Mexico. This camp became present day Fort Huachuca. Besides its rich history, Huachuca Canyon is an under-birded location in the Huachucas with habitats much like the better known Garden Canyon. Rarities like the Sinaloa Wren and Slate-throated Redstart occasionally wander here from Mexico. Regulars like (Northern) Mountain Pygmy Owl, Elegant Trogon and nesting Gray Hawks are here in good numbers. Tanagers, warblers, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, and other lower mountain residents are usually found in good numbers. Other flycatchers commonly here include several Empidonax and Myiarchus species. The small cienagas a short walk from the upper parking area can harbor a lot of different birds. This a fairly easy hike with a nice picnic area. The old veterans cemetery offers a nice rest stop with running water bathrooms. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty 1-2: easy to moderate. Guide Robert Weissler.”

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

T3 Hunter Canyon

Join professional bird guide and environmental educator, Matt Brown, on a half-day hike up Hunter Canyon where the 2011 Miller Peak Wilderness fire resulted in 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 Flycatcher, Grace’s and Virginia’s Warblers, 'Mountain' Pygmy-Owl, Montezuma Quail, and more. The pine forest wasn’t completely spared, however, and the new scrubby habitat here has become home to a resident pair of much sought-after Rufous-capped Warblers, which we hope will be a well-earned highlight of our hike. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Matt Brown.

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T4 Ash and Miller Canyon

On this Canyon tour, we will start at the entrance to Miller Canyon, where we will look for Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bell’s Vireo, Hooded Oriole and other lower elevation species. We will then drive up to the end of Miller Canyon Road and hike up the canyon. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000ft elevation gain, uneven terrain with rocks and boulder hopping. A hiking stick is recommended. On our hike we will look for higher elevation species like Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler and 'Mexican' Spotted Owl. After conquering the canyon, we will have lunch then make a stop at Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary for some well earned restful backyard birding with the chance of a Lucifer Hummingbird. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Kristy Gallo.

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T5 Butterflies and Dragonflies

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 along water to insure a wonderful adventure. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rich Bailowitz.

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

T6 Las Cienegas

Join professional guide Robert Behrstock 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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Robert Behrstock

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

T7 Coronado National Memorial

Enjoy a scenic exploration of the south side of the Huachuca Mountains with professional guide 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. We will stop at the visitor centre, which has a large observation window at the back. 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. Lunch provided. Hiking difficulty 2-3 easy to moderate. Guide Jeff Babson.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

T8 Ramsey Canyon

Join expert bird guide, Julie Michael, 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 typical montane riparian birds, plus specialties of SE Arizona. It is home to Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager and Painted Redstart. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. This tour will concentrate on the lower trails. Hiking Difficulty: 2-3 easy to moderate. Guide Julie Michael.

5:00 PM  -  8:00 PM

Keynote Dinner

Kimberly and Kenn Kaufman

Birds and People: A Powerful Connection
With rich, vibrant colors, beautiful and bizarre songs, intricate nests, and astonishing feats of migration, birds enrich our lives in myriad ways. In this lively and beautifully illustrated presentation, Kimberly and Kenn Kaufman will explore a few of the reasons they believe birds captivate us beyond any other aspect of nature, and why natural areas are essential components of our quality of life.

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

TP1 Blacklight Adventure

Join Jeff Babson to explore the Huachuca Mountains at night on this trip, heading to Carr Canyon to see what insects and other nocturnal creatures are out and about. We will set up a blacklight sheet to attract insects, especially a great variety of moths and beetles. Southern Arizona is as famous for insects as it is for birds, come and see why, as southern Arizona comes alive at night, thanks to the monsoon rains. All the while we will be serenaded by owls and who knows what else will be out there! Bring a camera, flashlight, light jacket, and hat. Guide Jeff Babson

 
friday, JULY 31, 2020

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

F1 Miller Canyon

Join professional guide Ken Blankenship, on a half-day trip to the high country in the Huachuca Mountains with a walk up Miller Canyon. The trip will begin at Beatty's Guest Ranch, spending time at their famous feeders with the possibility of up to 10 species of hummingbirds (it holds the record of 14 species in one day), including a chance of seeing rare species like Lucifer or even White-eared. The trip will then continue up into Miller Canyon which is known to local birders as a reliable place to find Red-faced Warblers with the chance of a Mexican Spotted Owl. Other SE Arizona specialties including Scotts Oriole, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager are all found here. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Ken Blankenship.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

F2 Chasing Rarities

Join professional guide Matt Brown on a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeast Arizona. This trip's destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area as well as the needs and ability of the group. With no pre-planned destination Richard and you 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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Matt Brown.

You will need Security Clearance in case the trip goes into Fort Huachuca. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

F3 Sonoita-Patagonia

Join professional tour leader Bob Behrstock 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 and Tropical Kingbirds, 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 picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Bob Behrstock.

 

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

F4 Ramsey and Brown Canyons

Join professional guide and Ravens Way Nature Center Owner, Vincent Pinto, 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 Quails, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, 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, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, 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, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is provided. Guide Vincent Pinto

 

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

F5 Warblers and Flycatchers

​Professional guide Homer Hansen will focus on characteristics, behaviors, and other clues for the identification of the flycatchers of SE Arizona. It will be useful for the expert and beginner alike. The field trip will visit many habitats to study these birds in the wild. It will start in the lowlands seeking kingbirds, Myiarchus species and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Lucy's Warbler and early warbler migrants, then move up into the mountains looking for pewees, phoebes, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Empidonax species. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Homer Hansen

You will need Security Clearance in case the trip goes into Fort Huachuca. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

F6 San Pedro River

Flowing north from Mexico through the Sky Island region of SE Arizona, the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in the state. The San Pedro is a vibrant green ribbon of life, an avian super highway through the desert for millions of migrants, which also supports 100 breeding species. In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy named the San Pedro the first Globally Important Bird Area in the US. The dense cottonwood/willow forest supports a wide range of breeding species and the nearby grassland is also alive with birds. Join professional guide Bradlee Sulentic to explore Escapule Wash and the area around San Pedro House and search for Gray Hawk, low elevation warblers, Abert’s Towhee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Zone-tailed Hawk and much more. The feeders at San Pedro House are good for Common Ground-Dove and Inca Dove. Lunch is provided. Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Bradlee Sulentic.

 

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

F7 Carr Canyon

Join professional guide, Rick Wright, 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, 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 provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rick Wright.

 

5:45 PM - 9:30 PM

FP1 Bats

Join bat aficionado Karen Krebbs as we visit the semi-desert grassland to see agave food plants of bats up close. After sunset we’ll watch hummingbird feeders and/or agaves for Lesser Long-nosed Bats and Mexican Long-tongued Bats flying in for dinner. Attendees on this field trip will benefit from Karen's lecture (not a necessity). Because this is a night trip (sunset is 7:17 pm) so bring a flashlight or headlamp (a red light is best). Bring your binoculars and a small chair or stool to increase your comfort. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Karen Krebbs

6:00 AM Friday - 4:00 PM Saturday

FS1 Overnight Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz River

Join professional bird guide and environmental educator, Jeff Babson, on an extended trip to Madera Canyon and the Santa Cruz River Valley. The Santa Rita Mountains with Madera Canyon at its heart, is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. The area has had fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, many species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented. The Santa Cruz River has a wide variety of birds including nesting Gray Hawks, and many lower altitude Arizona Specialties. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. All meals, transportation and lodging at the Amado Inn are provided. Guide Jeff Babson 

Price is for double occupancy, please contact admin@swwings.org to see if single occupancy is available.

FRI.  5:45 PM - 9:30 PM

FP1 Bats

Join bat aficionado Karen Krebbs  as we visit the semi-desert grassland to see agave food plants of bats up close.  After sunset we’ll watch hummingbird feeders and/or agaves for Lesser Long-nosed Bats and Mexican Long-tongued Bats flying in for dinner.  Attendees on this field trip will benefit from Karens  lecture (but not a necessity).  Because this is a night trip (sunset is 7:14 pm) so bring a flashlight or headlamp (a red light is best).  Bring your binoculars and a small chair or stool to increase your comfort. Difficulty: 2. Guide Karen Krebbs

 
saturday , august 1, 2020

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

S1 San Pedro River

In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy named the San Pedro the first Globally Important Bird Area in the US and it is listed as one of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places”. The lush cottonwood/willow habitat the river supports is the largest and best example of riparian forest remaining in the Southwest. Flowing north from Mexico the un-dammed river is a critical oasis for hundreds of species of birds. This trip will visit Gray Hawk Nature Center and the San Pedro House feeders. The nature center is a reservation only facility so this is an opportunity to bird a portion of the San Pedro that boasts a property list of 251 species. Driving times will be short and the walking flat. Gray and Zone-tailed Hawks, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Crissal Thrasher, Lucy’s Warbler await us under the dense shade of the towering trees. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Richard Bansberg

6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

S2 Ash and Miller Canyon

Join Kristy Gallo on an exploration of Miller Canyon. We will begin in the grasslands below the canyons, where we will look for Botteri’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bell’s Vireo, Hooded Oriole and other lower elevation species. Then we will drive up to the end of Miller Canyon Road and hike up the canyon. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000ft elevation gain, uneven terrain with rocks and boulder hopping – a hiking stick is recommended. On our hike we will look for higher elevation species like Arizona Woodpecker, Buff-breasted and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Greater Pewee, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Red-faced Warbler and 'Mexican' Spotted Owl. After lunch we will visit Ash Canyon B&B for up to 10 species of hummingbirds, including a chance of seeing the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, and other foothills birds. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Lunch is provided. Guide Kristy Gallo.

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

S3 Sonoita Patagonia

​​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 and Tropical Kingbirds, 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 picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Scott Olmstead.

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

S4 Fort Huachuca Canyons

Join professional Guide Ken Blakenship on an exploration of three under-watched canyons, situauted on the Fort Huachuca military base. Garden Canyon stretches from the lowland grasslands through oak woodland and into pines, crossing the canyon stream in many places. There is a chance of a wide range of canyon species such as Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart and Elegant Trogon. At the top of Garden Canyon we reach the second canyon, Sawmill, with its gentle trail through conifer forest where there is a chance to find high elevation species such as Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. The third is Huachuca Canyon with its nesting Gray Hawks as well as Sulphur-bellied and Dusky-capped Flycatchers. It is also home to several pairs of nesting Elegant Trogons. This is one of the few trips that access the highest elevations in the Huachucas. Lunch provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Ken Blankenship.

 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

SAT 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

S5 Saint David Wilcox

​The focus of this trip with professional bird guide Homer Hansen 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 Wilcox, where we can add a number of shore birds such as Wilson’s Phalarope, Least and Baird’s Sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew, and Horned Lark. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Homer Hansen.

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

S6 Big Day with Rick Wright

Join professional guide, Rick Wright, on a mini Big Day. The object on this trip will be to see as many different species as possible, covering the different habitats.
SE Arizona is a region where bird species from Mexico, the Rockies, and both Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts can be found. Specialties like Gray Hawk, Montezuma Quail, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied and Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Painted Redstart and Olive Warbler can be found, plus lower elevation species such as Lucy's Warbler, and Cassin's, Botteri's and Rufous-winged Sparrows. Then there are all of the hummingbirds! This trip begins at the San Pedro River and goes on to the high elevations in the Huachucas. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Richard Fray

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See the Field Trip General Info tab.

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 3:00 PM

SA7 Naturalist Saunter

​Join naturalist, bird guide, and wilderness survival instructor Vincent Pinto for an exciting full-day trip focused in part on the incredible array of birds found in and near Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (SCSNA). Your day begins at Raven's Nest, a private, 42-acre Nature Sanctuary near Patagonia. There, Vincent will guide you through nature trails in a dense mesquite woodland abounding in birds. You'll have an excellent opportunity to see and/or hear: Black Vulture, Gray Hawk, Montezuma Quail, Common Ground Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Broad-billed and other hummingbird species, Ladder-backed and Gila Woodpeckers, Vermillion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, other migrating flycatchers, Bell's Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, Varied Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Rufous-winged, Botteri's and Cassin's Sparrows, Scott's Oriole, and more! Golden Eagle and other raptors are also a possibility. We will also keep a keen eye out for wildflowers and other local flora. 

We next venture to the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, a 9,000 acre wild park. We'll have an opportunity to see: Great Blue Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, migrant ducks, Common Black, Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks, Osprey, a variety of hummingbirds, Belted and Green Kingfishers, Red-naped Sapsucker, migrating Empidonax and other flycatchers, migrating vireos and warblers, Bridled Titmouse, a number of wrens, a wide range of sparrows, and several oriole species. Additionally, we have a great chance to encounter Antelope Jackrabbit, White-nosed Coati, Mountain Lion tracks and signs, and will enjoy the beauty of perennial Sonoita Creek as well as the outflow end of Patagonia Lake. The walk through the Natural Area will cover approximately 3 miles roundtrip on varying terrain. Additionally, Vincent is an excellent Ethnobotanist and will teach you about some of the uses of native plants between wildlife sightings and as the day progresses. All levels of birders and Nature enthusiasts are welcome! Lunch is provided – bring a daypack to carry it along with a water bottle. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Vincent Pinto.

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

SA8 Madera and Box Canyons 

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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Richard Fray.

 

 
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Birding Festival

Sierra Vista, Arizona

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