​FIELD TRIPS | Guides | Field trip TIPS| FESTIVAL ARTIST 

2021 summer festival field trips

Wed. Aug. 4 | thu. Aug. 5 | Fri. aug. 6| Sat. AUG. 7

 
 

PLEASE NOTE

All field trips will be self-drive in your own cars. Trips will be limited to a maximum of four cars (plus the guide's) and eight participants (plus guide), unless stated otherwise. 

Each trip will have a set meeting point and time, where you will meet your guide. Please get there in good time, so as not to hold up the group. Follow the guide's car to each birding location. Your guide will make sure that phone numbers are exchanged and in case of becoming separated you will be told the next stop on your itinerary. 

Please bring your own water and for full-day trips also bring your own lunch

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2021

SPECIAL PRE-FESTIVAL TRIP

6:00 AM - 11:00 AM

PF1 Aravaipa Road

A new pre-festival destination for Southwest Wings 30th Anniversary! Join Kathe Anderson on a scenic drive towards the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness travels through rural residential areas, stunning Sonoran Desert and riparian sites, hosting a variety of resident desert species, as well as neo-tropic migrants and summer residents. This area showcases Gray and Common Black Hawks, Greater Roadrunners, desert-nesting Purple Martins, and a Great Blue Heron rookery, plus orioles, flycatchers and tanagers. Limited to 6 participants. This is mostly car birding, plus some walking on varied surfaces. When the road becomes unpaved, and particularly as it approaches the Canyon, it is narrow, with limited pull-over spots. So we’ll leave cars close to, but hidden from, Route 77, and take TWO vehicles towards the Canyon. All passengers will wear masks while CARPOOLING. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Kathe Anderson

 

Meeting place:  The intersection of Route 77 and Aravaipa Road at 6.00am. Here’s a map link

 

 

Wednesday, AUGUST 4, 2021

 

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

W1 Carr Canyon

Join tour leader, Julie Michael, on this full-day 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. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Julie Michael.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up to Carr Canyon is only suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, and drivers with a head for heights. 

Meeting place: The Mesquite Tree parking lot at junction of Hwy 92 and Carr Canyon Road at 6.30am. Map link

6:30 AM - 12:00 PM

W2 Huachuca Canyon

The active military base Forth Huachuca has several canyons which are great for wildlife. One of the best is Huachuca Canyon which contains many Southeast Arizona avian specialties. Exploring this area with guide, Jennie MacFarland, we hope to find Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart, migrant warblers, Hepatic Tanager, and more. This is an fairly easy hike and the nearby veterans cemetery offers good birding in the trees with a chance of Eastern Bluebird as well as a nice rest stop with running water bathrooms. This half-day trip is appropriate for all levels of birders. Comfortable tennis shoes or light hiking boots and sun protection (hats) are recommended. Bring your own water. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Jennie MacFarland

 

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:  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

6.30 AM - 3:00 PM

W3 Sonoran Desert Sampler

Join professional bird guide and environmental educator, Jeff Babson, on a full-day 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. Bring your own lunch. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Jeff Babson

 

Meeting place:  Circle K gas station, Huachuca City at junction of Hwy 90 and E Clark Street at 6.30am. Map link

7:00 AM - Noon

W4 Beak, Body and Behavior

When you see a little brown or gray bird do you have a hard time getting to the right page in the field guide? Are you confused by flycatchers, sparrows, female buntings, and warblers and regularly admit “I don’t have a clue”? Teacher and guide Sandy Anderson will show you around the amazing Gray Hawk Nature Center and reveal some new techniques and useful tips which will improve your birding skills id skills. The Center is set beside the San Pedro River and offers fantastic opportunities to observe the birds of the riverine habitat. 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 AM - 3:30 PM

W5 Madera and Box Canyons

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  lunch break while watching 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, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Matt Brown.

Please note: The road through Box Canyon is quite rough but drivable with care. 

 

Meeting place:  To be announced

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

W6 Ash and Miller Canyons

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, Sulphur-bellied 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 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

7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

W7 Las Cienegas NCA

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. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. If time permits, it may be possible to visit Patagonia for a short look at hummingbirds and some riparian species. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Robert Behrstock
 

Meeting place:  South entrance to Las Cienegas NCA, off SR82, just inside gate at 7.00am. The turning is between mile markers 36 and 37 where a Fire Warning sign is clearly visible. Map link.

6:30 AM - Noon

W8 San Pedro River Trails

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, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Vermilion Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, and Blue Grosbeak while in nearby grassland there is Botteri's Sparrow. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Ken Blankenship.

Meeting place: Casa San Pedro, 8933 South Yell Lane, Hereford - in the parking lot at 6.30am. Map link

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

WP1 Blacklight Adventure 

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. 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.

Venue to be announced

Meeting place:  To be announced

6:30 AM  -  3:30 PM

WT1 Overnight Chiricahua Mountains/Cave Creek

(Return Thursday, August 5)

 

Join guide Richard Fray on an exciting overnight trip into the beautiful and world-famous Chiricahua Mountains with plenty of birding along the way. Climbing from the grasslands into the Sierra Madrean pine-oak woodlands we will look for Arizona Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher 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 Park there are Greater Pewees and Red-faced Warblers along with 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.

 

The night will be spent at Portal Peak Lodge and an evening excursion will search for Whiskered Screech and Elf Owls. In the morning we will look at local hummingbird feeders feeders for Rivoli's, Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed and migrating male Rufous Hummingbirds before exploring up into Cave Creek Canyon and South Fork for Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Painted Redstart and Hepatic Tanager. 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. Bring lunch for the first day, and water. Evening meal and breakfast will be at Portal Peak (not included) where lunch for the second day can be purchased. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Richard Fray.

 

PLEASE NOTE: This trip involves a lot of driving, much of it on rough roads only suitable for vehicles with reasonable clearance.

 

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

 

Meeting place:  To be announced

 

thursday, AUGUST 5, 2021

7:00 AM - 3:30 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 (Please Note: there will be a charge for taking a car into the 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 lunch break in the shade somewhere along the way. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Closed-toed shoes and headgear are necessary for this field adventure. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Laurens Halsey.

Meeting place:  Restrooms in Patagonia, on 4th Street, across from the Wagon Wheel Saloon on Naugle Ave, at 7.00am. Map link

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

T2 Carr Canyon

Join professional guide Matt Brown 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, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Matt Brown.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up to Carr Canyon is only suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, and drivers with a head for heights. 

 

Meeting place: The Mesquite Tree parking lot at junction of Hwy 92 and Carr Canyon Road at 6.30am. Map link

 

6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

T3 Hunter Canyon

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, water, sun protection, 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 - 3:00 PM

T4 Miller Canyon

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, Sulphur-bellied and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, 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 a car park at the entrance to Beatty's B&B. Map link

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

T5 Sierra Vista Area 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 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.

6:30 AM - 3:30 PM

T6 Coronado National Memorial

Join 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 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

6:30 AM - Noon

T7 Ramsey Canyon

Join tour leader 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 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 Julie Michael.

 

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

7:00 AM - Noon

T8 Reptiles on the Rio

The venomous reptiles from Sandy Anderson's Gray Hawk Nature Center have made annual appearances at the Southwest Wings Festival since it began. As the 2021 festival will not have an in-house event a visit here provides a chance to see and photograph some of these exquisite critters. In addition to six species of native Arizonan rattlesnakes there will be a feisty Gila Monster, several non-venomous species and a few lovely creepy crawlies. The opportunities for photography will be fantastic! Some of the individuals are stars in their own right, having been filmed by the BBC and Animal Planet. Positioned outdoors for great photos, Sandy the snake handler will keep all critters corralled and ensure the safety of all trip participants. You can also expect a bit of birding as well! Bring a hat, sun screen and water. 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

TP1 Blacklight Adventure

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. 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.

Venue to be announced

Meeting place:  To be announced

 
 
friday, AUGUST 6, 2021

6:30 AM - Noon

F1 San Pedro River Trails

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, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Vermilion Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, and Blue Grosbeak while in nearby grassland there is Botteri's Sparrow. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide: Ken Blankenship.

 

Meeting place: Casa San Pedro, 8933 South Yell Lane, Hereford - in the parking lot. Map link

 

6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

F2 Chasing Rarities

Join professional guide Richard Fray on an exciting day-long excursion to see what's new or unusual in SE Arizona. This trip's destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area as well as the needs of the group. With no pre-planned destination, Richard 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 and may try a new location to see what is available. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Richard Fray.

 

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: To be announced

7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

F3 Sonoita-Patagonia

Join tour leader Julie Michael 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 (Please Note: there will be a charge for taking a car into the 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. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Julie Michael.

 

Meeting place:  Restrooms in Patagonia, on 4th Street, across from the Wagon Wheel Saloon on Naugle Ave, at 7.00am. Map link

 

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

F4 Garden Canyon

Enjoy a "birdy" day with professional guide Jennie MacFarland on Arizona’s largest military base, famous for over a century for its Arizona specialties. We will cover a wide range of habitats from grasslands to pine-oak woodlands. At higher elevations, we will hope to encounter Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, and Dusky-capped and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers. Along the much gentler trails of Sawmill Canyon, we will try for Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. The elusive Montezuma Quail is possible anywhere on this trip. This is one of the few trips that access the highest elevations in the Huachucas. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up Garden 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:  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

 

6:30 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. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Homer Hansen.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up the Fort 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: To be announced

 

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

F6 Ash and Miller Canyon

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, Sulphur-bellied 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 - 3:00 PM

F7 Carr Canyon

Join professional guide, Melody Kehl, 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. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Melody Kehl.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up to Carr Canyon is only suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, and drivers with a head for heights. 

 

Meeting place: Mesquite Tree parking lot at junction of Hwy 92 and Carr Canyon Road at 6.30am. Map link

 

7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

F8 Madera and Box Canyons

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  lunch break while watching 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, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Matt Brown.

Please note: The road through Box Canyon is quite rough but drivable with care. 

Meeting place:  To be announced

6.30 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.

Meeting place: To be announced

6:30 AM Friday - 3:30 PM Saturday

FS1 Overnight Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz River

(Return Saturday, August 7)

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. Bring your own lunch for the first day, and water. Lodging will be at the Ranch Santa Cruz and breakfast will be included. Other meals will not be provided and will be purchased separately. Guide Jeff Babson.

 

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

 

Meeting place: 6.30am at Circle K gas station, Huachuca City at junction of Hwy 90 and E Clark Street. Map link

 
saturday , august 7, 2021

7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

S1 San Pedro River Riparian Specialties

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 provides habitat for Gray Hawk, many species of flycatchers (Vermilion, empids, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, kingbirds, 3 species of Myiarchus), Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler and possibly Green Kingfisher. Join Sandy Anderson for a half-day at the Gray Hawk Nature Center, 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. Participants are invited to bring their own lunch to enjoy at the end of the tour under an ancient mesquite tree with possible sightings of nesting Vermillion Flycatchers above. Bring your own water, as well as hat, 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 AM - 3:30 PM

S2 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 (Please Note: there will be a charge for taking a car into the 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. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Scott Olmstead.

 

Meeting place:  Restrooms in Patagonia, on 4th Street, across from the Wagon Wheel Saloon on Naugle Ave, at 7.00am. Map link

 

6:30 AM - 3:00 PM

S3 Fort Huachuca Canyons

​​Enjoy a full day birding with professional guide Laurens Halsey on Arizona’s largest military base, famous for over a century for its Arizona specialties. We will cover a wide range of habitats from grasslands to pine-oak woodlands. At higher elevations, we will hope to encounter Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, and Dusky-capped and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers in Huachuca Canyon. Along the much gentler trails of Sawmill Canyon, at the top of Garden Canyon, we will try for Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. The elusive Montezuma Quail is possible anywhere on this trip. This is one of the few trips that access the highest elevations in the Huachucas. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water, Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Laurens Halsey.

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

SAT 6:30 AM - 3:30 PM

S4 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. PLEASE NOTE: This trip is dependent on the monastery opening again to the public by August.

 

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. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Homer Hansen.

 

Meeting place: To be announced

 

SAT 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

S5 Las Cienegas and Box Canyon

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. Tour leader Julie Michael 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. After a break for lunch, 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. Bring hat, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 1-2 easy. Guide Julie Michael.

 

Meeting place: South entrance to Las Cienegas NCA, off SR82, just inside gate at 7.00am. The turning is between mile markers 36 and 37 where a Fire Warning sign is clearly visible. Map link.

SAT 6:30 AM - Noon

SA6 Hunter Canyon

​Join professional guide Matt Brown on a half-day 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, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Matt Brown.

 

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

 

SAT 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

SA7 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. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Richard Fray.

Please note: The road through Box Canyon is quite rough but drivable with care. 

 

Meeting place: To be announced

 

SAT 6:30 AM - Noon

SA8 Ramsey Canyon

Join professional bird guide, Jennie MacFarland 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 Jennie MacFarland.

 

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

SAT 6:30 AM - 3:30 PM

SA9 Carr Canyon 

Join professional guide, Melody Kehl, 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. Bring your own lunch and water. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Melody Kehl.

PLEASE NOTE: The drive up to Carr Canyon is only suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, and drivers with a head for heights. 

 

Meeting place: Mesquite Tree parking lot at junction of Hwy 92 and Carr Canyon Road at 6.30am. Map link