2019 summer festival field trips

Wed. JULY. 31st | thurs. aug. 1st | Fri. AUG. 2nd| Sat. AUG. 3RD

 
 
 

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

4:30 PM  - 5:30 PM

Free Welcome Summer Jamboree

WELCOME KICKOFF JAMBOREE MIXER!

 
Come early and be our guest at our new exclusive festive Kick-Off gathering! 

Early Bird arrivals are invited to join us Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 4:30pm–5:30pm immediately after early check in registration, 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 31, 2019

 

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

WA1 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  -  4:00 PM

WA3 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

WA4 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. 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. This beginning birder friendly trip will also visit Escapule Wash. Driving times will be short and the walking flat. Intermediate and advanced birders will be happy with the array of species as we search for Gray Hawk, low elevation warblers, Abert’s Towhee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Zone-tailed Hawk and many more. Lunch is Provided. Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Richard Bansberg.

 

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

WA5 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  -  3:00 PM

WA6 Ash and Miller Canyons

Guide TBA - On this trip to explore Miller Canyon. On this Canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below the canyons, 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. Other SE Arizona specialties including Arizona Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler, Hepatic Tanager and Scott's Oriole are all found here. This trip includes a stop at Ash Canyon B&B for up to 10 species of hummingbirds, including a chance of seeing the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, and other foothills birds. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 300-foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Lunch provided. Guide TBA​

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

WA7 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. 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 Ken Blankenship.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

WA8 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.
 

WT1 Overnight California Gulch

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM
(Thursday, August 1, 2019)

The rugged canyons of the Pajarito Mountains are some of the most celebrated birding spots on the Arizona Sonora border. This overnight tour will focus on the search for the area’s most famous specialty birds, among them Montezuma Quail, Buff-collared Nightjar, Varied Bunting, and Five-striped Sparrow. This tour also provides excellent opportunities for seeing a good cross-section of southeast Arizona’s many specialties, including Gray Hawk, Elegant Trogon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Tropical Kingbird, Mexican Jay, Painted Redstart, Cassin’s, Botteri’s and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and Scott’s Oriole. We begin by heading to Patagonia and Rio Rico, where we will hit prime locations for Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and other exciting possibilities. After a nice lunch our route takes us directly to California Gulch, where at the confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon we will look for the rare Five-striped Sparrow and other species. This visit will be timed so that we remain in the area until the end of the day to look for the 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 at Rancho Santa Cruz. The next morning, after a home-cooked breakfast, we will explore the “birdy” Santa Cruz Valley, where we hope to spot Rose-throated Becard, Thick-billed Kingbird and other delights. 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 your binoculars and do not forget your camera and insect repellent! Guide Richard Fray.

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

WT2 Overnight Chiricahua Mountains/Cave Creek

6:30 AM  -  4:30 PM

(Friday, August 2, 2019)

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 Gordon at admin@swwings.org

7:00 PM 9: 30 PM

WP1 Night Sky

Join naturalist, wildlife biologist and amateur astronomer Vincent Pinto for an evening of exploration and intrigue in nature. Venturing to the lower Huachuca Canyons, Vincent will take you on a tour of the constellations and visible planets as you meander through the grasslands and woodlands of the Huachuca foothills.
Simultaneously, Vincent will attempt to find various species of owls, and listen for nightjars as well as seek signs of area carnivores. You will also seek some of the myriad of invertebrates active during monsoon season. Further, you'll investigate various night-blooming plants.

Don't miss this night-time naturalist extravaganza! Please do not wear white or very light colored clothing or hats – khaki is okay. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders and people interested in the natural history of the area. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Vincent Pinto

thursday, august 1, 2019

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

TA1 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

TA2 Fort Huachuca Birds and History

 A trip to historic Fort Huachuca. This active military base is rich in both American West history and SE Arizona avian specialties. Rarities like the Sinaloa Wren have been seen in Huachuca Canyon, and Northern Pygmy-Owl, Elegant Trogon and nesting Gray Hawks are here in good numbers. Tanagers, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, other Empidonax and Myiarchus flycatchers, warblers, including Painted Redstart, and other lower mountain residents are usually seen. 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 provided. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide TBA

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort.  Details on General Info page . 

 

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

TA3 Huachuca Mountains Sampler

Join guide Ken Blankenship as we explore a variety of habitats and their signature birds. First we’ll comb the oak-grassland foothills of Brown Canyon Ranch for Botteri’s, Cassin’s, and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Vermilion Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Cassin’s and Western Kingbird, Blue Grosbeak, and more. Next, we’ll enjoy sycamore lined riparian woodland in Ramsey Canyon, hoping for Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Mexican Jay, Western and Hepatic Tanager, Arizona Woodpecker, and more. After lunch (included), we’ll finish by hiking Miller Canyon into rich pineoak forest where we will search for Red-faced and Grace’s Warblers, Mexican Spotted Owl, Greater Pewee, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Steller’s Jay, and more. Lunch Included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Best suited for intermediate birders. Guide Ken Blankenship.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

TA4 Ash and Miller Canyon

Join professional guide and Ravens Way Nature Center Owner, Vincent Pinto, on a trip to the high country in the Huachuca Mountains with a walk up Miller Canyon. 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. Other SE Arizona specialties including Scotts Oriole, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler and Hepatic Tanager are all found here. This trip includes a stop at 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 Vincent Pinto

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

TA5 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 undammed 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  -  4:00 PM

TA6 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, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Abert’s Towhee, and Cassin’s, Botteri’s, Song, Lark, Burrowing Owls and Grasshopper Sparrows. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: easy. Guide Robert Behrstock.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM

TA7 Chasing Rarities

Join professional guide Matt Brown 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, Matt 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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Matt Brown

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 

8:00 AM 12: 00 PM

TA8 Ramsey Canyon

Join professional bird guide and environmental educator, Jeff Babson, 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 Woodpecker, Hepatic Tanager, Grace's and Red-faced Warblers and Painted Redstart. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Be prepared for a slow hike covering two miles with a steep 200-foot elevation gain. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Guide Jeff Babson

Keynote Dinner 

5:00 PM  -  8:00 PM

Due to a family emergency in New Zealand Helen Thayer has had to cancel her appearance.

In her place we have secured Mark Hart to do the Keynote.

Mark Hart -  Borderlands Jaguars

Mark has participated in Southwest Wings for many years.  He is a public information officer with the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson. He serves as department spokesman for southeastern Arizona news media, and manages information and education programs throughout the region. Hart joined the department in 2009, and also serves as a public information officer for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. In addition, he is an agency representative to the federal Borderlands Management Task Force. Hart, a contributor to the Arizona Daily Star and a Best of Gannett award recipient, earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Loyola University of Chicago in 198

Southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico are the only locations in the United States where jaguars have been sighted in the past twenty years. In late 2016, two jaguars were present in the region, one in the Huachuca Mountains and the other in the Dos Cabezas. Earlier that year a video surfaced of a third jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains. The video caused an international sensation, but that jaguar hasn't been seen since. Although the Huachucas jaguar came to a bad end in Mexico, its return there was biologically significant. Meantime, the Dos Cabezas jaguar has persisted south of Willcox since. This presentation will examine how the presence of these endangered species in the region pose unique challenges for wildlife and land managers, and how they have made even more popular among the general public trail camera technology.

For more information click here.

7:00 PM 9: 30 PM

TP1 Night Sky

Join Naturalist, Wildlife Biologist and amateur Astronomer Vincent Pinto for an evening of exploration and intrigue in Nature.  Venturing to the lower Huachuca Canyons, Vincent will take you on a tour of the Constellations and visible planets as you meander through the grasslands and woodlands of the Huachuca foothills.   

Simultaneously, Vincent will attempt to find various species of Owls, listen for Nightjars as well as seek signs of area carnivores.  You will also seek some of the myriad of invertebrates active during monsoon season.  Further, you'll investigate various night-blooming plants.  Don't miss this nighttime Naturalist extravaganza! Guide Vincent Pinto

 
friday, august 2, 2019

6:00 AM - 12: 00 PM

FA1 Hunter Canyon

Although the 2011 Miller Peak Wilderness fire certainly left its mark, the result is a unique combination of habitats that are home to a nice diversity of bird species. The initial hike is dominated by sun-drenched successional oak-scrub; birds that have moved in to fill this niche include: Crissal Thrasher, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Scott’s Oriole, Black-chinned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and more. Higher up, the trail enters a stand of soaring conifers that were spared when the fire “jumped” the canyon; here we hope to find Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Band-tailed Pigeon, Grace’s and Virginia’s Warblers, “Mountain” Pygmy-Owl, Montezuma Quail, and more. The pine forest wasn’t spared completely, however, and the scrubby disturbance habitat here has also become home to a resident pair of Rufous-capped Warblers, which we hope will be a well-earned highlight of our hike.  Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Ken Blankenship.

 

6:00 AM - 4: 00 PM

FA2 Chasing Rarities

FA2 Chasing Rarities

Join professional guide Richard Fray 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 Richard Fray

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 

6:00 AM - 4: 00 PM

FA3 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. Bob Behrstock guide

 

6:00 AM - 3: 00 PM

FA4 Ramsey and Brown Canyons

FA4 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

FA5 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

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 

6:00 AM - 3: 00 PM

FA6 Ash and Miller Canyons

  Guide TBA. This trip explores Miller Canyon. On this Canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below the canyons, 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. Other SE Arizona specialties including Arizona Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler, Hepatic Tanager and Scott's Oriole are all found here. This trip includes a stop at Ash Canyon B&B for up to 10 species of hummingbirds, including a chance of seeing the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, and other foothills birds. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 300-foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Hiking Difficulty: 4 difficult. Lunch provided. Guide TBA.

 

8:00 - 4:00 PM

FA7 Butterflies and Birds

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. 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 

6:00 AM - 3: 00 PM

FA8 Carr Canyon

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM

​On this tour of Carr Canyon, with professional guide Matt Brown, we will begin 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. At Carr House, we may see up to 6 species of hummingbirds, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Scott's Oriole, and other mountain canyon specialties. We will also be on the look-out 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 200-foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Hiking Difficulty 3: moderate. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is provided. Guide Matt Brown

 

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 7:14 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. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Guide Karen Krebbs

6:00 AM - 4: 00 PM

(Saturday, August 3, 2019)

FS1 Overnight 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 

If you need single occupancy room please contact Gordon atadmin@swwings.org.

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 3, 2019

 6:00 AM - 3: 00 PM

 SA1 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

SA2 Ash and Miller Canyon

Join professional guide, Matt Brown 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 Matt Brown.

6:00 AM - 4: 00 PM

SA3 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

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 3: 00 PM

SA4 Garden Canyon

​Enjoy a "birdy" day with professional guide TBA 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. Lunch is provided. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide TBA

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 SAT 6:00 AM - 4: 00 PM

SA5 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

SA6 Big Day with Rick Wright

​Join professional guide, Richard Fray, 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

PLEASE NOTE: All participants must obtain a Security Clearance ID in advance for access onto the Fort. 

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. See details on General Info page.

 

 

SAT 6:00 AM - 4: 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.

 

 
jays bird barn logo.jpg

Donors: Dutch Nagle, Angel Rutherford, John and Marty Hirth, Catherine and Todd Newell

Contact Us

Gordon Lewis can be contacted at admin@swwings.org
Phone: 520-two six six-0149

  • Facebook Social Icon

Southwest Wings

Birding Festival

Sierra Vista, Arizona

© 2018 admin@swwings.org

  • Facebook - Black Circle