August 2 - 5, 2023
The 32nd Southwest Wings Summer Birding and Nature Festival will be held August 2-5, 2023. Registration opens on Saturday April 1 and closes on Saturday July 15, 2023. This family friendly event is our main one with expertly guided field trips, pre-festival Jamboree, free programs, including some new ones just for kids, exhibitors, vendors, live animals and Keynote Buffet Dinner.
The small-group guided field trips will be mainly in Group Vans but there will also be several Car Caravan style, in participants' own vehicles, to nearby easily-accessible locations. Each trip is led by an expert guide and this year we welcome two special guest guides, Greg Homel and Rick Wright.
This year the Keynote Speaker will be well-known ornithologist, author and international bird guide, Alvaro Jaramillo, from California. His fabulous talk on New World Blackbirds is not to be missed!
For further details of the Keynote Dinner and how to reserve you place, please go to:
The free program of talks and workshops will cover a wide range of topics from speakers including Greg Homel, Rick Wright, Caleb Strand, Diana Hadley and Glenn Minuth. There will also be free morning bird walks on the college campus.
Vendors include Jay's Bird Barn with their optics and accessories and festival sponsor, Swarovski Optik, will also be there with their demonstration trailer, so you can try out the very latest optical equipment.
EARLY BIRD CHECK-IN & WELCOME JAMBOREE
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
3:00 - 4:00 PM Early Bird Check-In
4:00 - 5:30 PM Free Welcome Jamboree
Registered Festival Participants are cordially invited to check in early for some goodies and to join us as our guest for the FREE pre-festival Welcome Jamboree social festivities at Cochise College, Bldg 1000, Sierra Vista. Enjoy delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages (non-alcoholic, due to licensing restrictions) with a chance to meet and mingle with your fellow Southwest Wings participants, guides, speakers, special guests and the faces behind the "Greatest Little Birding Festival in the United States”.
Exclusive Early Bird access to select Vendors and Exhibitors, such as Jay’s Bird Barn for all things “birdy” that you may need or had forgotten for your field trips, will be on hand from 3:00PM-5:00PM. You’ll also be able to check out the latest in optics at the Swarovski Optiks mobile experience!
All attendees must register for the Early Bird Check-In and Welcome Jamboree. We hope you can join us!
When registering for your field trips online at the Cvent platform be sure to select the pre-festival Jamboree to reserve your place. Access to the Jamboree is open to registered attendees only.
SUMMER FESTIVAL OPEN HOURS
Wed 8/2 - 12 noon - 5:00 pm
Thu 8/3 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri 8/4 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat 8/5 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Full details of the Summer Festival field trips can be found using the drop-down menu bar above, together with the guide bios, field trips tips, free programs and the festival artist, plus details of what is available for purchase from our online shop. From April 1 you will be able to access our registration website and select both your trips and your Keynote Dinner place, using the REGISTER HERE button at the top of the page.
field trip costs
Costs per person are:
Full Day $110.00
Double Overnight $520.00 (single supplement $130.00)
Price includes a boxed lunch, with your choice of sandwich filling when registering each trip. The menu is below the field trip descriptions on the registration page. Please also bring your own refillable water bottle. Overnight trips include lodging and all meals.
GROUP VAN field trips all start at 6am from Cochise College - please be there early.
Half Day $50.00
Night Trip $40.00
Price does not include lunch - bring your own snacks and water.
CAR CARAVAN field trips begin from different meeting points - make sure you know both the place and time.
With your wellbeing in mind the Summer Festival 2023 will operate with common sense health and safety protocols*. You'll have options to join our classic Group Vans or car-caravan style guided field trips in participants' own vehicles. The vans allow access to more remote or less accessible by car-caravan locations.
* For Group Van participants, face masks are now optional. However we respect others' choices to wear them, if they wish. If you are feeling unwell on trip day, we ask that you please do not participate in a Group Van departure. Thank you.
Vans (and Car Caravan guide's car) will be stocked with hand sanitizers, antiseptic wipes, first aid kits and extra masks and each van will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
GROUP VAN TRIPS will be limited to nine participants (plus guide) and will meet and depart from Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus. Lunch and water are included in van trips. Be sure to select your chosen sandwich filling when registering.
SELF-DRIVE CAR CARAVAN TRIPS will be limited to a maximum of four cars (plus the guide's) and eight participants (plus guide), unless stated otherwise. Each car caravan will have a set meeting point and time to meet your guide. Out of consideration for all trip members, the guide and the scheduled itinerary plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before start time to avoid any disappointments. Cars will follow the guide's lead 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. On car caravan trips lunch and personal water are not included. Be sure to bring snacks and plenty of your own water.
Registration, Check in and Refunds
2023 Festival Registration
From April 1 you will be able to register online for the 2023 summer field trips. Before that time you will be able to view up-to-date information about the field trips via our Sneak Peek on this website. The reservation system provides you with your festival itinerary and a registration code. You can go back to the registration system and make any changes you might need. The $20 online registration fee is non-refundable. If you need assistance please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
2023 check in
For GROUP VANS check in will be at the desk in Cochise College Library.
For CAR CARAVANS check in will be with your guide, at the meeting point.
Please arrive well before your trip is scheduled to leave.
2023 Cancellation and Refund Policy
The online registration fee ($20) is non-refundable.
Cancellations received by June 1, 2023 will be refunded less a 10% processing fee.
Cancellations for day trips between June 2 and July 1, 2023 refunds will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
No refunds will be issued after July 1, 2023.
If you need to cancel after July 1 contact us and we can arrange a 25% discount on a future Southwest Wings.
Southwest Wings reserves the right to cancel or revise any event for any reason. If it becomes necessary to cancel a field trip for which you have a reservation, we will notify you and offer a full refund or different trip.
No refunds will be issued for no-shows.
Birding on fort huachuca: security and access information
You'll need a visitor access approval for your trip at Fort Huachuca. If you haven't already done so please plan to have your approved Visitor ID card in hand for the start of the trip. It is processed in person at the Visitor Control Center located at the Van Deman Gate. They do a quick background check, take a photo and issue an ID card.
The Visitor Control Center is open from 5:30 am until 7:30 pm Mon-Fri, and 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Sat and Sun, and is where you get your clearance. It is located at the Van Deman Gate, Hatfield Street (not the Buffalo Soldier Gate). Follow signs to Fort Huachuca, Van Deman Gate from the junction of Hwy 90 and Buffalo Soldier Trail.
Full details can be found here. For further assistance please contact the Visitor Control Center (520) 454 2323 directly
We urge you to make any lodging reservations as early as you can.
Special rates for Southwest Wings attendees
260 N Garden Ave.
Sierra Vista, AZ. 85635
Best Western, Sierra Vista is offering special rates during Southwest Wings Summer Festival. The room types the rate would apply to would be their King Standard and Double Queen Standard rooms, which include Handicap Accessible Rooms. A discounted rate of $139 + tax is available for the guests attending the festival (usually $194 + tax).
3500 E. Fry Blvd.
Sierra Vista, AZ. 85635
Comfort Inn & Suites, Sierra Vista is offering special rates during Southwest Wings Summer Festival. The room types the rate would apply to would be their King Standard and Double Queen Standard rooms, which include Handicap Accessible Rooms. A discounted rate of $139 + tax is available for the guests attending the festival (usually $157 + tax).
Anyone who wishes to book at either of the hotels above should call the hotel directly and mention the Southwest Wings Festival booking so you can receive the special rates.
Hot breakfast is offered at each property but it doesn't start until 6AM. Early-bird attendees are offered Grab and Go bags at both of the hotels for those guests who need to leave earlier than the breakfast hours. Guests simply need to let them know at check-in what time they would like to pick it up and how many bags they need. They also offer 24 hour complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water.
Southwest Wings Birding Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. Will you help its mission to promote nature-based tourism and environmental awareness in southeastern Arizona? Because the natural world needs all the help it can get from caring people like you.