Southeast Arizona Birding Hotspots Express - Sample Itinerary

Southeast Arizona offers some of the best birding in the world. The region’s diversity of landscapes, elevational range, and plant communities provide habitat for more than 400 species throughout the year. Montane vegetation extending from the Rockies meets southern flora from the Sierra Madre Occidental. On the east, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts meet. Cool coniferous forests, oak and pine woodlands, deserts, and grasslands separate the mountain ranges. Birds associated with all of these habitats are easily accessible within a half-day drive from Tucson.  This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the region’s natural history and animal diversity. Join us as we explore Southeast Arizona’s birding hotspots near Tucson, Nogales and Sierra Vista.

DAY 1 ~ Morning arrival to Tucson International Airport (TUS). We’ll spend the rest of the day birding Tucson area hotspots.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn – Green Valley or similar
Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Sweetwater Wetlands~ open-water ponds, cattail and bulrush marsh, cottonwoods, willows, dead snags, a flowing stream, and gravel-lined basins amidst disturbed desertscrub. This is one of the most reliable places in the Tucson area to see Harris’s Hawks.
Agua Caliente Park~ former 101-acre ranch in a major drainage of the Santa Catalina Mountains featuring three small lakes fed by a stream from warm springs. The park’s mature trees and permanent ponds attract a variety of waterfowl, warblers and woodpeckers.

DAY 2 ~ Full day of birding in Madera Canyon and surrounding areas.
Accommodations: Best Western Sonora Inn & Suites or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Santa Rita Mountains~ an Important Bird Area (IBA) that includes Madera Canyon, one of the most famous birding sites in Southeast Arizona. This canyon’s habitat consists of riparian woodland along an intermittent stream, bordered by oak woodland and mountain forests. Highlight birds include four species of tanagers, hummingbirds, owls, flycatchers, and warblers.

DAY 3 ~ This morning, we’ll check out of our hotel and head east to Patagonia area hotspots.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Sierra Vista or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Patagonia~ a little town in Sonoita Creek valley, offers great birding and is close to additional famous hotspots nearby including Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, and Patagonia Roadside Rest. Stops today will be determined by recent sightings and the group’s interest.

Day 4 ~ Full day at Huachuca Mountain and Canyon hotspots.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Sierra Vista or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Huachuca Mountains~ home to some of the best birding in Arizona. The quantity and diversity of hummingbirds are probably unmatched anywhere else in the US. Nowhere else north of Mexico are Buff-Breasted Flycatchers more common. Other highlights include Spotted Owl and Elegant Trogon.

Day 5 ~ We’ll make our way back to Tucson in time for an afternoon flight home. Birding en route.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

DETAILs

Price: $1250 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: $225.

Inclusions: accommodations, all meals starting with lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 5, ground transportation, driver/guides, gratuities for meals, entrance fees,
Exclusions: airfare, travel insurance, alcohol, optional activities, additional gratuities, and items of a personal nature.

Group size: 6-8 participants