Mention Southeast Arizona to a birder, and images of gaudy hummingbirds, tanagers, lofty and cool pine-covered mountains rising out of the flat desert, trogons, rare nightbirds, refreshing stretches of lush riparian woodland, a rare stray or two from south of the border, and warblers with red faces will no doubt come to mind.
Southeast Arizona has a greater variety of breeding birds than any other area of comparable size within the US. Among the many possibilities are the fantastic Elegant Trogon, as many as ten or more of those gaudy hummingbirds, the very local Five-striped Sparrow, the unbelievable Montezuma Quail, stunning Painted Redstarts and Red-faced Warblers, eight or more species of owls, and the exquisite Varied Bunting.
This short tour visits the best available sites to give us a very good chance of finding virtually all of the regular Southeast Arizona specialties at a comfortable pace. Our loop begins and ends in Tucson with stops in the Santa Rita, Huachuca, and Chiricahua mountains, the Patagonia/Sonoita Creek and Nogales areas, California Gulch, and the San Pedro River. Our time is spent mostly in those cool and lofty mountains and refreshing riparian stretches (that's where the birds are!). Stop daydreaming and join us in May for some of the best birding in North America!
For a similar itinerary in the July/August monsoon season, see our Arizona's Second Spring tour.
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