Early August is an ideal time to visit Southeast Arizona. In a typical year, the late-summer prevailing winds bring moisture from the west coast of Mexico. Clouds begin to build in mid-morning and cooling isolated afternoon rains refresh the desert and carpet the grasslands with wildflowers. The summer rains also mark the onset of breeding for some local bird specialties. Montezuma Quail and Botteri's and Cassin's sparrows are at the peak of their singing, and this time of year has also proved better than the spring for Mexican vagrants.
Our ten days are planned to give us an excellent chance of seeing virtually all of Southeast Arizona's breeding birds. Among the specialties we seek are Zone-tailed and Gray hawks, ten or more hummingbirds, Arizona Woodpecker, Thick-billed and Tropical kingbirds, Sulphur-bellied, Dusky-capped, and Buff-breasted flycatchers, Greater Pewee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Mexican Chickadee, Bendire's Thrasher, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Abert's Towhee, Rufous-winged, Five-striped, and Botteri's sparrows, Yellow-eyed Junco, and the beautiful Elegant Trogon. Additionally, we'll search for any Mexican rarities that may be present, such as White-eared Hummingbird, Eared Quetzal, Rufous-capped Warbler, Flame-colored Tanager, and Streak-backed Oriole, all of which have been found in recent years.
Although many of the nightbirds have completed their nesting by the time of our tour and are less likely to be vocalizing (hence, less likely to be seen), we will make an effort to locate as many as possible.
For a similar itinerary in May, see our Arizona: Birding the Border tour.
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