Spring Fling Festival​ 2018

Arts and Entertainment

April 11, 2018

From: Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival

The Southwest Wings Birding Festival is a nonprofit educational organization, chartered as a 501(c)(3) under IRS guidelines. There are no members, only a board of directors, and therefore no membership dues to provide income. The two festivals are the major events put on by the group. Additional tax deductible donations to support the organization's goals are always welcome. The Southwest Wings mission is to promote nature-based tourism and environmental awareness in southeastern Arizona.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: WA1 Escapule Wash and San Pedro

​The San Pedro in May is a vibrant green ribbon of life, an avian super highway through the desert for millions of migrants. The dense cottonwood/willow forest is alive with bird song as those species that stay to breed set up territories and get down to business. This beginning birder friendly trip will visit Escapule wash and the San Pedro House. Your guide, Jennie MacFarland, is especially patient with those new to the pursuit of birding. 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 Provided.

Difficulty: 2 Easy. Jennie MacFarland Guide.

​6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: WA2 Chasing Rarities

​Join professional guide and naturalist Laurens Halsey 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 and what you folks on the trip need to see. With no pre-planned destination Laurens 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 included. Difficulty 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Laurens Halsey

​You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: WA3 Carr Canyon

​On this tour of Carr Canyon, we will begin in the lower canyon, where we will look for Scaled and Gambel's Quail, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeak, and other canyon outlet species. We will stop at the Carr House Nature Center to check the feeders. We may see up to 6 species of hummingbirds, as well as Arizona, Gila and Acorn Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Scott's Oriole, Painted Redstart, Yellow Eyed Junco Grace's and Olive Warbler and other mountain and 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: moderate 3. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Lunch is provided. Guide Vincent Pinto.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: WA4 Ash and Miller Canyons

​On this Canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below the canyons, where we will look for Scaled Quail, Rufous-crowned and Botteri’s sparrows, and other lowland species. We may see up to 6 species of hummingbirds, as well as Wild Turkey, Arizona Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Spotted Owl and other mountain specialties. While walking, we will watch for some of the many plants, mammals, and reptiles that inhabit the canyons. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000 foot elevation gain, uneven terrain, rocks boulder hopping. A hiking stick would be a good idea. After conquering the canyon stop will be made at Ash Canyon B&B for some well earned restful back yard birding and maybe a Lucifer Hummingbird.
Hiking Difficulty: 4 Difficult. Lunch included. Chris Chappell guide.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: WA5 Madera Canyon

This trip will take you to Madera Canyon via Box Canyon and the Santa Rita grasslands and explore this famous birding site.  We will bird the many habitats Madera has to offer- grassland, riparian, and woodland. Southeastern Arizona, with Madera Canyon at its heart, is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders. Target species would include White-eared & Berylline Hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Painted Redstart, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Hepatic and SummerTanager, Botteri’s Sparrow and Scott’s Oriole. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty 3 moderate. Matt Brown guide

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: WA6 St. David and Willcox

The focus of this trip 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 its only nesting site in Arizona), Bell’s Vireo, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Curve-billed Thrasher, Lucy’s Warbler, Summer Tanager. Tropical Kingbird, another local breeder, can usually be found here. Time and weather permitting, we will make a trip to Twin Lakes in Willcox, where we can add a number of shore birds such as Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes, Least and Baird’s Sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew, and Horned Lark. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 1 Very Easy. Richard Fray guide.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: WA7 Huachuca Specialties

Enjoy a day in the Huachuca Mountains where we will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Botteri’s and Cassin’s sparrows, Painted Redstart, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, Bridled Titmouse, Hepatic Tanager, and several species of hummingbirds. Destinations will include Ash Canyon B&B, and Huachuca Canyon on Fort Huachuca. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the Garden Canyon picnic area. All participants must have a Security Clearance ID for access onto the Fort. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Rugged shoes or light hiking boots, and headgear are recommended. Robert Weissler guide.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

7:00 AM  -  4:00 PM(Thursday, May 3, 2018): WT1 Overnight Santa Cruz Valley

This overnight tour with professional guide Jeff Babson will focus on the search for some of Arizona’s most famous specialty birds, among them Montezuma Quail, Tropical and Thick-billed Kingbirds, and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. We begin by heading to Patagonia and Rio Rico, where we will hit prime locations for Gray Hawk, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and other exciting finds. We will check out Pena Blanca Lake, where we hope to see Least Grebe, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Summer Tanager, among others. The next morning we visit Montosa Canyon, where Black-capped and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers are among the targets. We will search grasslands in the area for Botteri’s, Cassin’s, and Rufous-winged Sparrows. We will also spend some time in Madera Canyon which is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders. Most of our birding will be from the vehicle or on level, sometimes-rocky paths. This trip includes all meals and lodging at the fabulous Amado Territory Inn B&B (see their website). Single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations, unless single room is requested. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Bring your binoculars and do not forget your camera and insect repellent! Guide Jeff Babson.

Price is for Double Occupancy, however, if you are interested in single occupancy please contact Gordon at 520-two six six- 0149.

7:00 AM  -  4:00 PM(Thursday, May 3, 2018): WT2 Overnight Chiricahua Mountains

Join guide, author and this summer's keynote speaker Rick Taylor on this birding adventure. This overnight trip takes you to the beautiful and world-famous Chiricahua Mountains with birding along the way. With an elevation change from 4,000’ – 8,200’ (not much walking at higher elevations), we will be looking for specialties such as Elegant Trogon and Mexican Chickadee, high elevation warblers like Olive and Red-faced Warbler, several flycatchers and Mexican vagrants. Destinations will include an overnight and all meals at the world famous American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Station. We will cover low and high ground, including the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon and Rustler Park.

Please indicate if you are doing this trip with someone. Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations. All food, lodging and transportation are included. Bring your binoculars, pocket flashlight, wear sturdy hiking boots, and do not forget your headgear and sunscreen. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills.
Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Guide Rick Taylor

Price is for Double Occupancy, contact Gordon at 520-two six six-0149 to see if single occupancy is available.

7:00 PM  -  9:30 PM: WP1 Owls of the Huachuca Mountains

Owling is one of the most magical of birding adventures. The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, we will target these birds and have the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. The guide will be equipped with night vision goggles for better spotting. Owling, like all birding, has no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers. If no owls are seen during this trip, pending room available, participants may join another evening owl trip. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Owl trips conducted only at the spring event. Guide Vincent Pinto.

Thursday, May 3, 2018
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6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: TA1 Ramsey Canyon Brown Canyons

On this field trip you will join with Professional Guide and British expat Richard Frey. We will start at Brown Canyon Ranch ponds and then take a hike up at The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Ramsey Canyon is famous among known to birders as a reliable place to find for the many rare and unusual birds that have been recorded there. It is also home to many other southeastern Arizona specialties including Scott’s Oriole, Painted Redstart, Grace’s Warbler, and Hepatic Tanager. Included will be a stop at the Nature Conservancy Book Store to see the many different varieties of Hummingbirds attracted to the feeders. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Guide Richard Fray

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: TA2 Huachuca Specialties
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Enjoy a “birdy” day with Professional Bird Guide Ken Blankenship, in the Fort Huachuca Mountains where we will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Botteri’s and Cassin’s sparrows, Painted Redstart, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, Bridled Titmouse, Hepatic Tanager, and upwards of a dozen species of hummingbirds. Destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons on Fort Huachuca. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a shady spot. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Ken Blankenship

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  - 3:00 PM: TA3 Chasing Rarities

This is a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeast Arizona. This trips destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and what you folks on the trip need to see. With no pre-planned destination the trip leader 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 included. Difficulty 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Vincent Pinto.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: TA4 San Pedro River

In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy named the San Pedro the first Globally Important Bird Area in the US. The lush cottonwood/willow habitat the river supports is the largest and best example of riparian forest remaining in the Southwest. In May millions of birds wing their way north along the river corridor. This trip will visit several locations, Gray Hawk Nature Center, Escapule Wash and the San Pedro House feeders. The nature center is an amazing place and boasts a bird list of 245 species.

Driving times will be short and the walking flat. Vermilion Flycatcher, Gray Hawk, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Zone-tailed Hawk, Lucy’s Warbler, Crissal Thrasher and migrants galore await us under the dense shade of the towering trees. Lunch is included.
Hiking Difficulty 2, Easy. Sandy Anderson Guide.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM:TA5 Sonoita-Patagonia Specialties

The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is one of southeastern Arizona’s best-known destinations for riparian birds. Stops will be made at the Preserve, Las Cienegas NCA, Kino Springs, 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 Gray Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Thick-billed Kingbird, NeoTropical Cormorant, Tropical Kingbird, Varied Bunting, Rufous-winged Sparrow, and Violet-crowned Hummingbird. Additional stops will be made in the Sonoita grasslands and oak savannah, time permitting. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade somewhere along the way. Lunch is included. This trip is best suited for beginner to intermediate birders. Closed-toed shoes and headgear are necessary for this adventure.

Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate. Robert Behrstock guide

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: TA6  Ash and Miller Canyon

Join leader and professional guide Jennie MacFarland where we will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined Miller canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest in southern Arizona. We will search for regional and mountain specialties including Buffbreasted Flycatcher, Red faced and Virginia's Warblers, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Mexican Spotted Owl, Western and Hepatic Tanager, Arizona, Acorn, Ladder-backed, Gila Woodpecker, and more. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000 foot elevation gain and uneven terrain. Best suited for intermediate birders. This trip includes lunch.

Hiking Difficulty: 4, Difficult. Guide Jennie MacFarland

8:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: TA7 Garden Canyon Butterflies and Birds

Join leader Rich Bailowitz (co-author of Finding Butterflies in Arizona and 70 Common Butterflies in the Southwest) as we search for some of the special butterflies and dragonflies of the Huachuca Mountains. With a focus on Garden Canyon, the day will include stops at various elevations (ranging from 5000’ to 6000’) from mesquite grasslands to pine forest, as we search for wet areas and nectar-bearing flowers. A net will be used to catch and release insects for up- close species identification. Rich is a seasoned birder and between the grasslands and Garden Canyon, we are likely to see a respectable assortment of birds as well as Trogons in the canyon. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty 3 moderate. 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. Guide Rich Bailowitz.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

7:00 PM  -  10:00 PM: TP1 Owls

On this trip, professional Bird Guide Jennie MacFarland will target these birds and have the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Owling is one of the most magical of birding adventures. The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. Please wear darker or khaki clothing and a soft material fleece or jacket; avoid light and bright clothing hats and anything that makes a lot of rustling noises, such as crinkly nylon windbreakers. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders.

Owl trips conducted only at the spring event.  Owling, like all birding, has no guarantees except that we will have a good time. If no owls seen during this trip, pending room available, participants may join the Friday evening owl trip. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

Friday, May 4, 2018
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6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA1 Escapule Wash

Escapule Wash is one of our most under birded spots. Join Guide Chris Harbard on this full day trip. The group will bird nearby Escapule Wash a main wash into the San Pedro River to its confluence. The San Pedro House and other nearby low land areas will be included. This a good trip for migrating Warblers, Orioles, Towhees, Blue Grosbeak, Botteri's Sparrow, Ducks, Gray Hawks, Vermilion Flycatchers, Zone Tailed and Gray Hawks. Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. Lunch provided. Difficulty 2, easy. Guide TBA

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA2 Huachuca Mountains

Join professional guide Richard Fray to explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest in southern Arizona. We will search for regional and mountain specialties including Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Red faced, Olive and Virginia's Warblers, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Mexican Spotted Owl, Western and Hepatic Tanager, Arizona, Acorn, Ladder-backed, Gila Woodpeckers, and more. This trip includes lunch. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Best suited for intermediate birders. Guide Richard Fray.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA3 Chasing Rarities

Join guide, author and this summer's keynote speaker Rick Taylor on a day long excursion to see what's new or unusual in Southeast Arizona. This trips destinations will be based on recent bird reports in the area and the groups desires. With no pre-planned destination Rick 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 included. Difficulty 3 to 4 moderate to difficult. Guide Rick Taylor.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA4 Fort Huachuca

A full day in the Fort Huachuca Mountains where we will explore a variety of habitats including foothill grasslands, sycamore-lined canyon riparian woodland, and pine forest. We will search for regional and mountain specialties such as Botteri’s and Cassin’s sparrows, Painted Redstart, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Grace’s Warbler, Bridled Titmouse, Hepatic Tanager, and several species of hummingbirds. Destinations will include Huachuca and Garden Canyons on Fort Huachuca. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a shady spot. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Ken Blakenship.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA5 Ash and Miller Canyons

On this Canyon tour, we will begin in the grasslands below the canyons, where we will look for Scaled Quail, Rufous-crowned and Botteri’s sparrows, and other lowland species. We may see up to 6 species of hummingbirds, as well as Wild Turkey, Arizona Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart, Spotted Owl and other mountain specialties. While walking, we will watch for some of the many plants, mammals, and reptiles that inhabit the canyons. Be prepared for a two-mile slow walk with a 750 to 1,000 foot elevation gain, uneven terrain, rocks boulder hopping. A hiking stick would be a good idea. After conquering the canyon stop will be made at Ash Canyon B&B for some well earned restful back yard birding and maybe a Lucifer Hummingbird. Hiking Difficulty: 4 Difficult. Lunch included. Jennie MacFarland guide.

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: FA6 River to Mountains

An Avian big day in Southeast Arizona.

This field trip will cover all of the habitats in the San Pedro River Valley and the Huachuca Mountains. The critical habitat of the San Pedro is especially user friendly in May; no mosquitoes or mud, lots of shade and birds galore. Beginning at Escapule Wash we will search for Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Bell's Vireo, several different orioles, tanagers, thrashers, warbler migrants and other riparian specialties. The cottonwood forest along the river is particularly lush and may yield Gray Hawk, Vermillion Flycatcher, Abert's Towhee, Blackheaded and Blue Grosbeak and several species of Empidonax Flycatchers. We will finish our River avian smorgasbord with hummingbirds, Tropical Kingbird and perhaps even a Green Kingfisher at the San Pedro House. Generally flat terrain may be some ankle deep water.

Moving on you’ll 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 Cassin’s sparrows, Painted Redstart, Elegant Trogon, Buffbreasted Flycatcher, Graces and Olive Warblers, Hepatic Tanager, and Hummingbird species. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 2-3, Easy to Moderate Guide Vincent Pinto.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  - 12:00 PM: FA7 Ramsey Canyon

On this field trip, we will visit 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 yields Scaled, Montezuma and Gambel's Quail, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Rufous-crowned, Chipping and Botteri's sparrows, Blue and Black-headed Grosbeak, and other canyon outlet species. Ramsey Canyon is a reliable location to find typical montane riparian birds, not to mention specialties of southeastern Arizona. For example, they are home to Arizona and Acorn Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Scott’s Oriole, Painted Redstart, and Red-faced Warbler. We will also look for some of the characteristic plants, mammals, and reptiles of the Huachuca Mountains. Be prepared for a slow hike covering two miles with a 200-foot elevation gain. Hiking Difficulty: 2 , easy. Bring hat, water, sun protection, and wear trail shoes. Guide  Chris Chappell.

7:00 AM  -  4:00 PM(Saturday, May 5, 2018): FS1 Overnight Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz River

Join Professional Guide Mat Brown 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. All meals and lodging at the Fabulous Amado Inn are included. Hiking Difficulty 3 Moderate. Guide Mat Brown

Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations. Single occupancy may be available. Please Call Gordon at 520-two six six- 0149.

7:00 AM  -  4:00 PM(Saturday, May 5, 2018): FS2 Overnight Chiricahua Mountains

Join professional guide Jeff Babson on an overnight trip to the beautiful and world-famous Chiricahua Mountains with birding along the way. With an elevation change from 4,000’ – 8,200’ (not much walking at higher elevations), we will be looking for specialties such as Elegant Trogon and Mexican Chickadee, high elevation warblers like Olive and Red-faced Warbler, several flycatchers and Mexican vagrants. Destinations will include the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Station, the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon, and Rustler Park. This trip includes all meals and lodging at the Southwest Research Station. This trip is best suited for intermediate birding skills. Bring your binoculars, pocket flashlight, wear sturdy hiking boots, and do not forget your headgear and sunscreen. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Guide Jeff Babson

Same sex single participants will be paired for overnight accommodations. Single occupancy will may not be available. Please call Gordon at 520-two six six- 0149.

7:00 PM  -  10:00 PM: FP1 Owls

Owling is one of the most magical of birding adventures. Join professional guide Jennie Macfarland on this night time adventure. The Huachuca Mountains are home to several sought-after nocturnal birds, including Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls, Common Poorwill, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. On this trip, we will target these birds and have the possibility of seeing many other nocturnal creatures. Owling, like all birding, has no guarantees except that we will have a good time. Please do not wear white or very light colored clothing or hats – khaki is okay. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy, Darkness. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and field guide. Cameras are okay. Best suited for intermediate to advanced birders. Owl trips conducted only at the spring event. Guide Jennie MacFarland.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: SA1 Naturalist Saunter

Join Naturalist, Bird Guide, & Wilderness Survival Instructor Vincent Pinto for an exciting full-day trip focused mainly 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 & other Hummingbird spp., Ladder-backed & Gila Woodpeckers, Vermillion Flycatcher, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, other migrating Flycatchers, Bell's Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, Varied Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Botteri's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, Scott's Oriole, & 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 Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Osprey, a variety of Hummingbirds, Belted Kingfisher, Red-naped Sapsucker, migrating Empids and other Flycatchers, migrating Vireos & 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, Mountain Lion tracks & sign, 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! Hiking Difficulty 3, Moderate, Lunch is included. Guide Vincent Pinto

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: SA2 Fort Huachuca

Enjoy a "birdy" day with professional guide Jenny MacFarland 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. Lower elevations are good for Blue Grosbeak, Vermillion Flycatcher and many species of sparrow. At higher elevations, we will hope to encounter Elegant Trogon, Dusky-capped and Buff Breasted Flycatcher, Arizona Woodpecker and Olive and Red Faced Warblers. We will try for Greater Pewee, Grace’s Warbler, Summer and Hepatic Tanager. The elusive Montezuma Quail is possible anywhere on this trip. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 Moderate. Jennie MacFarland guide.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  12:00 noon: SA3 Hunter Canyon

Join professional guide Laurens Halsey on a half day long excursion to see the birdy Hunter Canyon and its Rufus Caped Warblers. 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. Laurens Halsey guide.

You will need a Security Clearance to attend. Click here to view and prepare the required forms.

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: SA4 Las Cienegas NCA

A visit to what was formerly one of the Southwest’s largest cattle ranches with professional bird guide Richard Fray. This expansive BLM National Conservation Area is home to Pronghorn Antelope 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, Blackheaded Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Abert’s Towhee, and Cassin’s, Botteri’s, Song, Lark, and Grasshopper Sparrows. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 2 easy. Richard Fray guide

6:00 AM  -  4:00 PM: SA5 Sonoita Patagonia

Join Tropical Birding tour leader Scott Olmstead for a trip to the Patagonia area. Patagonia is one of southeastern Arizona’s best­ known destinations for riparian birds. Specialties that can be found here include Gray Hawk, Zone-­tailed Hawk, Violet­-crowned Hummingbird, Thick-­billed Kingbird, Tropical Kingbird, and Rufous-­winged Sparrow. The worthwhile 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 being seen most readily. 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 included. Hiking Difficulty: 3, moderate. Scott Olmstead guide

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: SA6 San Pedro Sampler

Flowing north from Mexico through the Sky Island region of Southeastern Arizona the San Pedro is the last major undammed river remaining in the state. This ribbon of life supports 100 species of breeding birds and provides a critical corridor for millions of migrants. In addition to over 350 birds the impressive species list for the river includes 80 mammals, 200 butterflies and over 60 reptiles and amphibians. The cottonwood/willow forest in May is alive with birds including Gray Hawk, many species of flycatchers (Vermilion, empids, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, kingbirds, 3 species of Myiarchus), Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler and possibly Green Kingfisher. A short 15-minute drive will bring us to Gray Hawk Nature Center, a private section of the river that boasts a yard list of 245 species. Flat hiking, plenty of shade, varied habitats and a naturalist guide guarantee a fun and comfortable day for birders of any experience level, beginner to advanced. Lunch included. Hiking Difficulty: 2 Easy. Sandy Anderson Guide

6:00 AM  -  3:00 PM: SA7 Carr Canyon

Enjoy a spectacular road trip to the top of the Huachuca Mts. We will stop in the lower canyon at the Carr Canyon House Nature Center to check out the feeders. The Carr Canyon Road is the only road into the upper reaches of the Huachuca Range off Fort Huachuca. This scenic narrow, winding road was built at the turn of the century to open up the Carr Reef to gold and silver mining. It was reconstructed in the late 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. At 7,400’ elevation, the spruce/fir forest here offers unique birding opportunities. We will drive to the upper campground in Carr Canyon. Along with the birds, this trip offers some of the area’s most spectacular views, from lichen-covered cliff faces to the San Pedro River valley off in the distance. After exploring the campground, and depending on conditions, we can hike in several directions, upward either toward Carr Peak, or down to Comfort Springs, one of the area’s only water sources. Birds we will be looking for include: Hairy Woodpecker, Greater Pewee, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Pygmy Nuthatch, Graces, Red-faced, Virginia’s and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager and Yellow-eyed Junco. The trail to Comfort Springs is moderately steep and at this elevation, the return can be taxing. Lunch is included. Hiking Difficulty: 3 moderate, elevation. This trip is best suited for intermediate birders. Wear comfortable sturdy shoes. Chris Chappell, guide

Our Field Trip prices are:

Over Night $250
Full Day $90
Half Day $45
Owls $45

All Field Trips begin and end at the Cochise College Library, building 900.

Date: May 2 - 5, 2018

Location: Cochise College Library, building 900

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