Southeast Arizona: Birding the Sky Islands - Birding Tour
Arizona is well and truly on the beaten track; out-of-state and foreign birders have been streaming into the state for decades. For good reason! A surfeit of habitat diversity, combined with its privileged location on the Mexican border has given Arizona a list of more than 550 species. The southeastern corner of the state offers a delectable set of enticing birds, many of which are rarely seen north of here. For ABA listers, treats like Elegant Trogon, Spotted and Elf Owls, Montezuma Quail, Red-faced Warbler, and Five-striped Sparrow are hard to resist. On top of that, there are some of Arizona’s signature birds, from their well-chosen state bird, the Cactus Wren, to their “highway specialist”, the Greater Roadrunner. And, for family listers, Phainopepla and Olive Warbler are likely to provide entirely new families for many.
One of the attractions of Arizona is that it delivers top quality birding all year round. However, arguably the advent of the “second spring”, with the onset of monsoon rains in July and August, offers the very best time of all. All the celebrity species are still present, and they are supported by a luscious cast of hummingbirds. This is THE time to get the highest diversity of hummingbird species, not only in the state, but all of North America. The monsoon season can also be a good time to look for some of the rarities for which SE Arizona is famous – species such as Plain-capped Starthroat, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Flame-colored Tanager, and a host of others have all been recorded in recent years.