Experience Tucson Audubon’s Southeast Arizona Birding Festival, August 7-11, 2019. Guided field trips for both beginning and advanced birders are led by expert bird guides, photography workshops, free talks, and a vendor expo.
Southeastern Arizona has a wide variety of habitats including Sky Island Mountains, the Sonoran Desert and lowland riparian areas, grasslands, and mountain foothills that result in great bird diversity,
See birds you can't find anywhere else in the U.S., such as Elegant Trogon, Lucifer Hummingbird, Red-faced Warbler, Arizona Woodpecker, Montezuma Quail and many more! All activities will be based out of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson - Reid Park.
For more information visit Southeast Birding Festival.
Marana Birding Hotspots
There are four excellent sites for watching birds in Marana.
- El Rio Preserve is a fairly easy walking area where one can see riparian and grassland species, as well as views of raptors soaring above the nearby Tucson Mountains.
- The Crossroads Park River Walk along the Santa Cruz River is great for spotting riparian species, including many warblers, and during summer evenings bats emerge in vast numbers near the Ina Road Bridge.
There are several good hiking trails Tortolita Mountains, with opportunities to see hawks, eagles, and many other species.
The irrigated farm fields in Marana are especially of interest for locating raptor species.
El Rio Preserve
While you’re out and about, don’t miss the newest riparian bird-watching spot just off the I-10 freeway toward the Tucson Mountains from the Tucson Premium Outlets exit.
El Rio Preserve is a 104-acre riparian area owned by the Town of Marana. It’s located on the west side of the Santa Cruz River and it is one of the top birding spots in the Tucson area, with an ebird list of 227 species recorded.
For more information visit: http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L350281?yr=all&m=&rank=lrec.
A few highlights recently observed at El Rio Preserve include a Barn owl, Snowy egrets, Black-necked stilts, Bell’s vireo, Great blue herons, Neotropic cormorants, Killdeer, Yellow warblers, Bell’s vireos, Yellow-breasted chats, Abert’s towhees, Lark sparrows, Mallards, Anna’s and Costa’s hummingbirds, Northern rough-winged swallows, Cliff swallows, Curve-billed thrashers, Cassin’s kingbirds, White-winged doves and a Cooper’s hawk.
Don't miss: The Tucson Audubon Society’s Mason Nature Center, near Marana, offers bird walks during the summer, November through April.