Arizona 2024: Hummingbirds

The Jewels of Southeastern Arizona

August 10 – 17, 2024

Tour Length: 8 days
Est. Spaces Left: Spaces available!

Arizona boasts the third-highest total of bird species by state in the United States, pretty impressive for being completely landlocked. In particular, the southeast corner holds the highest diversity due to the confluence of eastern and western species; and many southern species that just spill over the international border here. Southeast Arizona is a land of contrasts, where rugged, forested mountains form “sky islands” within the Sonoran Desert. Rivers, like the Santa Cruz and San Pedro, flow slowly across arid valleys, creating ribbons of greenery along their banks by supporting cottonwoods and willows. Middle elevations are covered by rich grasslands and juniper-oak woodland while the highest elevations harbor mixed coniferous forests. In between, one finds desert areas dominated by impressive saguaro cacti, dense mesquite thickets, man-made wetlands that are magnets for water birds, and ancient stands of sycamores along creeks and canyons. This variety of habitats packed into a relatively small area is home to the greatest diversity of breeding birds in the United States. Many species from further south reach their range limits in southeastern Arizona and occur nowhere else in the country. This tour will focus on these southeast Arizona specialties, including up to 13 species of hummingbirds, southwest desert birds, and the spectacular variety of nocturnal birds that can be found here.

Tour Leaders

Stephan Lorenz
Claudia Cavazos

Focus

Birding, Photography, Southwest scenery & ambience

Price

Double Accommodation: $3,200/person
Single Supplement: + $600
Deposit: $500

Max Group Size

7 with 1 leader up to 14 with 2 leaders

Pace

Easy to Moderate; Easy with one optional, more strenuous hike

Future Departures

August 2024

Tour Description

August is a great time to visit the birding hotspots of southeast Arizona. The majority of specialty species are present with certain tricky species like Montezuma Quail and Botteri’s and Cassin’s Sparrows being easier to find as they become vocal during the onset of the monsoon breeding season. In addition, it is peak hummingbird season and the resident hummingbirds are augmented by migrants with up to a dozen species possible (10 are very likely). These jewels of the avian world can be studied in great detail at various feeder setups that range from the riparian areas to the foothills, making southeast Arizona the hummingbird capital of the United States. We will stay at the charming Ramsey Canyon Inn in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains for your entire stay!

It is also possible to see the vast majority of specialty species during August, including Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks, Mexican Jay, Arizona Woodpecker, Thick-billed and Tropical Kingbirds, Sulphur-bellied, Dusky-capped, and Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Greater Pewee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Mexican Chickadee, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Bendire’s Thrasher, Olive Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Abert’s Towhee, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco, and the stunning Elegant Trogon. We will also venture forth at night to look for the various species of owls present in this corner of the Grand Canyon State. During August, the owls have finished nesting and tend to be less vocal (thus a bit trickier to find), but we still have excellent chances for Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls and Great Horned Owl. With great luck we might find Spotted Owl on a day roost and we will always keep our ears open for the call of the Northern Pygmy-Owl. We also have good chances to see a variety of mammals during our day and night excursions including Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Cliff Chipmunk, Rock Squirrel, Mexican Fox Squirrel, Coyote, Hog-nosed Skunk, and Collared Peccary.

August is also a great time to witness the onset of fall migration with flycatchers and warblers passing through plus a wide variety of species typical of the southwest desert region. Additionally, we will try to track down any Mexican rarities that may be present (August is a great time of year to locate post-breeding dispersers from Mexico), such as White-eared Hummingbird, Rufous-capped Warbler, Flame-colored Tanager, or Streak-backed Oriole, all of which are possible.

Locations

Gallery

More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

Montezuma Quail; Botteri’s, Rufous-winged & Cassin’s Sparrows; Zone-tailed & Grey Hawks; Mexican Jay; Arizona Woodpecker; Thick-billed & Tropical Kingbirds; Sulphur-bellied, Dusky-capped & Buff-breasted Flycatchers; Greater Pewee; Northern Beardless Tyrannulet; Mexican Chickadee; Black-capped Gnatcatcher; Bendire’s Thrasher; Olive & Red-faced Warblers; Painted Redstart; Abert’s Towhee; Yellow-eyed Junco; Elegant Trogon; Whiskered & Western Screech Owls, Northern Pygmy, Great Horned & Spotted Owls. Possible rarities: White-eared Hummingbird; Rufous-capped Warbler; Flame-colored Tanager; Streak-backed Oriole

Top Mammals

White-nosed Coati; Coyote; Rock Squirrel; White-tailed & Mule Deer; Black Bear; Ringtail; Mountain Lion (rare)

Habitats

Chichuahan & Sonoran Desert; high desert; Sierra Madrean forest; mountain forest

Other Attractions

Scenery, wildlife, geology, history

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Arrive at Tucson Airport and transfer to Ramsey Canyon Inn

Accommodations

Very comfortable B&B for all nights

Included

Seven nights lodging; all meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on day 8; expert guide; transportation; permits; entrance fees; taxes.

Excluded

Alcoholic beverages, personal phone calls, all other items of a personal nature.

Expected Climate

Mild to hot depending upon elevation. Monsoon rains will typically cool things off.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Credit cards/cash; Binoculars; Scope and tripod (optional); Sunglasses and sunscreen; Water bottle; Small umbrella; Small day pack/fanny pack; Small flashlight; Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater); Itch relief cream; Lip screen/balm; Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems; OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops,eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal); Toiletries; Small alarm clock; Field guides; Hiking Boots/Shoes; Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals; Light-weight long pants; Light-weight long-sleeved shirts; Hat with brim/visor; Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat; Rain jacket/windbreaker; Shorts; T-shirts; Moleskin for blisters