Avian Jewels of Arizona: Jul 16—24, 2018

Hummingbirds, Trogons, Warblers, & More

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Price: $2,695
Departs: Tucson
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (121.8 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in Nor...


Brennan Mulrooney

Brennan Mulrooney was born and raised in San Diego, California. Growing up, his heart and mi...

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Violet-crowned Hummingbird— Photo: Brennan Mulrooney

Visit the famed birding hot spots of Southeast Arizona during “second spring.” We will seek out the majority of the southwestern specialty birds amid beautiful canyons, forests, and grasslands on this shorter version of our spring tour.

Throughout North America it is the norm to experience four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. While some residents of the far north or south might complain about having fewer than that, in Southeast Arizona they are blessed with five. Each year, usually about mid-summer, the monsoon rains start to fall and the deserts turn green. Some species wait to breed until the rains begin while others attempt a second brood at this time. In essence, a second spring! Our summer Arizona tour is timed to take advantage of this second coming of spring and all of the avian riches it brings. In addition to a flush of bird activity, the afternoon showers that characterize the monsoon serve to lower the temperatures. Combine this with the fact that we spend much of our time in the mountains and canyons, and we often experience surprisingly pleasant temperatures on this tour.

One of the greatest attractions of birding Southeast Arizona at this time of year is the hummingbird show. The combination of breeding residents, fall migrants, and rare summer visitors means that a total of 15 species are possible at this season. Because of this potential, we will visit many different feeding stations in hopes of cashing in on this diversity that is unique north of Mexico. We expect to see Broad-billed, Violet-crowned, Blue-throated, Rivoli’s (formerly Magnificent), Black-chinned, Anna’s, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. Costa’s, Calliope, Allen’s, and Lucifer hummingbirds are less likely, but still very possible. Most exciting, and one of the major reasons for the timing of this trip, are the Mexican species that occur in Arizona mostly as post-breeding wanderers: Berylline and White-eared hummingbirds, and Plain-capped Starthroat. Each year at least one of these species shows up, and sometimes all three!

The next day we headed into Fort Huachuca in hopes of seeing Elegant Trogon. Within fifteen minutes of our arrival we had spied this lovely male.

Elegant Trogon— Photo: Barry Zimmer


In addition to hummingbirds we’ll have a chance to look for most of the Arizona specialties such as Montezuma Quail; Gray and Zone-tailed hawks; Whiskered Screech-Owl; Elegant Trogon; Arizona Woodpecker; Gilded Flicker; Greater Pewee; Buff-breasted, Dusky-capped, and Sulphur-bellied flycatchers; Tropical and Thick-billed kingbirds; Mexican Chickadee; Bendire’s and Crissal thrashers; Olive (scarce in late summer), Virginia’s, Lucy’s, Grace’s, and Red-faced warblers; Painted Redstart; Hepatic Tanager; Abert’s Towhee; Rufous-winged, Five-striped, Cassin’s, and Botteri’s sparrows; Yellow-eyed Junco; Varied Bunting; and more. Four of these species—the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Botteri’s and Cassin’s sparrows, and Varied Bunting—are much more readily found on summer tours than on spring tours. Summer is also a great time for vagrants, as this tour has recorded Short-tailed Hawk, Tufted Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Aztec Thrush, Rufous-capped Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart, and Flame-colored Tanager at least once each in recent years.

Good accommodations; easy to moderate terrain; moderate trail walking (with two more strenuous hikes); cool and rainy to very warm and dry conditions (depending on the monsoons).