Spring Grand Arizona: May 10—20, 2019

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Price: $3,295
Departs: Tucson
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (2.4 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Barry Zimmer

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

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Elegant Trogon

Elegant Trogon— Photo: Kevin Zimmer

Good chances for all the Southeastern Arizona specialties including 9 species of owls, 8 or more species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, and more.

They have been called the Mexican Mountains and the Sky Islands. The Santa Ritas, Huachucas, and Chiricahua Mountains are islands of cool greenery rising from the deserts and grasslands of Southeastern Arizona. As the northernmost outliers of the Mexican Sierra Madre, these ranges and their well-watered canyons host many Mexican species found nowhere else in the United States.

In the lower canyons, the barks of the Elegant Trogon, the rattle of the Arizona Woodpecker, the squeals of the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and the mellow song of the Painted Redstart ring through the oaks and sycamores. Higher up, amidst the conifers and Gambel oaks, roving mixed-species flocks harbor Red-faced, Virginia’s, and Olive warblers, Greater Pewee, and Mexican Chickadee. Along desert washes one may find Lucy’s Warbler, the secretive Crissal Thrasher, or the highly localized Rufous-winged and Five-striped sparrows. Riparian forests and streamside thickets may yield such highly-sought species as Common Black Hawk, Gray Hawk, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, and Thick-billed Kingbird.

Owls and hummingbirds deserve special mention. Nowhere in North America can one find more species of owls in such a small area. Ten species are possible, and eight or more can be expected on any given trip. Included among these are Spotted, Flammulated, and Elf owls, Northern Pygmy-Owl, and Whiskered Screech-Owl. Likewise, 14 species of hummingbirds have been recorded on this tour with eight or more likely on each trip. From the giant Blue-throated and Magnificent to the tiny Costa’s and flashy Violet-crowned, hummingbirds abound.

An additional allure of Southeastern Arizona is the ever-present possibility of vagrants from Mexico. Exotics such as Plain-capped Starthroat, Berylline Hummingbird, Rufous-backed Robin, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart, and Flame-colored Tanager have been recorded at least once on past tours.

Good accommodations; easy to moderate terrain; two strenuous hikes combined with many short walks, roadside birding, and feeder watching; mild to warm climate (potentially hot in desert areas).