Banner picture

Annual Southeast Arizona Birding Tour

One of the top birding destinations in the US because of great diversity of birdlife.

     Habitats vary from desert lowlands, high grasslands, to oak-juniper canyons. This tour starts in Green Valley which has easy access to Madera Canyon, restored wetlands, and riparian habitats. The tour will venture as far west as Buenas Aires and trace the Santa Cruz river valley south to Nogales near the border of Mexico, over to the lakes of Patagonia, across the San Rafael grasslands, and then finally up to the vistas and high elevation pine forests of Mt. Lemmon.

Image of Arizona

Click locations on the map to learn about birding opportunities on each day.

     View images of the species and locations that await. While the target species are not an exhaustive list, they represent the most unique and likely birds to be found at each location.

Map of southern Arizona








This exciting six-day tour will be moderately paced with opportunities to slow down, especially for the mid-day siesta.

     All walking excursions will be no longer than two miles and often less. An alternative plan will be proposed for anyone opting out of walking who still wants to bird.

What is the pricing of this tour?
This trip can be done for a minimum daily cost of approximately $150 including stays in a chain hotel with low-cost fast or slow food restaurants or ready to eat grocery store food options, not inluding transportation costs.

How should I get to Arizona?
The closest destination for air travel is Tucson, but Phoenix may be a more attractive destination due to flight options and price. The tour will begin in Green Valley, which is a drive of 30 minutes from Tucson or 2 hours from the Phoenix airport.

What will the daily schedule look like?
Walking tours will tend to start early in the cool mornings and then resume in late afternoon. The mid day will allow for a restful siesta. Some birding, such as in the grasslands, will be more car oriented with frequent stops.

What is typical temperature and weather?
Daytime temperatures in the region for this time of year average around 80 degrees, but could be hotter at mid day at the lower elevations. Nights in the deserts can be quite cool, sometimes even reaching near freezing in the mountains.

What are the transportation options within Arizona?
Due to the pandemic, individual rental cars will be needed and can be rented from Phoenix or Tucson.

Where should I stay during the tour?
A few hotel selections are listed below. In bold are the guide's top choices.

Green Valley:

  1. Comfort Inn Green Valley I-19, 90 W Esperanza Blvd, Green Valley, AZ 85614
  2. Best Western Green Valley Inn, 111 South La CaƱada Drive, Green Valley, AZ 85614
  1. Holiday Inn Express Nogales, 850 W Shell Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621
  2. Best Western Sonora Inn & Suites, 750 W Shell Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621
  3. Candlewood Suites Nogales, 875 N Frank Reed Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621
  1. Ramada Suites Tucson East, 4855 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson AZ
  2. Any Tucson airport hotel