Arizona in Winter *FULL*
World-class birding, spectacular scenery, and sunshine…in February?
That’s what you can expect from a winter Arizona trip, even though it does get chilly at night. Species diversity remains high in the winter and there are a considerable number of winter specialties, some of which can’t be predicted ahead of time, such as Rufous-backed Robin and Green Kingfisher. We will be flexible to maximize our chances for these kinds of birds, but also for the more regularly rare wintering birds such as Louisiana Warbler and other vagrants.
There are several winter specialties we will be looking for in the Santa Cruz flats: Mountain Plover, Lark Bunting, Crested Caracara, and Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspur. In Patagonia, the beautiful Violet-crowned Hummingbird should be reliable at Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds.
We will make a few stops along the Santa Cruz river, birding the riparian areas. There are always a few rarities around that we can look for en route. We will also spend half a day in the lower elevations of Madera Canyon, one of the best birding locations in the country.
A major highlight of every winter Arizona trip are the thrashers. The resident thrashers sing primarily in January and February and can be difficult to locate outside of these months. We are hoping to find them nicely lined up and singing! They include LeConte’s, Crissal, Bendire’s, and Curve-billed. Sage Thrasher is a winter guest and will not be singing.