Hotspots Near You

  • 221. Tanque Verde Wash, Tucson, Arizona

    When I bird in the Tanque Verde Wash, the convenience of metropolitan Tucson is close at hand, but I feel like I am far off the beaten path. You won’t find marked trails through the sandy bottom, or signs that indicate this is an excellent place to walk with binoculars and peer into the thick canopy of the cottonwood trees. Yet a quick check of eBird shows that many birders have managed to find this tucked-away gem.

  • 203. Agua Fria National Monument, Black Canyon City, Arizona

    The 71,000-acre Agua Fria National Monument is known primarily for the many Native American petroglyphs that can be found on flat rocks next to the Agua Fria River. The birding, however, is just as impressive. The Badger Springs Wash Trail leads down a flat, sandy wash to the cattail-choked, boulder-strewn river. Two miles long round-trip, the trail is part of an Important Bird Area that covers the monument’s riparian corridors.

  • 196. Yaki and Lipan Points, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 1.2 million acres of the Colorado Plateau and is home to 362 bird species, including California Condor, North America’s largest bird. More than 25 years ago, birders noticed that hawks and other raptors were migrating along the canyon’s South Rim in fall, and in the 1990s, HawkWatch International established official watch sites to tally the movements.

  • 184. Mount Ord, Sunflower, Arizona

    Mount Ord is a favorite of Phoenix-area birders for two reasons: A daytrip up Ord during breeding season gets them out of the low-desert heat, and it is the only place in central Arizona where geography and habitat concentrate all of the state’s mountain warblers — Virginia’s, Black-throated Gray, Grace’s, Olive, and Painted Redstart.

  • 166. Mount Lemmon, Tucson, Arizona

    My favorite birding location in southeastern Arizona is 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon, the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

  • 143. Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Show Low, Arizona

    At 6,300 feet in the White Mountains, Fool Hollow Lake is a cool getaway from the sweltering summer heat of Arizona’s deserts, and the birding here is way cool, too.

  • 136. Garden Canyon, Fort Huachuca, Arizona

    Located on the outskirts of Sierra Vista, Garden Canyon is a lush hotspot noted for sought-after species such as Elegant Trogon and Spotted Owl. But it’s a great place to find many other birds, too. The grassy fields on the way into the canyon, for example, are where to watch for Cassin’s and Botteri’s Sparrows.

  • 79. Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Arizona

    The name may be a bit misleading, but the adjective sweet certainly applies to the birding opportunities at these water-reclamation ponds. The riparian habitat is important for wildlife in the absence of the cottonwood gallery forest that used to exist along the nearby Santa Cruz River. As such, it is a green jewel in an otherwise arid environment.