Maricopa Audubon Society Birds in Maricopa County
 

Maricopa Audubon Society Field Trips & Christmas Bird Counts

Useful Field Trip Information

Car Pooling: Please make every effort to organize your own carpool; consolidate vehicles at meeting places and/or contact leaders for car pooling assistance. Be courteous to your driver and help cover their driving expenses. We recommend that passengers reimburse drivers 20 cents per mile.

Limit: Maximum number of participants per field trip. Please call early to make your reservations.

Difficulty Levels 1 through 5: We use a difficulty scale. 1 equals very low level of exertion, short walking distance, considerable birding from vehicle and possible multiple birding stops. 5 equals very high level of difficulty with respect to exertion. Longer hiking distances are expected with possible steep trails. All trips are level 1 unless noted otherwise.

Audubon Society Field Trips

Day Passes Required for National Forests. Many favorite spots in our National Forests now require Day Use Passes. You are responsible to acquire a day pass ($6) in advance of field trips with an asterisk (*). Passes are available by phone or mail, at FS district and ranger offices, Big 5, some Circle K’s, the Shell station at Tom Darlington and Cave Creek Road and elsewhere. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/tp/where.shtml for more information.

Facebook Page: MAS member, Michael Plagens, has organized a Facebook page to share information about upcoming field trips and to organize your own trips. Please visit and "like" this page to get announcement sent to your email.

Reminders:

  • Be courteous to the trip leader and help cover their gas costs.
  • Wear neutral colored clothing and sturdy walking shoes.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, head protection and water.
  • Always bring your binoculars. Bring a scope if recommended.
  • Be quiet so others can bird by ear.
  • Unless stated otherwise, reservations are required.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors.


Friday, March 3
Tempe’s Urban Ponds
This easy local trip will start about 7:15 am in Tempe, and explore the ponds at ASU Research Park first, before heading over to Kiwanis Park to check out the pond. Expect the usual variety of winter waterfowl to be present, plus common urban desert species. This is an excellent beginner’s trip, but may include some surprises (such as Black-hooded Parakeets and mergansers), and excellent close-up views, that keep more experienced birders interested. Wrap up about 10:30 am. Difficulty 1-2. Limit 8.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net.

Sunday, March 5
Superstition Wilderness Foothills Survey
Participate in a conservation challenge to document the flora and fauna of the upland desert located just outside the Superstition Wilderness north of Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This beautiful portion of the Tonto National Forest is threatened by Resolution Copper’s proposed toxic 4400 acre tailings dump from their mine at Oak Flat. The more species we can document utilizing this area, the better chance we will have of preserving it. Help expand our knowledge of native biota while exploring the Arizona Trail, desert habitats, and remote canyons. Past spring sightings here include Zone-tailed Hawk, Wilson's Snipe, Vesper Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia, Hooded Oriole, and Texan Crescent (butterfly). Meet 6:15 am. Return late afternoon. Bring lunch, snacks, water, hat, and binoculars. Difficulty 2. This trip requires 4WD over rugged back roads. We will spend half the time traveling, half the time surveying. Limit 12.
Leaders: Lisa Fitzner and Laurie Nessel. Reservations 480 968-5614, laurienessel@gmail.com


Saturdays, March 11April 8, and May 13
Tempe Town Lake

Do you enjoy walking around Tempe Town Lake, yet are not sure of what birds you are seeing?  Join Bobbe Taber on a bird watching trip at the far East side of Tempe Town Lake each 2nd Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Designed for up to 8 adults each month, the trip will explore the far east side of the lake where a variety of ducks, herons, and cormorants are often seen, with a likely chance of spotting Osprey, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Great Egret, Snowy Egret and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.  Each month the bird sightings will change as we progress through spring migration into summer.
Meet at 8:00 am at the northwest corner of the parking lot of Tempe Marketplace next to the southeast end of the McClintock bridge over the Lake.  The street address is 11 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281.   Plan to walk slowly for 2 hours mostly along a paved or gravel trail. Participants should have good mobility and balance.  Bring water, sunscreen, and binoculars and a bird book if you have them.  Trip limit is 8 adults. Difficulty 1-2.
Leader: Bobbe Taber, contact taberbobbe@gmail.com for reservations.


Saturday, March 18
Flagstaff Area Lakes
Meet at 8:00 am near the intersection of I-40 and I-17. Bring a lunch and warm clothing. Look for waterfowl on the lakes. Possible species include Bald Eagle, Red Crossbill and Pinyon Jay. Minimum of 6 people required.
Leader: Charles Babbitt, 602 840-1772 or cjbabbitt@cox.net.


Sunday, April 2
Oak Flat and Devil’s Canyon
Explore the secluded, underbirded, riparian habitat, desert uplands, and chaparral scrub of Devil’s Canyon (Ga’an Canyon) south of Oak Flat Campground. This area, sacred to the San Carlos Apache, is threatened by what could be the largest copper mine in North America. If time allows, also visit Oak Flat Campground for resident species. Possible species include Black-chinned Sparrow and Crissal Thrasher. A four wheel drive vehicle is required. Meet at 6:15 am in Mesa. Return by 7:00 pm. (Those who cannot stay may leave at various stages of the trip). Bring lunch, hat, and water. Difficulty 3 (387’ elevation drop in 0.38 miles). A walking stick might be helpful. Limit 8.
Leader: Laurie Nessel, laurienessel@gmail.com, 480 968-5614


Saturday, April 8 and May 13
Tempe Town Lake

Do you enjoy walking around Tempe Town Lake, yet are not sure of what birds you are seeing?  Join Bobbe Taber on a bird watching trip at the far East side of Tempe Town Lake each 2nd Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Designed for up to 8 adults each month, the trip will explore the far east side of the lake where a variety of ducks, herons, and cormorants are often seen, with a likely chance of spotting Osprey, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Great Egret, Snowy Egret and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.  Each month the bird sightings will change as we progress through spring migration into summer.
Meet at 8:00 am at the northwest corner of the parking lot of Tempe Marketplace next to the southeast end of the McClintock bridge over the Lake.  The street address is 11 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281.   Plan to walk slowly for 2 hours mostly along a paved or gravel trail. Participants should have good mobility and balance.  Bring water, sunscreen, and binoculars and a bird book if you have them.  Trip limit is 8 adults. Difficulty 1-2.
Leader: Bobbe Taber, contact taberbobbe@gmail.com for reservations.

Sunday, April 9
Arivaipa Canyon Wilderness area
This is a true wilderness area with no facilities once you get into the canyon. The hike is along the side of (and quite often in) the Aravaipa Creek so participants should be in good physical shape and able to walk on rugged terrain both in and out of the creek. The day involves a three hour drive each way to and from the canyon and approximately four to five hours of hiking in the canyon. In order to be at the canyon as early as possible we will leave at about 5:00 am. Bring enough water for this length of time, lunch, snacks, head coverage, sunscreen, closed-toed shoes for the hike, and a second pair of shoes to wear for the drive to and from the canyon. This is prime migration time; birds that can be seen are migrants and some of the winter birds that have not yet left us. Expect several types of sparrows, tanagers, raptors, flycatchers, and usually Purple Martins and Gray Hawks. Other fauna include butterflies, dragonflies, lizards, snakes, and coatis. Since this is an area that requires passes and is a new hike for MAS, only three spaces are available.  
Difficulty 3.  
Leader: Veronica Heron, v.heron@yahoo.com

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 11-12
Slaughter Ranch, near Douglas 
Leave about 5:00 am on Tuesday and take in a couple of regular and productive spots on the way to Douglas (Sweetwater Wetlands and Las Cienegas National Conservation Area), stay overnight in Douglas, then leave early to enjoy the drive into Slaughter Ranch and the various habitats there for a full morning of birding. Picnic at the Ranch, then head out about 12:30 pm to stop at the Saint David Monastery to see if we get lucky with the Mississippi Kite that has been fairly reliable in the past. Look for migrants on their journey north at this early time in the season: warblers, vireos, tanagers, grosbeaks, and flycatchers, plus the common species that inhabit the wetlands, riparian areas, grasslands, and higher desert included in this trip. Return to Phoenix about 7:00 pm. Limit 8. 
Leader: Kathe Anderson, Kathe.coot@cox.net.

Saturday, April 29
Sunflower-Mt. Ord
Among the species we should see are Gray Vireo, Scott’s Oriole, Black and Zone-tailed Hawks, and Black-chinned Sparrow. On Mt. Ord, look for the Arizona warblers as well as migrating Hermit and Townsend’s Warblers. Bring lunch.  Difficulty 2-3. Limit 8.
Leader: Charles Babbitt, 602 840-1772, cjbabbitt@cox.net

Saturday, May 13
Tempe Town Lake

Do you enjoy walking around Tempe Town Lake, yet are not sure of what birds you are seeing?  Join Bobbe Taber on a bird watching trip at the far East side of Tempe Town Lake each 2nd Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Designed for up to 8 adults each month, the trip will explore the far east side of the lake where a variety of ducks, herons, and cormorants are often seen, with a likely chance of spotting Osprey, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Great Egret, Snowy Egret and a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.  Each month the bird sightings will change as we progress through spring migration into summer.
Meet at 8:00 am at the northwest corner of the parking lot of Tempe Marketplace next to the southeast end of the McClintock bridge over the Lake.  The street address is 11 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281.   Plan to walk slowly for 2 hours mostly along a paved or gravel trail. Participants should have good mobility and balance.  Bring water, sunscreen, and binoculars and a bird book if you have them.  Trip limit is 8 adults. Difficulty 1-2.
Leader: Bobbe Taber, contact taberbobbe@gmail.com for reservations.

Saturday, May 20
Pinal Mountain 
The Pinal Mountain area could yield more than 100 species in a day of birding.  The last of the spring passage migrants and almost all the nesting species will be active. Cover four main habitats up the slope, each one with its own community of birds. Summer Tanager, Lucy's Warbler and Vermilion Flycatcher will be in the mesquite (3500’); Scott's Oriole, Gray Vireo, and Black-chinned Sparrow will be in the chaparral; Virginia's Warbler, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, and Hepatic Tanager will be in the Ponderosa Pines; and Mountain Chickadee, Olive Warbler, and Yellow-eyed Junco are found in the Douglas Fir-Aspen near the peak (7890’). Sunrise is at 5:25 am, and the temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees cooler at the top than in Phoenix. Bring water and lunch. This trip includes two or three short walks into the mesquite and Ponderosa Pine habitats, but they are level and easy trails. Bring a walking stick if you feel more comfortable using one. Most birding, however, will be from the road and near the cars. You will receive a checklist for the area two weeks before the trip. Leave Tempe at 4:00 am. The drive to Globe will take about one hour and 20 minutes. Return about 3:00 pm. Limit 11 with three drivers in three cars.
Leader:  Dave Pearson. For reservations, contact Larry Langstaff, larrylangstaff1@gmail.com or text 480 710-0431

Monday-Wednesday, May 22-24
Patagonia
A perfect time to catch the rainbow of summer birds in southeast Arizona, including a variety of migrating and nesting flycatchers, warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and orioles, as well as Gray and Black Hawks. If the trip fills early and folks are willing, we’ll stay at the Duquesne House B&B, a lovely retreat in town with a fabulous backyard for attracting birds to its feeders (with a special rate for mid-week, although we’ll have to plan potluck breakfasts to give us maximum flexibility for early morning birding). Birding locations will likely include Sweetwater Wetlands, Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, the famous Roadside Rest, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, The Paton Center for Hummingbirds, and the Harshaw Loop. Back about 5:00 pm in Phoenix. Limit 8.
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

Monday, June 5
Verde River and Rio Verde Ranch
Start about 5:15 am in Fountain Hills and explore a few sites along the Verde River, ending at Box Bar Ranch for an early packed lunch. In addition to desert birds, hope to see the influx of summer visitors along the river, including Yellow Warblers, Bell’s Vireos, Summer Tanagers, and Blue Grosbeaks. Finish by noon in Fountain Hills. Limit 8. 
Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

 

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Last updated: March 11, 2017 23:11