A change of pace is required for every birder and Arizona offers that. It might not have flashy locations that attract hordes of birders, but it does have some interesting spots. The advantage of Arizona is that it attracts birds that aren’t commonly detected at some popular locations. Every individual that considers birding as a serious hobby should at least once visit this state and its bird watching sites.
Now, Arizona has a dozen or so spots that should be visited, but just two out of those spots attract a larger number of bird species. If you aren’t interested in the quantity, then it’s important to note that some rare birds visit this state as well, so it will be worth your time.
Cave Creek Canyon – Mountains that attract birds throughout the year
This location is remote, and thus many avoid it as it is located in Chiricahua Mountains. The beauty of the mountains is one thing that attracts serious birders and the presence of various bird species throughout the year is another one. Yes, birds are present at this location for the whole year, and an avid birder can spot around 400 species if they visit every month or so.
Those that decide to visit the Cave Creek Canyon will be able to spot, among other species, curve-billed thrashers, cactus wrens and Gambel’s quails. Raptors are also present at this location. Among many raptors that can be sighted here, zone-tailed hawk, the golden eagle, and the Western screech owl are just some of them.
The Cave Creek Canyon is also famous for two more things. First, there are hummingbirds. Nearly all of the species of hummingbird can be spotted here. SO, if you are an avid hummingbird lover, then this is a premium location for you. The other thing for which this place is known for is the elegant trogon which is an exotic species that are hard to spot. It can be sighted during summer, and if you are lucky, you will be one of few people to see this beautiful bird.
Sky islands – Location that offers diversity
The beauty of the Sky islands is the variety that this site presents. It has different biomes that attract some fairly interesting and beautiful bird species.
Whitewater Draw is a vast habitat famous for being a winter resting place for a lot of species such as Sandhill Cranes as well as many shorebirds and waterfowl species.
Ash Canyon is a part of the Sky Islands that has three different habitats, so extensive preparation is necessary to cover everything in this area. It is well known as a place where it is possible to spot Lucifer hummingbird as well as Scott’s Oriole.
Arizona – A land of birder dreams
Arizona is one of the states that attract rare birds that are quite elusive. Visiting it as a stop on a trans-American birding trip is a must. Those that look for quantity on their trips will also be satisfied if they visit one of the several locations in Arizona where birds rest during the winter.