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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Arizona: Second Spring

Arizona’s “second spring” comes during the summer monsoon when spectacular thunderheads… …become afternoon and evening thunder showers… …which bring this normally dry part of the world to vibrant life. We’ll travel from mountains at nearly 10,000 feet… …through canyons with huge limestone cliffs… …and the lower Sonoran desert with its iconic Saguaro cacti… …to shallow canyons that reach to the Mexican border… …and even the yucca grasslands of the Chihuahuan desert. We stay in comfortable places, at least one verging on the elegant… …and travel in sturdy vans that are perfect for our route. We eat picnics when we can… …and look at everything that crosses our path, like this Two-tailed Swallowtail… …and this handsome Black-tailed Rattlesnake. But of course birds are our primary focus, and we expect to see most of the species for which the area is famous.  Elegant Trogon of course… …the handsome and noisy Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher… …Five-striped Sparrow found in the U.S. in only in a few southheast Arizona canyons… …the even more range-restricted Mexican Chickadee found only in two small mountain groups… …and with luck the shy Montezuma Quail, to mention just a few. Hummingbirds are  major feature of the tour; we may see upwards of 15 species in the field but also in feeder-filled back yards where… …we might find the uncommon  Lucifer Hummingbird (front)… …and White-eared Hummingbird, among many others. We’ll “nightbird” during the day, here a Spotted Owl… …and at night when we might come across a Common Poorwill… …and we may have to endure a series of spectacular monsoon sunsets.