aba events

ABA Birding Rally: Sierra Vista, Arizona

trogon_smWhen:  August 15 – 20, 2016
Where: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registration: Closed
Hosts: Richard Fray, Rick Wright, Homer Hansen, Jeff & Liz Gordon, Sheri Williamson, George Armistead and more.
Info/Contact: For more info see here, or email: events@aba.org

Perhaps the hottest corner of the ABA Area for a staggering array of showy, specialty birds, Southeast Arizona in August is a birder’s paradise. This rally is backed right up against the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival so that you can enjoy both events back to back.  While often hot in summer (averages 65-89°F), it is also the monsoon season, a time referred to as Arizona’s second spring. The late summer showers renew the landscape, attracting a bounty of birds.

The Elegant Trogon is an elusive beauty we will seek in Arizona. (Photo © M. Retter)

The Elegant Trogon is an elusive beauty we will seek in Arizona. (Photo © M. Retter)

Based at Sierra Vista, nestled between the Huachuca Mountains and the San Pedro River Valley, the town is well known as “the hummingbird capital of the United States”. These colorful and spirited sprites reach their peak of diversity at this time, and in addition to common species such as Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Violet-crowned and Magnificent Hummingbirds, August often produces sightings of rarer hummers too, including Lucifer, White-eared and Berylline hummingbirds and even Plain-capped Starthroat. The canyons and forests of the Huachucas harbor these, and other sought after species, such as Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Painted Redstart, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, the unique Olive Warbler, and so many others.

The Pyrrhuloxia is a striking cardinalid common in the desert scrub of Arizona. (Photo © M. Retter)

The Pyrrhuloxia is a striking cardinalid common in the desert scrub of Arizona. (Photo © M. Retter)

The San Pedro River cuts through Chihuahuan desert scrub habitat, and is lined with cottonwoods and willows and the area is haven for Gray Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, Abert’s Towhee,  Greater Roadrunner, Phainopepla, Botteri’s and Cassin’s Sparrows, among others.

The Varied Bunting is a sought after bird in southeast Arizona and one we hope to see during the ABA Rally. (Photo © G. Armistead)

The Varied Bunting is a sought after bird in southeast Arizona and one we hope to see during the ABA Rally. (Photo © G. Armistead)

The Patagonia area is well known for attracting many rare vagrants over the years, but it routinely provides sightings of target birds like Varied Bunting, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Thick-billed Kingbird, Pyrrhuloxia, and Zone-tailed Hawk and Lucy’s Warbler are possible too.

Over four days of field trips we will explore the Huachucas, the San Pedro River and Patagonia at a relaxed pace, getting to know this gorgeous, birdy area while picking up a great bunch of birds along the way. Join your fellow ABA members and friends for an Arizona adventure in 2016!

FIELD TRIPS

Huachucas
Not far from our hotel in Sierra Vista is Carr Canyon, which will give us a chance to see birds such as Buff­breasted Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Olive Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Yellow­eyed Junco, migrant warblers, Zone-­tailed Hawk and others. We’ll also visit a hummingbird feeder station nearby.

Las Cienagas & Patagonia
About an hour drive from Sierra Vista is the famous hotspot of Patagonia and the grasslands of Las Cienagas. We’ll search for Scaled Quail, Botteri’s, Cassin’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, Swainson’s Hawk, and animals like Desert Pronghorn. Mid-day we will hit the Patagonia Roadside Rest Area to search for Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Varied Bunting, Thick-billed Kingbird, and after a search for Violet-crowned Hummingbird, we’ll finish up the afternoon at Patagonia Lake birding the edges of the lake there.

East Chiricahuas
This is the longest field trip of the week with a good amount of driving involved but it gives us good chances at several specialty species. Due to the longer travel time, breakfast will be packed and cold, and we will bring boxed lunches. The Portal area is good for hummingbirds, possibly Scaled Quail, and as we ascend higher in the Chiricahuas, we will have a chance to see birds such as Red-faced Warbler, Olive Warbler, and hopefully Elegant Trogon.

“Clean Up” Target Birds Day
The night before our final field day, we will provide attendees several field trip options they may choose from to see some new sites or work on any birds they still would like to see not covered in the previous field days.

FOR MORE INFO click here.


Cancellation policy: Full refund, less $150.00 per person administration fee, until June 15th, 2016. No refunds after June 15th, 2016.

Travel Insurance
We highly recommend that all attendees registering for any ABA event consider purchasing travel insurance to guard against problems caused by severe weather, injury/illness, and any other logistical issue that might prevent a registrant from attending and participating in the event. Refunds beyond the cancellation date simply are not possible. Many members make use of companies such as Allianz, CSA, or Travel Guard to insure their trips.

Greater Roadrunner should be a nearly daily feature during this rally. (Photo by M. Retter)

Greater Roadrunner should be a nearly daily feature during this rally. (Photo by M. Retter)