Planning Resources -- What You Need to Know First

Before you even start planning your itinerary, these resources will provide the basis for making the very most of your trip.

Books:

Invest in the latest edition of one of the two guidebooks covering this area.  Information about birding sites changes, so it pays to have the latest information available.

Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona, Revised 8th edition, 2015, published by Tucson Audubon Society, and A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona, by Richard Cachor Taylor, published by the American Birding Association, revised in 2005.

There are many good field guides that cover the western US.  The following field guide is specific to our area.

Birds of Southeastern Arizona, by Richard Cachor Taylor
In this pocket-sized photographic guide, Taylor describes and illustrates 423 species of birds, and includes almost every species you could conceivably see in this corner of the state. The species accounts are concise and clear, and contain “noteworthy” facts for many species. 670 bird photos.

Maps:

Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail Map:  52 bird-rich and birder friendly locations, with directions to each.

Latest Bird Sightings:

  • Get up-to-date area bird sightings from the Arizona-New Mexico Listserv.
    To subscribe (it’s free) or unsubscribe use the Subscribe or Unsubscribe buttons on that page.
    To view archive of bird sightings, click “Archive” on that page.
    When planning a future trip, you can get a good idea of what birds you may see while here by looking up the sightings from previous years during the same weeks as your projected visit.
    After joining, post your own sightings of birds in Arizona and/or New Mexico. Click here to send your sightings via e-mail to the list. Add this address to your address book to make posting simpler in the future.
  • Use eBird to find your specific target birds: From the menu bar on the home page, choose Explore Data.  Next, choose Range and Point Maps. At the top of that page, enter the species name. You may enter specific dates and places, or leave those boxes blank for seeing all the data on that species.  On the resulting map, zoom in to see the exact location points for that species and the dates of observations. The most recent observation dates are listed at the top.
    You can contribute to science and conservation by joining the e-Bird community (it’s free) and sharing  your own sightings.
  • The Sialia Digest was created to help birders find out what’s going on lately in various regions of the U.S. with a minimum of hassle. The Digest automatically compiles posts to dozens of birding email lists and organizes them by region, by day, and by list. Birders can view the current day’s messages, or browse messages from the last 30 days.

Visitor Information:

The Sierra Vista Visitors Bureau has lots of free information, including a calendar of events, places to stay, things to do, and downloadable brochures.

Organized Walks:

Organized walks and field trips, both free and paid, are valuable ways to spend time with other birders and well-trained local guides.  To find out about them, check out the calendars of the following web sites:

Birding Festivals (local and otherwise):

An up-to-date list of birding festivals in the US may be found on the American Birding Association website, here.