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Arizona

Birding Bonanza

Program No. 7414RJ
Explore three of the nation’s top birding destinations to spot sandhill cranes, western tanagers and myriad other species as you learn from experts and add to your birding list.
Length
6 days
Rating (4.96)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,749

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Nov 12 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Jan 7 - Jan 12, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Jan 21 - Jan 26, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Feb 4 - Feb 9, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Feb 18 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Mar 3 - Mar 8, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Mar 31 - Apr 5, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
1,899
Nov 17 - Nov 22, 2024
Starting at
1,899
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Nov 12 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
2,019
Jan 7 - Jan 12, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Jan 21 - Jan 26, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Feb 4 - Feb 9, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Feb 18 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Mar 3 - Mar 8, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Mar 31 - Apr 5, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
2,299
Nov 17 - Nov 22, 2024
Starting at
2,299

At a Glance

Three of the Top 10 birding destinations in the U.S. are within a close radius of Sierra Vista. The region is a seasonal home to many migrating species, including the Green-tailed Towhee, Belted Kingfisher and Western Tanager. Visit premier viewing sites in the Huachuca Mountains, San Pedro Riparian area and other sites known throughout the world as premier viewing sites. An average of 100-125 species of birds may be spotted during this birding adventure!
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking up to one mile and standing up to one hour. Elevation ranges between 3900 and 5800 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • View the migration of Sandhill Cranes during an exploration of the Sulphur Springs Valley.
  • Enjoy opportunities to spot key species inside the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, encompassing 57,000 acres teeming with birds.
  • Experience premier birding amid the peaks and canyons of the Huachuca Mountains and observe the many water bird species living on and around Patagonia Lake.

General Notes

Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field, according to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Matt Brown
Matt Brown has been a birding enthusiast from a young age! In elementary school, Matt taught birding ID to his fellow classmates. He went on to study psychology at Syracuse University before moving to Arizona in 1998 to pursue his passion of bird watching and bird leader. Locally, Matt has worked for the Nature Conservancy, Patagonia Lake State Park, Road Scholar and local birding and butterfly festivals. Since 2002, Matt has owned the Patagonia Birding & Butterfly Company offering custom birding and butterfly programs.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Matt Brown
Matt Brown View biography
Matt Brown has been a birding enthusiast from a young age! In elementary school, Matt taught birding ID to his fellow classmates. He went on to study psychology at Syracuse University before moving to Arizona in 1998 to pursue his passion of bird watching and bird leader. Locally, Matt has worked for the Nature Conservancy, Patagonia Lake State Park, Road Scholar and local birding and butterfly festivals. Since 2002, Matt has owned the Patagonia Birding & Butterfly Company offering custom birding and butterfly programs.
Profile Image of Sharon Goldwasser
Sharon Goldwasser View biography
Sharon Goldwasser became an avid birder and naturalist as a student at UC-Santa Cruz. She worked as a field biologist for several years, then moved to Tucson for graduate school in ecology where she studied song mimicry by Lesser Goldfinches. In 1987, she routed her career into education, bringing love of science to thousands of middle school students. Since retiring from the classroom in 2020, she has renewed her birding passion and is excited to share knowledge of birds and the ecology of southern Arizona.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Flowers of the Southwest Deserts
by Dodge, Natt
Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands
by Elmore, Francis H.
Mountain Islands and Desert Seas: A Natural History of the U.S. Mexican Borderlands.
by Gehlbach, Frederick R.
Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Third Edition.
by National Geographic Society
Birding Arizona
by McMillon, Bill
A Birder's Guide to Southeastern Arizona
by Lane, James A.
Trogons of the Arizona Borderlands
by Taylor, Richard Cachor
Davis and Russell's Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona
by Davis, William A. and Stephen M. Russell
30 Reviews
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4.96 Average
(5) Review left 7/21/2022

Fantastic trip with excellent leaders! Only disappointment was the hotel.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 4/28/2022

Fabulous trip to beautiful Arizona with great guides Matt and Sharon G. I took this trip in 2003 as my first Road Scholar trip, and wanted to come back and revisit the sites again. Thanks so much, Matt & Sharon, for a great experience! I love the birds of Arizona!

(5) Review left 4/18/2022

This trip lived up to our expectations! Leaders Matt and Sharon were excellent--both were friendly, knowledgable and informative. The experience was very well organized and kept us very busy--we visited a great variety of locales and spotted so many new birds. Our trip had all levels of birders, from beginners to very experienced, and all were accommodated well. It was a friendly group and everyone got along well. I learned so much and am glad I participated.

(5) Review left 4/14/2022

The birding on this trip was great. I loved the variety of habitats and locations visited, with the very knowledgeable and personable leaders. I was able to see a number of species for the first time, including several that I was particularly hoping for.

(4) Review left 4/04/2022

130 species in 4.5 days!

(5) Review left 4/04/2022

These instructors are super cool and knowledgeable!

(5) Review left 3/14/2022

This is a very informative and worthwhile program, lots of fun and in a really great location.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 3/06/2022

This was a wonderful trip. Matt and Malcolm, our two guides, were great. They had extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for this subject. There were people of different birding experience on the trip and, as one of the novices, I never felt left behind, yet I perceived that those with more experience also rated this trip highly. I will do future birding trips with Road Scholar.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 1/29/2022

Wonderful, knowledgeable guides. Birds and scenery were fantastic. Was able to get some great bird photos. Thanks for the experience!

(5) Review left 3/15/2020

I enjoyed this program, and saw quite a few birds I hadn't seen before. Weather in early March can be unpredictable, but nice except for 1 windy day and 1 rainy day. Small group of 18 with 2 leaders so good balance.

(5) Review left 2/08/2020

The southern Arizona birding trip was a great outdoor adventure. Given that this trip took place in the winter we still saw quite a number of bird species, many native only to this region of the country. We braved a cold snap to hike in a number of canyons, but we also gathered in one place to observe hummingbirds and other birds at two different birds feeding centers. Take to heart the program information about bringing along layers of clothing and a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes. Particularly memorable was the bird walk on the Ft. Huachuca army base where we ate lunch in the post commissary. We drove through the tourist towns of Tombstone and Bisbee but our focus was on birding so we didn't have free time to explore. Perhaps future programs will build in some free time to roam around one of these towns or take a short side trip to the border town of Nogales. And as always, an interesting and friendly Road Scholar group. You can be a casual birder to enjoy this trip.

(5) Review left 2/08/2020

This program is a must for birders. Wide variety of birds in a spectacularly beautiful location with fabulous leaders.

(5) Review left 1/29/2020

We enjoyed the birding bonanza very much and the experience exceeded our expectations. The chance to see life list birds, wildlife and flora of the region was just what the doctor ordered to combat the winter doldrums. Matt and Malcolm are exceptionally engaging, personable, and knowledgeable. They make a fine team. Highly recommend this program to all- both seasoned birders and novice learners.

(5) Review left 1/26/2020

This was a great experience. I learned a lot and had some fun. I would definitely take another Road Scholar of of interest. I got my money's worth, and much more

(5) Review left 3/29/2019

Have enjoyed many Road Scholar birding trips since 2015 and this was a true 'bonanza' as it provided the most species of all so far - in excess of 130 in a mere four and a half days ! Superb location and experienced leaders Matt & Malcolm ensured that success. Highlights were the huge Sandhill crane flock at Whitewater Draw , the hummingbirds at Paton Center and Ramsey Canyon and the many species at Mary Jo's feeders at Ash Canyon

(5) Review left 3/28/2019

Matt Brown and Malcolm Chesworth made a wonderful team of birding instructors! Informed, energetic, and fun! They worked hard to make the class a successful and positive experience for each participant.

(5) Review left 3/23/2019

As a Midwesterner, the opportunities for new life birds at this location are extremely rich. The leadership of this course turned those opportunities into realities. Great birding experience!

(5) Review left 3/19/2019

An excellent trip! The leaders were knowledgeable, attentive, and treated us as partners in the exploration. The other participants contributed to make the trip pleasant for all. Plus: lots of birds!

(5) Review left 3/15/2019

The Sierra Vista Birding Adventure is fantastic with well qualified guides and with many inspiring sites for birding!

(5) Review left 3/14/2019

If you would like to experience the wonderful world of birds in southeast Arizona, I highly recommend this program. The area around Sierra Vista is full of stunning beauty and has several diverse habitats very close by.Matt Brown, our guide, was great. He has had over two decades of birding in this area.

(5) Review left 3/10/2019

Matt and Malcom are fabulous birders, and provided an excellent experience for the participants in this program. This trip was indeed a "birding bonanza" that I will treasure for years to come.

(5) Review left 3/09/2019

THIS IS A GREAT PROGRAM!!! Matt Brown and his assistant Malcolm Chesworth are wonderful guides. The birds are wonderful!! An all around wonderful experience. If you are interested in birds you should take this program.

(5) Review left 3/08/2019

This was a wonderful trip. The trip leaders were knowledgeable and helpful and fun to get along with. We didn’t see every possible bird, but we saw so many special ones, it was a joyful experience. The geography of the area is fascinating so there was always something interesting to see. I have some mobility limitations, but was able to enjoy the entire trip and to navigate the light hiking required.

(5) Review left 2/23/2019

This was a truly outstanding program for birders of all levels. Our leaders were experts who took our relatively small group to widely varied, beautiful environments where we saw more than 115 species of birds. They were helpful and considerate of all participants. It was the birding experience of a lifetime for me!

(5) Review left 2/22/2019

Great trip, great leaders, great birds & beautiful area.

(5) Review left 2/11/2019

If you want to see birds you've never seen before, this is the trip for you! Get ready to be amazed.

(5) Review left 2/01/2019

Lovely winter break in sunny AZ with great birding!

(5) Review left 1/30/2019

This area of AZ is a treasure trove for birders - this was my first time there & I got 46 lifers! Matt & Malcolm couldn't have been better guides - had a GREAT time!

(5) Review left 1/26/2019

I saw no review section of our primary leader, Matt Brown. How come?

(5) Review left 1/16/2019

This area was always familiar to me, driving through it, around and into it many times, to and from my parent's and earlier as a child born in Bisbee, and attending the U of A. New eyes now, better knowledge, seeing birds I had never seen before, and wondrously reawakened to an incredibly beautiful landscape, I appreciate what Road Scholar introduced me to, and am hope to go again. Thank you to Malcom and Matt, Jean Beck






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.