My partner loves bird-watching. He knows the names of every bird I point out to him, and he can usually also tell me some interesting information about them. Birds absolutely fascinate him and he adores watching them fly, sing and just carry on with their interesting bird lives.
Bird-watching is a big thing in Tucson (as well as Southern Arizona in general). Some of the species of birds mentioned by Visit Tucson are for example cactus wren, Gila woodpecker, or even greater roadrunner.
There are many beautiful places in Tucson where you can watch birds and learn something new about these wonderful creatures. Tohono Chul or Tucson Botanical Gardens are considered to be among great bird-watching spots in Tucson.
However, bird-watching in Tucson doesn't have to be a solitary activity. If you're like my partner and you'd like to learn more about bird-watching while also getting to know people with the very same interest, you can visit some of the great bird-watching festivals near Tucson.
And they're actually taking place this August! This means that you can prepare in advance and get all excited about participating when the time comes. Here are two festivals near Tucson, Arizona, that you can check out this summer.
Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival
Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival can be found in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which is about a one-hour drive away from Tucson. The festival takes place between 4th-7th August 2021. It's actually the 30th anniversary this year, which is quite exciting!
"Southwest Wings is an educational celebration of the diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects, in their environment; the sky islands in southern Arizona. The unique confluence of three climate zones ensures that the species count is high and many are only found in this area of the United States. We average about 200 bird species each festival. Our high elevation location guarantees moderate temperatures during our field trips."
During the festival, you can go on guided tours that let you explore the area and that know where to find the birds you are looking for.
This year, there will be some special events taking place in order to honor the 30-year anniversary. For example, there will be virtual presentations with speakers such as Alvaro Jaramillo or Rick Wright.
If you'd like to register and book your place at the festival, hurry up! The last day to register is 21st July 2021.
Southeast Arizona Birding Festival
One week after Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival, you can check out another festival! Southeast Arizona Birding Festival takes place between 11th-15th August 2021 and it's located right in Tucson.
Visit Tucson describes the festival:
"See birds found nowhere else in the United States at Southeast Arizona Birding Festival, presented by Tucson Audubon and Zeiss. Enjoy expert-led half-and full-day trips, evening owling trips, photography field trips and workshops, and a free Nature Expo as well as new overnight trips. Stay for the keynote presentation, always promising an entertaining and informative topic."
What's more, this year is the 10th anniversary! Some of the featured guests for this year include Holly Merker, Virginia Rose, or Freya McGregor. There will be many virtual events that you can take part in, such as "Arizona’s Most Wanted Birds with Bird Conservation Biologist, Jennie MacFarland" or "South Africa: Birding the Rainbow Nation with Birding Ecotours".
The registration fee is 20 dollars per person. Make sure you don't miss out on booking your tickets if you'd like to have an enriching bird-watching experience in Tucson this summer!
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