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Summer Birding Festivals

August is awesome for a trip to Tucson, gateway to the very birdy Southern Arizona region.

Back to Nature in Tucson

August 1-12, 2018

If you’re looking to retreat from a hectic lifestyle or to get back to nature with the kids, visit Tucson in August.

This is the gateway to biologically diverse Southern Arizona — one of the country’s top birding hotspots. And late summer, when monsoon rains bring out lush foliage and wildflower blooms, is the best time to see the most birds and butterflies.

Plus, two back-to-back birding festivals happen in August every year. Local and international experts lead field trips, day hikes, and tours to incredible creeks, canyons, and conservation areas. Choose from free and fee-based programs for kids and adults. Participate for hours or for days.

So, pack up your family, grab your binoculars and enjoy nature at these festivals!

Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival: ​August 1-4, 2018

More than 400 species of birds, almost half of all the birds of the United States and Canada combined, occur in Southeastern Arizona, and August is an especially rewarding time to see many of them. Discover this abundance at Southwest Wings, Arizona’s longest-running nature festival, founded in 1991. Based at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, the event is minutes away from some of the most famous birding spots in the United States. Join the festival dinner on August 2 and hear author and keynote speaker Rick Taylor talk about southeastern Arizona specialties.

Southeast Arizona Birding Festival: August 8 - 12, 2018

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 August 11 keynote presentation, a humorous look at the perils and pitfalls of birding, presented by lifelong birder Bill Thompson III, co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest. Consider staying at festival headquarters, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Reid Park, in midtown Tucson near restaurants and museums.

To add to your enjoyment, stop by Tucson's world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. See the hummingbird aviary and the walk-in aviary that houses at least 20 species of Southwestern birds. Look around for the world's smallest owl (elf owl), which likes to nest in holes in saguaro cacti. Don't miss the other exhibits, which re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert region with more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants along almost two miles of paths traversing 21 acres of natural desert.


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