Maricopa Audubon Society Birds in Maricopa County

Welcome to Maricopa Audubon Society (MAS), a chapter of the National Audubon Society in the Phoenix metropolitan area with 2,500 members.

Though southeast Arizona is the most well-known Arizona region for birds, many of the same species are found in the Phoenix area. In recent years, we have sighted the Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Thrasher and other unusual species.

Our Mission Statement:

Maricopa Audubon Society is an organization of volunteers dedicated to the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife with a primary focus on the protection and restoration of the habitat of the Southwest through fellowship, education, and community involvement.


Here is a link to the short film on Oak Flat by ASU School of Sustainability student,  Brynn Szukala.

save oak flat

November 9, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to stop the transfer of federal land to a foreign-owned corporation and to protect Native American place of worship.

Click here to read the bill. 

Click here to read a summary of the bill.


Released June 17, 2015

Grijalva Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Giveaway of Sacred Arizona Native American Land to Multinational Mining Conglomerates

see press release here

see Save Oak Flat Act here


Released June 14, 2015

Oak Flat and Rio Tinto: The Law, the Lies, and the Queen Valley Confrontation

A sneak peek into "An American Battle Cry" featuring interviews with Robert A. Williams Jr., Forest Archeologist Scott Wood, Curt Shannon, Roy Chavez, Dr. John Weber, and drone-captured footage of block cave destruction. Queen Valley residents join the fight to protect their homes, ending in a direct confrontation with Rio Tinto.


Ezekiel Kelly

Oak Flat


Sign the Petition


Call your congressmen

Ask them to repeal the land-trade rider slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act by Arizona Senators McCain and Flake, which has signed away sacred Apache land (Oak Flat) to Resolution Mining Company.

Find your congressmen here.

Senator McCain's office: (202) 224-2235
(In Tucson): (520) 670-6334)

Senator Jeff Flake Phoenix - 602-840-1891
Washington - 202-224-4521



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Bob Witzeman

May 7, 1927- August 30, 2014

The pillar of conservation of our chapter passed away peacefully last August, leaving behind his family and an Audubon chapter forever beholden to him for his monumental efforts to preserve species and habitats of this beautiful state. Bob served in the Navy in 1945, graduated from Oberlin College in 1950, and Case Western Reserve Medical School in 1954. He moved to Phoenix in 1958 and practiced medicine as an anesthesiologist for 30 years. During his career and retirement he devoted his life to conservation. While serving as president and conservation chairman for the Maricopa Audubon Society, he was involved in saving the desert nesting bald eagle and the Fort McDowell Yavapai and Apache Indian land by helping to defeat the proposed Orme and Cliff Dams; and later in saving the endangered Red Squirrel and sacred Apache Indian sites on Mount Graham; and in saving important habitat and a sacred Apache Indian site at Oak Flat from a destructive copper mine. He was an active birdwatcher who travelled widely throughout the world in search of birds and wildlife. Bob enjoyed photographing birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, and photographed several first state records of birds for Arizona. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Janet, another pillar of our chapter; daughter, Karen and husband, Jack Rigney; son, Jeff and his wife, Kerry; his five grandchildren, Claire Rigney, Elaine Rigney, Michael Rigney, Connor Witzeman and Haley Witzeman, as well as three sisters, Mary Reinthal, Cile Rice and Alice Edwards and husband, Rich Edwards.

Memorial donations may be made to the Maricopa Audubon Society, c/o Matt VanWallene, Treasurer, 11004 E. Villa Park St., Chandler, AZ, 85248 or to the Center for Biological Diversity, P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710, or to the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, 202 E. McDowell Rd., Suite 277, Phoenix, AZ 85004.







Graphic Impact of Cattle Grazing on Riparian Ecosystems
High Resolution Version


Other Arizona Websites


Our chapter history is online. See interesting archives and chapter progress.

Maricopa Audubon Society History



Environmental Justice publishes essay on Bob Witzeman

Bob Witzeman

March 17, 2016. Sea World announces plans to phase out captive breeding and debasing entertainment using Orca whales. This happened three years after the release of Gabriela Cowperthwaite's 2013 documentary "Blackfish". Also on March 17, 2016, I learned that Joel Helfrich's essay on Bob Witzeman was published by Environmental Justice. Both stories are testament to the power of individuals who, with dogged determination and truth on their side, can be catalyst to sea change.

Please enjoy this outstanding essay about conservationist and hero, Dr. Bob Witzeman by Joel Helfrich, Professor of Anthropology, Sociology, History and Political Science at SUNY-Monroe Community College.


Coming Soon

Press Releases- Marciopa Audubon Society Volume I


Published by Bob Witzeman

We are active in habitat conservation for birds and other wildlife, with emphasis on riparian habitat, old-growth forest, and habitat used by endangered species. Our education committee sets up programs for local schools, and sponsors scholarships. We also sponsor numerous field trips throughout the year, mostly near the Phoenix metropolitan area, but also to other parts of Arizona and (occasionally) out of state.


Devils Canyon
This riparian treasure (pictured right) is threatened by Resolution Copper Mine. Devils Canyon runs south of US 60 just east of Oak Flat Campground.

Devils Canyon

Verde Salt Confluence.  The Salt River above Granite Reef

A Maricopa Audubon Society Success Story

The Salt River above Granite Reef Dam

This area is the site of the proposed Orme Dam, which would have flooded miles of critical riparian habitat on the Salt and Verde Rivers. Today, it is home to desert-nesting Bald Eagles and hundreds of other species of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, and plants that depend on this endangered riverine ecosystem. Maricopa Audubon was instrumental in stopping the dam project. In the background is Red (Sawik) Mountain, on lands of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Take action to save our birds

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