Maricopa Audubon Society Birds in Maricopa County

Maricopa Audubon Meetings and Programs

Meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month, September through May.  Meetings start at 7:30 p.m., and feature a general membership meeting and guest speaker. Come early to browse our sales tables, have refreshments, and socialize with like-minded people.  Visitors are most welcome! 


Our September through April meetings are held at the:

Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren

2450 N 64th St. Scottsdale

northwest of 64th Street and Oak Street, which is between Thomas Road and McDowell. You may enter from either 64th Street, just north of Oak Street (if coming from the south you will have to make a "U" turn), or Oak Street just west of 64th Street, by the Elks Club. Turn right into the gravel parking lot.

Although there is no charge to attend our general membership meetings, the Annual Banquet does require a dinner reservation and associated cost. 

New Dinner Location: Pre-meeting dinners are now held at Noodles Ranch Vietnamese Cuisine, 2765 N. Scottsdale Road (southeast corner of Thomas and Scottsdale Roads). Come and join us at 6:00 p.m. for a delicious meal, meet our guest speaker and say “howdy” to other birders.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Least Bitterns at GWR  


Jeff Perry


Benjamin Feller


In the spring of 2016, three adult Least Bittern were spotted around the fishing pond at Gilbert Water Ranch. Jeff Perry has spent most of his weekends since observing and photographing the birds, from the male competing for the female’s attention, and a failed nesting attempt that summer, to fledglings in 2017 and four broods between two pairs in 2018! Please join Jeff as he shares some of his anecdotes and images with Maricopa Audubon Society.

Benjamin Feller was instilled with a love and respect for birds from an early age when visiting his grandparents in Illinois or rural Iowa by back-yard-birding or assisting in building, maintaining and installing birdhouses. When he moved from Eastern Washington to Phoenix a in 2005 Benjamin was reintroduced to birding and nature photography after a visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch (GWR), reigniting a passion that had been dormant for many years. Being one of Phoenix area’s best birding locations, he observed, recorded, and photographed many different species of birds and met many wonderful birders including Jeff Perry in late 2015 when he finally caught a distant glimpse of the elusive Least Bittern. In the spring of 2016, for the first time, the Least Bitterns were regularly sighted on the fishing pond allowing for the viewing of hunting, courtship, and other behavioral aspects previously not seen at the GWR. Since then Benjamin has spent much time (waiting patiently with Jeff, most weekends) watching these tiny herons. Please join him as he shares some personal observations, images, and a cautionary tale of the smallest member of the heron family in the Americas right here at GWR.

Jeff Perry started birding and bird photography while living in the Seattle area in the late 1980s. He moved to Iowa City in 1992 and, although he kept an interest in birds in general, he took a particular interest in owl photography. He followed a nearby pair of Barred Owls for three years, and also photographed wintering species; mainly Northern Saw Whet and Long Eared Owls. He grew to enjoy behavioral observations as much as capturing images –spending his spare time learning more about his species of interest and less on increasing his life list. Jeff moved to Phoenix from the east coast in 2009. Having taken a hiatus from photography during the first decade of the millennium he found that the beauty of the desert and species of the Southwest reignited this interest, and he devoted much of his free time learning about Arizona birds.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Local Patch: Treasures Nearby


Jim Burns


The last time Jim Burns gave a MAS program, he went exotic and took us to Costa Rica.  This time he's going local and taking us just a few miles from his front door for a peek behind the curtain into the lives of common Valley birds with which we're all familiar. Join Jim for a visit to his local patch.

Many birders see a bird, ask “What?”, put a checkmark on a list, and move on to the next bird.  Jim Burns sees a bird, asks “Why?” and “How?”, then turns on the camera and tries to melt into the background to observe the answers.



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Special: Book Signing!

Birding Arizona, What to Know, Where to Go


Charles J. Babbitt

This program will take you on a tour around Arizona to some of the state’s most productive and interesting birding spots including a number of lesser known areas as highlighted in Charles Babbitt’s new book Birding Arizona-What to know, Where to go. Along the way we will explore a variety of different habitats and learn about multiple facets of Arizona bird migration including the summer influx of birds from the Gulf of California, fall hawk and shorebird migrations, and great places to watch spring and fall passerine migration. Charles will remain after the meeting to sign copies of his book.

Charles Babbitt is a past president of the Maricopa Audubon Society and a past member of the Arizona Bird Committee. He enjoys leading  field trips for the Maricopa Audubon Society and bird walks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mimicry in Birds


Rich Hoyer

Image result for rich hoyer

While birding at Oregon's Finley National Wildlife Refuge in his teens, Rich Hoyer heard the most amazing thing - a Purple Finch incorporating sounds of a California Scrub-Jay in its jumbled song - and thought he had discovered something new, since such behavior wasn't mentioned in any field guide. Since then he's been fascinated and intrigued by mimicry in birds, collecting personal observations and recordings of the phenomenon. In this audiovisual presentation, Rich Hoyer will present examples of mimicry in songbirds from throughout the Americas and share his enthusiasm for this curious and often entertaining behavior. 

Born and raised in Oregon, Rich Hoyer earned his bachelors degrees in German and Zoology at Oregon State University. Following a few years as an itinerant biologist and summer guide on Saint Paul Island, Alaska, he moved to Tucson, Arizona and has been working as a professional birding tour leader for WINGS for the past 19 years. He leads tours to such exciting locations as Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, and Jamaica, but he also looks forward to his annual tours that explore the beauty and diversity of his home state.


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