Dec
1
7:00 AM07:00

Tres Rios Overbank Wetlands

This large site of constructed wetlands at 91st Ave. and the Salt River hosts a large variety of wintering waterbirds and they should be arriving in good numbers by the end of the month. Tres Rios can produce some surprises too, so we will be looking for late fall migrants.  In addition, sightings of coyotes and bobcats are not unusual. The trails are level and easy, but we may walk as far as five miles round trip, so be sure to bring water and a snack. We will arrive early in hopes of witnessing the departing clouds of both Yellow-headed and Red-winged Blackbirds. There should be a good variety of newly arrived waterfowl as well as raptors such as Prairie and Peregrine Falcons or even a Merlin! If we’re lucky, we may see a Sora, a Virginia Rail, or even a Least Bittern. Limit: 6  

Leader: Mark W. Larson

To register, call 480 310 3261

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Nov
12
6:30 AM06:30

Payson

We’ll leave Fountain Hills about 6:30am to arrive in Payson about 7:30. We’ll explore ponds and parks that have been fruitful in the past for ducks, meadowlarks, bluebirds, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and more. Weather and time permitting, we’ll seek out a couple of trailheads in Payson’s extensive trail system, just to see what might be there.  Wrap up about 1:30 pm, to return to Fountain Hills about 2:30. No entrance fees at this time. Meeting place and carpooling logistics will be determined a few days before the trip. Limited to 8 people. 

Leader: Kathe Anderson

Please register at kathe.coot@cox.net.

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Nov
9
7:00 AM07:00

Tres Rios Overbank Wetlands

Tres Rios stands for "Three rivers" and refers to the confluence of the Salt, Gila, and Agua Fria Rivers. It is a 700 acre environmental restoration project that releases  reclaimed wastewater back into what would be naturally existing wetlands. It is home to an extensive variety of wildlife such as bobcats, beavers, muskrats, skunks, raccoons etc., and is an oasis magnet for migratory birds. Walking distance may be up to five miles, but we may be permitted to enter the most extensive portion of the wetlands for this trip.  We could have some exciting observations such as huge flocks of blackbirds, and close looks at waterfowl and shorebirds! Difficulty: 2-3 for potential mileage walked. Limit 7. Bring water and snacks. If you have a spotting scope, we may use it.

Leader: Dara Vasquez.

To reserve, send your cell phone number to dara.cv@gmail.com.

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Oct
30
6:45 AM06:45

Seven Springs

We’ll leave the Scottsdale area about 6:45 am and bird our way into Seven Springs. There, we’ll explore a trail and one or more picnic areas to see what migrants are lingering, and what might be coming in, such as American Robins, Cedar Waxwings and Townsend’s Solitaires. We can hope for a nice variety of desert species on the way there, plus resident woodpeckers, titmice, wrens and towhees. Weather permitting, we’ll eat a picnic lunch and return to Scottsdale about 1ish. Limit 8. Reservations required. Difficulty: 1-2. Meeting place and carpooling logistics will be determined a few days before the trip. 

Leader: Kathe Anderson

Please register at kathe.coot@cox.net.

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Oct
28
6:00 AM06:00

Prescott Area Lakes

Monday, October 28th

Trip will begin at Granite Basin Lake, a small reservoir near the Granite Basin Wilderness in Prescott. Gigantic stacked boulders somehow fit together securely enough to make a mountain that rebounds sound off its cliffside that would put the acoustics at Gammage Auditorium to shame. Majestic and breathtaking, this scenic lake has a fun mix of classic riparian cottonwoods, willows, and sycamores surrounded by juniper and pine. Next stops will be visiting both Willow and Watson lakes, both of which can have waterbirds in the thousands this time of year. Birds that we will be looking for will include ducks, jays, woodpeckers, warblers and raptors. Difficulty: 1, limit 11 in three cars. Bring water and snacks. Car pool from Phoenix, leaving at 6:00 am.

Leader: Dara Vasquez.

To reserve, send cell phone number to: dara.cv@gmail.com

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Oct
13
7:00 AM07:00

23rd Annual Big Sit!

This is day two of our Big Sit!, an annual, non-competitive fundraiser held around the world to promote birds and the birding community. We will gather for MAS’ 23rd Big Sit! to count bird species seen from a 17’ diameter circle at Granite Reef Recreation Area. Funds raised this year will go to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, to support their poignant new film, Birds of Prey. Maricopa Audubon Society will host a screening of this film at the Papago Church of the Brethren. Please check our Program page for more information.

The main objective of this event is to sit out in nature with friends, and enjoy not only the wildlife but the camaraderie. This year we are holding two Big Sits! to accommodate more people. We hope to see a great variety of species — late Neotropical migrants lingering before heading south and early northern waterfowl and shorebirds arriving, as well as our resident desert collection—Northern Cardinal, Abert’s Towhee, Song Sparrow, Gila Woodpecker, and possible Common Yellowthroat and Bewick’s Wren, among dozens of other possibilities. Last year, some of us spotted one of the reintroduced river otters swimming in the Salt River. Bald Eagles have nested near the site of the Big Sit! and other likely raptors include Osprey and Cooper’s Hawk—a preview to the film Birds of Prey.

The Big Sit! is officially scheduled from 7-9am, but folks can arrive earlier and stay later. At 9am, we’ll have snacks, compare notes and make a list. Bring your coffee, breakfast and a snack to share.

To Donate onsite: We’ll collect cash, checks and credit card payments onsite ($10- 15 suggested donation for Cornell Lab of Ornithology). Please make checks payable to “Maricopa Audubon Society” with “Big Sit” on the memo line.

Other Donations: Anyone may donate by cash, checks (to “MAS”) and credit cards at member meetings or online (https://www.maricopaaudubon.org/donate ) or mail checks to, Vicki Hire, MAS Treasurer, PO Box 603 Chandler, AZ 85244.

If you’re new to the Big Sit! concept, and just want to drop by for 15-20 minutes to see what it’s like, feel free to do so on Sunday, Oct 13, 2019, without making a donation. If you register with Kathe below, we’ll make sure we have enough snacks for everyone. This is a great opportunity for families with kids and others to get a taste of birding!

To participate, contact Kathe.coot@cox.net. If we get a large response, we will set up two circles in the area.

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San Carlos Lake (Gila/Pinal Counties)
Sep
9
4:30 AM04:30

San Carlos Lake (Gila/Pinal Counties)

Explore this San Carlos Apache Reservation reservoir with Dave Pearson. Look for waterfowl, pelicans and migrating shorebirds. Have a chance to see gulls, and terns. A $10.00 recreation permit for the reservation required and will be purchased in Globe. Sunrise is at 6:08 am, so will leave Tempe at 4:30 am, returning about 3:00 pm. Bring water, lunch, and a scope if you have one. LIMIT 7 plus leader in two vehicles. Birding mainly from the road. Leader: Dave Pearson. To reserve a spot send your cell # to Larry Langstaff field trip chair at larrylangstaff1@gmail.com.

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Sep
3
5:00 AM05:00

Glendale Recharge Ponds

Expect to be hot—and hot on the trail of returning shorebirds. Start from Scottsdale 5:00 am to arrive in Glendale before sunrise. Prowl the wetlands for the usual variety of birds—ducks, raptors, and water-loving species like Black Phoebes, egrets and swallows, and hope for an abundance of shorebirds returning from the north. Possible unusual species for the desert, like Dunlin or Whimbrel. We will find a cool indoor spot to go over the list. Return to Scottsdale by 10:00 am. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit: 8. Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

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Payson and the Rim Lakes
Aug
28
12:30 PM12:30

Payson and the Rim Lakes

Check out a couple of spots in Payson before heading east on 260 to visit Willow Springs and Woods Canyon Lakes on the Mogollon Rim. A variety of summer birds: Osprey, flycatchers, tanagers, and warblers, as well as resident woodpecker and nuthatch species. Weather permitting, a picnic lunch at one of the lakes. Return to Scottsdale about 3:00 pm. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit: 8. Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

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Jul
25
to Jul 26

Cottonwood / Oak Creek Canyon Overnight

  • Dead Horseman State Park (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Explore the Cottonwood area, likely Page Springs fish hatchery, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Sedona’s wetlands, and the lower part of Oak Creek Canyon. Leave Phoenix about 5:00 am, stay at a moderately priced hotel in Cottonwood and enjoy dinner out. Expect tanagers, vireos, flycatchers, and some waterfowl at the wetlands. Expenses include a night at a moderate hotel, one to two meals in restaurants, entrance fees, and a gas donation to your driver. Difficulty: 1-2. Limit: 8. Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

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Jul
19
4:30 AM04:30

San Tan Mountain Regional Park and Queen Creek Wash

A brief, but warm, foray to a little-birded regional park south of Queen Creek, to help boost eBird summer data. Start about 4:30 am in Scottsdale, arrive at the park about sunrise, spend perhaps an hour, and move to Queen Creek Wash for a short stop. Look for a spot to catch coffee—and perhaps breakfast—on the way home, to arrive by about 9:30 am. Limit: 8. Leader: Kathe Anderson, kathe.coot@cox.net

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Jul
10
4:00 AM04:00

Birding Dudleyville/San Pedro River Preserve

Join Dave Pearson to explore this riparian area for Thick-billed Kingbird, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Gray Hawk, Black Hawk, and many desert species. Leave 4:00 am and arrive 5:30 am (sunrise is 5:27 am). Return 3:00pm. Bring water. Lunch at the famous Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in Hayden at the end of birding. LIMIT 7 plus leader in two vehicles. Birding along flat paths and the road for short distances. To reserve, send your cell # to Larry Langstaff at larrylangstaff1@gmail.com

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Desert Tortoise Quest
Jun
23
4:00 PM16:00

Desert Tortoise Quest

Stewart Mountain Desert Tortoise Quest. Have you ever seen a Sonoran Desert Tortoise in the wild? Learn about the behavior, life cycle, and status of this keystone species. Difficulty: 4 (steep, rocky terrain, and hot, humid weather, spiny vegetation, some boulder hopping). Bring snacks, sun protection, hat, sturdy hiking shoes, strong flashlight and mirror, and plenty of water. This will be our first afternoon/evening trip. We will meet on-site at 4:00pm and return to the vehicles at dusk (a headlamp is a must). Bring flashlight for hiking in the dark! Limit: 10. Leader: Laurie Nessel. Reservations at laurienesselatgmail.com or 602 391-4303. Leave your name, email address, cell number, cross-streets for car-pooling and whether you can drive or would like a ride.

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Pinal Mountain
Jun
23
to Jun 24

Pinal Mountain

An intensive two days of birding, including night birding. Leave Tempe 4:30 am to arrive at Claypool about 6:00 am; bird Pioneer Pass until noon. Eat lunch in Globe, check into a motel for an afternoon break. Early dinner in Globe then night birding from about 7:00-10:00 pm. Search for Flammulated and Spotted Owl, Mexican Whip-poor-will and possible Buff-collared Nightjar. The next day bird Pinal Peak from 6:00 am-1:00 pm (picnic lunch) to look for nesting Short-tailed Hawks, warblers, tanagers, nuthatches, woodpeckers and more. Return to Tempe 3:30 pm. Expenses include one motel night, one to two restaurant meals, and gas donation to your driver ($20.00 suggested). Difficulty: 2, some walking, long days. Limit: 6. Leaders: Dave Pearson and Kathe Anderson, Register by April 30, kathe.coot@cox.net

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