August 2-5, 2017
Sierra Vista, Arizona
The bird-filled Southwest Wings Summer Birding Festival will be more exciting this year because some rarely seen Mexican species are now more likely in Arizona. These species include, but are not limited to, the Tufted Flycatcher, Flame-colored Tanager and Rufous-capped Warbler.
Actually seeing these colorful birds involves fairly strenuous hiking in some cases. This is why the Southwest Wings Summer Birding Festival is called “a small festival with lots of fancy birds,” said organizer Gordon Lewis.
Canyon, Forest and Mountain Field Trips
There is a sister version of this festival in May. In this year’s summer festival there are 38 field trips to chose from – Ramsey Canyon and Huachuca Mountains to the San Pedro River Valley, a Globally Important Bird Area.
There are 10 species of hummingbirds alone a the Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve. When you’re not focused on the hummers there, you can see Wild Turkey, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Hepatic Tanager, Painted Redstart and other specialties.
Madera Canyon is one of the most glamourous field trips. There is hiking involved on this one, like several others, and in addition to seeing cool hummingbirds such as the Berylline, you have a chance of seeing an Elegant Trogon. Arizona birding expert Laurens Halsey will lead this trip, but all the field outings have terrific leaders. All you need will be hiking shoes, extra water and binoculars. On this and other field trips, lunch is included.
Southwest Wings Birding Festival Habitats
The rugged canyons of the Pajarito Mountains are among the most celebrated birding spots on the Arizona-Sonora border. On an all-day field trip here you will see the Violet-crowned Hummingbird on this trip as well as the Gray Hawk, Mexican Jay and Five-striped Sparrow. The hiking is moderate to difficult. The creature comforts at the end of the day will be overnight accommodations and all meals compliments of the Amado Territory Inn B&B.
Birding Festival Organizer
The Southwest Wings Summer Birding Festival is a nonprofit educational organization, chartered as a 501(c)(3) under IRS guidelines. There are no members, only a board of directors, and therefore no membership dues to provide income. The festival is the major event put on by the group. Additional tax deductible donations to support the organization’s goals are always welcome. The organization’s mission is to promote nature-based tourism and environmental awareness in southeastern Arizona.
Over the years, Southwest Wings has acted upon its mission by supporting a variety of efforts and organizations that have like-minded goals in regards to promoting natural science education and acting as stewards of our regions environmental assets.
Below is a list of some of our past supportive and educational gifting:
- $1,000 College Scholarship to local students interested in Natural Science.
- Trail grooming equipment for the BLM maintenance of birding trails along the San Pedro River.
- Fishing line recycle containers at Parker Lake State Park
- Signage at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area near Sonita.
- The Nature Conservancy Ramsey Canyon Kids Camp
- Supported Student Hydroponics projects at Sierra Vista, Douglas and Wilcox
- Supported Master Naturalist Program for Cochise County.
The primary contact is event organizer Gordon Lewis.