Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Experience The Best Of Spring Migration At Patagonia Birdathon Events!

Violet-crowned Hummingbird by Dan Weisz
By Nick Beauregard, Paton Center for Hummingbirds Coordinator

Spring migration is always an exciting time to get out birdwatching. You never quite know what you might find when you head to your favorite birding spots. For many, there’s no better place to experience spring migration than Patagonia. This year’s Birdathon will be featuring two exciting events in the Patagonia area, giving birders the opportunity to experience some of the most sought-after southeast Arizona specialties in a beautiful landscape!

The first event is a Big Day with the Patagonia Birder Patrol team on Friday, April 22nd, led by Paton Center Coordinator Nick Beauregard. We will begin the day at the Paton Center at 8am where we will have easy and intimate access to several species of hummingbirds including Violet-crowned, Rufous, Black-chinned, and Broad-billed. Continuing our exploration of Sonoita Creek, we’ll head to The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve to make sure we get good looks at Gray Hawks, several flycatchers and kingbirds, and many other spectacular migrants using this lush riparian corridor on their journey north. After making a loop of the Preserve, we’ll set our sights on the Patagonia Mountains, an amazing but under-birded Sky Island that is home to Elegant Trogons, Northern Goshawks, Rufous-capped Warblers, and numerous other rarities that inhabit these lush montane forests. This trip will involve some hiking, but the rewards will be worth it!

Black-chinned Hummingbird by John Hoffman

Broad-billed Hummingbird by John Hoffman

Gray Hawk by Collins Cochran

Elegant Trogon by Lois Manowitz

The second Birdathon event will be a Big Sit at the Paton Center on Sunday, April 24th from 8am – noon. With dozens of bird feeders throughout the property, participants will be treated to a dazzling display of birds of all kinds! In this peak of spring migration, flashes of color and bursts of song come from all corners of the Paton yard, so birders should expect nothing less than an exciting show. We’ll see a number of rare southeast Arizona specialties in addition to dozens of migrants and resident breeders. The easy and comfortable access of the Paton Center makes this event perfect for folks who want a relaxed environment but exciting birds.

What better place for a Big Sit? Richard Freshley

One of the best reasons to participate in this year’s Birdathon in Patagonia is because our events fall on the same weekend as Patagonia Earth Fest 2016! Throughout the weekend there will be numerous talks, film screenings, nature walks, and other events taking place in the community, all celebrating nature and the wonderful biodiversity of our region! So it might even be a good idea to pack a bag and plan to spend the whole weekend with us in Patagonia!

For all things Birdathon, including creating a team, joining a team, or donating to your favorite team, please visit tucsonaudubon.org/birdathon.

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