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Boyce Thompson Arboretum - BirdForum Opus

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United States, Arizona


The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a non-profit under US Code 501(C)(3) located in Superior, Arizona and is managed by the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, Inc.

Their stated mission is "to inspire appreciation and stewardship of desert plants, wildlife, and ecosystems through education, research and conservation."


Notable Species

The Arboretum is unique in many ways. An outstanding one could easily be the large number of species that make its way through here or are at home here. It has been described as “exceptional seasonal diversity of landbirds.” Probably at least partly due to the “oasis”-like nature of the area." [2]

Some species using this as a stopover in their spring and fall seasonal migrations include the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the south-western subspecies of Willow Flycatcher, E.t. extimus, MacGillivray's Warbler, Gray Flycatcher, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Brewer's Sparrow.

A "riparian habitat" for breeding of the Common Black Hawk, Lucy's Warbler, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Bell's Vireo. Broad-billed Hummingbird, Abert's Towhee, and Yellow Warbler.

And wintering for 3 pairs of Red-naped Sapsucker has been reported.


During the Christmas Bird Count in the Superior area, near where the Arboretum is located, rarities have included the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, and Rufous-backed Robin [2].

Some other species that have been noted as rare[3] for the Pinal County / Arboretum area are the Cackling Goose, Red-necked Grebe, Buff-collared Nightjar, Purple Gallinule, Northern Jacana, Ruddy Turnstone, Sabine's Gull, Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, White-tailed Hawk, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Philadelphia Vireo, Cave Swallow, Carolina Wren, Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager.


Birds you can see here include:

Canada Goose, Mexican Duck, Montezuma Quail, Band-tailed Pigeon, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Rivoli's Hummingbird, American Coot, Killdeer, Long-billed Curlew, Solitary Sandpiper, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Western Screech-Owl, Gila Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Western Kingbird, Mexican Jay, Pacific Wren, Sage Thrasher, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Northern Cardinal.

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

Boyce Thompson Arboretum was founded in 1924 by Colonel William Boyce Thompson.

It opened to the public on April 6, 1929.

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

To do

Contact Details

Boyce Thompson Arboretum
37615 E. Arboretum Way
Superior, Arizona 85173

Main Line: (520) 689-2723


  1. Boyce Thompson Arboretum - https://www.btarboretum.org/
  2. Arizona Important Bird Areas Program - http://aziba.org/
  3. Lepage D. (2020) Pinal Bird Checklist - Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World. Retrieved 28 August 2020

Recommended Citation

External Links

  1. Boyce Thompson Arboretum


  1. Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Google Maps

Content and images originally posted by Unregistered


Unregistered's review I would rate Boyce Thompson as one of the best birding areas in Arizona. A definite "must-see" for any birder coming to Arizona. It's an hour west of Phoenix on Highway 60. Rarities are popping up regularly in this area, but its a great spot to see birds unique to Arizona too. Pros

  • Very birdy
  • very scenic