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Guides: Paper and Human! (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi folks

I am currently planning a trip to SE Arizona for me and a couple of friends next May. What do you consider is the best site guide for the region? The ABA or the Tucson Audubon guides being the two I am looking at. Is it worth getting both?

Also if anyone knows where can I get the most recent edition of the Audubon guide (8th edn) in the UK without having to pay £25+ shipping costs from the USA please let me know!

Whilst travelling independently I am considering hiring a guide for a day or two to make sure we connect with more difficult species (esp Owls). Any recommendations would be most welcome!

Thanks in advance


Registered User
Hi Simon,
If in the area, the American Museum of Natural History has a very fine site in the Chiricahuas that is open to individual visitors at a reasonable rate.

I've been very happy with Homer Hansen as a tour guide for the area, he works with the ABA.
His link is:
Aplomado Environmental LLC
1049 East Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 323-3003
(520) 323-3433 Fax
(520) 400-6176 Cell

Richard Fray

Registered Member
Both are excellent books, two of the best in the genre. I'd recommend the latest version of Tucson Audubon's 'Finding Birds in SE Arizona' (Revised 8th Edition, http://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/finding-birds-in-southeast-arizona/) ahead of my friend Rick Taylor's ABA guide, as Rick's guide is now 13 years old and there have been many changes to the birding sites and information included. The latest TAS guide is only three years old and also has an online addendum for information that has changed since publication, at http://tucsonaudubon.org/493-2/

The Tucson Audubon website (http://tucsonaudubon.org) is a good place to start planning a trip to SE Arizona. If I may, I know that many visiting birders use my own website to make plans, http://arizonabirder.com

Visiting in May, you might want to coincide with the SW Wings Birding Festival in Sierra Vista, http://www.swwings.org. The main festival is in August, but the 'spring fling' field trips are usually the first week of May. That said, most local guides (myself included, although I'm currently available the rest of May 2019 ;)) are busy that week, so it can be hard to find a guide while the festival is on.

There are frequent free field trips from Tucson Audubon and others, check http://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/birding-field-trips/ in the month or two before your trip.

Have a great time!
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Lisa W

Staff member
Definitely try and get a copy of ‘Finding Birds in SE Arizona’ . I haven’t been to the spring Southwest Wings festival, but the one they put on in the fall is excellent and with May migration I would think the Spring one would be also.
I haven’t used him, but Richard (posted above) is an excellent guide and is recommended by many.

Barr Tender

World: 730 ABA: 603 Latest Lifer: Saw-whet Owl
United States
Definitely the ABA guide to SE Az is a must. A couple or three days in the Huachucas area (Sierra Vista area; highly recommend the Ramsey Canyon Inn) will be highly productive. Also, more remote, and also highly productive with different birds is the Chiricahua Mtns area. The former will have towns and restaurants, the latter suggests buying a cooler and some food. Both are WELL worth the time-- at least a couple days at each place.

For owl guiding, look up Weasel Walraven in the Huachucas area. He's the man.

Also, vis a vis the guidebooks, if you're doing the Huachucas, I'm sure they sell it at the Ramsey Canyon Preserve gift shop. If you're staying at the Ramsey Canyon Inn, or any birding-oriented b&b, they'll no doubt have it on their shelves for borrowing.
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