Our goal at Southwest Birders is to increase your enjoyment of birds and nature. We offer custom birding tours that cover California, Arizona, and Texas. Our web site offers bird-finding tips, detailed site guides, quality bird & nature photos, and hundreds of illustrated trip reports going back to 2001. We hope you enjoy our web site, and welcome your feedback. GOOD BIRDING!
SoCal & AZ RBA
Finding Birds in La Paz County, AZ
Went back to Illinois to visit my parents and do some birding in my old haunts. Had the good fortune to take Roger Yaeger out to some of these top birding spots and help out on the Illinois migratory bird count, too. The weather was gorgeous upon my arrival, but within three days the temperature had dropped 40 degrees and rainfall had replaced the sunshine. Click here to see more photos from southern Illinois and read about some of the other bird species we spotted in the rain!
Black-headed Grosbeak & Scott's Oriole
Al, Helga, Suzanne, and I headed over to the Chiricahua Mountains to search for a recently-sighted Crescent-chested Warbler and a "high-value" target for Al, the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. We dipped on those two birds, but came away with many other wonderful sightings! Click here to see lots more photos from our trip and to read about our birding adventure to this magnificent natural area.
Lena, Göran, and I spent a great week on the road enjoying the birds and wondrous natural history of the coastal redwoods, Big Sur, San Jacinto and Laguna Mountains, and the Salton Sea. We watched otters playing, California Condors cruising the thermals, Pigeon Gullemots vying for mates in Monterey Bay, barking sea lions and elephant seals, hooting Spotted Owls in the Big Sur, and crying rails in the marshes of the Salton Sea NWR. Click here to see more photos and read about the entire trip along the Pacific, through the mountains, and down into the Imperial Valley.
Suzanne and I spent Veteran's Day weekend birding at Cibola NWR, Chiriaco Summit, the Parker Valley, the Salome/Wenden Valley, and at Hassayampa Nature Preserve. We found a pair of rare Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and bugling Sandhill Cranes at Cibola, a vagrant Rufous-backed Robin from Mexico at Chiriaco Summit, and a wonderful flock of Lawrence's Goldfinches north of Ehrenberg. Click here to see more photos and read about the rest of our adventures in Western Arizona and the Mohave Desert.
Suzanne, Gaby, and I spent four days in Iceland, where we saw White-tailed Sea Eagle, Puffins, Skuas, cliff-side gull and guillemot colonies, ate fresh sea scallops, and visited great geysers. Then we flew over to Germany and visited relatives, searched for ancestral home sites in Switzerland and France, visited England, and traveled the canals of Brugge, Belgium. Click here to see more photos and read about the rest of our European adventure (on two pages).
An excellent 9-day adventure targeting many of Arizona's rarest and most beautiful birds with Canadian photographer Brian Young and his wife Lise! We started in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, hiked in the Santa Rita and Huachuca Mountains, birded our way north through the White Mountains, and ended up in boiling hot Yuma. Along the way we heard and photographed owls, woodpeckers, Buff-breasted and other flycatchers, Pinyon Jays, showy warblers, and the range-restricted but accommodating Five-striped Sparrow. Click here to see more photos and read about the rest of our cross-state birding adventure.
A fine week of visiting my parents and birding in Jackson County, Illinois. Pileated and Red-headed Woodpeckers, 19 species of warblers (despite it being a slow season for migrants), lots of flycatchers, grosbeaks, tanagers, sparrows, and buntings. Good birds included a Philadelphia Vireo, two Cerulean Warblers, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and multiple Bobolinks. It was also a great trip for reptiles and mammals, with some face-to-face views of cottonmouths and other snakes! Click here to see some photos and read more about birding in southern Illinois.
I had the great fortune to lead 13 intrepid adventurers from Wisconsin through some of Arizona's great birding hotspots at the end of March. We explored the bird-rich Huachucas, hiked to the cavern at Coronado National Monument, birded along the San Pedro River, searched for owls in Scheelite and Madera Canyons, and watched a rattlesnake at Agua Caliente Park. And from the comfort of lawn chairs we watched lots of birds at feeding stations, too! Click here to read more about our birding travels in Southeast Arizona.
Jim, Suzanne, and I visited several jungle outposts in northern Belize, searching for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other critters during a wonderful December vacation. Parrots, currasows, tanagers, and other colorful birds were just some of the highlights. Perhaps the most brazen and flashy birds were the Ocellated Turkeys! In addition to avian treasures, we found several neat snakes and lots of monkeys. The fantastic Mayan ruins were also interesting, and the surrounding jungle was full of life. Click here to see more photos of the birds and the beautiful landscape.
Bob Miller and I visited the southeast shore of the Salton Sea this morning, checking out the wealth of shorebirds, pelicans, cormorants, and gulls. The best part we saved for last--it was a new area of geothermal activity laid bare by the receding Salton Sea. Here we saw bubbling mudpots, gray geysers, and spewing mud volcanoes. Click here to see more photos of the birds and the fantastic landscape.
Gray Jay, Mt. Baker
Fourteen ace Swedish birders from Avifauna and I toured up the Olympic Peninsula coastline, put out to sea for pelagics, headed to the top of Hurricane Ridge and Mt. Baker, explored the Cascades, took a jaunt up to Canada, and traveled through the sagebrush in search of Washington's fine avian wonders. Click here to see additional photos and read more about our northern adventure.
Ovenbird, Grayling, Minnesota
Suzanne, Gaby, and I spent ten days in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan visiting relatives and some of the many wonderful federal and state natural areas there. We found Connecticut Warblers in both Minnesota and Michigan, and had wonderful views of the Kirtland's Warbler in the jack pines east of Grayling. Click here to see some more photos of our northern adventure.
Gila Monsters, Sabino Canyon
Suzanne, Gaby, and I spent a fine long spring weekend in southeast Arizona, picking up many of the local specialties, as well as five Flammulated Owls on Mt. Lemmon. However, our best find was yet to come, when we came upon these two mating Gila Monsters the next morning in Sabino Canyon. Click here to see some more photos of these great lizards.
White & red phases, Reddish Egrets
After picking up twelve outstanding Swedish birders in Houston, we set off across Texas to see how many regional specialties and migrants we could locate in the course of a long week. A lingering pair of Whooping Cranes at Aransas was our first sweet score, and a Bay-breasted Warbler was the final bird. In between we got to watch crying Chachalacas, graceful Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and raucous Great Kiskadees. It was all too much fun! Click here to read more about our whirlwind tour through the southern half of Texas and see additional photos.
Slaty-tailed Trogon, Summit Park, Panama
Suzanne and I spent an awesome week exploring the jungles and mountains of Panama, a wonderfully diverse country. From snapping Manakins to huge raptors, from stealthy sloths to abundant agoutis, from plain-colored antbirds to wildly colored trogons, we saw a wealth of birds and mammals. Click here to read about our cross-country adventures and see additional photos.
Want to see a LeConte's Thrasher?
Hear a Black Rail?
Watch dozens of wintering Ferruginous Hawks feeding on gophers?
Now you can, by ordering a copy of Finding Birds in Yuma County, Arizona! This fine reference book provides detailed accounts of the fifteen best sites in southwestern Arizona. Each chapter contains the following information: habitat, target birds, description, birding suggestions, and driving directions.
The price is $18.00, which includes postage. Click here to preview a sample chapter and for ordering instructions.
Finding Birds in La Paz County, Arizona
This informative guide provides detailed accounts of the best birding sites in La Paz County. Each chapter contains the following information: habitat, target birds, description, birding suggestions, and driving directions. At the end of the guide is a seasonal checklist. The price is
$17.00, which includes postage.
Click here to preview a sample chapter and for ordering instructions.
Finding Birds at the Salton Sea and in Imperial County, California
This informative book provides detailed accounts of the best birding sites at the Salton Sea and in Imperial County. Each chapter contains the following information: habitat, target birds, site description, birding suggestions, and driving directions. The book ends with a comprehensive, seasonal checklist. The price is
$21.00 (which includes postage).
Click here to preview the Table of Contents, the Introduction, a sample chapter and for ordering instructions.
Finding Birds in Yuma County, Arizona
This informative guide provides detailed accounts of the fifteen best sites in southwestern Arizona. Each chapter contains the following information: habitat, target birds, description, birding suggestions, and driving directions. The latest revision adds a seasonal checklist. The price is
$18.00 (which includes postage).
Click here to preview a sample chapter and for ordering instructions.
Click here to look at a checklist of Yuma County birds.