Frequenly Asked Questions

What should I bring birding with me?

You may want to bring the following on our tour:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Extra water (tour leader will have extra, too)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera (if wanted)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Extra dry shoes and socks
  • Warm clothing for cold mornings/evenings
  • Insect repellent (mainly in summer)
  • Rain jacket/waterproof (or extra) shoes (occasionally needed, mainly in winter)

Can I bring my dog?

Sorry, we cannot take your dog into the field with us. If you are driving and your dog is set up for staying in your vehicle, I’ll follow your judgement as to how long he or she can remain comfortably inside while we bird nearby.

What time does it get light/dark?

Please check the Old Farmers’ Alamanc

What temperatures can I expect?

Please check an online weather service:

Should I bring my ‘scope?

Not unless you really want to. At all times, I will have my trusty KOWA TSN-82 with high-quality 15-60X zoom, HD coatings, and 45-degree angled eyepiece. I’ll carry it myself, mounted to a solid MANFROTTO (nee BOGEN) tripod, on any scope-appropriate forays into the field. Otherwise it will reside comfortably, for anyone to use, within the vehicle.

Will you check the RBA for rarities?

ABSOLUTELY! We continually monitor the Tucson Audubon Society’s Rare-Bird-Alert, as well as the Arizona/New Mexico Birding Listserv (AZNMBIRDS), for any and all unexpected birds in the area. Immediately prior to our meeting, we will ask whether any of the reported rarities are of interest to you. This, of course, may result in a modified itinerary and price.

For night-birding, what will the moon-phase be?

Please check the Stargate Moon Calculator

Will you use recorded vocalizations to draw in birds?

Though occasionally helpful in expediting bird sightings, recordings will be used only with certain birds at certain times of the year. Recordings will be used only in accordance with the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics, under circumstances deemed to be of inconsequential effect upon the individual birds in question. If you don’t already know this, you should: using recordings of a bird’s vocalizations can detrimentally affect its life. Not always, but sometimes. We, as humans, don’t always know when or why this may happen, and, as humans, we can elect to do as little harm to our planetary cohabitants as possible. Ask us if we intend to use tapes; we’ll consider the circumstances.

My spouse/relative/friend is not quite as interested as I am in birds. Will he/she/they have non-birding alternatives to occupy his/her/their time while we’re out?

YES! Our tours focus strongly on birds, but all trips will contain pertinent information on the area’s plants, insects, arachnids, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and other life-forms. The cultural history of the area is rich and diverse and can be discussed freely, at the client’s will. Those wishing to forgo birding can be given directions to, and information on, galleries, shops, restaurants, churches, wineries, motion picture filming sites, and probably about anything they wish to experience during their stay. We can suggest activities for anyone wishing to eat, drink, hike, bike, ride, golf, fish, explore, learn, or just chill.

Will we compile a trip list?

YES! We use the Tucson Audubon Society’s Checklist of Birds of Southeast Arizona (updated in 2003 by Benesh & Stevenson) to compile a list of all species seen or heard on our tour. You get to keep the list, and additional blank lists are available. For butterfly-fanciers, a checklist covering southeast Arizona is also available.