Southeastern Arizona is one of the most biologically
 rich areas in the country. The combined diversity of
birds, mammals, reptiles, and butterflies found here is 

unequaled in the United States. 







 

Among these different classes of organisms, it is the avian diversity that has been the most popular attraction for visitors from around the world. At the heart of this birder's paradise lies The Nature Conservancy's
Ramsey Canyon Preserve. 


For more than a century, Ramsey Canyon has been a "must see" destination for birdwatchers of all ages and all levels of interest.
 From its headwaters high up in the mixed conifer forests of the
 Huachuca Mountains to the semi-desert grasslands found
at the canyon mouth, Ramsey Creek 




supports a lush riparian woodland of maples, sycamores,
cottonwoods, willows, and ash. Such a woodland provides a
bounty of resources for resident and migratory birds - food, water,
shelter, and nesting sites are abundant and diverse.
Birding in Ramsey Canyon, like most other areas in the temperate
 zones, is most productive from April to September. During these
 months birdwatchers can enjoy spring and fall migration as well as
the nesting season.




 Bird song and breeding reach their peak in May, June & July
 when resident birds such as the Arizona Woodpecker, Mexican Jay, Whiskered Screech Owl, and Bridled Titmouse join neotropical
migrants such as Elegant Trogon, Elf Owl, Painted Redstart,
 Hepatic Tanager, and Dusky-Capped Flycatcher in a dynamic series
 of territorial and nesting behaviors. Such species are fairly common
in the canyon during spring and summer.




Higher up in Ramsey Canyon, in the Miller Peak Wilderness Area,
one can find a different suite of breeding species including Buff-Breasted Flycatcher, Northern Pygmy Owl, Greater Pewee, Olive Warbler,
Northern Goshawk, Red-Faced Warbler, and other southwestern specialties. At the mouth of Ramsey Canyon, as the woodland gives
way to grassland and desert scrub, one can find yet another different
 group of birds - Gila and Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Cassin's Kingbird, Verdin, Pyrruloxia, Blue Grosbeak, and Curve-Billed Thrasher.

Of course, the birds for which Ramsey Canyon
 is best known are the HUMMINGBIRDS.. 







Fifteen species have been recorded at the
Ramsey Canyon Preserve.




 Of this total, about twelve species

 occur in an average year.




From May to early September, one can expect to see between six and twelve species at any one time. Hummingbird numbers and diversity have two peaks during the year. The first is in mid April and May while the second, and more dramatic of the two, is mid July to August/early September. Except for an occasional individual blue-throated or magnificent which may spend the winter, hummingbirds at Ramsey Canyon are migratory and all fly south
 to Mexico for the winter. They leave by early October and begin arriving
 in late March. Among the species found at Ramsey feeders are a
 number of Mexican species whose range barely extends into the southwestern United States - these include the berylline, white-eared, magnificent,  blue-throated, broad-billed, and violet-crowned.


In addition to Ramsey Canyon, birders staying at the Ramsey Canyon Inn can visit a number of other easily accessible and nearby birding hot spots. The San Pedro River, located 25 minutes from the Inn, was designated the first Globally Important Bird Area in the United States by the American Bird Conservancy in 1995. For The Nature Conservancy, it is one of "The Last Great Places". Winter and spring birding along the San Pedro can be outstanding. Grey hawk, vermillion and brown-crested flycatcher, green kingfisher, and tropical kingbird are among the more than 100 species of breeding birds. Further east, the Sulphur Springs Valley is the winter home for more than a dozen species of raptors, many sparrow and waterfowl species, and up to 20,000 sandhill cranes.

Perhaps the greatest joys of birding this rich area are the many wildlife surprises one encounters! 

Look out for a troop of foraging coatimundi, pronghorn grazing in the grassland, the amazing summer wildflowers, the tremendous variety of summer butterflies, or a rare sighting of a Sonoran mountain king snake. All seasons of the year have something special to offer the bird and nature watcher in southeastern Arizona.  Of course for the History buffs any time is a good time. We hope you can join us at Ramsey Canyon Inn for a memorable stay. 


Birding by season







Winter




November through February view 77 species including the following specialties:




Eared Grebe, American Bittern, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Red-breasted Merganser, Swainson's Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Montezuma Quail, Scaled Quail, Gambel's Quail, Common Moorhen, Sandhill Crane, Greater Yellowlegs, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Costa's Hummingbird, Lewis's Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Gray Flycatcher, Western Scrub-Jay, Mexican Jay, Pinyon Jay, Plain Titmouse, Bushtit, Western Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's), Green-tailed Towhee, Baird's Sparrow, McCown's Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Lesser Goldfinch and Lawrence's Goldfinch




Spring




March through May View 118 species including the following specialties:




Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe, Gray Hawk, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, White-winged Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Elf Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Buff-collared Nightjar, Broad-billed Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Eared Trogon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Greater Pewee, Violet-green Swallow, Western Wood-Pewee, Hammond's Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Western Scrub-Jay, Mexican Jay, Pinyon Jay, Plain Titmouse, Bushtit, Bell's Vireo, Hutton's Vireo, Virginia's Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Grace's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Hermit Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Olive Warbler, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Green-tailed Towhee, Brewer's Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Baird's Sparrow, McCown's Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Hooded Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Scott's Oriole, Lesser Goldfinch and Lawrence's Goldfinch.




 




Summer




June through July view 108 species including the following specialties:




Eared Grebe, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Common Black-Hawk, Gray Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Band-tailed Pigeon, White-winged Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Elf Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Buff-collared Nightjar, Black Chin, Anna's, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, White-eared, Berylline, Violet-crowned, Rufous, Magnificent, Calliope, Blue-throated, Plain Capped Starthroat - Hummingbirds Elegant Trogon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Willow Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Sulfur-bellied Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Thick-billed Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Rose-throated Becard, Plain Titmouse, Bell's Vireo, Hutton's Vireo, Virginia's Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Grace's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Olive Warbler, Summer Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Lazuli Bunting, Botteri's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco, Hooded Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Scott's Oriole, Lesser Goldfinch.




Fall




August-through October view 124 species including the following specialties:




Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Common Black-Hawk, Gray Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Band-tailed Pigeon, White-winged Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Lesser Nighthawk, Broad-billed Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Red-naped Sapsucker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Hammond's Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Gray Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Thick-billed Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Rose-throated Becard, Plain Titmouse, Bell's Vireo, Hutton's Vireo, Virginia's Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Grace's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Olive Warbler, Summer Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Lazuli Bunting, Green-tailed Towhee, Botteri's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Baird's Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Hooded Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Scott's Oriole, Lesser Goldfinch and Lawrence's Goldfinch.




 




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Local Birding Hot Spots

Description

Time from Ramsey Canyon

Ash Canyon B&B

Just off Hwy 92 and Turkey Track Road.  One of the best overall venues to sit in comfortable chairs and see the best assortment of humming birds and other canyon birds at all the feeders.  Mary Jo Ballator's open yard is a marvel, and so is she ! Our #1 Choice for the best birding !

15 minutes

Beatty's Orchard

Easy access by car, short walks to Beatty's observation benches.  Mountain meadow. Hummingbirds and mountain birds.

20 minutes

Carr Peak

Moderate access by car.  Easy to moderate hiking from parking area.  Mountain and canyon habitat.  Mountain birds.

30 minutes

Ramsey Canyon Inn

Easy to moderate hiking from inn.  Mountain and riparian habitat.  Hummingbirds, resident and migrant birds.

0 minutes

Brown Canyon Ranch
Brown Canyon Trail


Easy access by car.  Year round spring fed pond. Riparian habitat.  Resident and migrant birds.  Easy to moderate hikes from parking area.  

5 minutes

Coronado National Monument 

Easy access by car.  Easy, moderate and strenuous hikes from parking area.  Mountain canyon habitat.  Canyon and mountain birds.

25 minutes

Garden/Shelite Canyons at Fort Huachuca

Moderate to difficult access by car. Four wheel drive advisable beyond picnic areas.  Strenuous hike in Shelite Canyon.  Easy to moderate hiking in Garden Canyon. Mountain canyon habitat.  Mountain birds and Spotted Owl. 

30 minutes 

Kartchner Caverns

Fee area. Easy access by car.  High desert habitat.  Hummingbird garden and resident desert birds.  

45 minutes

Patagonia Lake

Fee Area:  Easy access by car.  Easy hikes. High desert and riparian habitats.  Water fowl, high desert residents and migrants.  

1.5 hours

Patagonia Preserve

Easy access by car.  Easy hikes. High desert and riparian habitats.  High desert resident birds and migrants. 

1 hour

Patton's residence in Patagonia

Easy access by car.  Short walk to hummingbird feeders in backyard.  

1 hour

San Pedro House

Easy access by car.  Easy hikes from parking area.  High desert and riparian habitats.  Resident and migrant birds. This is a can't miss area.

35 minutes

White-water Draw

Easy access by car.  Easy hikes from parking area.  Manmade lake.  Waterfowl and riparian birds.  Sandhill Cranes

Nov-March.

50 minutes