Birding at Patagonia Lake State Park
Bird walks are now on Mondays and Fridays at 9:00am. Meet at the kiosk at the east end of the campground.
The links below are the current lists of birds recorded from recent bird walks.
Note from Andy Gould, bird list compiler: You may notice this list is longer than recent lists (although not longer than the lists from this time of year in previous years). This is due to the efforts of a visiting birder by the name of Bruce Glick whose expertise is vouched for by Evanna and Kathy, our current head birders at the lake. Bruce spent a whole week looking for birds and covered more territory than the usual bird walks and boat tours. None of the birds on his list are unusual. It is just unusual to have them all in the same week.
The most unusual bird, the Red Phalarope, was seen by Evanna and Kathy on the boat tour. You won’t see this bird again as it was nailed by a Red Tailed Hawk as they watched.
There are also Avian boat tours at 9 and 10:15 on Saturdays and Sundays. Bird from the pontoon boat with a bird guide. Registration required by calling or stopping at the Visitor Center. (520-287-2791)
You might want to check out the new eBird kiosk at the Visitor Center. It will show you a list of all the birds seen and reported to eBird with a photo of most of them.
There was a trogon found at the east end of the lake and the green kingfisher along the creek for the Christmas Bird Count December 15.
For places to bird in the area see the descriptions below.
Birding Trail at Patagonia Lake State Park: The trail begins at kiosk at the east end of the campground. The first 1/4 mile is level terrain, then a short section of steps down and through a gate to the lake. Ducks and wading birds like the shallow, reedy area on your left. Woodland birds prefer the mesquite and hackberry trees on the right. The trail opens onto a grazed area with Goodings Willows. The trail leads to the east end of the lake with a good view of the water. Sonoita Creek’s delta is the primary birding area. Behind you is a riparian area of cottonwoods and willows where many avian species can be found. If you follow the creek, usually with some wading, you will eventually reach the Circle Z guest ranch fence about 2 miles upstream. Return by the same route. The trail is open the year around.
Birding near the town of Patagonia
The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve: 7:30 am. -4 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Fees: $6 per person. Conservancy members and Santa Cruz/Cochise County residents $3. Patagonia residents and children under 16 are free. Location: 150 Blue Haven Road just outside of Patagonia.
The Paton Center for Hummingbirds: 212 bird species have been reported for this cozy home lot on the outskirts of Patagonia, including Violet-crowned Hummingbirds, Gray Hawks, Varied Buntings, Green-tailed Towhees, Thick-billed Kingbirds, and many more local specialties. Gates are open dawn to dusk. Entry is free of charge, but donations are accepted. Location: 477 Pennsylvania Ave. Patagonia, AZ