Where is one of the the best place for birding watching? It may just be one of the last places you might think of -- the Arizona desert.
Southeastern Arizona’s Sky Islands are environmentally diverse and some of the best places in the world for bird watchers to find extremely wide ranges of bird species. Sky islands are isolated mountains that are dramatically and environmentally different from their surrounding lowland deserts. The mountains offer diverse habitats that attract a vast amount of migratory bird species. For birders and nature lovers, southeast Arizona provides a rich opportunity to discover many species and enjoy the great outdoors. An hour and a half east of Tucson, the Chiricahua Mountains -- a significant Sky Island -- ascends from the arid Chihuahuan Desert and transitions to grassland, oak-pine woodland, pine forest and finally to spruce-fir-aspen forest at its higher elevations.
For birding and lodging in the Chiricahua Mountains, Sunglow Ranch, a boutique guest ranch resort, is a birder’s paradise. It is located in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains at 5,340 feet in elevation. Sunglow offers guests inspired lodging and dining in its hideaway setting. Birders can also relax with a variety of other activities including astronomy, hiking, biking, horse riding, fishing, swimming and a spa. Running water, a pond, bird feeders, onsite trails and birding stations makes Sunglow Ranch a frequent venue for visitors and birds alike.
Turkey Creek which flows through the ranchlands offers phenomenal birding. Over 500 bird species have been reported at and around Sunglow Ranch where mountain streams large bird populations are present all year.
Nearby, the Wings Over WILLCOX Birding and Nature festival is hosted the third week in January, Wednesday through Sunday. Seminars, photo contests, birding workshops, tours, and activities for birders and nature enthusiast of all backgrounds are offered.
The WILLCOX Playa is arguably the best shorebird and waterfowl watching area in Southern Arizona. The Playa is a large, shallow, dry lakebed located seven miles south of Willcox in Cochise County, Arizona. The Apache Station Wildlife Area, located 8.5 miles south of I-10 on US 191, is probably one the best spots on the WILLCOX Playa, and the easiest to access.
For an outstanding experience in birding and lodging in the Chiricahua Mountains Sky Island, Sunglow
Ranch provides visitors with breathtaking views, inclusive meals and an experience to be remembered.
Sunglow Ranch EARNED BOTH the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and the Travelers’ Choice Award for 2012, chosen as one of the “Top 25 Relaxation/Spa Hotels in the United States” For more information on Sunglow Ranch call: (520) 824-3334
Stacey "Vagabonding Lulu" Wittig is an Arizona travel writer based in Flagstaff, AZ. Get more travel tips by "Subscribing" to this site.