Sonoran Audubon Society


SAS Field Trip – Cave Creek Regional Park & Program @ Cave Creek Regional Park
Apr 6 @ 7:30 am – 10:30 am

This habitat is dominated by Upper Sonoran vegetation. Species include Palo Verde, Velvet Mesquite, Creosote Bush and numerous cactus species, especially the Saguaro. Lack of water sources limit bird species. Expect to see 15-25 species. Specialties include Phainopepla, numerous woodpecker species, gnatcatchers, Curve-billed Thrashers, Black-throated Sparrows and Cactus Wrens.

The hike begins at the visitor center (unless noted otherwise) and takes approximately 1 hour. The trail does go through some washes, thus some uphill sections are involved, but they are short.

Difficulty Level   (1)

Program to follow at the Nature Center

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.

SAS Field Trip – Rio Salado New Area @ Rio Salado New Area
Apr 6 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am

The Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area stretches along five miles of the Salt River just south of downtown Phoenix. Once a dump site, the area is now a lush riparian corridor with five miles of paved and dirt trails dotted with unique design and user features. Bird watchers have spotted more than 200 species of birds (and counting…) in Rio Salado’s varied habitats from wetland ponds to mesquite bosque to cottonwood/willow forest. Hike, bike, wheelchair, jog, horseback — anyone can access Rio Salado and experience the Salt River’s rich and varied wildlife as it once was — all in the heart of the nation’s fifth largest city.

We are going to call this Sonoran Audubon’s first Gilligan tour. Yes, three hours only. We will start by checking out the habitat on the North side of the river including the “waterfall” area and the desert milkweed garden. This is a unique area with swampy places with cottonwood and willow trees and a large mesquite bosque. We will finish the loop and re-assemble at the parking lot to re-locate to the Southside of the river.

On the Southside, we will park at the West lot at Audubon Arizona and proceed toward the river trails. We will take the middle trail toward 7th Ave, cross a small wet area and return on the lower trail. This area has lots of ponds with Common Yellowthroats, etc.

Rio Salado is located approximately south of downtown Phoenix across the river from the Nina Mason Pullman Audubon Center. There is lots of parking.

Things to Know/Bring:
This trip will go from 8:00am to 11:00am. Bring a lunch if you wish and lots of water. The river is currently running a muddy brown and has quite a bit of visible trash.

Please bring binoculars and cameras. Bathrooms are available at the trailhead. We will be doing moderate hiking, so plan on bringing sturdy hiking boots. A wide-brimmed hat and sun block are also highly recommended.

Carpooling, Meeting Time/Location:
8:00am at the NE Central Ave. Trailhead 2439 S. Central Ave.
Carpool groups from the Phoenix area: by participants.

Difficulty: 2 – hiking on dirt roads and we will cover about three miles.

SAS Community Education Program April 2019 @ West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Apr 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

On APRIL 10, 2019 at 7 PM, the Chapter will hold a very special meeting at the UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH IN GLENDALE (NORTHWEST CORNER OF CHOLLA AND NORTH 59TH AVENUE). Jerry Theis, SAS member and world traveler, is going to share with us photos of his trip to Eastern Colombia. There will be Plants for Birds raffles too….

Jerry is an intrepid world traveler having visited wildlife hotspots in many far corners of the world. Recently, for example, he went to “hot and humid” Cambodia and Laos and, on the horizon, he tells us, is Madagascar. Hummingbirds are Jerry’s favorite bird group, which is why he frequents Central and South American birding locations more than others.

Jerry has a Ph.D. in Microbiology and managed labs for Banner Health for over 40 years. He now performs Alzheimer’s testing in the Center for Healthy Aging at the Sun Health Research Institute. Jerry has served on the Sonoran Audubon Board and as a current “SAS Super Volunteer,” he takes care of the sign in sheets at every Chapter meeting.

SAS Field Trip – Estrella Mountain Park & Program @ Estrella Mountain Park
Apr 13 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am

Estrella Park is located along the Gila River and adjacent hills. The habitat is diverse, varying from desert scrub flood on the flood plain to riparian vegetation dominated by salt cedar (tamarisk species) and some Gooddings Willow. The park itself has Velvet Mesquite and some large Blue Gum species which support nesting by raptors. Irrigation has increased the number of birds seen. The hills south are made of ancient metamorphic rock, exposed plutons, and produce thermals which are friendly to soaring vultures and other species. Expect a variety of bird species and further diversity during migration. Specialties include Vermilion Flycatcher, Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White Pelicans and shore birds when the river flows. Species numbers can be as high as 65.

The walk is approximately 1 to 1.5 miles in length covering 2.5 hours along level terrain. Meet at the Visitor Center at 7:30 am.

Difficulty Level (2) due to its length.

Program to follow

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.

SAS Field Trip – White Tank Mountains Park & Program @ White Tank Mountains Park
Apr 20 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am

This habitat is dominated by Upper Sonoran vegetation. Species include Palo Verde, Ironwood, Creosote Bush, Jojoba and numerous cactus species, most notably the Teddy Bear Cholla, barrel cactus species, and the dominate Saguaro. Lack of water sources limit bird species. Woodpecker types dominate. Expect to see 15-25 species. Specialties include Rock Wrens, Cactus Wrens, Phainopepla, and Gila Woodpeckers.

Meet at  Area 9, Ford Canyon Trail

This hike takes an hour to 1.5 to 2 hours and covers  .5 to 1 mile. Some short areas of uphill (less than 35 yards) may be on a trail.

Difficulty Level  (1).

Program to follow.

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.