Sonoran Audubon Society


SAS Picnic at Horseshoe Ranch @ Horseshoe Ranch/Agua Fria National Monument
Mar 24 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
SAS Annual Picnic
Saturday, March 24, 2018
 The SAS ANNUAL PICNIC is Saturday March 24, 2018 at Horseshoe Ranch in Yavapai County from 8:00 AM to about 1 PM. We’ll be in the shade on the lovely campus of the Horseshoe Ranch complex using one of the full-service houses as our base of operations.

The Picnic:  The main course—hamburgers, veggie burgers and kielbasa on the grill—plus Soft drinks and water SAS will provide as are all condiments and utensils.  Please bring a side dish or dessert for pot luck.  RAIN or SHINE!

The Bird Walks: starting around 8:00-8:30 AM:  Depending upon numbers, there will be one or more of these hikes below.  Guides may (or may not) be: Jim “Plants for Birds” Consolloy, Joe “Family Walks” Ford, Bob “McBob” McCormick, Karen “Still Learning the Birds” LaFrance, Andree’ (“Super Volunteer”) Tarby and Jerry “World Traveller” Theis!

  • Silver Creek Hike:  Access to Silver Creek Canyon is from cars about one half mile farther up the Bloody Basin road from the ranch.  This is truly a hike, so appropriate footwear, hats, water.  Birds can be GRRRREAT!
  • Around the Ranch Easy Walk OR The Big Sit Not-A-Walk:  Yep: around the Ranch or up past the pond….  Really great birds. A Golden Eagle flew over the picnic a few years ago!  Bring your lawn chair & look for birds from your catbird’s seat.  Little or no exertion required; check the big trees.
  • Upper Agua Fria River IBA Walk/Hike:  South from the Horseshoe Ranch Ford….or north along the river; can be good birding…depends…!

Bring your boots, hats, sun screen and binocs!…AND, for hanging around doing the Big Sit and eating, lawn chairs.  The only thing we ask is that you RSVP BY WED MARCH 21 to Karen at 602-809-3360/ and to Donna so SAS has an accurate count of attendees for food preparation purposes. Some of you have already RSVP’d; no need to do it again.

Directions:  Drive north toward Flagstaff on Route 17 out of Phoenix to the Bloody Basin Road exit #259 about 50-60 miles from Phoenix.  Drive EAST on BB Road for six miles.  The dirt road is OK for regular cars; just go slow in some places.  As you come over the rise at about Mile 6 and see the Upper Agua Fria River/big trees below in the valley you will also see the Ranch complex across the river.  Turn LEFT into the Ranch Road, drive OVER (through!) the stream (yes, it is the river) and up into the Ranch yard to park.

SAS Community Education Program May 2018 @ West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
May 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm


“Hello Friends of Sonoran Audubon:   Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 9th, 7 PM at West Valley UU Church for the May Chapter Presentation on “What’s the Plan for Arlington and The World of Owls”.  All are invited to arrive early for soft drinks and cookies and conversation at 6:30 PM.  The West Valley UU Church is located at the NW corner of Cholla and North 59th Avenue in Glendale.

Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Arizona will review for us the projects in Arlington and along the Gila River that are changing the ponds, the river and adjoining properties and fields there.  This is a must for all of us bird-watchers who expect to see certain cool birds at the same locations each year.

SAS Speakers’ Bureau guru and Master Science Educator Joe Ford will immerse us in “The World of Owls.”  Joe and his team give talks and walks for families in the County Parks on a regular basis.   It is exciting for the Chapter that he is bringing one of his most fascinating and popular programs to our May Chapter Presentation.

SAS Annual Hassayampa Bird Walks and Planning Meet Up @ Hassayampa River Preserve
Oct 13 @ 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Saturday, October 13, 2018, 8 AM to 2 PM
Lunch Included
Hassayampa River Preserve, Route 60, Wickenburg AZ

Join us for bird walks and for our annual chapter planning “meet up” on Saturday, October 13th, from 8 AM to 2 PM at Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg, Arizona.

RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW!  As a “visiting group,” SAS has an overall permit for this event so there will be no individual fees owed as long as you are signed up with SAS.  Also, lunch is included!. So it is imperative that you reserve your space(s) if you going to attend.  RSVP to Karen LaFrance at by Friday, October 12th by end of business.

At 8 AM Bird Walks will commence (with coffee provided) and they will finish up around 9:30 or 10 AM.  You will have time then to explore the Preserve further, enjoy the historic exhibits in the main house, now part of Maricopa County Parks and staffed by dedicated volunteers like your Board member Darnell Kirksey, and watch the hummingbirds at the nearby feeders.

At 10:30 AM, all who are interested to participate with the Board, will adjourn to our private conference room to catch up on Sonoran Audubon announcements, activities and accomplishments and on National Audubon conservation priorities.

12 Noon:  Lunch will be available for everyone with reservations.  SAS will provide water and drinks with lunch and there will be plenty of time for chatting, renewing your birding friendships and, as usual, watching the hummingbirds (again!).

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM:  Your Board will seek your input on ideas and plans for the Chapter in 2019.  It is very important for Board members and Committee Chairpersons to hear from you and we hope that you will stay and spend this short, one hour, quality time with us.

For basic information about the Preserve, go to

For “Things to do in Wickenburg” go to

SAS Community Education Program February 2019 @ West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please join us on February 13, 2019 for a fascinating program on Tanzania birds by Dominic Sherony.  Also on the program is a science report by Tice Supplee of Audubon Arizona about important avian research in our area.  Your Board members will provide some up to date information about your chapter as well.  Please come early for coffee and conversation at 6:30 PM.

The program takes place at the West Valley UU Church, located at the North West Corner of 59th Avenue and Cholla in Glendale.

Dominic Sherony writes: “I will highlight aspects of my recent trip to Tanzania focusing mostly on birds. Tanzania has an unusually diverse population of bird species. It is central to many local and unusual species and is host to a wide variety of Asian migrants.  I was in Tanzania when the many migrants were arriving. As a country it is bisected by the Great Rift Valley and other geological features that created different types of habitats. I will briefly describe some of these habitats.”

He writes further about his extensive Audubon resume:  “I was born and grew up in northern Illinois and attended University of Detroit and Illinois Institute of Technology, completing degrees in Chemical Engineering.  I worked for Xerox Corporation for 31 years after graduate school. In that period, I took up bird watching as a hobby in 1972 and have been an active birder since but especially after my retirement.  I have many and varied interests in birding including leading local trips, active in New York State, was a member of New York State Avian Records Committee for eleven years, was a region co-coordinator for the NYS breeding bird atlas, have written numerous papers about birds, volunteer at a Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, enjoy the challenge of photographing birds, and occasionally give talks.”


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.