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Whether searching for an elusive Crissal Thrasher along the Guindani or Foothills Loop Trails, or enjoying the amazing aerodynamics of the hummingbirds as they seek nectar and insects in the Hummingbird Garden, bird-watchers will be richly rewarded for time spent at Kartchner Caverns State Park. The park is recognized as one of top bird-watching spots on the Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail (www.seazbirding.com) because it provides a great opportunity to view many of the common and not-so-common birds of the desert and lower elevation riparian oak woodlands.
The Park is located in a region prized for bird-watching. As one national guidebook describes it, "Birdwatchers are drawn to southeastern Arizona as golfers are to St. Andrew's in Scotland or baseball fans to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame: it's a pilgrimage. . . . This trip is one of the tops for bird finding, not only in the West but in all of North America." A survey in the October 2002 Birder's World magazine confirmed this, naming southeastern Arizona as the top bird-watching area in the nation. Editor Diane Jolie explains, "The main reasons are the abundance of bird species, the diversity of terrain and the way the community embraces birding."
Anyone interested in birds should bring along their binoculars and favorite field guide the next time they visit the park, and ask your park ranger a bird list. Additional birding information, such as up-to-date sightings of rare birds, can be found at websites maintained by the Tucson Audubon Society (www.tucsonaudubon.org) and the Southeastern Arizona Birding Observatory (www.sabo.org).