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Birding at RCR

A Birder's Paradise


Whether it's from the porch of your luxuriously appointed casita, or just a few minutes walk to the variety of habitats on the property, Rincon Creek Ranch offers Birders a wide variety of Birding opportunities. Just a short drive away, Birders can visit the World Famous bird refuges at Whitewarter Draw, Willcox Playa, and Madera Canyon, as well as numerous local hot Birding spots.

Incredible Birding Opportunities on the Ranch

From the common to the very rare, guests at Rincon Creek Ranch have discovered and photographed an incredible variety of species that live, migrate, and breed in Southern Arizona. We have eight hummingbird nests under the wrap-around Ranch House porch built on the suspended fixtures, and are finding more all the time. Bird feeders are located strategically at each casita to give views while lying in bed, sitting in the living room, or through the Dutch door while having your morning breakfast. Three distinct bio-zones on the 100 acre property provide a variety of habitats. With the traditional Sonoran Desert environment at the guest casitas and surrounding Saguaro National Park, the densely thicketed Mesquite bosque, the bisecting perenial Rincon Creek, and the lush lawns and green-belt at the Ranch House, Rincon Creek Ranch is the ideal environment for Birders.

"Peaceful, Charming, Luxurious Getaway"


""...Here's our list of bird species spotted during our two-day stay. All species seen on Rincon Creek Ranch or on the Saguaro NP trails accessible from the Ranch. Thirty-Seven Total!..."

D & M, Washington D.C. April 2016

Devlin & Maya W's Bird Observa

Incredible Day-Trip Birding Opportunities near the Ranch

From your home base at Rincon Creek Ranch, several specialized Birding opportunities are just a short drive away. The Cienega Creek Preserve is only 10 minutes away. Within about 30-60 minutes you can visit Agua Caliente Park, the grasslands of Empire Ranch, the high elevations of Madera Canyon, the Paton Hummingbird Center, the Patagonia/Sonoita Creek Nature Preserve, or the Willcox Playa & Cochise Lakes.our away. The world famous Ramsey Canyon Preserve and the Whitewater Draw Recreation area are just an hour and a half from the Ranch.

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Cienega Creek Natural Preserve

This 4000 acre nature preserve protects 12 miles of the perennial Cienega Creek. The area is home to abundant wildlife and is a popular birding area. The Three Bridges crossing is a popular railroad viewing and photography area, Arizona Trail access into the creek preserve via the Gabe Zimmerman parking lot. Closest access (10 Minutes) from Rincon Creek Ranch is at the bridge crossing on Colossal Cave Road one-half mile west from Camino Loma Alta.

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Agua Caliente Park

"Agua Caliente" is Spanish for Hot Water and refers to the perennial hot springs that feeds the ponds of this lush east-side Tucson Park. This 101 acre preserve is a Birder's paradise. Located only ten miles from the Ranch (as the bird flies) the area has all of the same species found here at RCR, but with the added bonus of many waterfowl species that only visited RCR when our pond was holding water. The park is located at 12325 E. RogerRoad, Tucson, AZ 85749.

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Paton Center for Hummingbirds

Founded by Wally and Marion Paton in 1973 as a Birding refuge for their friends and neighbors, the Paton Center for Hummingbirds is now owned and operated by the Tucson Audubon Society. Sit under their pavillion, visit the pond, or explore the new Richard Grand Memorial Meadow. Located at 477 Pennsylvania Avenue, Patagonia, AZ 85624, (520) 415-6447.

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Patagonia/Sonoita Creek Preserve

Owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, the preserve contains the first two miles of permanent flow of Sonoita Creek and the floodplains adjacent to the stream. The site is 873 acres and preserves a rare example of the Fremont cottonwood-Goodding willow riparian forest. With its unique biodiversity, it is a Birder's paradise. Located adjacent to the Paton Center for Hummingbirds at 150 Blue Heaven Road, Patagonia, AZ 85624

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Empire Ranch

Homesteaded in the 1860's, the Ranch was acquired by the Vail brothers of New York who named it after the "Empire" state.  The scene of many western films, today the Ranch is protected and managed in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management. The region’s rolling grasslands, oak-studded hills, and lush riparian corridors provide a wonderful Birding habitat. Located between mileposts 39 and 40 on highway AZ-83 at E Empire Ranch Rd, Sonoita, AZ 85637, (888) 364-2829.

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Madera Canyon

Madera Canyon lies on the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains. From its foothill elevation of around 4500 feet to the summit of Mt. Wrightson at 9456 ft, Its higher elevation and biodiversity provides Birders a chance to view an abundance of species different fronm the surrounding Sonoran desert. A world-renowned location for Birding, Madera Canyon is a major resting point for migrating species.and a World Famous destination for Birders. One of the few area popular for siting the Elegant Trogan and Painted Redstart. Take the I-19 Continental Exit 63, and follow signs eleven miles to the Canyon.

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Willcox Playa/Cochise Lakes

Each winter season, October through February, more than 20,000 Sandhill Cranes flock to this playa.This winter celebration of birds and nature attracts Birders world-wide. In addition to the thousands of Sandhill Cranes, dozens of raptors, and numerous other species can be found at the Playa and the surrounding lakes. Visit the Willcox Community Center, 312 W Stewart St, Willcox, AZ 85643, (520) 384-2874. Superb viewing also at nearby Apache Station Wildlife Viewing Area. Exit 331 from I-10 onto AZ Hwy 191 then 8.5 miles to viewing area on left.

Birding Day-Trips
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Ramsey Canyon Preserve

Ramsey Canyon is in the Huachuca Mountains at the convergence of the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. This unique locale and elevations provide Birders with outstanding opportunities to see many species at their northern most migrating boundary. Home to numerous species of Hummingbirds, as well as many other colorful bird varieties, it's a Word Famous destination. Owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, it's located at 27 E. Ramsey Canyon Rd., Hereford, AZ 85615, (520) 378-2785.


San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

The SPRNCA includes about 56,000 acres surrounding a 40 mile stretch of the San Pedro River from the Mexican/US border. Confirmed sightings of over 400 bird species have been recorded for the area. Popular access points are at Fairbanks Historic Town site (AZ Hwy 82 @ the San Pedro River) and at the San Pedro house Visitors Center (AZ Hwy 90 @ the San Pedro River), 9800 E. Hwy 90, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 (520) 508-4445.

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Whitewater Draw

This 1,500-acre wildlife habitat is famous for the large population of Sandhill Cranes during the winter season of October through February, plus many waterfowl, shorebirds, and passing flocks. Located in the Chiricahua desert grassland habitat of the Sulphur Springs Valley, south of Willcox. Spotting scopes are located on the viewing platforms for use by visitors.Located at 8512 N. Coffman Road, McNeal, AZ 85617, (520) 642-3763.

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Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Constructed in 1996 by the City of Tucson as part of a water reclamation project, the park has 2.5 miles of pathways as is home to numerous wading and shore birds. Confirmed sightings of 310 bird species, including many rarities, have made in the park.  Located at 2511 W. Sweetwater Drive, Tucson AZ 85705 (I-10 Exit 254. West on Prince, North on Business Center/River Park Drive, NE on Commerce Drive, NW on Benan Venture, West on Sweetwater. (520) 837-2240.

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