Custom Group Trips

SABO offers a variety of customized walks, field trips, and van tours suitable for groups of friends, families, Audubon Societies, bird clubs, civic groups, and school classes. Rates for custom itineraries will vary depending on trip length and destination(s), group size, and transportation arrangements. Multiple shorter activities may be combined into a half-day or all-day trip at discounted rates. For more information on custom field trips and tours, contact SABO.

The field trips and tours listed below are rated by interest and age/physical activity level.


Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area Field Trip
November – April
2 to 5 hours, 4 to 12 participants
Beginning to advanced birders, wildlife watchers
Ages 8 to adult, easy to moderate

This rare desert wetland is considered the “jewel in the crown” of the Sulphur Springs Valley. Though most famous for the flock of up to 22,000 Sandhill Cranes that winters here from November through February, the site is also winter home to hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, waterfowl, and songbirds and a rest stop for migrating birds such as American Avocets, White-faced Ibis, Tree Swallows, and Ospreys. Winter options range from a midday visit with a one-hour introduction to the lives and travels of Sandhill Cranes to a leisurely morning walk in search of owls, thrashers, sparrows, waterfowl, and other birds with the return of the cranes as a grand finale. After the mid-March departure of the cranes, northbound migrants such as swallows, warblers, shorebirds, and waterfowl are the main attractions.

Whitewater field trips are $150 for 4 to 12 non-members, $140 for SABO members (Family level and above, including business members) and nonprofit conservation organizations. Participants meet the guide at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area.


San Pedro River Field Trip
Year round
3 to 5 hours, 4 to 12 participants
Beginning to advanced birders
Ages 8 to adult, easy to moderate

Come explore the green ribbon of life that serves as a highway for millions of migrating birds. Various field trip formats are available for groups ranging from elementary students to visiting birders, with walking distances up to 3 miles.

San Pedro River field trips are $150 for 4 to 12 non-members, $140 for SABO members (Family level and above, including business members) and nonprofit conservation organizations. Participants meet the guide at the San Pedro House or Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast (see activities map).


Huachuca Canyon Field Trip
April – September
3 to 5 hours, 4 to 10 participants, U.S. citizens
Beginning to advanced birders
Ages 12 to adult, moderate to challenging
Huachuca` Canyon on Fort Huachuca (an active military base) is one of the most diverse and “birdy” canyons in the Huachuca Mountains. The stars of the show are the gaudy but surprisingly elusive Elegant Trogons, but Gray Hawks, Zone-tailed Hawks, Montezuma Quail, Red-faced Warblers, Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Cassin’s Sparrows, and a wide variety of other birds also call the canyon home. A special treat in late summer is a rainbow of wildflowers and butterflies.

Huachucua Canyon field trips are $150 for 4 to 10 non-members, $140 for SABO members (Family level and above, including business members) and nonprofit conservation organizations. Participants normally meet the guide at one of the picnic areas in the lower canyon and walk/carpool from there. With sufficient advance notice, transportation can be arranged for groups that prefer not to take their own vehicle(s) onto the fort or up the rugged road to the upper canyon. Participation is limited to U.S. citizens; all participants must carry government-issued photo ID.


Huachuca Mountain Owl Prowl
late March – early June
2 to 3 hours, 4 to 10 participants
Beginning to advanced birders
Ages 10 to adult, moderate to challenging

Six of southeastern Arizona’s twelve owl species nest in the canyons of the “sky islands,” but they can be difficult to find and identify. Join SABO naturalists on a night walk in search of Whiskered Screech-Owl, Elf Owl, and other night creatures.
Each prowl begins with a short introduction to the voices, behavior, ecology, and distribution of the small owls of southeastern Arizona. No recordings will be used on the trails. Participants must be comfortable with walking less than a mile on gravel roads and unimproved trails with the aid of small flashlights.

Custom Owl Prowls are $150 for 4 to 10 non-members, $140 for SABO members (Family level and above, including business members) and nonprofit conservation organizations. Participants meet the guide at the trailhead.


San Pedro House Hummingbird Banding Station
April – September
2 to 3 hours, no group size limits
Appeals to everyone
All ages, wheelchair accessible

Up to ten species of hummingbirds use the San Pedro River as a freeway between their tropical winter retreats and northern nesting grounds. Groups are invited to get a close-up look at these tiny travelers as SABO staff and volunteers capture, band, measure, and release them as part of long-term studies of the bird life of this internationally important migration route. With prior arrangements, a SABO naturalist will meet the group before the banding session begins (4 p.m.) for an orientation.

There is no charge to visit the San Pedro House banding station, but donations are appreciated. Participants meet at the San Pedro House (see activities map).


Madera, Chihuahua
April – September
4 to 6 days, 4 to 9 participants
Beginning to advanced birders, parrot enthusiasts
Adults only, moderate to challenging

The mountains around this logging town in the Sierra Madre are home to the largest remaining population of the endangered Thick-billed Parrot as well as Eared Quetzal, Elegant Trogon, Short-tailed Hawk, Tufted Flycatcher, Crescent-chested Warbler, Brown-backed Solitaire, and a host of other fascinating birds. Our route takes us through the grasslands of northwestern Chihuahua and the “suburbs” of the world’s largest remaining Black-tailed Prairie-Dog town. Late summer and early fall expeditions also enjoy abundant butterflies, wildflowers, and other natural wonders brought forth by the summer rains. Short detours to the ruins of Paquime and the famed pottery town of Mata Ortiz provide unique cultural experiences as well as meaningful souvenirs of the journey.


Southern and Coastal Sonora
October – April
6 days, 4 to 8 participants
Beginning to advanced birders
Adults only, moderate to challenging

Within a day’s drive of Bisbee, Arizona, the Sonoran Desert gives way to mountains cloaked in subtropical thorn forest studded with giant cacti and winter-blooming trees. This area is a paradise for birders, butterfly watchers, and botanists. Wildlife of the area includes Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, Streak-backed Oriole, Elegant Quail, White-fronted Parrot, Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana, Mexican Leaf-frog, and a host of tropical butterflies. The 326-year-old Spanish colonial town of Alamos provides comfortable lodging and excellent dining for visiting naturalists. Six-day, five-night tours also visit the city of Navojoa on the lower Río Mayo and the seaside resort of San Carlos, where isolated rocky islands provide nesting and roosting sites for thousands of seabirds, shorebirds, and wading birds, including Brown and Blue-footed boobies, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Heerman’s and Yellow-footed gulls, and Elegant Terns.