There are an infinite number of places to find sought-out hummingbirds in Southern Arizona. These are but a few of the more popular sites. Spring and summer, of course, offer the best opportunities for finding your favorite hummingbird species. Here are but a few of the more popular hotspots for hummingbird watching.
Sierra Vista and more precisely, Ramsey Canyon Preserve is known as the “Hummingbird Capital of the World”. It is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. There is a Visitor’s Center there which is open most days of the year. Several Bed & Breakfasts are available in the area that cater to the bird enthusiast. We recommend Casa de San Pedro in nearby Hereford. The Ramsey Canyon Inn is newly remodeled and at the entrance to Ramsey Canyon Preserve and a short walk to the Arizona Folklore Preserve where you can take in a weekend folk music event. We have not been to the Ramsey Canyon Inn since the remodel, but it looks like it may live up to its former reputation.
Paton House, now known as Paton Center for Hummingbirds, and the Sonoita Creek Preserve in Patagonia are unparalleled for hummingbird watching year-round. Paton House is now part of the Tucson Audubon Society and Sonoita Creek Preserve is part of the Nature Conservancy.
(The Tucson Audubon Society has a wonderful website with an interactive map on finding birds in general in Southern Arizona.)
If you want an overnight stay, there is plenty to do in the artsy town of Patagonia. There is a newly remodeled hotel on the main street, The Stage Stop Inn, or stay at one of the Bed & Breakfasts close by. We have been to the Duquense House in town and Cross Creek Cottages and can recommend them.
Madera Canyon south of Tucson on I-19 has hummingbird feeders out continuously. A great place for a picnic, and maybe slightly cooler than Tucson. But don’t count on it unless you want to hike uphill a ways.
San Pedro House, managed by Friends of the San Pedro River, is an excellent choice for hummingbirds and just birds in general. Visit the Gift Shop, take a docent lead nature hike. Watch the hummingbirds from the porch. In the summer, you can watch hummingbird banding led by the SABO, Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory. SABO also conducts Hummingbird banding at the Casa de San Pedro B&B.
In the summer you can trek up to Mt. Lemmon. On a hot day, stop at the Iron Door Restaurant, and enjoy one of their many delicious pies. You can sit out on the patio and watch the hummingbirds flit about the many feeders that are placed for your and the hummingbirds’ enjoyment.
On the east side of the Chiricahuas is Southwestern Research Station in Cave Creek Canyon. Cool, shaded you can spend your days cataloging hummingbirds. Here is a site that they recommend, the Hummingbird Monitoring Network, based in Patagonia AZ.
If you have a favorite spot for hummingbirds that you are willing to share, please contact us. We will add it to the list!