Located at the center of one of the finest birding areas in the United States, Sierra Vista is often referred to as "The Hummingbird Capital of the U.S." The mild climate, proximity to Mexico and diverse habitats, including 9,000-foot mountains and the magnificent San Pedro River Valley, make southeastern Arizona a major hot spot for rare and unusual species of birds.
The best times to see tropical species such as hummingbirds, trogons, warblers and flycatchers is from mid-April through September. Spring migration peaks between late April and early May, as tens of thousands of colorful songbirds make their way north. Late summer is also an excellent time to observe both resident and migrant birds. Spectacular thunderstorms in July and August bring cooler temperatures and create a "second Spring;" blooming wildflowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, while flocks of migrating birds feast on the bounty of seeds, fruits and insects.
Winter birding has its own special appeal. The Sierra Vista (Ramsey Canyon) Christmas Bird Count regularly records the highest inland species totals in the U.S., with over 150 species. Lowland sites such as the San Pedro River and Sulphur Springs Valley support the greatest variety of wintering birds. Within a two-hour drive of Sierra Vista are habitats ranging from mesquite shrub land, desert grassland and lowland riparian (streamside), to high mountains with Douglas Fir and Quaking Aspen.