All images by Dave McNicholas
Patagonia, Arizona is renowned as a world-class birding site. We offer a special B&B package for birders, which includes lodging and breakfast, plus morning birding opportunities along our 2 miles of Sonoita Creek. Circle Z Ranch is nestled between the Audubon’s Patton Center for the Hummingbirds, the Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, and the Patagonia Lake State Park.
With over 40 years of ranch stewardship, the owners of the Circle Z Ranch have a deep commitment to conservation. We are one of the many reasons these birding opportunities and native habitats are so vast. The Nash family has preserved thousands of acres of native habitat and over two miles of Sonoita Creek, one of the few remaining permanent streams, and providing for a wide array of diverse species from endangered fishes to butterflies to birds. Our reasons for doing this are simple and unselfish; to share with others the beauty and diversity of the Sky Islands of Southern Arizona, and to keep in perpetuity the rare habitat that is quickly being destroyed in other areas.
We have hosted many birding groups over the years; the Cornell University Ornithology Lab, Wing’s Birding Tours, Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours, and the Tucson Audubon Society. Many dedicated birders have added birds to their life lists on Circle Z Ranch property, and others have grown to appreciate and to learn about the native habitats and species we protect.
Here is what our naturalist, Vincent Pinto, has to say about Circle Z birding. “Arizona’s Sky Islands are a world class birding destination with a broad spectrum of species present in our diverse habitats. Sonoita Creek, which flows through Circle Z, is a rare gem – one of only a handful of perennial streams in southern Arizona. A truly spectacular variety of birds occur along it’s lush stretches, affording you ample viewing opportunities. A stroll along the stream will reward you with sightings of birds attracted to the water and towering Cottonwood trees. The ranch provides an extensive bird list and many reference books on a variety of nature topics. Additionally, scattered around the grounds are feeders, bringing many varieties of birds even closer to you.”
Birding highlights include: Gray Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Great Egret, Black Vulture, Elf Owl, Gould’s Wild Turkey, Broad-billed and other Hummingbirds, Gila Woodpecker, wintering Hepatic Tanager, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Flycatcher, Vermillion Flycatcher, Chihuahuan Raven, Bridled Titmouse, Cedar Waxwing, Phainopepla, Lucy’s Warbler, Abert’ Towhee, Rufous-Winged Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia. Lazuli Bunting, and Lawrence’s Goldfinch – to name a few!.
We only allow guests staying at the ranch to bird on our property.