The Summertime Bird

Summer tanager

Gwen Grace

The summer tanager is more commonly seen across the Southern United States and east of Texas. In Arizona it is seen during migration. I happened to catch it in Cottonwood, Ariz., at Dead Horse Point State Park. It is a beautiful bird of just less than eight inches with a pronounced beak. I did not see the yellow female. The summer tanager is a sign of summer. Here are some of the events for this summer in Arizona:

As the migration ends, the birding season changes, but there are still birds. In fact, there are two big birding festivals in Arizona in the summer: Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival from July 31 through Aug. 3, and the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival Aug. 7-11.

Southwest Arizona Festival

The Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival has guided field trips, free programs, and wildlife exhibits, and registration is open. It is located out of Sierra Vista and Cochise College. The high elevation provides for moderate temperatures for birding in August. Visit their website at for info.

Southeast Arizona Festival

Registration is now open at Tucson Audubon for the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival on Aug. 7-11. This festival will feature Ken Kaufman who has written the Kaufman Guides and is editor of Birds and Blooms and Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers. There are numerous field trips and programs, and it is the biggest birding event in Arizona. Visit the website for Tucson Audubon at for information.

Summertime at Desert Rivers Audubon will feature monthly speakers on Zoom on the second Tuesday of the month. The June 11 speaker is Cindy Marple, Images of Madagascar, which will be in person and on Zoom.

The website is under construction, and it is recommended that for information you request the newsletter by emailing [email protected].

In the meantime, keep the hummingbird feeders clean, set out water for birds, and select bird feed for just the birds you want to visit your yard. Do not throw out wild bird food willynilly.