If you are a casual backyard birder or a more experienced one, you might want to check out Wings Over Willcox, an annual festival that tracks the migration of Sandhill Cranes. It has evolved into a festival that explores local birding, wildlife, nature, geology and history.
They hold it every year on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. This year it is Jan. 15-19, 2009.
The last time I checked, a few of the workshops and tours had sold out (ghost town tours, Fort Bowie tours and Chiricahua Montane specialties), but there are still tickets available for other tours. A lot of the tours that have the most tickets available are on Saturday and Sunday, so you can sign up and spend a weekend in the heart of Cochise County’s birding country. Here are just some of the highlights:
- Sunrise Sandhill Crane tour: OK, people, I know you like to sleep in, but the cranes are amazing when they take off! Here’s your chance to watch their magnificence!
- Habla Espanol? If you speak Spanish and want to learn more about birds and birding, Wings Over Willcox is offering a beginning birdwatching class for free. This is a great opportunity! I went to the beginning birdwatching a couple of years ago and got to see a vermillion flycatcher, a bird not spotted all that often. And, if you’re an experienced birdwatcher who wants to learn Spanish, maybe this is the place to do it!
- Apache Station Tour: Want to know how the electric company makes the lights go on, your iPod work or power your computer? You can take a tour of the Apache Generating station in Cochise, AZ.
These are just a few of the tours that are still available. Check the registration page for the rest of the schedule.