A global initiative of BirdLife International, implemented by Audubon and local partners in the United States, the Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is an effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.
The Tutzigoot IBA is a designated IBA and celebrates the Verde River which is the last free flowing natural river in Arizona. Not only is the birding wonderful here - especially during Spring migration - but there are many additional recreational opportunities. There is camping, hiking, and fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Kayaking and canoeing the Verde has become very popular in recent years and Old Town Cottonwood is a great place to wander through for a day. Those of you who are interested in ancient civilizations will be interested in Tutzigoot National Monument and folks who just want to sit by the River will find clearly marked access points.
But it is the birding here that gives the IBA its character. This is the home of the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival held each April. Species observed at this event will often total 200!. The IBA's iconic Common Black Hawk is more easily seen here than anywhere else in the Southwest. Come and see why this area has been included in the national IBA program. Tanagers and Orioles abound in the Spring and Lazuli Buntings are everywhere and Blue Grosbeaks and Wilson's Warblers mix with Vermilion Flycatchers and Bewick's Wrens. It's all so easy here!