Arizona’s birds are diverse and inhabit a variety of breathtakingly gorgeous habitats, from the deserts of southern Arizona to the high country of our legendary White Mountains. Numerous Arizona state parks are regarded world-class birding locations, with literally hundreds of species to observe throughout the year, depending on migration patterns.
Birds of Arizona is a comprehensive listing of all wild bird species observed in Arizona, as documented by the Arizona Bird Committee (ABC) until October 2018. 562 species and one “slash” entry indicating an unidentifiable record at the species level. 77 are considered casual, 161 are considered accidental, and two are considered speculative. Humans introduced eight species and extirpated four.
Join us as we take a tour of some of Arizona State Park’s top birding areas and get acquainted with the state’s birds. More information about these birds can be found in the section below.
Arizona birds of prey
Each year, thousands of birdwatchers flock to Arizona in search of uncommon or intriguing species, and for those keeping an eye on the skies, spotting a bird of prey is a pleasure in and of itself. Almost all of the continental United States’ raptor species can be found here, as well as established populations of species associated with Mexico, including the Gray Hawk, Common Black-Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, and Whiskered Screech-Owl.
Arizona’s raptors inhabit an unmatched array of habitats, ranging from saguaro cactus woods, where small Elf Owls nest, to the Vermilion Cliffs, where the colossal California Condor was introduced in 1996. Yet many species reside in habitats that are being degraded or developed, making an appreciation and understanding of raptors critical for their conservation.
Eagles in Arizona
The bald eagle, well known as the national bird of the United States of America, is easily identifiable by its white head and tail and a brown body. The bald eagle is a huge bird with an average wingspan of up to eighty inches.
Arizona is home to the United States’ entire known population of desert breeding bald eagles. This population of bald eagles in the southwestern United States nests largely along the Salt and Verde rivers in central Arizona. Currently, the state is home to 47 identified bald eagle breeding locations.
Additional eagles found in Arizona are listed below. Learn more.
Owls in Arizona
Many owls migrate here from the North during the winter, while others remain year-round. Arizona is recognized for its arid and semi-arid climate, which is ideal for a broad variety of species.
It contains both deserts and woodlands, which appeal to a variety of North American owl species found in the area. Its dense forest cover, along with cactus and a strong insect and animal population, makes it an ideal habitat for owls of all types.
It is also recognized for its numerous lovely state parks with gorgeous water features that are ideal for bird viewing if you want to spot some of the area’s resident owls.
Common backyard birds of Arizona
We’ll look at different backyard bird species in Arizona, some of which are year-round residents and others of which are not. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does include some of the more renowned and familiar Arizona backyard birds, many of which you can see at your bird feeders.
Woodpeckers in Arizona.
Arizona woodpeckers are a group that tourists should not miss, particularly because the state’s southern region is home to three woodpecker species that are not found elsewhere in the United States: the Gilded Flicker, the Gila Woodpecker, and the Arizona Woodpecker.
Arizona is also one of the most woodpecker-diverse states, with fourteen distinct species belonging to four of the five native woodpecker genera. Only the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus) is unable to locate a suitable habitat in the state. Notably, the state has documented all four natural sapsucker species. The following is the official rundown.
Best Birdwatching Spots in Arizona
Southern Arizona is home to some of the world’s top birding habitats. Visitors travel from all over the world to witness numerous rare species that are only found in a few other locations.
While southeastern Arizona is well-known among birders for having species found nowhere else in the United States, other parts of the state are also excellent for birding. Arizona is known for its steep peaks, mesas, woods, grasslands, and, most notably, enormous deserts.
- Chiricahua National Monument
- Ramsey Canyon Preserve
- Whitewater Draw
- Muleshoe Ranch
Other Arizona birds
Arizona contains three national parks, six national forests, nine national wildlife refuges, and 31 state parks that all provide good opportunities to observe birds in their native habitat. The following is a list of the other birds found in the state.
If you have encountered a bird in Arizona that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page.