Thursday Schedule
April 24, 2014 Welcome

Best Western Motel in Cottonwood, Arizona

The Verde Guide to Ecotourism in the Verde Valley and Sedona

Verde River at Clarkdale in Clarkdale, Arizona

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Click here for a copy of the festival Field Trip Descriptons in a printable PDF format.

Below you will find the Thursday schedule and details of each field trip on Thursday.

Refer to Legend Below or hover over the Icon for Icon Explanation

Link to Schedule:        Friday            Saturday      Saturday Family Nature Fair           Sunday


5:30AM-4:00PM Registration
6:00AM-NOON Birding at Page Springs  Intense birding   Tom Linda VAN $35
6:00AM-4:00PM The BIG DAY Birding in Prescott BXL Carl Tomoff VAN $65
7:00AM-10:00AM Beginner Bird Walk   Paul Wolterbeek   $25
7:00AM-11:00AM Tavasci_Marsh
Vic Nelson
7:00AM-11:00AM Greenway Walk 
7:00AM-11:00AM VVPOA Nature PreserveNew trip this year   Chip Norton VAN $35
7:00AM-NOON Montezuma Well FT   Geoffrey Bland VAN
7:00AM-NOON Clear Creek Field Trip
7:00AM-1:00PM Soda Springs FT New trip this year M Dena Greenwood VAN $50
7:00AM-2:00PM Slide Rock & Briar Patch Inn FT M Leona Lansing VAN $50
7:00AM-2:00PM Special Keynote FT Casual to moderate birding M Greg Miller
Tim Webber
VAN $75
8:00AM-10:00AM Armchair/Feeder Birding  Casual to moderate birdingAccessible trip 
8:00AM-NOON Windmill Park-Mormon Xing Casual to moderate birding   Scott Woolbringht VAN $35
8:00AM-2:30PM Tapco to Tuzigoot Kayak FT Casual to moderate birdingNew trip this year BLX Doug Von Gausig VAN $60
8:00AM-4:00PM School Field Trips     Flyway  
9:00AM-5:00PM Exhibits & Tradeshow   BIRDY BAZAAR Tent  
11:30AM-2:30PM Lunch and Learn: 
Birding Basics Seminar
educational workshop/presentation 
1:00PM-4:00PM Amitabha Stupa FT   Olin Robie/Jeff Tanner VAN $35
3:00PM-4:00PM Workshop: Water Birds of AZ educational workshop/presentation    Tom Bagley
Studio-S $5
4:30PM-5:30PM Workshop: Warblers educational workshop/presentation    Homer Hansen Studio-S $5
4:00PM-5"00PM Welcome Wine Social   Jay's Bird Barn Tent Free
5:00PM-9:00 PM Dusk Birding & Dinner "Up the Creek"
at Page Springs FTCasual to moderate birding
6:00PM-7:30PM Workshop: Hummingbirds educational workshop/presentation    Ross Hawkins Studio-S $10
7:00PM-9:00 PM Owl Prowl Casual to moderate birding

Click here for a copy of the festival Field Trip Descriptons in a printable PDF format.

Link to Schedules:     Friday            Saturday      Saturday Family Nature Fair           Sunday

Meet for all walks and field trips at Aviary unless noted otherwise.

The following rating system for field trips and guided walks will give you an idea of the rigors involved.
1 - feeder watching, with maybe a little walking
2 - easy walking, could involve distance but flat
3 - involves hiking, some elevation gain/loss
4 - a true adventure trip, almost a safari
5 - wheelchair accessible

Intense birding= Intense birding
Casual to moderate birding= Casual to moderate birding(great for a beginner)
Specialty trip, includes activities other than birding= Specialty trip, includes activities other than birding
No birding on this trip= No birding on this trip
New trip this year= New trip this year
Accessible trip = Accessible trip 
educational workshop/presentation = educational workshop/presentation 
drive on your own= drive on your own

FT=Field Trip
BXL=box lunch included
M=meal is included (brunch or specialty meal)
RDU = River Day Use – Event Site
AV = Aviary in River Day Use
VAN=Van loading behind Registration
Tent = Main Event Tent “The Birdy Bazaar”
Reg. Tent= Registration
Nature Niche & Bird's Nest Nest tents on the Flyway
Studio-S= drive on your ownShuttle provided to studio from RDU and return
CRC = Cottonwood Rec Center, 150 S. 6th St.


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Thursday Field Trips and Walks

Today we are featuring educational opportunities for beginning birders with our workshops. We invite local students to join us at the park to learn about their natural world. When on your trips, be sure to pack out what you pack in and a little more. Enjoy the day and take the time to reflect on what you can do to make sure the river and the natural areas you are enjoying will be here in good health in the future. 

All walks and field trips leave from the River Day Use area unless otherwise noted. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure and check in with the trip leader at the Aviary.

Birding at Page Springs    Intense birding                    Tom Linda
Thursday, April 24                     
Departure: 6am                         Return: noon
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $35
One of our favorite birding spots and a great guide. Bird along the ponds and trails of this Important Birding Area. Species might include: osprey, common black-hawk, bald eagle, black-crowned, green, and great blue herons, lazuli and indigo buntings, summer and western tanagers, hooded, Bullock’s and Scott’s orioles, blue grosbeak, marsh wren, and bridled titmouse.

The BIG DAY Birding in Prescott  Intense birding   New trip this year                                 Carl Tomoff
Thursday, April 24                     Box lunch included
Departure: 6am                         Return: 4pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $65
Travel to the other side of Mingus Mountain to the mile-high Prescott area. Visit a variety of habitats including lakes, grassland, chaparral, woodlands, and ponderosa forest to see and listen to as many species as possible. Dr. Tomoff teaches natural history at Prescott College and is eager to share his knowledge and experience. This all-day excursion, designed for advanced and intermediate birders, includes a box lunch.

Beginner Bird Walk                                                          Paul Wolterbeek
Thursday, April 24                     Box lunch included
Departure: 7am                         Return: 10am
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $25
Here is the chance to learn the basics of birding first hand. If you've never been birding before or if you consider yourself a beginner birder, there's nothing that can help you more than being with a group of fellow beginners and a good leader. Paul's charm and generous nature makes this a fun and rewarding experience. We'll be sticking close to the festival grounds so it won't be physically demanding either. You should see riparian species, feeder birds, grassland and some water/shore birds on this walk.

Tavasci Marsh Field Trip Intense birding                                  Vic Nelson
, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 24, 25, 26, 27
Departure: 7am                       Return: 11am 
Rating: 4                                  Cost: $35
We will leave in shuttle vans that will take us to nearby Tavasci Marsh where water and shore birds, raptors, and flycatchers abound. Includes lots of walking, a mile each way in and out, but worth every step. The marsh and adjoining Peck’s Lake and Verde River Greenway are part of Audubon’s Tuzigoot Important Birding Area. This is one of our most popular trips. Species may include northern harrier, Virginia rail, sora, double-crested cormorant, white-faced ibis and osprey. River otters have been spotted here in the past.

Greenway Walk Intense birding                                                    Bob Miller
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,  April 24, 25, 26, 27
Departure: 7am                      Return: 11am 
Rating: 3                                 Cost: $35
One of the many reasons for holding the festival at Dead Horse Ranch State Park is its location in the heart of the Verde River’s riparian corridor. A walk along the Verde River Greenway will provide opportunities to spot riparian dependent species. An expert guide will enhance your experience. You should be able to see most of the species of the season on the park’s bird list including the common black-hawk that is known to nest here.

VVPOA Nature Preserve   Intense birding New trip this year                                             Chip Norton
Thursday, April 24                 
Departure: 7am                         Return: 11am
Rating:  2                                   Cost: $35
This riparian strip running along the Verde River was once a dumping ground overgrown with invasive species. A dedicated group of volunteers changed all that with the help of a grant. This private property belongs to the Verde Village Property Owners Association. Not only is the birding excellent in this reestablished resource but access is easy. Chip shares the story of this project as he helps to spot and identify the bird species found here. Look for the typical riparian species as well as hawks and some grassland birds.

Montezuma Well Field Trip  Intense birding                            Geoffrey Bland           
Thursday, April 24
Departure: 7am              Return:noon
Rating: 3                                   Cost: $35
The well is actually a unique closed-system water body, a limestone sinkhole with warm springs and prehistoric canal system with abundant riparian life. Species you may see include common black-hawk, ladder-backed and Gila woodpeckers, yellow-billed cockoos, vermilion and brown-crested flycatchers, bridled and juniper titmouse, verdin, Bullock’s, Scott’s and hooded orioles, yellow, orange-crowned, and Lucy’s warblers, yellow-breasted chats, black-throated and lark sparrows, and Abert’s towhee.

Clear Creek Field Trip Intense birding                              Rich Armstrong
Thursday, April 24
Departure: 7am                        Return: noon
Rating: 3                                   Cost: $35
This field trip will be taking us into a lush riparian habitat with a new guide we are excited to introduce. Clear Creek is one of several perennial spring-fed streams that flows from the Mogollon Rim into the Verde River. We will walk through a Forest Service campground with lush riparian growth and into upland desert scrub following Clear Creek. Hopeful species include summer and western tanagers, orioles, yellow warblers, flycatchers and maybe even a western screech owl.

Soda Springs FT                                Dena Greenwood
Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 7am                         Return: 1pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $50
Join us as we journey to one of the Verde River Valley’s best kept secrets, the old Soda Springs Ranch on Beaver Creek. This historic complex was once a prominent dude ranch. It supports numerous habitats from manicured lawns, springs, riparian woodland, ponds and marshland. Common black hawk, tanagers, vermilion flycatchers, phainopeplas and other riparian species abound. We will eat a sack lunch at the ponds while enjoying this lovely Shangri–la.

Slide Rock & Briar Patch Inn FT                             Leona Lansing
Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 7am                         Return: 2pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $50
Upper Oak Creek Canyon offers different varieties of birds than we see in the valley and the scenery is spectacular. We will be birding with one of our best guides in an exclusive private area along Oak Creek at the Briar Patch Inn. First comes the birding then the Inn will serve us a special buffet brunch at 9:30am. Temperatures in the upper canyon can be very cool in the mornings, so bring warm layers. Birds to look for include the American dipper, black-throated gray and Virginia’s warbler, and painted redstart.

Special Keynote Field Trip Intense birding   New trip this year                                 Greg Miller/ Tim Webber
Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 7am                         Return: 2pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $60
This is your chance to visit with our special keynote, Greg Miller, and bird with someone who has been doing it with gusto all of his life. Page Springs is one of our favorite IBA sites and Tim will help guide around the property.

We will travel to Cornville and the famous Manzanita Inn where a very special lunch awaits us. We may also make additional stops on the trip to Cornville. We are limiting the number on this trip so sign up early for this special one-on-one experience with our keynote.

Armchair Birding Casual to moderate birdingAccessible trip                                                 Eric Moore
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 24, 25, 26, 27
Departure: 8am                      Return: 10am
Rating: 5                                 Cost: $5
Let the birds come to you. Bring your favorite camp chair, binoculars, a little refreshment, and just enjoy birding as the hours slip by. We will only have to walk a short distance on the accessible Canopy Trail to a spot where feeders bring the birds up close. A knowledgeable guide will help identify species. The area is open for birding at any time but the guide will only be available during these hours. Donations to help cover feeder costs are appreciated. 

Windmill Park-Mormon Xing Intense birding                                        Scott Woolbright
Thursday, April 24                    
Departure: 8am                         Return: noon
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $35
Where Oak Creek corridor meets the quaint community of Cornville, local residents have pooled their resources to build Windmill Park. Vermilion flycatchers and the common black-hawk breed along the creek here. A short drive will take us to a historic low water crossing upstream that has great access to the Oak Creek riparian corridor. Here we may find wood ducks, common merganser, Bewick’s wren and the spotted sandpiper.

Tapco to Tuzi Kayak FT Intense birding  New trip this year                                Doug Von Gausig
Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 8am                         Return: 2:30pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $60
The new Tapco River Access Point will be ready for a trip this spring. Developed by the Town of Clarkdale, the area has been closed to the public for more than 50 years. You will kayak down-stream with Doug the 41/2 miles to the Tuzigoot Bridge take out. There is rich birding along the way with yellow-billed cuckoo, vermilion flycatcher, spotted sandpiper, American kestrel, black phoebe, summer tanager, bald eagles, red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, and the “usual riparian suspects." Appropriate dress is anything that can get wet, shoes that can be worn in the water, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat.


Amitabha Stupa Field Trip     Casual to moderate birding                                Jeff Tanner/Olin Robie
                                                                                    for Kunzang Palyul Choling

Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 1pm                         Return: 4pm
Rating:  3                                   Cost: $35
The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park is a 14 acre high desert site within the city limits of Sedona featuring a 36-foot-high Buddhist stupa set against Sedona’s majestic red rock spires. The site is an inspiring place of spiritual refuge, prayer and meditation for people of all faiths. As guests to the property we will learn about how this facility came to be and how visitors are all welcome to walk the trails. Afternoon birding in the area include high scrub, juniper species.

Welcome Wine Social                                                Hosted by Jay’s Bird Barn

Thursday, April 24
Time: 4pm-5pm                     Cost: Free
It’s time to sit back and reflect on the day and meet some of the leaders and our exciting keynote. Sample some of our local wines and munch on snacks. Check out the exhibits and vendors in the “Birdy Bizarre”. They’re here to inform and delight you.

Dusk Birding and Dinner "Up the Creek"= Page Springs -
 Casual to moderate birding         Scott Woolbright
Thursday, April 24                      Meal included
Departure: 5pm                          Return: 9pm
Rating: 2                                    Cost: $50
One of our favorite birding spots, a great guide, and dinner at the new "Up the Creek Restaurant" in Page Springs. There will be dusk birding along the ponds and trails in this Important Birding Area. As darkness falls owls may be spotted so bring your flashlights. Species might include: lesser nighthawk, osprey, common black-hawk, bald eagle, black-crowned, green, and great blue herons, lazuli and indigo buntings, summer and western tanagers, and great-horned owl.

Owl Prowl Casual to moderate birding                                                            Bob Miller
Thursday, April 24
Departure: 7pm                       Return: 9pm
Rating: 2                                  Cost: $25
We will be prowling our way around the park in an attempt to spot the great horned owl, the barn owl, and perhaps the western screech owl. They have all been seen here in the past. Bring along a flashlight as well as your binoculars.

Thursday Workshops & Seminars

Workshops and seminars have a fee involved and require registration. Both are held in the Studio located in the far end of the park, unless noted otherwise. Check in for all workshops at the registration tent. Participants will be shuttled to and from all workshops/seminars. There is no parking at the Studio. Restroom facilities are located in the building.

Meet at the shuttle stop in the parking lot of the River Day Use Area near the Aviary 15 minutes PRIOR to the seminar or workshop.

Lunch & Learn: Birding Basics Seminar                                     Eric Moore                 
Thursday, April 24                       Location: Studio
11:30am – 2:30pm                                Cost: $25
The Lunch & Learn Series is designed to provide you with an intense, skill oriented presentation over the lunch hour, so a box lunch will be provided. Be sure to pick up your lunch and a drink at the Aviary before boarding the shuttle to the Studio.

Here are the consequential ABC’s for the beginner birder and a great way to renew skills if you’re been away from birding for a while. You will gain knowledge of the basic techniques of field identification, an increased understanding of birds, and learn how to use binoculars and spotting scopes. The class packs in a lot of information in only three hours. Eric Moore, owner of Jay’s Bird Barn in Prescott, shares his birding enthusiasm and expertise.

Workshop: Water Birds of AZ                                        Tom Bagley
Thursday, April 24                       Location: Studio
3:00pm – 4:00pm                                Cost: $5
Back by popular demand, Arizona Game and Fish's, Tom Bagley will share his knowledge of the water birds that make Arizona their home or, at least, the place to visit. Even though we are considered high dessert, water sources provide the necessary elements to make this area attractive to a wide variety of water loving birds. Tom has lots of information for you. Don't miss this.

Workshop: Watching Warblers                                        Homer Hansen 
Thursday, April 24                        Location: Studio
4:30pm – 5:30pm                        Cost: $5
Watching warblers is a truly satisfying experience. This presentation will focus on characteristics, behaviors, and other clues for the identification of warblers and will be useful for the expert and beginner alike. Both visual and audio presentations of these diverse birds will enchant you and help with your identification skills. You may want to sign up for Homer’s field trip on Friday.


Workshop: Hummingbirds                                       Ross Hawkins
Thursday, April 24                        Location: Studio
6:00pm – 7:30pm                        Cost: $10
Hummingbirds, the most universally loved birds in the world, have charisma and inspire devotion and enthusiasm. They are also magical: their dazzling appearance and ability to hover amaze us and seem to defy understanding. Dr. Ross Hawkins, Founder and Executive Director of The Hummingbird Society, presents an intimate look at these “glittering fragments of the rainbow,” as John James Audubon described them. Through images and stories he holds your attention as you begin to understand their unique relationship with flowers, their tiny, amazing nests, their ability to hover, their GPS-like memories, and their fearlessness of humans. Personal encounters with hummingbirds are often memorable, and so is this presentation.


Click here for a copy of the festival Field Trip Descriptons in a printable PDF format.

Mission: The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival provides a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world and fosters awareness of the importance of habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley.
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