Arizona Field Ornithologist ID Challenges



Sky Islands and Desert Waters

The Safford area embodies this year’s theme, Sky Islands and Desert Waters. The Pinaleño Mountains’ Sky Islands top 10,700 as roads and trails meander through chaparral, oak woodlands, Ponderosa pines, and spruce-fir forests. The surrounding lowlands below 3,000’ include a plethora of lakes and ponds dotted through grassland habitats and the transition between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts.

Featuring:  Presentations, Dinner Speaker, Mini-Field Expeditions


On your way to Safford on Friday, join one of several free field expeditions being planned to local birding spots. And on Sunday, another set of free field expeditions to birding spots will be offered. These will likely include hotspots such as Roper Lake State Park, Dankworth Pond, and several stops along Swift Trail as it ascends the Pinaleño Mountains, aka Mt. Graham.


2022 AZFO Meeting t-shirt. Logo by Diane Drobka from earthenware tile designs by Mana, Inc, Arizona USA © 2022


Saturday’s full day of science presentations will be held in the Old West atmosphere of the Circle D Ranch House at Discovery Park, a Safford campus of Eastern Arizona College. During breaks and lunchtime, enjoy birding the pond and cottonwoods at Nature’s Hideaway and visit the nearby Pollinator Garden. Then, after talks end, stretch your legs with a tour of the Gila Watershed Partnership’s Native Plant Nursery.

The Saturday-evening banquet at the Mt. Graham Golf Club begins with a Social Hour at 5:00 followed by dinner with Keynote Speaker at 6:30. Well-known guide, author, and lifelong Arizona resident, Richard Cachor "Rick" Taylor will be our Keynote Speaker. His presentation, Six Seasons: A Birding Year in the Land of the Apache, will highlight the Chiricahua Apaches’ six seasons based on transitions in nature and how those relate to birds.Come early and bird miles of paths through the lush grounds of the golf course’s four ponds that are a magnet for local and migrating birds.





The official Conference Hotel is the Best Western Plus Safford. A special block rate is available until September 9, click here for more hotel details.



Registration is now open (registration fee, meals, and t-shirt purchase), register here.


Safford and Thatcher

Circle D Ranch House at Discovery Park (Meeting Location)

Eastern Arizona College, Discovery Park Campus
1651 W. Discovery Park Blvd.
Safford, AZ 85546

Golf Course Banquet Site and Daley Estates Ponds

MEETING OUTLINE (see Meeting Schedule for detailed agenda)


Friday, September 23    
All day Field Expeditions Visit one of Graham County’s many eBird hotspots on your way to Safford, and sign up for one of the guided Friday mini-expeditions (limited space, first come, first served basis).
4:30 PM -- 6:00 PM Welcome Social Join us at JD’s Grill House for drinks, munchies, and/or dinner where we’ll have a reserved area near the bar.
Saturday, September 24    
8:30 AM -- 11:30 AM Meeting Presentations, book sales, award presentations, and silent auction will take place at Discovery Park’s Circle D Ranch House. Bird at nearby Nature’s Hideaway or stroll through the Pollinator Garden during breaks.
11:30 AM -- 12:30 PM Lunch Enjoy a catered lunch of Kalua Pork, Misoy Chicken or Avocado Salad by Kainoa’s Hawaiian Grill for $10 (register in advance) or venture into town for fast-food options.
12:30 PM -- 4:30 PM Meeting Afternoon presentation and activities continue with an optional tour of the Gila Watershed Partnerhip’s Native Plant Greenhouse at 4:30.
5:00 PM -- 6:30 PM Pre-Dinner Social Chat with friends over drinks at the Mt. Graham Golf Club and/or explore the birder-friendly golf course which includes several large ponds near Daley Estates (an eBird Hotspot) such as one shown in the above photo.
6:30 PM Dinner & Keynote Speaker Author, naturalist and Arizona native Rick Taylor will present “Six Seasons: A Birding Year in the Land of the Apache.” Rick’s new book, Birds of Arizona, is currently in publication and should be available for purchase and signing after his talk. Dinner choices include Pulled Pork, Barbeque Chicken, or a vegetarian option.
Sunday, September 25    
All day Field Expeditions A variety of expeditions will focus on areas near Safford such as Mt. Graham and destinations along travel routes home to the south, north, and west. Sign up for one of the guided Sunday mini-expeditions (limited space, first come, first served basis).


Call for Papers and Posters click here

If you are interested in presenting a paper or displaying a poster on the identification, status or distribution of Arizona birds, please check out our Call for Papers and Posters guidelines. Papers and posters may range from technical reports of original research to general surveys and studies. Please submit an abstract by August 12, 2022 to Kerrie Anne Loyd Abstracts of papers and posters from past AZFO meetings are available here.

Youth Scholarships click here

AZFO is proud to encourage and support young people with an interest in Arizona birds. As part of our goal to involve a younger generation in AZFO’s activities, we offer scholarships to students (middle school through college undergraduate) to attend the annual meeting. Application information is found here. Prior years’ essays can be read here. Students are encouraged to apply. The AZFO scholarship program is generously supported by the Maricopa Audubon Society.

Board Elections

Elections will be held at the annual meeting. Five positions are open: Vice President, Treasurer, and three Board Members. If you or someone you know is interested in serving as an AZFO Officer or Board Member member in the upcoming year, please contact Jennie Macfarland at Current Board members and other positions are listed here.

Gale Monson Research Grants

Arizona Field Ornithologists offer financial support to individuals for the purpose of conducting field research that will enhance our knowledge of the status, distribution, identification, and other aspects of Arizona birdlife. Application deadline is August 21, 2022. Details here.












































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