Birding / Bird Watching

The Gila River Watershed in Greenlee County is rich with diverse wildlife habitats that are attractive to bird watchers. Research by Arizona Field Ornithologists confirmed significant bird populations thoughout Greenlee County in all seasons. Over 300 species of birds visit Greenlee County including the Sandhill Crane, great horned owls, bald eagles, northern cardinals, red-tailed hawks, cliff wrens, and great blue herons. Since Greenlee County’s weather is generally mild and enjoyable, birding is always “open”.  Local birding enthusiasts have designated, marked, and developed ten accessible birding trails.

You are welcome to contact any of the individuals listed below to obtain additional information or schedule an event or tour. With these easily accessible trails already mapped, it is easy to get started on your own, and locals are anxious to help with any questions or situations of which you have need. You are invited to discover this often overlooked, beautiful, wild portion of Arizona.

For more information visit or call:

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The Gila River Birding and Wildlife Trail is a wonderful park allowing one to easily catch a glimpse of a Sandhill Crane or any one of over 300 species of birds that visit Greenlee County. November is the best time of year to see hundreds of cranes and thousands of fowl migrating from the north and resting along the shores of the Gila River. Other birds and wildlife can be viewed all year long, including great horned owls and bald eagles. This featured trail is a one-mile loop.  The trailhead is located as you head north on Main Street before crossing the Duncan Bridge.

Don’t forget your Bird Sighting Checklist found at the trail kiosks and local Visitor Centers, or visit

Clifton’s Nature and Exercise Trails are a unique intertwined combination of light hiking trails. Sitting accommodations all along this trail allow a “not-so-ready for a hike — more of a stroll” along the San Francisco River and keeps any age birder at ease. This trailhead, located between the Rode Inn Motel and the Clifton Veterans Park, features a kiosk filled with birding information guides for all of Greenlee County. Clifton’s unique setting in a canyon surrounding a river that flows year-round provides prime habitat for a wide variety of birds, such as northern cardinals, red-tailed hawks, cliff wrens, and great blue herons. Seeing a diversity of our feathered friends is better than ever with the beautiful and easy-to-access series of nature trails of Greenlee Birding. Check out the kiosk or visit website for maps, brochures and a list of what you can expect to see when you head out on the trails.

When it comes to birding, Greenlee is the place to be.