Explore Southeast Arizona Nature
Birds, wildlife, fantastic landscapes, special species, wild places, and adventures await our explorations!
Nature/ecology guiding, especially for birds, within Southeast Arizona & beyond
Nature InSight provides guiding along the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers, and in the Tucson, Tubac, and Patagonia areas in Southeast Arizona (all within < 2.0 hours driving time from Tucson), and sometimes further afield to special places throughout the region.
Our focus is guiding for birds and other wildlife, understanding their habitats & ecology, as well as the components and interactions of the whole ecosystem. Of course, we will help you find the birds and wildlife you most desire to see! The avian habitats/ecosystems of our focus are riparian/riverine, wetlands, Sonoran desert, mesquite bosque, forest/grass woodlands, and grasslands . All levels of experience welcome! We help you learn! Identification and ecology! Ecosystems and their conservation!
We can also have our adventure just seeking out special species/places, for example: a nesting area of a special bird species for photos, visiting a purple martin saguaro nesting hotspot, searching for migrating ibis, trekking down a river or overland to a remote beaver complex, exploring for black bear sign and learning about their ecology along our desert river corridors, watching a “prairie dog town” and their nemesis coyote predators, spotting pronghorn antelope herds in vast grasslands, or visiting a track of wild desert known for harboring Gila monsters or Sonoran desert tortoise, etc.! Let us know your interests- we can make plans! We offer ½ day (back by 1:30 pm/2 pm at the latest) and full-day guiding ventures (back by ~5:30 pm).
* Scott also periodically contracts with National Geographic Expeditions, providing expert role wildlife/ecology guiding for tours across the U.S. West to Alaska and the Arctic. See: nationalgeographic.com/expeditions/ (and may be unavailable locally during those times).
Half-Day Field Experiences
Half-day (~5 hrs., includes lunch provided, back by 1:30 pm/2 pm at the latest):
1 person: $125
2 persons: $140
3 persons: $155
Payment by check or cash. Add 3.0% for PayPal/Credit Card payments ($128.75, $144.20, or $159.65): Link here
*Special 2021 for COVID-19 concerned times: “Let’s Meet Up, Explore, & Give Space” . 1-2 people limit plus guide, and you bring your own snacks/drinks. Rate: $95 check or cash (plus 3% for card payments). *Add 3.0% for PayPal/Credit Card payment ($97.85): Link here
All outdoors with more physical space attention, and with masks as necessary. We begin and end our field adventures from one of four locations: Sweetwater Wetlands (West Tucson), Santa Cruz River (Tubac), Canoa (Green Valley), or Tanque Verde Creek (East Tucson), see descriptions below. You drive yourself, I provide guiding itinerary, to meet your desires, for our half-day adventure. Sunrise to Noon-ish.
- Santa Cruz River and riparian habitats in the Tubac/Tumacacori area, Arizona, with side visits to sites for desert habitat, as time permits. Very birdy! Recommended for all physical abilities and experience, as well as comfort of travel and field time, providing a great first experience with Nature InSight. Outstanding native riparian and desert habitats.
- Patagonia Area/Southern Santa Rita Mountains and canyons. Outstanding oak woodland, riparian, and pine/oak habitats.
- East Tucson Valley (Tanque Verde Creek) and Reddington Pass: Close-in riparian, mesquite bosque, Sonoran Desert, and various montane habitats.
- Sweetwater Wetlands and Santa Cruz River: Ponds, wetlands, and riparian. Recommended for all physical abilities and experience, as well as comfort of travel and field time, providing a great first experience with Nature InSight.
- Tucson Mountains: Outstanding Sonoran Desert habitat.
Full Day Field Experiences
Full-day: (8-10.5 hrs., includes lunch provided, back by approx. 5:30 pm. Longer/backcountry trips timing is less predictable.):
1 person: $240
2 persons: $275
3 persons: $305
Payment by check or cash. *Add 3.0% for PayPal/Credit Card payments ($247.20, $283.25, or $314.15): Link here
For full day field experiences, i.e., for those folks looking to get deeper into nature with more adventures and less comforts, 8-10.5 hrs. duration, the below are featured sites we can typically add to half-day sites or focus on solely (and back by ~5:30 p.m.). Add $25/hr. for wildlife adventures after sunset. Entrance fees (including for the guide), when required, added to the above rates.
- San Rafael Grasslands: Outstanding un-fragmented native grasslands of the high valley rolling landscape of the San Rafael Valley, just south of Patagonia in the border region.
- Sonoita Grasslands: Conserved open grasslands in the ranching and vineyard area near Sonoita, AZ.
- Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arivaca: mesquite bosque, cienega, desert grasslands, and Sonoran desert habitats in the protected Altar Valley of the border region.
- Aravaipa Creek Watershed, a tributary of lower San Pedro watershed: Outstanding native Sonoran Desert habitat.
- Lower San Pedro River watershed. Loop (short-stop) tour through Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth: Classic Arizona oak woodlands, riparian, Sonoran Desert, and mesquite bosque habitats in the undeveloped remote lower (northward) lower San Pedro valley.
We will typically spend 2 to 4 hours exploring for birds/wildlife and other nature at our first area visited (and an additional 2 to 4 hours at another area, if we are out for the full day).
We partner with AZ-Birding for info on our availability and your trip scheduling, see link below (feel free to contact us first – if desired, by email or phone, for your special interests):
Photo Credits: Costa’s Hummingbird, Ryana Candee; Happy Birder, S. Wilbor; Pyrrhuloxia, Don Faulkner.
Here’s how Nature InSight guiding works for you:
My guiding services:
1) I guide for 1-3 people at a time, and you sign up here on the website and provide me with a phone number to contact you. Please give 1 week prior notice (special circumstances? – please inquire).
2. You can use a credit card, check, or cash, to pay me at the end of the tour.
3) I meet you at your hotel, bed and breakfast, lodge, resort, whatever(!) in the Tucson/Green Valley/Tubac area at a time that you desire (typically between 6 and 7 a.m.).
4) We drive in my vehicle (Jeep Cherokee) typically 1 to 1. 5 hours (if from Tucson) to our first wild area for exciting nature exploration! No mileage fees.
5) Our destinations are of your choice that we discuss beforehand, given the season, weather, and access conditions.
*Lunch (café or picnic) is provided in the trip price for each person. We will go to a nearby café to our sites visited (i.e., in Tubac, Patagonia, E. Tucson, W. Tucson, Arivaca, Oracle, or Mammoth, or we can coordinate bringing lunch from Tucson) at typically the end of the ½ day trip before driving home or at mid-day of a full-day trip. Snacks (bars & fruit) and extra water are also provided for all trips (in the vehicle).
Special Backcountry Trips:
Special wilderness trips (two days, overnight tent/cabin camping) are available for the hardy desert explorers (with advanced planning), to the following places: Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, San Rafael grasslands, Hot Springs Canyon Wilderness, or the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico).
Rate based on distance and itinerary, please inquire.