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Learn More about Birding the Verde Valley

Get Situated and Find Out Where to Go

The beautiful and unique Verde Valley offers incredible opportunities for birders and lovers of wildlife. Read more to learn about our beautiful region, find out where to go birding, and see our all-time species list.

The Verde Valley is Important for Birds and Birders

The Verde River, the lifeblood of Central Arizona, is one of the last perennial free-flowing rivers in the Southwest. Along its ribbon of green, the Verde journeys through majestic red rock and basalt canyons. A key driver of biodiversity for the Southwest, the Verde provides habitat for over 200 bird species, 90 mammal species, and 75 native amphibian and reptile species. Arizona’s last best river also supports one of the country’s rarest habitat types, the Freemont Cottonwood/Goodding Riparian Gallery Forest.

The middle stretch of the Verde River courses through the well-watered and aptly named Verde Valley. Meaning “green” in Spanish, the Verde and its watershed generate unique habitat, beauty and economic opportunity. Many of the Verde’s tributaries that begin in higher elevation areas like Flagstaff, Prescott, and Payson emerge in the Verde Valley as perennial streams flowing through the communities of Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Sedona, Cornville, Lake Montezuma, Payson, and Camp Verde.

The Verde Watershed connects diverse life zones from 3,000-7,000 feet in elevation, including pine-fir forests, oak woodlands, pinyon-juniper forests, Sonoran desert scrub, and riparian habitat. The vast Verde Watershed hosts a wide variety of critical habitats for one of the largest concentrations of resident and migratory birdlife anywhere in the Southwest.

Birding Destinations

The Verde River and its surrounding watershed is a prime destination for birdwatching and outdoor recreation, boasting many birding hot spots.

See some high-activity birding hot spots in Yavapai County, home of the Verde Watershed.

See birding hotspots from Coconino County, where the Verde River headwaters begin.

Click on the maps below to open them in a new window!

Interactive Birding Site Story Map (click on the image to open)

This interactive story map (above) provides detailed information on the sites highlighted in the Accessible Birding Locations map (below).

Accessible Birding Locations Map

For more details on the sites featured in the Accessible Birding Locations map (above), click here to access the interactive story map.

All-Time VVBNF Bird Species List

Learn about birds in the Verde Valley and surrounding areas of Northern Arizona.

The list below provides links for each bird seen at the VVBNF from past years. The links take you to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s site All About Birds. Access detailed information about thousands of birds from all around the world, including identification tips, a library of bird calls and songs, a feature to compare similar species, and more.

Are you an eBird user? Please share your observations from the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival with Friends of the Verde River on eBird!

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