The San Pedro House Birding Attraction Is Being A Globally Important Birding Area.
The San Pedro House birding facility is just a short drive away from Down By The River B and B. This birding hotspot is located in the center of the nearly 57,000 acre San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. This Globally Important Birding Area attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a jewel that is prized in Cochise County. With almost 400 species of birds that make their home here along this flyway as either residents or migrants, the San Pedro River birding can be fantastic for someone that wants to spend time in one location. The BLM has a birding check list for the area that you can download here.
The San Pedro House can be reached from the b and b driving on Arizona Highway 80 south to the Highway 90 junction and going west to the San Pedro River. There is a large parking lot at the San Pedro House. The visitor’s center is a gift shop and book store which offers light refreshments and information about the area. There are picnic areas and restrooms on the property. Fee camping is permitted at specific locations.
The property was once a historic cattle ranch with alfalfa fields that is slowly returning to the natural vegetation. The visitor’s center was the original ranch house and is run by volunteers. There are trails that lead from the visitor’s center to the river and then north and south along the river. When completed the trails will interconnect and will cover about 30 miles with access to many areas of interest from the San Pedro House birding location. There is a lot to tell about this area and what can be seen as you enjoy the facilities. I will write about the trails later but for now I am going to focus just on what is around the visitor’s center.
At the visitor’s center there are many things to see and do. The San Pedro House birding has many feeders that attract many hummingbirds. Other seed feeders attract other birds and flycatchers can be found chasing flying insects. Foraging birds can be found around the native vegetation. One of the more impressive things to view are the large Cottonwood trees that are near the old ranch house. One tree has a trunk that I estimate to be twelve feet in diameter. The tree is massive and there are many birds that can be spotted in the branches. The large tree is estimated to be up to 130 years old. The Cottonwood behind the house is almost 60 years old and may be half the size of the bigger one shown here.
While Angie was looking in the gift shop, I spent time wandering around the old ranch house and took pictures of 10 different birds in 30 minutes. I saw others but didn’t have time to identify them before they flew off. It was an amazing experience to see so much activity in a short period of time. We do have a lot of birds at Down By The River but we have been watching those birds for almost 10 years and some are almost old friends now but many are easily scared off. We don’t have the large San Pedro House birding enthusiasts being at the location on a daily basis. These birds were different and appeared to accept people being near the feeders. That made photographing them much easier.
After Angie had made her purchases, we got our water and were ready to set out on the trail to the river to find more adventure and to explore the trails and the river. It had been more than 8 years since I have been down to the San Pedro House birding and I was interested to see what we could find. My next blog will tell you what we found down on the river. But if you are interested in seeing the areas, check out Down By The River B and B, The Lodging Hub of Cochise County.