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Tuzigoot Important Bird Area (IBA)

Fish and Wildlife Refuge or Sanctuary
Great Blue Heron at Dead Horse Ranch State Park – Dennis Tomko

ADA Accessibility Notes

Accessibility varied from place to place, but there are wheelchair friend places.

A global initiative of BirdLife International, implemented by Audubon and local partners in the United States, the Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is an effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.

The Tutzigoot IBA is a designated IBA and celebrates the Verde River which is the last free flowing natural river in Arizona. Not only is the birding wonderful here - especially during Spring migration - but there are many additional recreational opportunities. There is camping, hiking, and fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Kayaking and canoeing the Verde has become very popular in recent years and Old Town Cottonwood is a great place to wander through for a day. Those of you who are interested in ancient civilizations will be interested in Tutzigoot National Monument and folks who just want to sit by the River will find clearly marked access points.

But it is the birding here that gives the IBA its character. This is the home of the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival held each April. Species observed at this event will often total 200!. The IBA's iconic Common Black Hawk is more easily seen here than anywhere else in the Southwest. Come and see why this area has been included in the national IBA program. Tanagers and Orioles abound in the Spring and Lazuli Buntings are everywhere and Blue Grosbeaks and Wilson's Warblers mix with Vermilion Flycatchers and Bewick's Wrens. It's all so easy here!

Pet Friendly Notes

Pet policy varies but generally leashed pets are welcome.

Recreational Opportunities

Certainly birding is the number one activity here in the Spring. We have camping, hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts to make your stay here more comfortable and convenient.

Hiking, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, and photography are popular here in this area also.


Seasons Accessible

We are open all year at 3500' elevation in the high desert. Spring is the best time for birding although Fall and Winter are great for waterfowl.



The area itself is open and free. Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Tutzigoot N.M. are fee areas.

Nearby Places