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Northern Arizona Audubon
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In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, 1968)


The famous quote above was spoken by the Senegalese forest engineer Baba Dioum a the General Assembly of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It reminds us that eucation plays a fundamental role in Conservation. NAAS is expanding our educational opportunities through volunteer efforts in the Verde Valley and above the rim in Flagstaff. Look for upcoming programs. To volunteer with our Education team, contact Kay Hawklee -

Below the Rim after-school Library Programs using The Cornell Lab of Ornithology K-12's Habitat Connections Kit (pictured here).

Our Education Chair, Becky Hardy, launched programs at local libraries in the Verde Valley in February of 2023 for SciTech Festival. She's just getting started. Watch our upcoming events to participate.

Above the Rim NAAS partners with the City of Flagstaff for Flagstaff High School Biology class field day at Picture Canyon.

Twenty biology students from Flagstaff High School took up bird watching on a field day at Picture Canyon October 24. The half-day activity was organized by Sarah Holditch, the City of Flagstaff Open Space Educator and high school biology teacher Emily Musta. Northern Arizona Audubon partnered with them in planning and conducting the field day. NAAS also shared Sibley Field Guides and binoculars. Debbie McMahon was involved in the planning and Tori Wiley and Roy May helped as bird guides and resources persons. Students learned about the interaction of birds and trees and the importance of snags by watching Acorn and Lewis’s Woodpeckers cache acorns. Steller’s Jays, Cassin’s Finches, Chipping Sparrows, and Mallards were among other birds observed. The students noted differences in these birds’ bills and feet and habitats. Tree stumps and rotting trunks on the forest floor illustrated the ecological history of the Picture Canyon Forest. The petroglyphs showed that people had lived there long ago, and their rock art of birdlife demonstrated that herons and other species had lived in the canyon for hundreds of years. This was the first time any of the youth had gone birdwatching. As the students were boarding the bus to return to school, one said, “This was fun. I think I’ll look for birds again.”

Educational Monthly Programs

Our members gather during certain months to learn more about topics related to conservation of birds and other wildlife.

For instance: One of our youngest, most zealous, members is Danae Deardon. She recently gave a presentation on the Plight of the California Condor – A Success Story.   Danae taught about how the largest bird in North America, once on the brink of extinction, is back, and Arizona is its home.  Danae has had a lifelong love of birds, particularly raptors. She has been an active member of the Northern Arizona Audubon Society since age seven. At age eleven she shadowed biologists at the Vermillion Cliffs to get a first-hand view of what is involved in monitoring and providing necessary care for the wild population of California Condors. Recently, at age thirteen, she spent two days at the Vermillion Cliffs, once again shadowing biologists. Danae helped monitor new Condor releases. Her love for these birds leads her to a strong desire to share their message and get everyone involved to some degree in their survival.

Mountain View Preparatory School - Bird Garden

Our past Education Chair, Patti Greeneltch, helped install bird feeders and a garden at Mountain View School in Cottonwood, a Title 1 school. This "Bird Garden" was a pilot program developed by Patti. Students were able to learn about birds, feeders, bird baths and gardens. Patti taught how to create an eBird list for the students to track their species list. Video cameras were trained on the bird feeder to enable students to see birds visiting the feeders. The program struggled during COVID and has been on pause. We look forward to working with students again in the future. To inquire about a Bird Garden for your school, please contact Kay Hawklee:

Big Sits as Educational Opportunities

NAAS’s Big Sit Field Trips will be held at differing habitats and are an educational opportunity. We’ll “Put The 4 Keys Into Practice”: Bird watchers can identify many species from just a quick look. They’re using the four keys to visual identification: Size, Shape, Color, Pattern, Behavior, and Habitat.

The fifth key (pun intended):

Another joy of bird watching is listening to birds and deciphering which species are calling and singing. Whether it’s the buzz-trill of a Bewick’s Wren or the squeak toy sound of a Gila Woodpecker, birds can be fun and challenging to identify by ear:

It’s an almost universal feeling: the thrill of hearing a mysterious new bird
song. And it’s usually followed up by a question: What was that bird?
The question just got much easier to answer. The Cornell Lab of
Ornithology’s free Merlin Bird ID app can now identify bird sounds. Merlin
can recognize the sounds of more than 400 species from the U.S. and
Canada, with that number set to expand rapidly in future updates.
What bird is singing - instant answers

We’ll learn how to use this new marvel, the Merlin Bird ID app! Find out how to use it in your own yard. Experts know that one of the best ways to learn bird sounds is to watch a bird while it sings or calls. As Lisa Grubbs says, while “its lips are moving.”

Join us in a “Big Sit” at Dead Horse State Park each 4th Wednesday of the month.  between 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Come sit with us and learn more about bird identification through structure, sound, behavior and more. You watch birds through your binoculars, while a NAAS guide teaches about the species visiting numbered feeders at the *Arm-chair Birding site.

*Arm-chair birding can be found at Dead Horse State Park. Turn right on Owl Road, the first road after entering the park. Park on the North end strip – to the right as you drive toward the circular parking. A short stroll up a groomed path to the North takes you to the feeders that NAAS volunteers maintain. There are picnic tables and a bench. No need to schlepp chairs unless you desire. An Arizona State Park pass, or day pass, can be used or let the Park Rangers know you are there for the Big Sit.

Northern Arizona Audubon

P O Box 1496 Sedona, AZ 86339

Sanctuary Locations:

Bubbling Ponds
1950 N Page Springs Rd
Cornville AZ 86325

Sedona Wetlands
7500 W State Route 89A,
Sedona, AZ 86336
(Inbetween mile markes 365 & 366) 

Picture Canyon
N. El Paso Flagstaff Rd 
Flagstaff, Arizona

Kachina Wetlands
2263 Utility Rd,
Flagstaff, AZ 86005

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