There’s good reason why birders in the movie The Big Year start in Arizona. From winged Western Hemisphere migrants and resident bird species to the unexpected flying visitor, birds flock throughout the state.

Take in these fun activities and birding hot spots to build your life list.

Arizona Birding All the Time

California condors get the most attention at Grand Canyon National Park, but you have more than 350 Grand Canyon birds to spot, including nesting peregrine falcons, goshawks, spotted owls, southwestern willow flycatchers, Yuma clapper rails and wintering bald eagles and ducks.

The Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory leads field trips and banding activities throughout this corner of Arizona that’s known as the Hummingbird Capital of the U.S. Join an organized walk to seek out owls, hawks, sandhill cranes, painted redstarts, Scott’s orioles and other shorebirds and songbirds.

Mountainous Kofa National Wildlife Refuge near Yuma hosts as many as 165 migrating species and protects 25 resident species year-round. See American kestrels, white-winged doves, northern flickers, cactus wrens and orange-crowned warblers.

Wintering Eagles and Cranes

eaglesinnest- edited.jpgArizona officials count bald eagles in such nesting areas as the Salt and Verde rivers and the Colorado River Nature Center in Bullhead City. Desert-nesting bald eagles in the United States are found only in Arizona.

Join dozens of teams in the Tucson Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. They find hundreds of species in deserts, ponderosa and piñon forests, rivers and lakes.

Take a field trip during January’s Wings over Willcox Festival to see nearly 200 species, including geese, quail, hawks, owls and thousands of sandhill cranes.

Spring Birding Festivals and Walks

Goodyear’s Tres Rios Nature & Earth Festival in March helps beginners look for blue herons, snowy egrets, marsh wrens and 50 more species.

The 200-species list for April’s Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival in Cottonwood’s Dead Horse Ranch State Park includes hummingbirds, gulls, sandpipers and tanagers.

Find more than 400 species in desert, mountain and riparian habitats with the help of the Yuma Birding and Nature Festival in April.

While on nature walks at The Arboretum at Flagstaff in spring and summer, you’ll likely see western bluebirds, American robins, broad-tailed hummingbirds and violet-green swallows.

Take a nature walk at Ramsey Canyon Preserve near Sierra Vista from March through October. You’ll spy Southwestern painted redstarts and magnificent hummingbirds, one of 15 Arizona hummingbird species, in the nearby Huachuca Mountains.

Summer Migrant and Resident Birds

Visit the Sonoran Desert for the Tucson Audubon Society’s Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival in August. See the elegant trogon, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Montezuma quail and possibly a flame-colored tanager.

Summer and fall nature walks at Hart Prairie Preserve in Flagstaff reveal several owls and hawks, sandpipers, flycatchers and woodpeckers among more than 120 forest and meadow species.

Luna Lake near Alpine attracts migrating ducks, geese, bald eagles, osprey and songbirds. Residents include Merriam’s turkey, long-eared owls and Wilson’s snipes.

Approximately 280 species populate Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg from summer through winter, including ring-necked ducks, ferruginous hawks and red-naped sapsuckers.

Fall Migrant and Song Birds

Watch dozens of turkey vultures take migratory flight on thermal updrafts during September’s Bye Bye Buzzards celebration at Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior. The event includes a bird walk for phainopeplas, Albert’s towhees and red-breasted nuthatches.

The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge along the Colorado River is home or way station for more than 300 species, including migrating Canada geese, western grebes and American white pelicans.

Prescott’s Highlands Center for Natural History organizes the “Take a Hike” Hiking Spree to encourage trekking through ponderosa-pine valleys, woodlands and creeks. Kick it off with a September guided bird walk.