Birding at Tuzigoot

Tuzigoot National Monument 

Wait... Isn't Tuzigoot a Cultural Site?

Unroofed masonry walls on a hill with mostly leafless trees below and a ribbon of green trees beyond
Tuzigoot Pueblo's lower rooms have a great view of the Mesquite Bosque and Verde River to the south. In this early Spring shot, Cottonwood trees along the river are just starting to leaf-out.

NPS Photo/Letterman

Tuzigoot National Monument, in central Arizona, was established by presidential proclamation to preserve one of the largest known pueblos of Sinaguan origin. The pueblos, built during AD 1100–1450, were excavated and reconstructed by CCC workers and two University of Arizona graduate students (one of whom was Louis Caywood) during the 1930s.  Today you can tour the two-story pueblo and get an birds-eye view of the land.  If you're lucky, hawks and Turkey Vultures will soar at your level when you climb to the top of the Tower Room. Rock Wrens will certainly greet you!

There's More Than Meets the Eye at Tuzigoot

A small bird stands on a masonry wall
This rock wren likes to greet people who climb the stairs of the Tower Room. They also get a view of the valley below, including Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River.

NPS Photo/Letterman

Cultural and natural resources are often intertwined.  Tuzigoot Pueblo was built above Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River - out of the flood plain and leaving excellent farming opportunities open.  Those two water sources are also great places for year-round and migratory birds!

In fact, Tavasci Marsh was named an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society.  Visit Tuzigoot today, and you can take a walk down from the hill onto a path that meanders past the marsh, through a Mesquite Bosque and Cottonwood groups.  Imagine all the differet birds you might spot!  Don't forget to take the 2013 bird checklist, too.

We keep working at it, too

Water reflects surounding cattails, with a hill and pueblo in the background
Tavasci Marsh provides water, food, and nesting areas for many bird species.

NPS Photo

Despite being named an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society, Tavasci Marsh (as well as the Verde River) have been at risk of impairment at some point.  Tuzigoot partners with the NPS' Sonoran Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network to monitor climate, invasive plants, water sources, and birds.  Together, we can help ensure that Tavasci Marsh will continue to be a resource and home for all kinds of birds at Tuzigoot.