Wildlife Photography Tours & Workshops ~ Jeff Parker, Explore in Focus™ » Blog Archive Southeastern Arizona Photo Tour ~ Explore in Focus™ with Jeff Parker


August 16 ~ 20, 2018
Southeastern Arizona (near Tucson)

Southeastern Arizona Photo Tour with Jeff Parker


This Southeastern Arizona Photo Tour offers lots of fodder for your lenses, including birds you’ll find no where else in the United States.  Overall, Southeastern Arizona boasts nearly 250 avian species.

One special sweet spot is Madera Canyon, located in the Santa Rita Mountains about 40 miles southeast of Tuscon. This moist and cool habitat, created by “sky islands,” provides haven for plant and animal species unique to the region.

We’ll take advantage of the area’s winged variety throughout the photo tour. Our journey will include visits and lodging at privately-owned locations where birds are fed year-round.

Magnificent Hummingbird in Southeastern Arizona, by Jeff Parker

One of our destinations is well-known among wildlife photographers as a great place to get bat shots. The owner keeps blinds, perches, water, and set-ups in place year-round so that you can take advantage of the right light and get great backgrounds.

Another of our destinations, nestled into Madera Canyon, is famous with birders and photographers alike for the numbers of birds it attracts. We’ll lodge there underneath its peaceful oaks and next to a stream, enjoying reprieve from the seasonal desert heat.

This region is also known as the Hummingbird Capital of the United States and the tiny speedsters will certainly be one of our main subjects. Fifteen species of hummers have been seen at the lodge where we’ll spend a chunk of our time. This tour is held in August to coincide with the highest number of both species and individual hummingbirds.

We aim to photograph Broad-billed, Magnificent, Black-chinned, Anna’s (hopefully), and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds…and…I’ll bring along all the high-speed flash equipment — in addition to the printed backgrounds — so you don’t have to.

This all inclusive (double occupancy), 4-night photo tour has space for just eight (8) photographers.


Thursday August 16th:
Meet at noon at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. An afternoon here is a wonderful introduction to the native fauna of Arizona. This site hosts free-flying birds in an aviary as well as a special hummingbird enclosure. We’ll start the tour with some shots here so we can prepare our cameras — and ourselves — for our upcoming shoots. I’ll be on-hand to help with your settings and work out any photography issues you might encounter. We’ll enjoy an early dinner. Following dinner, we’ll head to a 16th century mission for sunset and blue-hour photography. Mary O. will provide cold drinks and refreshing snacks throughout to help us combat the heat.

Friday, August 17th:
Early-morning and afternoon desert bird photo shoots at a private location specifically designed and maintained for photography. After our first shoot, we’ll eat lunch together and then head up the mountain to our cabins in the Santa Rita Mountains. After lunch and some time to relax, we’ll head back to the blinds and photograph until dark. Mary O. will make our dinner & we’ll dine together on an outdoor deck.

Saturday, August 18th:
Breakfast in your cabin using the “Breakfast Basket” that Mary O. will provide (Yes ~ includes coffee!). Your Breakfast Basket allows you to eat breakfast in your own cabin and choose whether to eat before or after our first shoot. Our first shoot takes place early-morning at the same special spot as yesterday — the private desert location specifically designed and maintained for photography. After our morning shoot, we return to our cabins, relax, and then enjoy a Mary O. meal for lunch. We’ll do one more evening/afternoon shoot at the sweet spot down the mountain and then dine out for dinner. After dark, we’ll do bat photography…photographing the mammals as they zip over the water to grab mosquitoes or other insect meals.

Sunday, August 19th:
Morning shoot will be bird photography outside our cabins in Madera Canyon. You choose whether to eat your morning meal before or after the shoot. I’ll provide the multi-flash hummingbird setups as well as a natural light setups for the other birds. Here, in the mountains, expect to photograph different species than you do at the desert blinds. Mary O. will treat us to lunch and dinner, served under the oaks on the deck near our cabins.

Monday, August 20th:
We’ll get in one more photo shoot using our setups from the day before until 10:00 a.m. Breakfast in your cabin before or after. Tour ends at checkout time (11:00 am).


  • Nine (9) photo-shoots
  • My one-on-one assistance, instruction, & guidance throughout your tour
  • Image review & critique
  • Private photography ranch access & fees
  • Use of multi-flash set ups
  • Meals, snacks, & beverages from Thursday evening, August 16 through breakfast on Monday morning, August 20.
  • Four (4) nights lodging (double-occupancy)
  • Wi-Fi (NOTE: Wifi does not work well at our mountain lodge.)

Does NOT Include:

Transportation to, from, or during tour (we’ll rely on carpooling as necessary), alcoholic beverages, laundry service, your own room, and tips (optional).

Here’s a list of some of what we hope to photograph during this tour:

• Mexican Jay
• House Finch
• Acorn Woodpecker
• Ladder-backed Woodpecker
• Northern Cardinal
• Pyrrhuloxia
• Varied Bunting
• Broad-billed Hummingbird
• Magnificent Hummingbird
• Black-chinned Hummingbird
• Anna’s Hummingbird
• Broad-tailed Hummingbird
• Gambel’s Quail
• White-winged Dove
• Mourning Dove
• Greater Roadrunner
• Bridled Titmouse
• Verdin
• White-breasted Nuthatch
• Cactus Wren
• Lesser Goldfinch
• Antelope Ground Squirrel
• Black-tailed Jackrabbit
• Desert Cottontail Rabbit


  • DATE:  August 16-20, 2018
  • SPACE FOR:   Eight (8)  ~ SOLD OUT ~