Coronado National Memorial

Tips for Birding

Be sure to check out the water feature (bird batch), viewable through the window at the rear of the Visitor Center.

Birds of Interest

Among USFWS-designated Birds of Conservation Concern for the Sierra Madre Occidental, Sonora Desert, and Chihuahua Desert regions, the following species have been listed multiple times for the Monument:  Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Mar-Aug), Gila Woodpecker (Aug-May), Arizona Woodpecker (all year), Olive-sided Flycatcher (May and Sep), Plumbeous Vireo (Apr-Oct), Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Feb-Oct), Verdin (July-Apr), Cactus Wren (Jan-Aug), Curve-billed Thrasher (Jan-Sep), Phainopepla (Nov-Feb), Cassin’s Sparrow (Jul-Sep), Black-chinned Sparrow (May-Jun), Scott’s Oriole (Apr-Oct), Virginia’s Warbler (Apr and Aug-Sep), Black-throated Gray Warbler (Aug-May), and Pyrrhuloxia (Oct-Apr).

Mexican Jay are far more common than Woodhouse’s.

Rufous Hummingbird, a species of Continental Conservation Concern, appear in lists Apr and Sep lists. Anna’s is the most commonly observed hummingbird, followed in frequency by Black-chinned and Broad-billed.  Calliope are also reported.

Montezuma Quail are much more common here than Gambel’s or the much less frequently seen Scaled.

While Say’s Phoebe are common for all but winter months, a variety of flycatchers can be found from Apr into Aug:  Vermillion, Dusky-capped, Ash-throated, Brown-crested, and occasionally Sulphur-bellied. Cassin’s and Western Kingbird linger through Oct. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher are more frequently observed than Black-tailed. 

Other than Painted Redstart, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Yellow-rumped Warbler, present except for the warm months of Jun-Aug, other warblers are usually to be found only during the migrant months of Apr and Sep.

Birders may want to brush up on the calls of Chihuahuan vs Common Raven, as well as Chihuahuan vs Western Meadowlark;  all four species are present. 

Both Dark-eyed and Yellow-Eyed Junco are observed Oct-Apr, although Dark-eyed much more common.

Hepatic Tanager are common throughout the year, whereas Western are common during summer;  Summer Tanager are infrequent.

Peregrine Falcon are reported on winter lists.

About this Location

The park has a network of hiking trails to traverse the borderlands, a large limestone cave to explore, and great opportunities for birding and wildlife watching.

About Coronado National Memorial

See all hotspots at Coronado National Memorial

Coronado National Memorial commemorates and interprets the significance of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s expedition and the resulting cultural influences of 16th-century Spanish colonial exploration in the Americas. The Memorial preserves and interprets the natural and human history of the area for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Coronado National Memorial is the only unit in the National Park System that commemorates the Francisco Vásquez de Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542. When reporting to Congress in 1940 on the establishment of the Memorial, the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys noted that: “Coronado’s expedition was one of the outstanding achievements of a period marked by notable explorations. It made known the vast extent and the nature of the country that lay north of central Mexico, and from the time of Coronado, Spaniards never lost interest in the country. In no small measure, their subsequent occupation of it was due to the curiosity so created.”

The creation of the Memorial was not to protect any tangible artifacts related to the expedition, but rather to provide visitors with an opportunity to reflect upon the impact the Coronado Entrada had in shaping the history, culture, and environment of the southwestern United States and its lasting ties to Mexico and Spain. The Memorial has two sister parks in Mexico.

The location was chosen for the panoramic views of the US-Mexico border and the San Pedro River Valley, the route believed to have been taken by Coronado. It was hoped that this proximity to the border would strengthen bi-national amity and the bonds, both geographical and cultural, which continue to link the two countries.

The Memorial, located near the center of the Sky Island bioregion (the juncture of four major biogeographic provinces: Madrean, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Southern Rockies/Mogollon), preserves a rich biological and geological diversity. Visitors are able to enjoy recreational opportunities that foster a better understanding and appreciation of the natural and human history of the area.

Notable Trails

With over eight miles of hiking trails, Coronado National Memorial is a great place to explore the outdoors. During winter, a shuttle is seasonally available once each morning on particular days of the week to carry hikers up to Montezuma Pass lookout. From grasslands and oak woodlands to piñon and juniper pine forests, the park offers a variety of experiences. Be sure to carry plenty of water and wear protection against the sun. With the exception of the Crest Trail, pets are not allowed on trails in the park and must be leashed at all times.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Roadside viewing

  • Entrance fee

Content from John Montgomery, Coronado National Memorial Trail Guide webpage, and Coronado National Memorial webpage

Last updated October 29, 2023