Birds of the Pueblo World

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Birds of the Pueblo World

May 12 - 18, 2020 

Blend your passion for birding and archaeology. Gain insight into the meaning of birds for the Zuni and see some of the vast avian related rock images, materials, and artwork. Whether you are a casual birder or an expert, you’ll add deep knowledge on this unique, birding journey!

Led by exceptional scholars, you will explore new birding technique and the important and complex roles of birds and bird symbolism in Pueblo thought, ritual, visual arts, and oral traditions.


  • Visit hundreds of amazing petroglyphs, including many bird images, as well as ancestral Pueblo village sites.
  • Stay at beautiful Sunrise Springs, a natural hot springs resort and sister company to New Mexico’s Ojo Caliente.
  • Encounter and observe blue herons, hawks, towhees, robins, and other migratory species as you bird watch with expert guides.

Birds of the Pueblo World

  1. Scholars
  2. Accommodations
  3. Is This Trip for You?
  4. Terms & Policies

Dan Simplicio

Dan Simplicio, a member of the Zuni tribe, an archaeologist, and a carver of bird fetishes, draws on his Pueblo heritage as well as his archaeological and artistic experience to provide a unique insight into the significance of prayer feathers, kachinas and kachina dolls, and the role of birds in color and directional symbolism.

Kristi Dranginis

Kristi Dranginis is the founder of Bird Mentor, a course in advanced bird identification skills, the principles of deep nature connection, and bird language. Kristi teaches birding around the country and leads trips at the Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes, the Mesa Verde Birding Festival, and traditional skills gatherings. Kristi brings an exceptional teaching style and joy to her workshops.

Sunrise Springs

Sunrise Springs is Santa Fe’s only destination spa, with 70 tranquil acres of gardens, walking paths, and scenic high desert landscape surrounding the historic spring-fed waters. The resort’s serene guest rooms, art and fitness studios, and spa facilities fuse native and contemporary design influences with subtle touches of the Southwest to embody the expansive texture and tones of the desert.


No experience is required for this program. Our birding lessons are appropriate for all levels of birding enthusiasts. There is minimal hiking involved in the program unless you choose to explore the surrounding trails in your free time. You should be comfortable sitting outdoors in a chair for extended periods of time.


The elevation level for this trip is 7,200 feet (Santa Fe). We recommend ramping up your exercise regime prior to arrival or arriving a day or two early to acclimate, especially if coming from sea level. Adequate hydration and time for acclimation will minimize the most effects of altitude. If you have any questions, please contact your physician.

Remote Facilities

Facilities and amenities are available for most of the trip. Anticipate van rides of up to two hours with visits to rural areas and pueblos. Effort will be made to utilize mostly modern facilities to keep this trip as comfortable as possible.

Cultural Sensitivity

This trip includes visits to rural areas, where traditional American Indian families welcome us as guests into their homes and communities. Please be respectful of any and all rules during the program. The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center practices “visiting with respect” with each and every home and family. There may be instances where you are invited into a home or a studio. Please know that these can range from very simple accommodations (i.e., toilet facilities may be an outhouse) to those with modern facilities. Guidelines will be provided to help you prepare for this journey.

Hands-On Work

This workshop is designed as a cultural and natural world immersion opportunity that provides you with insights into birding techniques as well as opportunities to visit and understand archaeological sites and Pueblo history in relation to birds and the natural world. Each morning there is a “Bird Sit,” a time for participants to sit quietly on the Sunrise Springs property to observe birds and practice birding techniques. Lessons, lectures, and site visits take place daily.
For further information on the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policies please click here. You will find details on tuition, cancellations, travel insurance, accommodations, medical information, and more.

Tuition & Registration

Single Tuition
Member*: $4,550
Non-Member: $4,675

Shared Tuition
Member*: $3,900
Non-Member: $4,025

Deposit (due at time of registration): $2,000
*If you are interested in becoming a Crow Canyon member, please contact our Enrollment Specialists.

Registration Deadline and Balance Due in Full: 1/13/2020

To Register:
Call: 800-422-8975, ext. 457
E-mail: [email protected]