Santa Cruz County is located in the southernmost central part of Arizona, bordering Mexico and serving as the gateway to North America's most important port of entry, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. While one of the state's smallest counties, Santa Cruz County is also one of Arizona's most diverse and interesting destinations. 

The centerpiece of Santa Cruz County’s birding hot spots is Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. This sanctuary, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, is one of the best birding spots in the Southwest. Not far down the highway are Patagonia Lake State Park and Sonoita Creek Natural Area, a good location for many species of desert scrub and lower canyon habitats plus waterfowl and riparian species.The Tucson Audubon Society's Paton Center for Hummingbirds is a place to explore and experience the special birds of southeast Arizona. 213 bird species have been reported for this location on the outskirts of Patagonia, including Violet-crowned Hummingbirds, Gray Hawks, Varied Buntings, Thick-billed Kingbirds, and many more local specialties.