Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q: How are you affected by the border problems?
A: VISIT Recent Illegal events affecting our Guest Ranch to find out.
Q: Do your Units have Internet Access?
A: The addition of a antenna booster to our wireless modem, allows guests
in B/C to receive Internet Service. Others needed to sit by the store.
Q: I would like to come and Photograph Hummingbirds at Beatty's, but
you seem to not like Photographers?
A: NOT TRUE. For example: Earle A. Robinson has Preferred Photographer
Status at BEATTY'S GUEST RANCH because of his Patience, Unobtrusive
Behavior, Knowledge and Kindness when photographing Hummingbirds.
Being on this list means that he can come in anytime and will be notified of
any rare bird sightings, nests etc. So if you can follow his examples then you
Q: What group of people give you the most trouble.
A. The West/East Coast subdivision birding/limp wrist lefty newcomers, some of which
try to push their narrow minded West Coast views on rural Arizonans.
Q: Why are you no longer part of "The Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival".
A. In 2010 some board members wanted to BOYCOTT us as a birding stop, but
tabled the request for 2011. When I found about this, I dropped out as of 2010. This
means SSWINGS Tours can have more time up canyon and SWWINGS birders can
come here on their own.
This is a win, win for non-festival birders who come here during the festival and much
easier for us. Cheers Tom Sr.
Q: Where is the nearest airport?
A: Tucson is our nearest airport, about 90 miles, one and half hours driving time.
Phoenix might give better rates but is 200 miles, four hours driving time.
Q: How many people visit the viewing sites during
the 01Apr-1Oct period?
A: Estimate around 3000-4000, which comes to 15-20 people/day.
Q: What is your annual rainfall?
A: Before 2008, around 32 inches per year. Received 31.08"; in 2007, almost normal.
By the end of 2013, because of the ongoing drought this has dropped to just over 21"/year.
Q: How did you get the portion of Miller Canyon Road closed
that passed through your property?
A: The following explains it all:
The first year, March 1967, that we lived here in Miller, we only had
1/3 of an acre with one or two vehicles driving through a month.
In 1968 we obtained the 5 acre parcel that included the Forest Road.
By the time of the 1977 fire the amount of road traffic was much
higher. This increase of traffic became a problem! Even the drunks
found us, some still do, but now they come to the house for help and
we say help is on the way via 911.
During the 1967-77 period we watched the road go down a yard in height
due to erosion because it had a 15 degree slope. Maximum slope for
Forest Service Road should be less than 7 degrees. I would not let them
grade the road on our property because all they would do was lower the road.
When the rains came after the 1977 fire the road became washed out on
our property. A Jeep turned over and we called the Forest Service, one
look and they closed the road for the next year plus. During this time the
road washed out below. We had two cars, so when I went to work on Fort
Huachuca I drove down to the big washout then walked to where I had
the 4x4. Edith and the 4 kids did the same. During this time we found out
that the Road did not have a legal easement through our property, so we
started the lawyer thing. But before it got too far, along came the Wilderness
Act and the Forest Service decide to put the Miller Peak Wilderness Area
on the west side of our property and do the TRAILHEAD in the present spot.
We had quite a few local birders behind us during this time, so if any of you
are still out there, thanks again. They knew how this road closing would help
the wildlife etc.. We were more interested in Management of our property
from the effects of humans.
Just think how it would be if the road passed through and stopped just below
Tombstone Waterworks. "Best damn drug/illegal pickup in the Huachucas"
Our place would be split in two and worth a lot less and not a Guest Ranch
Q: Why are CHILDREN limited to Units B/C?
A: The other Units and terrain around them are not suitable for
children. We have had children play with matches, take sticks
to apple trees, toss rocks at frogs etc. and therefore they must
be supervised at all times. Our next step is to not allow children.
Q: I don't see any advertisements for Beatty's Guest Ranch.
A: Because We rely on returning GUESTS, WORD of MOUTH,
"LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION" and ARTICLES.
Q: How far ahead do you need to make reservations?
A: Depends on requested unit/date. For a specific unit/date up
to a year: April, May and August are our busy months, with 6 units
SOMETHING SHOULD BE AVAILABLE. However best to book ASAP.
Q: Do you take Credit Cards?
A: NO, only Personal/Traveler Check, Money Order or Cash.
GUESTS from OVERSEAS/CANADA can now PAY ON ARRIVAL.
Q: Why do you make the Statement "Most green SEAZ place to stay"
A: Mainly because half of our 6 Units are off the power grid and on solar.
Q: When is the best time to view Hummingbirds?
A: Mid-April to Mid-October, with numbers peaking in August and
species peaking in May and August.
Q: Can anyone come to view Hummingbirds?
A: YES. Please park in the USFS Trailhead or if handicapped use the
Designated HANDICAPPED Space near the Gazebo.
Q: When do Hummingbirds arrive?
A: They start arriving in numbers around 15 March: with the spring
peak the last two weeks in May and the fall peak around Mid-August.
We have Thousands of hummers from Mid-April thur Mid-Sept, but
not as many species in mid-summer.
Q: When did you first notice that you had a lot of hummingbirds on your property?
A: As soon as we bought the Property in 1967. Also people were telling us that we
had great Hummingbirds. We did not know that our White-eared Hummingbirds
were so rare. By opening up our place to birders the White-eared is now a 10-20
minute bird, instead of maybe seeing one in days of looking.
A quote from a Serious Nature Photographer (SNP), goes something like this
"after trying to Photograph the White-eared for 8 years, I finally got it at Beatty's".
He did this by setting up feeders on USFS land just below the PVA and taking our
White-eareds away from the PVA. I should have done something, because in 2013
He did this in the Wilderness Area and therefore was banned from our property.
There is a lot more to this, as he turned into a Selfish Nature Photographer.
Q: What made you decide to start offering tourists the chance to view hummingbirds
on your property?
A: When 15 birders were looking at the WHITE-EARED that was at our house feeder.
They were leaning on our eastside property fence and it made us a little uneasy. So we
put a couple of feeders farther South that over time became our Public Viewing Area.
Q: What do you personally like about hummingbirds?
A: Looking at them is a good way to relax. The way that they are good for Guest
Q: Do you notice any specific flowers that hummingbirds really seem to like?
A: Manzanita has lots of insects, nectar for hummers to eat/drink when arriving
here in the spring. Then berries are great bird food for the rest of the year.
Q: How far do people travel to come to your ranch?
A: So far for 2008 guests have signed up from the United Kingdom, Belgium and
Canada. Over 10% of our guests are from outside the USA. Off hand, for 2007 add
Norway, Germany, France, Australia, Spain, Holland, Denmark.
Q: Also, how many of your guests are repeat customers?
A: Lots, over 20%.
Q: Does all of your family participate at the ranch?
A: JR lives here: Does maintenance, orchard/garden work, feeders, talks to guests and
helps Edith with cleaning the Units. Guests and Birders love him, because he knows
so much about the area, birds and nature.
John comes down from the Phoenix area when he can to help with big upgrades and
Jeni and family: 4 kids, 16 years and under, come down to the farm to play, however
they help whenever possible. James an Architect is a big help on questions.
Jason helped JR and John build a $3000 deck on Cabin D and rebuilt Cabin A after
the first flood. But he only gets here once or twice a year. He is a USCG Officer.
Q: What’s one of your favorite hummingbird memories?
A: The time I helped a young man carry his 89 year old Grandmother uphill to our
Controlled Access Site (CAS) to see the Hummingbirds. She had heard about the CAS
and had to see it. Would not take NO for an answer. Brought back memories of my own
Grandma Beatty, Looks etc.
Q: Do you plan to continue your ranch for a while?
A: We have put our 10 acres in a Living Trust, just for that. Our location is so special
that one or more of our children will continue. JR with John and his family helping him,
is the plan. John works for Intel and can't wait to come down.
Q: Why is Hummingbird Banding no longer done at Beatty's?
A: After four years of banding, 2000-2003, we found that Banding
and Viewing Sites don't mix. For example:
Note: For 2004, the first year of NO BANDING, has we feel resulted in
- Most Hummingbirds take a couple of days to return to the banding
site, with some going away for good.
- Banders could not resist banding rare one-of-a-kind Hummers.
- Too hard on the Hummers: Birds held in banding queue too long etc.
- Hummers seemed more of a data point, than a subject.
- All of the above items resulted in the Plain-capped Starthroat
not returning after being banded.
more Male Magnificents at the former (PVA) Banding Site. 2005-06 gave
even better results with more pre-2000 viewing conditions.
Q: Why do you have the Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog and TNC
Ramsey Canyon does not?
A: Mainly a difference in philosophy, we can use non native plants
and ponds. They now have 2 new ponds and frogs, as of spring 2007.
Q: How do I get to Mary Jo's/Ash Canyon B&B?
A: From Sierra Vista, take SR92 South. Go 0.7 mile past mile marker
332 to Turkey Track. Turn right on Turkey Track and follow the road
all the way to the end where a gate across the road blocks further
progress, about 0.5 mile from the highway. It is the last house on the
right. Look for a stucco wall. Park and walk through the gate and then
left around the house to the back.
Q: What is the best way to get from BEATTY'S to Madera Canyon?
A: Take the Box Canyon/Greaterville Road. From Beatty's to Santa Rita
Lodge, via Box Canyon is around 60 miles, any other way over 100 miles.
Look for a Greaterville/Box Canyon sign, when 5-7 miles North of
Sonoita on SR83. Only about 8 miles is unpaved. This part is much like
the unpaved part of Miller Canyon Road! Great birding because of
the Grassland-Oaks Eastside and the lower desert Westside.
Q: How many miles/drive time from Beatty's to Paton's in Patagonia?
A: 55 miles/1 hour and 15 minutes.
Q: How many miles/drive time from Beatty's to Cave Creek in Portal?
A: 105 miles/2 hours and 15 minutes.
Q: How many miles/drive time from Beatty's to the Arizona Sonoran
Desert Museum in Tucson?
A: 100 miles/2 hours and 15 minutes.