SOUTHWEST BIRDERS

YUMA AREA BIRDING GUIDE
Fortuna Pond


Fortuna Pond

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DESCRIPTION

A large Bureau of Reclamation pond about 9 miles east & north of Yuma.  It is adjacent (south)  of the Gila River and is surrounded by cottonwoods, willows, mesquites, salt cedar, and quailbush.   The west end of the pond has the most vegetation and is consequently more birdy.  You can walk around the entire pond (about of a mile) and in the cooler seasons and the morning you will likely be sharing the area with fishermen.  Spring or fall migration is by far the best time to visit this location.


West end of Fortuna Pond

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Site #5 on Yuma East Overview Map

Getting there from the intersection of I-8 and 16th Street takes 15-20 minutes:

- Drive east on 16th Street (Highway 95) 5.1 miles to Ave 7E (Circle K and Chevron stations). 
- Turn left on Ave 7E and drive north for 1.5 miles. 
- Turn right on a gravel road just north of an east-west canal, but before you come to the Gila River. 
- Drive east a little over 3 miles, just past a dip that goes through a wash. 
- There will be three gravel roads leading north from the levee road, all of which take you to Fortuna Pond, which is less than .1 mile north of the levee road.  The first road leading north goes to the NW corner of the pond.  The second leads to a parking lot just s. of the pond.  The third skirts the east side of the pond.

BIRDING SUGGESTIONS
- numbered spots correspond with the map on the right

1) The outflow ditch for Fortuna Pond is a good place to see Green Herons, Black Phoebes, migrant flycatchers and warblers.

2) The area where the outflow reaches the Gila River Channel can be good for migrant and wintering thrushes, sparrows, and summering Blue Grosbeaks.  

3) The west side of the lake is bordered by nice willows, mesquites, and cottonwoods, which are heavily used by passerines.  Immediately south of the lake is a small mesquite bosque which has resident Verdins and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers

4) The large cottonwoods on the north side of the lake harbor breeding Western Kingbirds, Bullock's Orioles and Great-tailed Grackles. 

FORTUNA POND MAP

 

Red numbers correspond to 
the birding suggestions on the left.  Blue is water.  Green are islands.

POSSIBLE SIGHTINGS
-
unusual birds highlighted in dark red

Expected Migrants:

Warblers
-Wilson's warbler
-Yellow Warbler
-Yellow-rumped Warbler (winter resident)
-Orange-crowned Warbler (winter resident)
-Hermit Warbler
-Black-throated Gray Warbler
-Common Yellowthroat (breeds)
-Yellow-breasted Chat (breeds)

Flycatchers
-Western kingbird (breeds)
-Western Wood Pewee
-
Olive-sided Flycatcher
-Eastern Phoebe
(rare in winter)
-Black Phoebe (breeds)

Other Passerines
-
Swainson's thrush
-Blue Grosbeak
-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (winter resident)
-Lesser Goldfinch
-Bullock's Oriole (breeds)
-White-Crowned Sparrow (winter resident)
-
Fox Sparrow

Year-round Residents:

-Pied-billed Grebe
-American Coot
-Greater Roadrunner
-Turkey Vulture
-Red-tailed Hawk
-Gambel's Quail
-Ladder-backed Woodpecker
-Loggerhead Shrike
-Great-tailed Grackle
-Verdin
-Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

-Song Sparrow

FORTUNA POND TRIP REPORTS 
(Web Pages)

These trip write-ups give you some idea of the birds that you can see at Fortuna Pond during the different seasons.
     
October 16, 1999
April 28, 2000
Nov 22, 2000

September 15, 2001



Bullock's Oriole - Gila River

     
Photos Henry D. Detwiler
Last Update: 27 Aug 2002