Mittry Lake & Betty's Kitchen
Imperial Wildlife Refuge
Imperial Dam Area


Birding Hot Spots in the Vicinity

Mittry Lake & Levee Road
Betty's Kitchen Trail
Laguna Dam Park
Laguna Dam Settling Basin
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Colorado River

The Birds
During the winter months there are good numbers of waterfowl, wading birds, and passerines in these areas centered around Imperial Dam.  The Christmas Bird count here usually nets between 110 and 125 species.

Birding Trips
Jan 22, 2000
Jan 23, 2000
Nov 22, 2000
16 Dec 2000
1 Jan 2001
15 Jan 2001
20 Apr 2001
12 May 2001 

 Immature Vermilion Flycatcher

Common Migrants (especially spring):

Wilson's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler (also winter resident) 
Orange-crowned Warbler (also winter resident)
Hermit Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat (also breeds)

Western Kingbird (also breeds)
Western Wood Pewee
Western-type Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher (also breeds, rare in winter)
Say's Phoebe 

Other Passerines
All the western swallows
Swainson's Thrush
Lazuli Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (also winter resident)
Lesser Goldfinch
Bullock's Oriole (also breeds)
Hooded Oriole (also breeds)
White-crowned Sparrow (also winter resident)
Lincoln's Sparrow (also winter resident)
Sage Sparrow (also winter resident)

Common Permanent Residents (Breeding & Wintering Birds):

Pied-billed Grebe
American Coot
Western Grebe
Virginia Rail
Common Moorhen 
Common Roadrunner
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Gambel's Quail
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Loggerhead Shrike
Great-tailed Grackle
Black Phoebe 
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Common Yellowthroat
Abert's Towhee
Song Sparrow

Rare or Uncommon Migrants and Permanent Residents:

3 species of loons
Black Rail (resident)
Clapper Rail (resident)
Red-naped Sapsucker (winter)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (migrant)
Brown-crested Flycatcher (migrant)

Double-crested Cormorants

Getting to Betty's Kitchen
Getting there from the intersection of I-8 and 16th Street takes about thirty minutes:

- Drive east on 16th Street (Highway 95) 5.2 miles to Ave 7E (Circle K and Chevron stations). 
- Turn left on Ave 7E and drive north until the asphalt turns into gravel, 13.3 miles. 
- Go another .4 miles and then turn left at the sign for Betty's Kitchen Wildlife and Interpretive Area, and go about .2 miles to the parking lot.
- A nice interpretive trail leaves from the parking lot, which is a BLM fee area ($5.00 per visit or $50.00 per year).

On to Mittry Lake & the Levee Road
Continue on past Betty's Kitchen and you'll be traveling along Mittry Lake.  1.5 miles past the turnoff to Betty's Kitchen you'll reach a hill that overlooks Mittry Lake on one side and an impoundment of the Gila Gravity Canal on your right.  It's a fine place to scan for water birds and to listen for rails.  As you continue around the hill this road it turns into a levee, with the Colorado River on your left (west side) and the Gila Gravity Canal on your right.  The levee road continues north several miles before coming out to the access road to Laguna Dam and Yuma Proving Grounds.


Updated on 9 Sep 2001
Contents Henry D. Detwiler