Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park


Birding Hot Spots in the vicinity

Gila & Colorado River Confluence
Park below Territorial Prison
Canal & Marshes
Colorado River

The Birds
During the winter months there are good numbers of waterfowl, wading birds, and passerines in the park, the lagoons, and along the Colorado River.  Spring is the best season for warblers, tanagers, and flycatchers.  During summer the river and marshes attract the hot-weather breeders.

Birding Trips
Feb 27, 2000
Mar 23, 2000
Apr 28, 2000
May 9, 2000
Nov 27, 2000
Sep 30, 2001
Oct 7, 2001

Common Migrants (spring & fall):

Wilson's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler (also winter resident)
Orange-crowned Warbler (also winter resident)
Black-throated Warbler

Western Kingbird (also breeds)
Western Wood Pewee
Western-type Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Vermillion Flycatcher (often winters)

Other Passerines
All the western swallows (especially over the marsh)
Swainson's Thrush
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (also winter resident)
Western Tanager (abundant in Eucalyptus in spring migration)
Lesser Goldfinch (in weeds along the levees)
Bullock's Oriole (also breeds)
Hooded Oriole (also breeds)
Bronzed Cowbird
White-crowned Sparrow (also winter resident)

Permanent Residents (Breeding & Wintering Birds):

Pied-billed Grebe
American Coot
Virginia Rail
Clapper Rail 
Common Moorhen 
Common Roadrunner
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk

Loggerhead Shrike (a resident pair there is easy to see)
Great-tailed Grackle
Black Phoebe (another very common resident)
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Common Yellowthroat
Abert's Towhee

Song Sparrow

Redhead at the Prison Marsh

Getting to the Territorial Prison 
Getting there from the intersection of I-8 and 16th Str (the streetlight in front of  McDonald's Restaurant) takes only a few minutes.

- From 16th Str, get on I-8 West (towards San Diego), go 1.3 miles and take Exit 1 (Giss Parkway)
- at end of exit ramp turn left on Giss Parkway and travel .2 miles
- turn right onto entrance road for the Yuma Territorial Prison Historical State Park and go north .1 mile
- turn right onto a service road and head towards the canal; park on the side of the road just before going over the canal bridge 
(bird along the levee road on the east side of the canal overlooking the marsh)
- walk over to the small park north of the service road and at the base of the Territorial Prison 
(bird the Eucalyptus and other trees)
- walk just north of the park, under the bluffs of the Prison water tower to a short loop trail 
(bird the trail that goes through a riparian area along the Colorado River)  


Vermillion Flycatcher on Salt Cedar


Photos Henry D. Detwiler