Yuma Area Birding Spots


Birding Hot Spots in the vicinity

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
McElhaney Cattle Co
Gila River Valley
Ag Fields s. of Yuma
Colorado River & Hunter's Hole
Quigley Pond
KOFA National Wildlife Refuge

The Birds
During the winter months there are good numbers of Ospreys, waterfowl, wading birds, and passerines along the Colorado and Gila Rivers.  Flooded and fallow fields  attract waders, shorebirds, and sparrows in all seasons.  Spring is the best season for warblers, tanagers, and flycatchers.  Winter is best for birds of prey, ranging from the relatively infrequent Ferruginous Hawk to the more commonly seen Prairie Falcon.

Common Migrants (spring & fall):

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

Western Kingbird (also breeds)
Western Wood Pewee
Pacific Slope Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher (often winters)

Other Passerines
All the western swallows (especially over water)
Swainson's Thrush
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (also winter resident)
Western Tanager (abundant in Eucalyptus in spring migration)
Lesser Goldfinch (in weeds along the levees & in orchards)
Lawrence's Goldfinch (in weedy areas in orchards, also in winter)
Bullock's Oriole (also breeds)
Hooded Oriole (also breeds)
Bronzed Cowbird (in parks and on large lawns)
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

Cliff Swallow Nests in Gila Valley

Getting to Quigley Pond 
Head e. of Yuma to Exit 44, Tacna.  Go north on Ave 42E, past the Texaco gas station until you reach the citrus grove on your left (about 2 miles).  On the north edge of the grove is a sandy road (usually passable by cars).  Take this to the NW corner of the grove and park.  Look out over Quigley Pond (an old oxbow of the Gila River) for egrets, herons, ducks, swallows, and birds of prey.  Behind you the citrus grove often has wintering sparrows and migrating passerines.

Birding Trips
Cibola NWR 15 Jan 2000
21 Dec 2000
13 Jan 2001
South of Yuma 25 Nov 2000
28 Jan 2001
3 Feb 2001
Quigley Pond,  McElhaney Farms,
Gila Valley
26 Nov 2000
24 Feb 2001
21 Apr 2001
North of Yuma, Martinez Lake, Imperial NWR, KOFA NWR 22 Jan 2000
23 Jan 2000
2 Dec 2000
16 Dec 2000
1 Jan 2001
15 Jan 2001
3 Feb 2001
12 Mar 2001
20 Apr 2001

An Introduction to Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
Cibola NWR is close to the community of Palo Verde, CA, along the Colorado River north of Imperial NWR.  It serves as a wintering ground for Canada and Snow Geese, as well as large numbers of Sandhill Cranes, ducks, and numerous other birds. 

Getting There
From Yuma - from the intersection of I-8 & 16th St, take I-8 16 miles to the Ogilby Road exit.  Travel north 39 miles to Hwy 78.  Turn right and head north about 23 miles to a sign pointing to the Colorado River and Cibola Refuge.  Follow the signs.  Turn right and proceed east on the gravel road until it crosses over the river, head south on the levee road, turn left on Baseline, turn right on River Road;  the refuge is 6 miles from the Hwy 78 turnoff. 




Last Update: 9 Dec 2000
Photos Henry D. Detwiler