Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Area 10-Northwest Maricopa

This area offers some of the richest riparian habitat in Maricopa County.  The Hassayampa River Preserve is the main attraction and birding destination of the northwest side of Maricopa County.  Established in 1987, this 660 acre preserve provides extensive breeding habitat for most of our desert-riparian breeders.  Five easy trails run through this promising preserve, making it easy for birders to enjoy this selection of cottonwood, willow, and mesquite habitats.  Besides our regular breeders, Hassayampa has attracted a significant number of rarities and a few breeders that are rare in Maricopa County, but are expanding their range.  Tropical Kingbirds and Gray Hawks are two examples, which the preserve and area is home to these species.  The Gray Hawk population continues to grow, as birds have also been seen north and south of the preserve.  Several Red-shouldered Hawks have also seemed to expand their range into this area from California, and are also often observed at Hassayampa.  Another popular location in this area is Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  This park has a large body of water, which attracts an interesting array of waterbirds annually.  Checking Lake Pleasant often will likely be rewarded with some unusual sightings.  This area is also home to Morgan City Wash, which is hard to access and isn't explored as much.  Morgan City Wash is perhaps the best birding location in this area, which is a riparian heaven in the middle of the desert.  This location serves as a migrant trap, where a handful of rare birds are found annually.  Birders often get lost when navigating Morgan City Wash, and so do the birds!

Birding Locations:

Morgan City Wash (eBird)

Lake Pleasant Regional Park (eBird)

Castle Hot Springs Road

U.S. 60 Roadstop (eBird)

Hassayampa River Preserve (eBird)

The Wickenburg KFC/Car Dealership Overlook

Jack Burden Road


Area Species List:

Area Species List


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