birding in phoenix - close up of man bird watching with binoculars

Best Bird Watching Spots in Maricopa County

Did you know there are 565 different types of birds making their home in Arizona? While you can view many types of birds right in your backyard, there are lots of great spots for birding in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and other cities in Maricopa County. Here are some of the favorite local spots from Phelps LaClair staff.

Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center

For one of the best Phoenix bird sighting opportunities, drive just south of downtown Phoenix to the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center. The center makes its home within the 600-acre Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. Visitors can see more than 200 species of birds, as well as other natural wildlife, through the restoration area’s 16 miles of trails. The center hosts bird walks, wildlife encounters, interactive exhibits, and more throughout the year. 

Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Ave., Phoenix AZ

Click here for hours and other visitor information 

Thunderbird Conservation Park

The 1,185-acre Thunderbird Conservation Park in Glendale focuses on showcasing wildlife in the desert environment. The park features 15 miles of multi-use trails perfect for observing more than 50 species of birds, including owls, falcons, heron, and Grebes eagles. The park also features four viewing blinds, which help keep visitors hidden while enjoying viewing the natural wildlife of the area. 

Thunderbird Conservation Park, 22600 North 59th Ave., Glendale AZ

Park open daily from sunrise to sunset. Click here for more information. 

Desert Botanical Garden

Also in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden features 140-acres and more than 50,000 plants presented in outdoor exhibits. The garden’s large number and wide variety of plants naturally make it a great spot for birding in Phoenix. In fact, every Monday morning, experienced birders host trail walks showcasing all the many species of avians that love to visit the garden. 

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix AZ

Click here for more information. 

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

A short drive to Gilbert takes you to the 110-acre Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. The Town of Gilbert created this wildlife habitat in an effort to reuse 100% of its effluent water. Today, the preserve is home to almost 300 species of birds, as well as reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals, all viewed while wandering its 4.5 miles of trails. There’s a hummingbird garden and an observatory onsite, and the preserve holds a number of events throughout the year.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, 2757 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert AZ

The preserve opens daily from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm. Click here for more information. 

Watching out for Your Estate Planning Needs

After you enjoy spending time birding in Phoenix and around the rest of Maricopa County, set your sights on making sure your estate plan is ready for when you need it most. The attorneys at Phelps LaClair have more than 40 years of experience in helping Arizona residents construct the best estate plans for their needs. Make an appointment today by calling 480-892-2488.

Photo by Forest Simon on Unsplash

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