Have you ever wanted to try birdwatching? Well, if you’re living at Aderra, you’re in the right place!
Arizona is considered one of the Top 10 places for birdwatching in North America, with Scottsdale offering both a wide variety of birdwatching spots and species for you to check out. Birdwatching is an affordable and enjoyable hobby that can keep you active, connect you to nature, and provide a source for lifelong learning. So why not try it today?
You don’t need much to get started other than a sense of curiosity and perhaps a birding field guide. But even without one, you only have to observe the birds you see regularly and use basic criteria to identify them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What shape is the bird? Is it round or elongated?
- How many inches do you estimate it is from bill tip to tail tip?
- Does its plumage have a distinct pattern or vibrant colors?
If you still feel stumped, you can also study the behavior of a bird for other clues on its species. If you’re watching a group of birds around a feeder, notice which birds eat straight from the feeder and which wait below for what other birds drop. This differentiation may be due to the shape of the bird’s bill or social reasons. Some birds are fairly solitary, whereas other always travel in groups.
Once you feel ready to go out and explore, check out these three birdwatching spots which are all all within driving distance of our community.
1. Verde Valley
If you’re looking for a real bird lover’s paradise, venture out to Dead Horse Ranch State Park located in the Verde Valley. This much-loved birdwatching spot is home to The Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival. Since 2001, this event has taken place every April after bird enthusiasts recognized the location as an untapped treasure. Make sure to first download their Birding Trail Map so you can make the most of your experience.
2. The Rio Salado Audubon Center
Both new and experienced birders love this award-winning centre just south of downtown Phoenix. During the fall and spring, you can even join volunteer bird enthusiasts for a guided walk through the Rio Salado habitat area. The center offers free interactive exhibits, and an extensive online library where you can learn about the many birds that live here. Study up on various bird calls before making your visit so you know what bird to look for when you hear their call! Keep an ear out for the Black-Chinned Hummingbird, the Great Blue Heron, and the Gambel’s Quail, amongst many others.
3. Whitewater Draw
If you’re up for driving a few hours out of the city of Scottsdale, Whitewater Draw is a must-see. This 1500-acre wildlife area boasts a playa that fills with shallow water during the wet season, and attracts many species of waterfowl. Here you will see migrating geese, and various types of doves, egrets and shorebirds. As the best sandhill crane viewing area in Arizona, you also have a chance to witness almost 20,000 cranes gathered together in the evenings and overnight. Officials recommend four-wheel drives, as the ground can be soft and muddy in the wet season, and exploring happens primarily off-road.
Living at Aderra means having access to some of the most exciting birdwatching locales in all of the U.S.. Take advantage of this Scottsdale specialty to enjoy the outdoors and start a great new hobby. Now you have everything you need to know, from beginner’s bird-spotting methods to beautiful birdwatching spots. You just need an explorative nature – and maybe a fellow birdwatching friend for extra fun!
Where are your favorite birdwatching spots in the area? Let us know in the comments!