Sonoran Audubon Society

SAS Field Trip – Estrella Mountain Park & Program

May 13, 2017 @ 7:30 am – 11:30 am
Estrella Mountain Park
14805 W Vineyard Ave
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Joe Ford

Estrella Park is located along the Gila River and adjacent hills. The habitat is diverse, varying from desert scrub flood on the flood plain to riparian vegetation dominated by salt cedar (tamarisk species) and some Gooddings Willow. The park itself has Velvet Mesquite and some large Blue Gum species which support nesting by raptors. Irrigation has increased the number of birds seen. The hills south are made of ancient metamorphic rock, exposed plutons, and produce thermals which are friendly to soaring vultures and other species. Expect a variety of bird species and further diversity during migration. Specialties include Vermilion Flycatcher, Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White Pelicans and shore birds when the river flows. Species numbers can be as high as 65.

The walk is approximately 1 to 1.5 miles in length covering 2.5 hours along level terrain. Meet at the Visitor Center at 7:30 am.

Difficulty Level (2) due to its length.

PROGRAM at 10:30 at the Visitor Center:  “Birds of the Sonoran Desert”  This program looks at the 4 main regions within the Sonoran Desert and how deserts are classified, then moves into the several species that inhabit our region in Central to Southern Arizona. It will cover raptors, icterids and other passerine species plus a few water loving types that are found along our riparian waterways.

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.