• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Gilbert Riparian Institute - BirdForum Opus

Stub.png This article is incomplete.
This article is missing one or more sections. You can help the BirdForum Opus by expanding it.

Purple Prickly Pear Cactus
Photo © by bobsofpa
Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Gilbert, Arizona, USA, 8 May 2010

United States, Arizona


The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is located in the middle of the town of Gilbert, Arizona. It is 110-acre in size and boasts a bird list of about 200 bird species.


Official Bird List

Notable Species

To do


To do


Birds you can see here include:

Mallard, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Turkey Vulture, American Coot, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Mourning Dove, Peach-faced Lovebird, Burrowing Owl, Anna's Hummingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Verdin, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Abert's Towhee, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Hooded Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow

Note: In February 2009 the Burrowing Owl were not present on site. Feral Cats and Coyotes are believed to have predated the population.

Other Wildlife

Mammals include Desert Cottontail, Black-eared Jackrabbit, Muskrat and Coyote. At night Ringtails are sometimes seen on the reserve.

Sonora Mud Turtles and Red-eared Sliders frequent the ponds and can often be seen basking in warm weather.

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

  • 7 ponds
  • viewing blinds
  • ethno-botanical garden
  • hilltop overlook structure
  • floating boardwalk

Access and Facilities

  • The Preserve is located in Gilbert at 2757 E. Guadalupe Road east of Greenfield Road, next to the Southeast Regional Library.
  • Opening times: dawn to dusk
  • See External Links for map of the Preserve.
  • The Desert Rivers Audubon Society lead Family Bird Walks every third Saturday October to April. See below for link to their website.
  • recreational lake
  • restrooms
  • interpretive exhibits

Contact Details

The Riparian Institute (mailing address)
90 E Civic Center Dr
Gilbert, Arizona 85296
Tel: (480) 503-6200

External Links

Content and images originally posted by robertmortensen


robertmortensen's review Ponds in the desert = birds, all kinds of birds.

These are water reclamation ponds in the middle of town, but you wouldn't know it. If you want to see so many birds you don't have time to identify them all, this is the place! I added six to my life list in a half an hour.

Burrowing owls, peach faced love birds, shore birds of many varieties and many many more. Pros

  • Hundreds of birds in small area


  • At times there are a lot of people

robertmortensen's review This morning I joined members of the Maricopa Audubon Society in a bird walk led by Kathe Anderson, a volunteer for the Riparian Institute. This is what I saw:

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos 24 Pied-billed Grebe - Podilymbus podiceps 2 Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus 12 Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias 16 Great Egret - Ardea alba 12 Snowy Egret - Egretta thula 12 Green Heron - Butorides virescens 6 Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax 2 Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura 1 American Coot - Fulica americana 6 Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus 10 Black-necked Stilt - Himantopus mexicanus 36 American Avocet - Recurvirostra americana 24 Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca 6 Lesser Yellowlegs - Tringa flavipes 2 Least Sandpiper - Calidris minutilla 6 Long-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus scolopaceus 50 Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura 24 Peach-faced Lovebird - Agapornis roseicollis 2 Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia 1 Anna's Hummingbird - Calypte anna 12 Cassin's Kingbird - Tyrannus vociferans 1 Western Kingbird - Tyrannus verticalis 3 Verdin - Auriparus flaviceps 10 Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos 1 Curve-billed Thrasher - Toxostoma curvirostre 3 European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris 6 Lucy's Warbler - Vermivora luciae 1 Yellow Warbler - Dendroica petechia 2 Abert's Towhee - Pipilo aberti 10 Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia 1 Red-winged Blackbird - Agelaius phoeniceus 36 Great-tailed Grackle - Quiscalus mexicanus 24 Hooded Oriole - Icterus cucullatus 2 House Finch - Carpodacus mexicanus 12 Lesser Goldfinch - Carduelis psaltria 6 House Sparrow - Passer domesticus 24

Other members of the group also identified Inca Dove, Sora, Neotropic Cormorant, and a few others for a group total of 45 species in an hour and a half.

I have determined that birders are the most friendly people on the earth! Pros

  • Fantastic water reclamation site for all kinds of birds


  • dog walkers
  • cyclists
  • can be lots of people there