Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Different waterbirds throughout the year (especially shorebird migration)

Elevation: 700

Habitat:  Two large ponds in WWTP

Overall Birding Rating: 2

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type: Get Out and Scan

Facilities:  None

Fees/Ownership:  None/City of Gila Bend

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Gila Bend /48 miles southwest of Phoenix

Getting there:  Reached by parking on Stout Road and walking up to pond overlook

Overview:  At the west side of the Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant are two large ponds that are often great for shorebird viewing.  There is no admittance into the treatment plant at all, so the birding style here is "peering through the fence". 

A good diversity of both waterfowl and shorebirds will show up here, and when in the area, this is a top notch place that needs to be checked during birding runs and searches.  More regularly seen here in winter and migrations are large numbers of Eared Grebes, as well as Spotted Sandpipers and Wilson's Phalaropes.  The surrounding fields are great for Lark Sparrows as well as Western Kingbirds that sit on the telephone wires that line the road. 

Birding tip:  Bring a scope, which is a must at this spot.  Scan from the designated area.

Directions:  To access the Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant, from the Old Highway 80 at it's south end near mile marker one, take Watermelon Road west a short distance.  After taking Watermelon Road west for 0.8 miles, turn right (north) on Stout Road and continue north on Stout Road for 0.5 miles until Indian Road is reached on the west side of Stout Road.  Adjacent to this there is a turnoff on the east side of Stout Road which there is a closed gate preventing any access to the wastewater plant.  Park here and get out.  Immediately south of the parking spot/turnoff, is an elevated bank that goes up and allows the birder to get views above the pond level.  Here it is necessary to set a scope up and scan the pond.


Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant Map

Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant eBird Data


Scenes and Sights from the Gila Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant:


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