Tommy J. DeBardeleben

M-C 85

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Raptors, different shorebirds and waterbirds (if fields are flooded)

Elevation: 930'

Habitat:  Agricultural Fields

Overall Birding Rating: 3

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type: Car Birding, Get Out and Scan

Facilities:  None

Fees/Ownership:  None/Public roads

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Goodyear and Buckeye/ 10 miles west-southwest of Phoenix

Getting there:  25 mile road reached from Tolleson on the east and Highway 85 on the west

Overview:  Driving on M-C 85 is a good alternative to birding in the Arlington area.  There is great agriculture here, and by driving along this road and the side roads branching off from it during the migrations and winter, it offers high possibilities just like Arlington to view raptors and other birds that favor the agricultural fields.  It's also a good way to go to Arlington and Gila Bend rather than taking the 1-10 freeway.

In the right seasons, keep an eye out for raptors such as Swainson's Hawks (beginning of April is golden!), Ferruginous Hawks, Northern Harriers, White-tailed Kites, Black Vultures, and rather commonly Burrowing Owls.  If the fields are flooded, White-faced Ibis flocks should more than likely be around, as well as Long-billed Curlews and other shorebirds. 

Birding Tip: Scan as much as possible, check every raptor for a different one.  Scanning fields carefully with patience for hawks, ibis, curlews, as well as passerines like pipits and sparrows will turn a birding outing into a success.

Directions:  To access and drive M-C 85's total length, which is about 25 miles long, start by the beginning and ends of this road.  It can be accessed from Highway 85 four miles south at the road's very west end and on the east by 91st Avenue, which the road is known as Buckeye Road east of 91st Avenue.  A quick way to access M-C 85 at the eastern end would be to take the 91st Avenue exit south from the I-10 and continue on 91st Avenue south to M-C 85 for almost two miles.  Along the M-C 85, bird along any road consisting of fields and agriculture north or south from the road.  A few good and productive roads are illustrated under the map page under the "pages" section on this page, as well as an overview map.


M-C 85 Maps


Scenes and Sights from M-C 85:


Birdlife of M-C 85:

The Swainson's Hawk show..


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