Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Paloma Ranch

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Migrants at ranch headquarters, raptors, grassland birds, waterbirds at ponds and where fields are flooded

Elevation: 730'

Habitat:  Tall rows of trees at ranch headquarters, fields and ponds in surrounding area

Overall Birding Rating: 3

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type: Migrant Searching, Get Out and Scan, Car Birding

Facilities:  None

Fees/Ownership:  None/Private Property

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Buckeye /60 miles southwest of Phoenix

Getting there:  Reached from several different roads north and south of the I-8

Overview:  Paloma Ranch is a place where birders can see birds similar to that in the Arlington/Buckeye areas with many agricultural farmfields.  The headquarters at the ranch also have lines of big trees and a few gardens and orchards, which provides a classic "migrant trap" for birds on the move.  This line of trees can be seen for miles.  A stop here during spring and fall migrations may turn up a very interesting surprise.  Checking this row of trees is very important if in the area, you never know what you might find!  Warblers are found here in large numbers, as well as other passerines including vireos and flycatchers.  Besides the migrant trap, there are a few ponds in the area to check for shorebirds.  The fields are often flooded in places, making the area a great place to view Long-billed Curlews, White-faced Ibis, herons, egrets, several shorebird species, etc.  Raptors are abundant here.  Keep eyes out for raptors including White-tailed Kites, Prairie and Peregrine Falcons, Ferruginous Hawks, and Burrowing Owls.  Songbirds to look for in the fields will include a variety of sparrows, Lark Buntings, Mountain Bluebirds, Horned Larks, meadowlarks, and big blackbird flocks.  This is a great area to keep eyes out for unusual species, whether it being a rare songbird visiting the Paloma Ranch headquarters or a rare raptor or waterbird in the fields or flooded areas.

Birding Tip:  A lot of this area is private property, come with respect for the landowners.  The Paloma Ranch headquarters are private property and permission is mandatory for birding in that location.  Birders must stop in the office of the headquarters to get permission to bird the line of trees where many rarities have been found in the past.  The people at the ranch are very friendly to birders who visit this location due to the fact birders have been polite when visiting.  Be sure to keep that good reputation.  Good agricultural habitat in this area may be explored on both the north and south side of I-8, mostly by dirt roads.  Take these extensive dirt roads to explore the area.  Look for different ponds in the area, and also flooded fields.

Directions:  From the I-10 West (Papago Freeway), take the Highway 85 exit.  Head south on Highway 85 for 37 miles toward Gila Bend.  Then take I-8 west past Gila Bend for 9 miles to Paloma Road (which is exit 106).  Once exiting the freeway, go south to the Frontage Road.  Head west a short distance, where the Paloma Ranch headquarters will be noticeable.  Cross the railroad crossing and park at the visitors parking lot near the office to gain permission to bird the headquarters.  Take Paloma Road north from exit 106, which will intersect with Powerline Road.  Explore the various dirt roads in this area, which can be accessed on both sides of the I-8.  One of the better dirt roads is just north of the I-8, and runs for several miles east and west through good habitat.  Also, when pulling into the headquarters on the south side of the I-8, head west on that dirt road as well.  Several ponds can be found along the dirt road, which are often good for shorebirds.  See the Paloma Ranch Maps page under the "Pages" section on this page. 


Paloma Ranch Maps

Paloma Ranch eBird Data


Scenes and Sights from Paloma Ranch:

Paloma Ranch headquarters

The tall rows of trees at Paloma Ranch attract many migrants, as this spot is very inviting to birds from a distance..

Paloma Ranch also has endless fields to search through..


Birdlife of Paloma Ranch:

Burrowing Owl

Ferruginous Hawk


Back to Area 8-Arlington to Gila Bend

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