Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Thunderbird Conservation Park

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Desert species

Elevation: 1570'

Habitat:  Desert

Overall Birding Rating: 2

Difficulty: 1 to 4 (Easy to More Difficult)

Birding Type: Easy Hiking to Difficult Hiking

Facilities:  Parking, restrooms, picnic areas

Fees/Ownership:  None/City of Glendale

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Glendale/ 18 miles northwest of Phoenix

Getting there:  The park is reached from N. 59th Avenue in northern Glendale

Overview:  The Thunderbird Conservation Park is another good park to view desert birdlife, which is located in the north part of Glendale.  This park is a very crowded place, but the birds don't seem to mind.  Several small and medium length trails run through Thunderbird Park, which makes the birding here extra easy and relaxing.  The regular desert birds are be expected here, which include Greater Roadrunner, Costa's Hummingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, Ladder-backed and Gila Woodpeckers, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Sparrow, and Cactus and Rock Wrens.  Sometimes this place is a good location to view Lesser Nighthawks.  By looking and searching carefully, one might even find a nighthawk roosting in a tree.  If your wanting to view desert birdlife and your in the Glendale area, then Thunderbird Conservation Park might just be the place for you!

Birding Tip:  Most of the desert birds can easily be found with patience in this park.  Early morning at first light is best before the park crowds up with other people.  Good birding results often result in walking the paved roads throughout the park.  For a more mountainous route through steep desert terrain, try the three mile H 3 trail located at the northeastern section of the parking lot.  Be sure to check out the nearby Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park after birding here.

Directions:  From the Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway), take the 59th Avenue exit.  Head north on 59th Avenue for 1.5 miles, where the turnoff for Thunderbird Conservation Park well be on the west side of the road (left turn).  Turn into the park and park in the parking loop. 


Thunderbird Conservation Park Maps

Thunderbird Conservation Park eBird Data


Scenes and Sights from Thunderbird Conservation Park:


Birdlife of Thunderbird Conservation Park:

Lesser Nighthawk

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Greater Roadrunner

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Cactus Wren


Back to Area 6-Peoria, Glendale, and North Phoenix

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