Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Costa's Hummingbirds and waterbirds

Elevation: 1300'

Habitat:  Small park with desert habitat overlooking an open lake

Overall Birding Rating: 2

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type: Simple walk, Stopping and Scanning

Facilities:  Parking

Fees/Ownership:  None/City of Glendale

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Glendale /17.4 miles northwest of Phoenix

Getting there:  Reached at the northeast corner of 59th Avenue and Medina Lane in Northern Glendale

Overview:  Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park is located in northern Glendale and is an excellent place for viewing wintering waterfowl and other water birds as well as birds that reside in the desert.  The park is tiny and is a small parking lot, path and viewing area leading up to a cement blind that overlooks a lake.  This lake is part of a housing community, Arrowhead Lakes, which has lakes that surround the housing developments.  Waterfowl can often be found nearby too by driving through the communities other than the viewpoints of this lake.  This lake overlook at the park however, offers the best chances to view high waterfowl numbers.  

This lake is often preferred by mergansers, especially Common Mergansers, who gather in huge flocks on the water at times.  Both Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers have been found here as well.  Other waterfowl has included Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck.  It's a deep lake and it should be checked for any unusual birds passing through.  Other waterbirds seen here include Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue and Green Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Osprey, and Belted Kingfisher.  The parking lot and path to access the blinds are also a great spot to view Costa's Hummingbirds throughout the year.  Willows line the lake, and some can be viewed from the parking lot, which might be good for migrants passing through during the year.

Birding Tip:  The area is tiny and can be covered in a short times length.  A scope is very useful when scanning the waterfowl.

Directions:  From the Loop 101, take the 59th Avenue exit north.  Once heading north on 59th Avenue for 1.1 miles, the Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park will be on the east side of 59th Avenue, and will be the first right turn just north of W. Melinda Lane.  Pull into the small parking lot.  One will have to continue north once leaving the park up 59th Avenue to turn around where there is no option to head south from there in a one way turn.


Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park Map


Scenes and Sights from the Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park:


Birdlife of the Thunderbird Viewing Blinds Park:

Costa's Hummingbird


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

Birding in Maricopa County

An online guide to the birds and birding locations of Maricopa County


Birding in Greenlee County

An online guide to Greenlee County Birding


Birding in Arizona's White Mountains

An online guide to Birding in Arizona's White Mountains