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Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Veterans Oasis Park


Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Burrowing Owls, raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds, sparrow species, and common desert species

Elevation: 1280'

Habitat:  Basins and fishing lake in park surrounded by riparian and desert habitat; Agricultural fields outline the park

Overall Birding Rating: 3

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type:  Easy Hiking, Walking and Scanning

Facilities:  Parking, restrooms, picnic areas

Fees/Ownership:  None/Town of Chandler

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Chandler /23 miles southeast of Phoenix

Getting there:  Parking lot for VOP is reached from the north side of Chandler Heights Road


Overview:  The Veterans Oasis Park is a fairly new park similar in ways to Gilbert Water Ranch, having it's same approach.  It's an area with ponds and with vegetation being planted around the ponds in hopes of attracting and making a home for birds and other wildlife.  Veterans Oasis however is made up of desert vegetation as opposed to the riparian zones that Gilbert Water Ranch has planted and illustrated.  A fishing lake is also at Veterans Oasis, which sometimes will bring in a good waterbird or two.  One of the best features of this place is that it is surrounded by agriculture, where there are fields were raptors and grassland birds abound. 

In the outskirts of the park, the great agriculture and fields attract numerous raptors which include Black Vulture, Northern Harrier, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, American Kestrel, and Peregrine Falcon.  If searching the fields and grasslands for songbirds that genre might include Say's Phoebe, Horned Lark, Western Bluebird, American Pipit, Chipping, Brewer's, Vesper, Lark, Savannah, and White-crowned Sparrows; both Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, and Brewer's Blackbird.  Once around the ponds, scan for the day-dwelling Burrowing Owl, which the park has introduced them on location, even building homes for the owls.  The owls like the homes, and are very often seen sitting at the entrance.  The lake and ponds at the park have attracted many waterbirds, including Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Blue-winged, Cinnamon, and Green-winged Teal; Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed, Eared, and Western Grebes; both Cormorants, and many herons and egrets.  This place also has potential to bring in good shorebird numbers.  Other than the water and field/agriculture habitats, the rest of Veterans Oasis Park consists of desert vegetation, where many of the birds typical of our desert southwest may be observed.  Once this place is more grown and developed, it'll likely be another top notch birding destination within Maricopa County. 

Birding tip:  For a really successful outing at Veterans Oasis Park, try coming earlier in the morning.  There isn't a lot of shade here, and it gets hot very quickly.  Bird and scan the ponds, as well as the surrounding fields.  A scope is very necessary too, especially with looking at the raptors in the distance as well as the Burrowing Owls. 

Directions:  If birding at Gilbert Water Ranch, the Veterans Oasis Park is about seven or eight miles south of there.  The best way to reach Veterans Oasis from Gilbert Water Ranch would be to take Greenfield Road south to Chandler Heights Road.  Head west on Chandler Heights for a short distance to the park.  Another good road to take is Lindsay Road, which is a mile or so east of Greenfield Road, and is slightly west of Veterans Oasis Park, so head east on Chandler Heights a very short distance.  Other roads to access this place nearby are Gilbert and Higley Roads.  All exits to Gilbert, Lindsay, Greenfield, and Higley Roads can be accessed by the Loop 202 and US 60 freeways.

Pages:

Veterans Oasis Park Map

Veterans Oasis Park eBird Data

 

Scenes and Sights from Veterans Oasis Park:

 

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