Birdwatching in the Coachella Valley

A Quail near Whitewater Preserve.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous locations for wildlife viewing in the California Desert areas.  The Coachella Valley, in the Southern California Desert, has several locations that are excellent for birdwatching.  Any preserve or park that has a palm oases or natural spring will present excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.  The birds use the palm trees as shelters and to nest.  Where there are palms trees there is a water source.  The early morning and evening hours are when you will see the most activity at these locations.

Below are links to locations in or near the Coachella Valley that are known birdwatching areas.  Also included in the links are related articles about each area and links to birds common to the desert region.

Living Desert Overview
Butterflies & Hummers at the Living Desert

Coachella Valley Preserve

Indian Canyons, Palm Springs 

Palm Springs: It’s not just a hike, its a time machine
Wildflower Hike & Bird Watching at Indian Canyons: Andreas Canyon & Murray Canyon 
Hiking Tahquitz Canyon

Salton Sea National Recreation Area

Salton Sea NRA Overview
Bird Watching at the Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge
A Three Part Series:  Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain and Slab City (Part 1 has bird photos)

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree NP Overview
Cottonwood Springs at Joshua Tree National Park  

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 

ABDSP Overview

Coyote Canyon is a Riparian habitat where birds are abundant (requires 4WD)
Yaqui Well is a bird watchers paradise in ABDSP

Morongo Preserve –

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve – BLM Area

Desert Bird Species

Black-Necked Stilt
Cactus Wrens
Cliff Swallow
Curve Billed Thrasher
Gambel’s Quail
Ground Hornbill / Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
Mallard Ducks
Mourning Doves
Pheasants ring-necked
Sandhill Cranes
Western Bluebird 

Canada Geese
Mallard Ducks 

Birds of Prey 

Golden Eagle
Turkey Vulture 

– Cooper’s Hawk
– Ferruginous hawk
– Marsh Hawk
– Northern Harriers
– Sharp-shinned
– Northern Goshawks
– Red-Tailed Hawk


– Barn Owl 
– Great Horned Owls
– Long-Eared Owls
– Screech Owl


Turkey Vulture

Related Articles …

Osprey Spotted at Barr Lake State Park
Birds in the Southwest?  Follow Water.
Northern Harrier: Hawk of the Marsh
Birdwatching at the Salton Sea
Birdwatching Tips & Interesting Facts About Birds
Migration – Birds – Butterflies