Birds at the Gilbert Water Ranch – 20150412 – Part 3

For those who have been following my blog for a while, you might recall that I wrote about a bird walk I took on April . You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

This is the final installment in the series.

If you want more information about the “Water Ranch” more formally named the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona, you can visit their website at the link below:

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

You can view a map of the preserve here:

The bird walk I took was an offering of the Desert Rivers Audubon Society – Read About them here.

While we were on our walk we were able to identify several more birds not described previously. A common bird is the Great Tailed Grackle that can sometimes be found in local parking lots. Notice the yellow eyes.

Great-tailed Grackle

A bird that I hadn’t identified before was the Long-billed Dowitcher which enjoyed wading through the water and exploring as it walked. Every now and then, the group would take off as a unit and fly around before alighting once again.

Long-billed Dowitcher

As one would expect at a place with all of this water, there were many ducks and of course cute ducklings:


As I might have noted in previous writings, I am relatively new to the hobby of bird watching or bird identification so I was somewhat surprised to hear the term “mutt duck” used in describing some of the ducks that are apparently of mixed parentage.

While I knew that a mutt, when referring to dogs, was a mixed breed, I didn’t know this term was used elsewhere in the animal kingdom.

Here are two pictures of what our fellow birders thought were mutt ducks:

Mutt Duck

Mutt Duck

Who you calling a mutt?!

If you happen to be in the Phoenix, Arizona area, and you enjoy birding, I would recommend a stop at the Gilbert Water Ranch. It might be wise to contact them for information about the best months to visit. During the heat of the summer, the number of birds drops dramatically along with the number of visitors.