Checklist of the Birds of Yuma County

Articles | By Henry Detwiler | Accepted May 19, 2020

Yuma County is situated in the southwestern corner of Arizona. The largest city, Yuma, is halfway between San Diego, CA, and Phoenix, AZ. It’s a large county, with some 14,294 km² of mostly Sonoran Desert habitat, both lowland and mountainous. Agricultural, urban, and river oases are magnets for birds seeking relief from the vast stretches of desert and add considerably to the bird life in the county. The Colorado River is the most prominent water feature, forming the western boundary of Yuma County. The Gila River bisects the county, flowing (intermittently) from east to west and feeding into the Colorado River just east of Yuma. Riparian corridors along the rivers are among the choice locations to look for migrants and breeding birds. Several lakes and numerous backwaters provide habitat for Rallidae and other marsh-loving species, and for a wide variety of herons, egrets, and waterfowl. This article describes these avian habitats and the process entailed in putting together a checklist of the birds in the county.