Want to see a LeConte’s Thrasher? Hear an elusive Black Rail? Watch wintering Ferruginous Hawks feeding on gophers? Yuma is the spot for you and your field glasses. Even within town, turkey vultures and three species of doves roam at will. Get in touch with local bird enthusiasts and experts through Audubon Yuma or Southwest Birders, and be sure to pick up a copy of Finding Birds in Yuma County AZ by local birder Henry Detwiler, available at the Visitor Information Center. 

Floating the Colorado River by canoe or kayak in the early morning or seeking out their desert abodes makes a fun way to get out into the parks or wilderness, from the East and West Wetlands to area lakes to Palm Canyon and the National Wildlife Refuges.

National Wildlife Refuges

Three national wildlife refuges in the Yuma area—Cibola, Imperial and Kofa—make up one of the country’s largest contiguous protected areas for wildlife. With more than 1,000 square miles between them, their ecosystems include desert, desert upland, riparian, grasslands, and forest.

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