Lower Oak Creek Important Bird Area (IBA)
A global initiative of BirdLife International, implemented by Audubon and local partners in the United States, the Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is an effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.
This means that between Red Rock State Park and Page Springs Fish Hatchery the birding is excellent and has a better than average chance to remain that way. Much of Oak Creek here is difficult to access but where the birder can go, the rewards are great. Spring birding reaps rewards of Summer Tanagers, Northern Flickers, the iconic Common Black Hawks, Lucy Warblers, Belted Kingfishers, and much, much more. Oak Creek itself finds it head waters on the Coconino Plateau just South of Flagstaff and has carved out the magnificent Oak Creek Canyon. That same spring, fed water supports the lush riparian habitat of this IBA.
If you live in the Southwestern deserts you understand the wonder of riparian habitats. If not, you will want to visit an area such as the Lower Oak Creek IBA. Because ground water is readily available along waterways - even if that water is just below the ground surface - plant life flourishes in density and diversity. Fly over a desert and see that there are ribbons of green. Because plant life is diverse in a riparian zone, animal life is also diverse and dense. For this reason, the birding in a riparian zone is excellent. Now, if you add to that area attractions such as wine country and hiking and amazing red rock scenery, you have found a wonderland for birding.
Come visit the Lower Oak Creek IBA.
Pet Friendly Notes
Red Rock State Park and Page Springs Fish Hatchery both allow leashed pets.
The primary recreational activities of the IBA are certainly birding and nature photography. The IBA starts at Red Rock State Park which offers picnicking and educational exhibits and it ends at the Arizona Game and Fish facility of Page Springs Fish Hatchery. The fish hatchery is huge and offers the Audubon Bubbling Ponds Bird Preserve, a Visitor Center, trout rearing ponds, and an Audubon Nature Trail. All of this supports birding, photography, picnicking, and easy hiking.
This IBA is situated in the high desert country of Northern Arizona and is fully accessible all year round. The birding, of course varies with the season but is always excellent.