Half Day Itinerary
The area in and around Lake Havasu City is rich in bird watching opportunities, with more than 350 species identified in the local area. Consult the Mohave County Field Checklist to learn of the possibilities.
One of the best ways to observe waterfowl is from a kayak or canoe in early morning. Free nonmotorized boat launches are located at Castle Rock Bay Canoe Takeout Point and Mesquite Bay, maintained by U.S. Fish & Wildlife (map). You’ll find cattails and sandbars for loons, grebes, ducks, larids, raptors and coots. Horned Grebes favor this area in winter, along with the more usual grebes and flotillas of coots.
For land based excursions, try the free fishing docks at Mesquite Bay on London Bridge Rd., just north of Industrial Blvd., which are open 24 hours. The walking trail and Arroyo-Camino Interpretative Garden at Lake Havasu State Park offer additional opportunities for both land and water bird viewing.
Day One Itinerary
Leaving early morning, take Highway 95 South for approximately 20 miles to the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge office is located between mileposts 160 and 161. There is plenty of parking. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday and from 10am-2pm on weekends. Click this link for a birding checklist for the refuge. Stay as long as you like, then return to Lake Havasu City for dinner at one of the many restaurants in town. The refuge’s trails are open year-round during daylight hours.
Day Two Itinerary
Leaving early morning, take Highway 95 north to I-40 West (direction of Needles/Las Vegas) to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Exit I-40 at exit marker 1. It is posted as Havasu National Wildlife Refuge; follow the signs to the refuge. There is plenty of parking. The refuge office is open from 7am-3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Click this link for a birding checklist for the refuge. Stay as long as you like, then return to Lake Havasu City for dinner at one of the many restaurants in town.
Special Birding Opportunities
The Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts have happened annually for over 113 years. It is the oldest event of its kind in North America. Birders of all levels are invited to participate. Plan to spend the entire day – dawn to dusk, or just part of it. Novice birders will be paired with experienced or Master level birders. For specific dates and details of the Christmas Bird Counts, go to the Event Calendar.
Annual Christmas Bird Count at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge office is located between mileposts 160 and 161.
60911 Highway 95
Parker, AZ 85344
Annual Christmas Bird Count at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
I-40, Exit 1; follow the signs to the refuge.
317 Mesquite Ave.
Needles, CA 92363
Other nearby birding areas:
Cattail Cove State Park: Highway 95 S, 15 miles from Lake Havasu City
Buckskin Mountain State Park: Highway 95 S, 28 miles from Lake Havasu City
Hualapai Mountain Park of Mohave County: Kingman, about 60 miles from Lake Havasu City
- Months: Year-Round