Bald and Golden Eagles are seen every year, and numerous other raptors have been observed. In spring migration, several warbler, vireo, flycatcher, and other species can be found in the riparian area along the Kings River, which forms the western boundary of the park. On the lake itself, more than 15 species of duck have been recorded. This is also one of the few places in the valley where Lawrence’s Goldfinches are seen. Ten species of sparrow can be found here. Other areas in the valley may promise more species, but Avocado Lake is a reliable place to pick up a solid list of water, oak woodland, and riparian birds.
At a Glance
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A man-made lake, oak woodlands, open fields, and riparian areas along a river.
Mostly flat; some paved roads and parking areas; a few dirt roads along river.
140 species. Cinnamon Teal, Bufflehead, Wood Duck, Canvasback, Common Loon, Osprey, Bald and Golden Eagles, Red-shouldered, Sharp-shinned, and Cooper’s Hawks, Sora, Virginia Rail, Spotted Sandpiper, California Gull, Eurasian Collared-Dove, California Quail, Greater Roadrunner, White-throated Swift, hummingbirds, Belted Kingfisher, Acorn, Nuttall’s, and Downy Woodpeckers, flycatchers, Black and Say’s Phoebes, Western Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Warbling Vireo, swallows, Oak Titmouse, Mountain Chickadee, nuthatches, Bewick’s and Rock Wrens, Western Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, California Thrasher, Phainopepla, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Townsend’s, Hermit, and Wilson’s Warblers, Western Tanager, California and Spotted Towhees, Rufous-crowned and other sparrows, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Western Meadowlark, Great-tailed Grackle, Bullock’s Oriole, Lesser, Lawrence’s, and American Goldfinches.
When to go
Best from October through May. Go during the week to avoid weekend crowds.
Restrooms on site. The nearest food concessions are a few miles down the road.
County park. $5 entrance fee per vehicle. Hours: October through March, 7-7; April through September, 7-10.
Bring food and water; mosquito repellent recommended.
For more info
Avocado Lake Park
Fresno Audubon Society
Lost Lake Recreation Area, Hotspot Near You No. 36
About 19 miles north of Fresno. Bordered by the San Joaquin River. Good for waterfowl, wading birds, raptors, and songbirds.
Fresno Groundwater Recharge Ponds
Northwest of the Fresno airport, south of Ashlan Ave. Best from fall through spring for shorebirds, sparrows, and other birds. One of the few spots in Fresno area for Great-tailed Grackle.