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Over 239 different species of birds have been recorded on the refuge. Migration periods are best for greatest diversity and numbers. Spring migration usually occurs during April and May, and fall migration from mid-August through September. During the winter, marshes and reservoirs support the largest variety of water birds. Mesquite and ash tree groves at Refuge Headquarters and Point of Rocks harbor resident and migratory birds year-round, including typical Southwestern species such as crissal thrasher, verdin, phainopepla, and Lucy's warbler.
A year-round resident, the top-knotted Gambel's quail, is the most arid land-adapted quail. Quails are generally monogamous (one mate for life). Their family group is usually two adults and up to 16 young. Watch for their covey (a large social group of up to 40 or more individuals) foraging for seeds and sometimes insects in early morning or late afternoon.
Walk around the wetlands in the winter to see the largest variety of water birds. You can often see brightly colored mountain bluebirds hovering in the drab winter landscape searching for insects.
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