The Gila River corridor features diverse habitats that draw large populations of resident and migratory wildlife to this area. From the top of Robbins Butte, one can see a broad overview of the river corridor and adjacent desert regions.
Robbins Butte Wildlife Area is 1681 acres and includes a diversity of habitats. It is bounded on the north and south of the remnants of the Gila River where there is some open ponding water with marshy cattails alongside. Extensive areas adjacent to the river are broad, almost impenetrable thickets of deciduous tamarisk (or salt cedar) variously interspersed with native willows, cottonwoods, and mesquites. The Gila River corridor features diverse habitats that draw large populations of resident and migratory wildlife to this area. Ruins and petroglyphs document the importance of this area to human habitation and farming for the last 500 years. Today, Robbins Butte is farmed to provide food crops for doves, other migratory birds, javelina, mule deer and rabbits.
Robbins Butte Wildlife Area is to the east and west of Highway 85 as it crosses the Gila River southwest of the City of Buckeye.
Vegetative cover is a diverse mixture including dense salt cedar thickets, willows and cattail in the river bottom; mature mesquite on the river terrace; saltbush and shrub-sized mesquite upland areas; upland desert areas dominated by creosote bush and white bursage; retired agricultural lands that are being restored to a native vegetative community; and agricultural land used to produce food and cover crops for wildlife.
As an Important Bird Area common birds in the area include mourning and white-winged doves, Gambel’s quail, resident songbirds including black and Say’s phoebes, ash-throated flycatchers, loggerhead shrike, phainopepla, verdin, cactus, rock and canyon wrens, black-tailed gnatcatchers, crissal thrashers, Abert’s towhees, black-throated sparrows, northern harriers, prairie falcons, and red-tailed, ferruginous, Cooper’s, and sharp-shinned hawks. White-tailed kites are occasionally observed, and osprey and bald eagles are regularly seen foraging over the nearby Gila River and canals.
Common mammals in the area include ringtails, coyotes, javelina, jack and cottontail rabbits, field mice, mule deer and a variety of bats.
Common amphibians and reptiles in the area include Couch’s spadefoot toads, desert spiny lizards, desert horned lizards, and sidewinders.
Robbins Butte Wildlife Area is managed by AZGFD.
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