Borrego Birders

Anyone who loves birds and enjoys watching them in the wild is welcome to join Mel Gabel and the Borrego Birders on their Wednesday morning adventures.

"The Birders is not a formal organization at all. It's more like a group of like-minded individuals who get together regularly for a good time," says Gabel. There are about a dozen regulars, and about 50 to 60 who join the outings from time to time.

The Birders meet twice a month during the fall, winter and spring, and not at all during the summer. Times are posted at the state park headquarters. Most start on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

Borrego Birders used to be conducted by the state park volunteers for volunteers. Then it evolved to include anyone who wanted to be included.

Talking about the attraction of birding in the Anza Borrego State Park, Gabel noted "The desert has different birds than people who don't live in the desert are familiar with. So from the standpoint of visitors and others who want to get out, it's a fun things to do."

He added "It's the challenge of identifying moving objects. Learning about flowers is totally different because they are there and they don't move. Learning about birds and being able to identify them in quick order is a challenge. The benefit is it gets you out into the territory and terrain. That's why a lot of people like it."

Gabel is a park volunteer who has taken classes to qualify as a volunteer naturalist. It's an interest he's had since college. Most of the regulars are also state park volunteers, but that's not required. Participants come from all walks of life but share an interest in birds. Many are older and retired.

Detailed Information about Birding Sites in the Anza Borrego Desert: