Capitol Reef National Park supports a surprising diversity of habitats in the midst of arid, slickrock desert. The historic settlement of Fruita, which is adjacent to the visitor center and the Fruita Campground, is one of the more accessible parts of the park and a great place to bird. Fruita is situated on the floodplain of the Fremont River at its confluence with Sulphur Creek, both permanent water sources that support lush riparian zones. There are also irrigated orchards to explore, an open parklike area with mown grass and large cottonwood trees, and some adjacent desert shrubs.
Specialty birds: Peregrine and Prairie Falcons; Chukar; Whitethroated Swift; Western Wood-Pewee; Pinyon Jay; American Dipper; Townsend’s Solitaire; Spotted Towhee; Lazuli Bunting. Other key birds: Turkey Vulture; Common Poorwill; Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, and Rufous (July to August) Hummingbirds; Red-naped Sapsucker; Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers; Say’s Phoebe; Ashthroated Flycatcher; Western Kingbird; Plumbeous and Warbling Vireos; Western Scrub-Jay; Black-billed Magpie; Common Raven; Tree, Violet-green, Northern Rough-winged, Cliff, and Barn Swallows; Mountain Chickadee; White-breasted Nuthatch; Brown Creeper; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Mountain Bluebird; Hermit Thrush; Virginia’s, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, MacGillivray’s, and Wilson’s Warblers; Yellow-breasted Chat; Western Tanager.