WHAT TO EXPECT: Located along the Truckee River this park has off-street parking and paved walking/bike paths with gentle grades that parallel the Truckee River. Along the way, there are picnic tables (with barbecue grills) and a grassy area adjacent to the path. The riparian habitat consists of mature cottonwoods, willow trees and Russian Olive trees. It is a good place to spend a few hours or a half-day or more birding close to Reno’s western suburbs.
Best time of year: March through October for migrants and nesting birds, but winter offers excellent opportunities to see a variety of diving ducks in the river.
Notable species: Mayberry Park eBird Hotspot
In winter, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead, and American Dippers frequent the river, as well as Common Merganser year-round. Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Hermit Thrush are possible in winter. Notable raptors include Bald and Golden Eagles, Osprey (summer through fall), Cooper’s and Red-shouldered Hawks. Red-tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls have nested in the park over several years. Tree, Barn, Cliff and Rough-winged Swallows nest in the park. Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Western Kingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, House and Bewicks Wrens, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Bullocks Oriole are common. Hooded Oriole may also be present. Look for Black-chinned, Anna’s and Calliope hummingbirds and Band-tailed Pigeons in summer. Several species of woodpeckers, including Red-breasted and Red-naped Sapsuckers and Lewis’s Woodpeckers are possible. Many species of finches and sparrows frequent the park in summer and winter, check for vagrants among the flocks of sparrows, especially in winter.
The park may be crowded on spring and summer weekends with families picnicking.
HOW TO GET THERE: Google Map of the Area
From the I-80 & I-580/US 395 interchange in Reno head west on I-80 about four miles to Exit 10, McCarran Blvd. Turn left (south) onto South McCarran Blvd. and follow until the intersection with Fourth Street. Turn right (west) on Fourth Street. Follow the road until you get to Woodland Avenue, approximately two miles. Turn left; Woodland Avenue will dead-end at Mayberry Park. There is off-street parking at the park, and paved walking paths.
POPULAR BIRDING ROUTES: Mayberry Park Trail Map
From the parking lot the paved path heads east and west along the river. There are large, mature trees along the riparian corridor that offer habitat to nesting birds including most cavity nesters, and often raptors such as Great-horned Owls and Red-tailed Hawks.
A paved foot/bike path parallels the Truckee River in both directions from the parking area (total length about 0.7 (round trip 1.4 miles out and back). Several small dirt trails lead through the riparian habitat from the paved path to the river.
To the east, the paved trail ends near a foot-and-bike-traffic bridge over the river that accesses Aspen Glen Drive (Dorostkar Park may be reached by walking along this street for about one-half mile and crossing under or over Mayberry Drive). Walking west along the paved path at Mayberry Park leads to another foot/bike path near the Patagonia Outlet parking area. For an optional side trip, cross the river on this western bridge, go a short distance up the hill and turn left onto a dirt path that parallels the Last Chance irrigation ditch. The trail is about 0.5 mile. There is good birding on either side of the trail and good views down to the river and riparian habitat below. The trail dead-ends at private property, so you must return the way you came (out and back, this will total about a mile).
Optional Side Trip: For those who enjoy a bit of uphill walking, another side trip would be to take the Tom Cooke Trail, which is the steep dirt trail that switch-backs up the slope near the intersection with the irrigation ditch path you just left. The Tom Cooke trails goes about 0.6 miles up to intersect the Steamboat Ditch trail, which is a whole other trip entirely!