Callao is a small farming community in northern Snake Valley, along the border of Juab County (the best birding is in Juab County in the center of town) and Tooele County, Utah, United States. It was part of the original Pony Express overland route, and was first called Willow Springs in 1860. E. W. Tripp, his wife and son, were the first to establish residence there, in 1870. In 1895 it was decided that Willow Springs was too common a name, and a new name would be chosen. The name Callao was chosen because of a resemblance to Callao, Peru, suggested by an old prospector in the region who was working out of Gold Hill to the north. Consisting of a few ranches, the mostly agricultural landscape is surrounded by vast and barren desert. In town the large 100+ year old Cottonwood Trees, along with numerous shrubs ans smaller trees provide an excellent riparian habitat used by migrants--making Callao a prime migrant trap in the west desert often visited while birding Fish Springs NWR located nearby.
Biridng is usually done here just during spring and fall migration after or before a visit to the refuge 20 or so miles away. The main east-west street through town passes several homes with large trees where migrants tend to flock to as they fly across the open desert. There are also large patches of Russian Olive on the east end of town which make great trap habitat. Birding from the road is easy, just make sure not to trespass onto any private property here as the locals like their privacy. During both spring and fall you can expected warblers, tanager, flycatchers, vireos, and other passerine species here. YELLOW and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER are standards, while WILSON'S, MACGILLIVRAY'S and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER also show up regularly. YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT seems to show up every so often, and with enough visits and diligence you might turn up an eastern vagrant like BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER which has been observed here. All regularly occurring EMPIDONAX FLYCATCHERS in Utah have been observed here on either end of migration; while CASSIN'S VIREO may be seen during fall migration. Not surprising there are also some oddball shorebirds and waterbirds that have been seen here with any small amount of water in canals, or from the watering of fields, birds like BAIRD'S SANDPIPER and WHIMBREL have been reported here. The possibilities are endless for what might show up here. Given the remote locations and true migrant trap qualities, it likely sees quite a few vagrants--it just doesn't see very many birders to find them! Next time you visit Fish Springs in the spring or fall make the extra 50 mile round trip over to Callao and see what you can find.
From the entrance to Fish Springs NWR, go north on the Pony Express-Overland Stage Trail. Follow dirt road for 23 miles till you reach Callao.