Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, in the heart of New Mexico along the Rio Grande, is the setting for one of the most spectacular birding phenomena in the country. At sunset throughout the winter, thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese leave their feeding areas in nearby farm fields to roost in the shallow ponds of the refuge. This "fly in" is not to be missed on our Venture to the refuge. Along with the cranes and geese, Bosque del Apache is the wintering grounds for a good number of Bald Eagles and other raptors; several species of ducks, such as Cinnamon Teal and Common Merganser; other waterfowl, including cormorants and grebes; and several western species of sparrows, like Clay-colored and Brewer's. A twelve-mile loop road gets us up close to the birds, which are accustomed to vehicles, and from which we can also see Ring-necked Pheasant, Western Meadowlark, as well as coyotes and Mule Deer. Arid areas around the impoundments will yield desert species, such as Greater Roadrunner, Gambel's and Scaled Quail, Canyon and Spotted Towhee, Pinyon Jay, and Canyon and Rock Wren. Nearby Elephant Butte Lake State Park has a large over- wintering population of waterfowl, also: including Western and Clark's Grebes, loons, and perhaps an unusual gull.
This Venture also includes a visit to the Sandia Mountains, near Albuquerque, where all three species of Rosy-finch (Brown-capped, Black, and Gray-crowned) occur, and Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, on the edge of the eastern prairies, for sparrows such as American Tree, as well as other grassland birds.
Join us for this exciting Venture to New Mexico, "The Land of Enchantment", for both birding and enjoying the local color in a beautiful part of the Southwest.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
White-faced Ibis, Snow and Ross's Geese; Cinnamon Teal, Western and Clark's Grebe; Bald Eagle, Scaled and Gambel's Quail; Sandhill Crane (a few!), Greater Roadrunner, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black and Say's Phoebe; Steller's, Pinyon, and Scrub Jay; Rock and Canyon Wren; Mountain and Western Bluebird; Green-tailed, Spotted, and Canyon Towhee; Gray-crowned, Black, and Brown-capped Rosy-finch.