Apr 19

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge – New Mexico

Bosque del Apache While driving from Albuquerque to Tucson Arizona I decided, on a whim, to stop by Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  I had checked the weather the night before, and I saw that there was going to be strong winds the next day and knowing that I was going to be driving through a pretty arid region I was a little worried about dust storms.  So, I left Albuquerque a little after five in the morning and was well on my way to Tucson before the sun was up.  As I was heading south I kept debating with myself, should I stop at The Bosque or just keep going trying to beat the afternoon winds.  Well, I made the right decision and stopped at the wildlife refuge and took the auto-tour route and almost waited around to see the visitor center when it opened but decided I would save that for a different trip to the refuge when I could spend more time there.
Red Winged Blackbird

Bosque del Apache is 57,331 acres of land that borders the Rio Grande.  The main part of the refuge which, includes some hiking trails, the visitor center, and the 15 mile auto-tour loop that winds around the moist bottomlands, is in a 12,900 acre section of the refuge.  Make sure if you plan on going here that you make sure it is during the fall and spring migrations, and get there right before sunrise to see birds take off.  I was there just at the end of the spring migration so I did not get to see as many birds as I had wanted, but it was still an enjoyable side trip on my way to Tucson.
Hiking Area

I had read that the best time to go is during the winter months from November to early March.  That is when the sandhill cranes arrive by the thousands to make their winter home.  Not only are there abundant numbers of cranes but also thousands of snow geese and waterfowl.  Of course, wherever large numbers of birds are gathered in a particular spot there will also be the predatory birds like eagles, falcons, and hawks.
Mule Deer

This refuge is one of the premier birding sites in the country.  I just wish I would have been there at more of a prime time to see them all.  I did get to see a variety of waterfowl, swallows, ibis, hawks, and herons.  During the loop tour I happened to come across a small herd of mule deer. Other mammals that you might see are skunks, coyotes, and it is mountain lion country so who knows, maybe you will see one of those elusive cats.
Mountain Reflection

I really enjoyed my time at the refuge even though I was just there for a few hours and did not get to see the spectacular “fly out” by the migrating birds.  It was extremely easy to get to since it is right off Interstate 25 south of Socorro.  Even though it was too late in the season to witness the mass migration the scenery was still very beautiful and what wildlife I came across was interesting to see.  Someday I hope I will be able to come back and see this amazing place during the height of the migration season so I can see why Bosque del Apache is so famous in the birding community.
Bosque del Apache Sign

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Located at 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro New Mexico
Cost at the time of this post was $5.00
For more information visit their website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/newmex/bosque/
another good site for information is http://www.friendsofthebosque.org/
Birds Resting

Get free daily email updates!

Follow us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


You might also likeclose