Birding at Quarai

Quarai Mission Ruins

Birding safari buddy Bosque Bill and I went to Quarai Ruins at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument near Mountainair, New Mexico, to participate in an International Migratory Bird Day bird walk. The walk was led by Hart Schwarz, neotropical bird specialist for the Cibola National Forest.

Quarai is about a one and one-half hour drive from Corrales and the Albuquerque North Valley. Bill and I arrived only a few minutes late and were happy to find that several people arrived after we did. We walked from the monument headquarters to a large grove of cottonwoods to begin our walk. As we stood around chatting and shivering in the 43 degree F. cold, we noticed that the cottonwoods above our heads were full of Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warblers. In fact, they were everywhere in large numbers throughout the walk. I am sure we saw well over 100 of them during the course of the day.

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)

As we left the cottonwood grove we walked through a field where Mountain Bluebirds were busily hunting insects.

Mountain Bluebird

There were Mountain Bluebirds in the trees as well,

Mountain Bluebird

along with more Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Another Yellow-rumped Warbler

We crossed a bridge over an arroyo. There was a pool of water in the arroyo, and I was lucky enough to get a (slightly out-of-focus) photo of a Gray Catbird just before it flew away.

Gray Catbird

We saw several Wilson’s Warblers throughout the day, but this is the only one I saw that was not deep inside a tree. It was too far away for a good photo, but you can see its little black yarmulke quite well.

Wilson's Warbler

There were many Yellow Warblers, including this pretty female,

Yellow Warbler (female)


and this beautiful male.
Yellow Warbler (male)

Yellow Warbler (male)


We saw quite a few Ladder-backed Woodpeckers too, which I wrote about yesterday.

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers

There were Dusky Flycatchers all along the arroyo.

Dusky Flycatcher

Everywhere we went there were more Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Yet another Yellow-rumped Warbler


On the way back, we were treated to the lovely sight of a Lazuli Bunting.

Lazuli Bunting


Lazuli Bunting


As we returned to the picnic area for lunch we saw a Black-headed Grosbeak. We had seen them earlier, but this one was close enough for a photo.

Black-headed Grosbeak


Black-chinned Hummingbird

We saw and heard many Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, but most were too far away for photos. I was able to get a photo of this Black-chinned male. At least you can tell that it’s a hummingbird.

Bill and I had a lovely day at Quarai. I expect to attend the International Migratory Bird Day celebration there again next year.

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9 Comments

Filed under New Mexico birds

9 responses to “Birding at Quarai

  1. What an amazing trip thanks for sharing your great photos.

  2. nice birdies you saw, Lazuli is the prize!

  3. Looks like you both had a terrific day at Quarai. So many gorgeous colorful birds. I have never seen a Lazuli Bunting before, it’s quite lovely. Thanks for taking us along on your beautiful walk.

  4. Donna M. Simonetti

    WOW! Linda I love your photos. Sounds like a beautiful place. Especially love those Mountain Bluebirds. They are so lovely. The Catbird too. WOW! Cool on the woodpecker photo.

  5. Sorry I missed this post earlier!! Sounds (and looks) like it was a Wonderful Day :)

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