An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.

We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.

It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.


There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Female Northern Pintail.


Male Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Male Northern Pintail.


Male and female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Northern Pintail pair.

A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.

Bald Eagle takes flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.


Snow geese take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.


Northern Pintails take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.


Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes and Northern Pintails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.

… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.

Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.

As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.

American Kestrel at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

American Kestrel hovering.


Greater Roadrunner at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.


Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.


White-tailed Kite at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.

As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.


Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.


As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

New moon at sunset.


It was a wonderful day!

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11 Comments

Filed under Bosque del Apache, New Mexico birds

11 responses to “An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

  1. Beverly Everson

    Wonderful post, Linda!! I would have loved to be there with you all!

  2. This looks like an awesome place I need to visit one of these days. Great photos!

  3. This place looks busy …. beautiful! Wonderful shots. The snow goose in full honk cracked me up :)

  4. Linda, fantastic post and photos! Thank you for taking us along on your birding excursion to Bosque del Apache. This looks like a place I would love to visit. Such a wide variety of beautiful birds. A joy to read this post, indeed.

  5. Kerry

    Nice Linda great diversity Very nice place Thanks for sharing those. Great Blog post and pictures.

  6. Thanks for sharing this with us, Linda. I’m tempted to invite myself over–being at the other end of the migration is such a gift. We saw our first robin this week!

  7. Beautiful photos Rocky! Glad you all had a great time!

  8. What a fabulous visit you must have had, these pictures are so amazing!

  9. Thank all of you for your very kind comments. I wish all of you could go there with me. I’ll take you whenever you can come to New Mexico!

  10. Wonderful post and photos! Thank you for sharing. I will be there in February and am wondering if you can tell me the best places in the refuge go to watch the snow geese take flight? Thank you! Beth

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