Map of the world

  • Where to watch BIRDS and

  • other wildlife in the world
  • Photograph of Snow Geese

    Snow Geese by Simon Colenutt.

    BOSQUE DEL APACHE, NEW MEXICO

    Best Wildlife in the Bosque del Apache area

    Mammals
    A chance of Coyote.

    Birds
    The species listed below are usually present during the northern winter.

    Snow Goose (up to and sometimes over 20,000, especially in January), Ross’s Goose (usually about 1000) and Sandhill Crane (5,000-15,000 in January and up to 18,000 in November), as well as Cinnamon Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Wild Turkey, Gambel’s Quail, Bald Eagle (up to 10), Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk (various morphs), Prairie Falcon, Say’s Phoebe, Sage Sparrow and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Also a chance of Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, and Mountain Bluebird.

    Other Natural Wonders in the Bosque del Apache area

    Best Sites for Wildlife at Bosque del Apache

    There are two loop roads around the refuge, and the refuge headquarters is also worth birding around, especially the trail into desert scrub just south of the refuge. The roads run through fields and wetlands with viewing platforms, some with telescopes. One such platform, near the HQ, is known as The ‘Flight Deck’ because it overlooks the lake where the geese usually roost, from where it is possible to watch the spectacular dawn ‘flyout’, as the geese leave the roost and fly out to forage in the surrounding fields.

    Best Times for Wildlife in the Bosque del Apache area

    The most birds are usually present from November to February. Around the Festival of the Cranes held every November, and Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday of November, are as good a times as any to visit, although the area may be too crowded with birders for some during this period. Crane numbers usually peak at this time but the numbers of geese usually peak in mid-winter in January.

    Recommended Books etc. for the Bosque del Apache area

    Field Guide to the Birds of North America edited by J Dunn and J Alderfer. NGS, 2011 (Sixth Edition).

    Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

    The North American Bird Guide by D Sibley. Helm, 2014 (Second Edition).

    Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America by R T Peterson. Houghton Mifflin, 2010 (Sixth Edition).

    Birding Hot Spots of Central New Mexico by J Liddell and B Hussey. Texas A & M University Press, 2011.

    New Mexico Bird Finding Guide by J Parmeter et al. NMOS, 2002 (Third Edition).

    Mammals of North America by R W Kays and D E Wilson. PUP, 2009 (Second Edition).

    Mammals of North America by F A Reid. Peterson North American Field Guides, 2006 (Fourth Edition).

    Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America by V Dinets. Houghton Mifflin, 2015.

    Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by J Brock and K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.


    Apps etc.


    National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America.

    The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America.

    Peterson Birds of North America.

    Audubon Birds - A Field Guide to North American Birds.

    iBird Ultimate Guide to Birds.

    Trip Reports for the Bosque del Apache area

    Many trip reports, some for the Bosque del Apache area, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Bosque del Apache. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Bosque del Apache' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in the Bosque del Apache area

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.


    Accommodation in the Bosque del Apache area

    Some Organized Tours to Bosque del Apache

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Bosque del Apache include the following.