Bosque del Apache NWR

(nr San Antonio NM)
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was created along the Río Grande with ponds that are periodically flooded making a wetlands area similar to what existed prior to the extensive damming of the river. They also plant crops that provide forage for the birds and animals.

Bosque del Apache Birds

It primarily attracts birds; but also, coyotes, fox, javelinas, deer and sometimes cougar. Each autumn thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes migrate to the refuge to overwinter. Also seen were raptors, pelicans, Canada geese, various ducks, and numerous smaller birds. I suppose that many other critters find a haven there.

Cranes Claiming a Pond
Cranes Leaving in the Morning
Javelinas Grazing by the Road

My visit with a friend was an evening and an early morning. Got to see the cranes and geese bedding down for the night, taking off en masse, and feeding in the fields. I was warned by someone that a skunk was passing by us hidden by the reeds. While waiting for the action, a dozen javelinas crossed the road nearby.

Pelicans Taking Off
Geese Arriving to Field en Masse
Snow Geese Flyover

One-way roads take you to the different ponds and to forested areas that provide more seclusion. Observation decks with parking and boardwalks, here and there, allow for a better view. Some parts of the refuge are off limits to visitors.

Ducks Swimming Away
Ducks and Geese
Cranes Eating in a Field

Other wildlife projects like this have been built across the country to compensate for natural habitats being diminished by development. There could be one near where you live.

Camp: Bosque Bird Watchers RV Park drycamp
Scene: Birds, forest, ponds

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