I woke up at 4 AM on a cold Saturday morning and readied for my trip to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, about 9 miles south of Socorro, New Mexico. I had to drive approximately 2 hours and be there just in time for sunrise. You see, the 57,331 acres Refuge is the winter home of tens of thousands of birds – including sandhill cranes, Arctic geese and ducks. According to the Refuge’s website, as many as 14,000 cranes visit the place during the winter months.
“The Bosque is also home to over 32,000 Snow Geese and Ross Geese, dozens of Bald Eagles and Goldens, Great Blue Herons, Occasional Pelicans, Avocets, and many, many other birds. This beautiful Refuge is also home to small herds of Mule Deer and families of Coyotes.”
I had to be there before sunrise to witness the “Fly Out”. It is a one-of-a-kind event when the birds fly out from the refuge, and in doing so, the flocks cover the skies, literally. No wonder why it is called one of the most spectacular refuges in North America.
Go directly to the observation deck.
Watch them fly over you.
North Loop first.
Be refreshed with nature.
About 377 species of birds.
Most try to camouflage.
Stop at observation decks.
..and hundreds of them!
Snow geese abound.
Crops are grown for the benefit of the birds.
Take the south loop next.
…and beautiful scenery.
Find the John Taylor Jr. Memorial Trail.
Check out the Visitor’s Center.
– I saw a bald eagle atop a tree. Too bad my camera can’t zoom very far.
– Don’t make too much noise. You do not want to scare the birds.
– Wear thick clothes when visiting during winter. Early mornings can get chilly.
– As I said earlier, arrive early to see the fly-out. There is also a fly-in during sunset.
– Bring a vernacular if you have one.
– Are pets allowed? Check this link from Bosque del Apache NWR.
– Most importantly, please pay the entrance fee of $5, even if no one is attending the ticket booth early in the morning. There is a drop box available for fees.
Location and contact.
Address: 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: 505 835 1828
GPS coordinates: 33°52′9″N and 106°50′34.6″W
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