San Miguel Mission: also known as San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish colonial mission church located in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico – a block from the historic Pueblo Bonito Inn. Claimed to be the oldest church in the United States, San Miguel Mission was built around 1626. Damage sustained during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was rebuilt in 1710 following the Spanish reconquest for which the chapel served Spanish soldiers. Hand carved pieces located inside the chapel include a wooden statue of Saint Michael dating back to at least 1709. Though the church has been repaired and rebuilt numerous times over the years, its original adobe walls are still largely intact despite having been hidden by later additions. The mission is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
Loretto Chapel– originally a Roman Catholic church, now privately owned and used as a museum with wedding chapel. A long time subject of legend, the “Miraculous Staircase” and circumstances surrounding it are considered miraculous by the Sisters of Loretto as well as many visitors. In 1872, a convent chapel was commissioned to be built and named Our Lady of Light Chapel for the Sisters of Loretto. Designed by French architect Antoine Mouly in Gothic Revival style, ornately decorated with spires, buttresses, and stained glass windows imported from France, the Loretto Chapel built on a smaller scale, bears close resemblance to Paris’s Sainte-Chapelle. After the architect’s sudden death, and much of the construction finished, it was realized no type of stairway to the choir loft was provided. Needing a way to get up to the choir loft the nuns prayed for St. Joseph’s intercession for nine straight days after which a stranger appeared at their door. Offering to build the nuns a staircase, but requiring total privacy he locked himself in the chapel for three months. Using a only primitive tools including a square, saw and warm water he constructed a spiral staircase entirely of non-native wood. The carpenter’s identity was never known for as soon as the staircase was finished he was gone. Witnesses, upon seeing the staircase, felt it was constructed as a miraculous occurrence by St Joseph himself. The mystery has never been solved as to who the carpenter was or where he got his lumber, for no reports were made of anyone seeing lumber delivered nor of the man come and go while construction was done. Less than a five minute walk from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn– the Loretto Chapel is a must see when Mission touring Santa Fe.
Cristo Rey church (Spanish for Christ King), is a beautiful adobe example of historic New Mexico Mission architecture with notable Spanish colonial retablos and santos adorning its sanctuary. Used for worship, weddings and community events, this active Roman Catholic church quietly sits at the east end of Canyon Rd on the corner of Cristo Rey street. An easy five minute drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b as you peruse the famous art and sculpture work on Canyon Road.
Galisteo Mission the Pueblo of the Tanos (Galisteo Pueblo) was founded around 1250 AD. A thriving community of 1,000+ surface dwellings was situated on the west side of Galisteo Creek. This pueblo presented an impressive appearance to outside visitors for the time period. Once named “San Lucas” by Spanish settlers in 1590, Juan de Oñate renamed the pueblo “Santa Ana” in 1600. In early seventeenth century again renaming occurred and the village became known as “Santa Cruz de Galisteo“. Franciscan brothers founded this first permanent mission among the Tanoan speaking people in 1612. It was the earliest mission in the Galisteo Basin as well as one of the earliest missions in New Mexico. This 17th century church was unique as it was built sufficiently wide – having three aisles with two rows of support columns leading from the sanctuary. Though it is not certain whom is responsible for the notable church design, Fray Pedro de Ortega, is thought to have contributed. Galisteo Mission is located a short, but beautiful 20 minute drive south of Santa Fe’s Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn off Hwy 41 in Galisteo New Mexico.
The Santuario de Guadalupe originally built in 1781, located on Guadalupe St- just a five minute walk north-west of Pueblo Bonito b&b inn, it is known as the “Soul of Santa Fe“. This historic mission church played a very significant role in religious, cultural, and traditional life of the people of Santa Fe. It is the oldest, still-standing church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the US and Canada. Located at the end of the Camino Real (the main route from Mexico City via Chihuahua to the Southwest) which brought Spanish ancestors and the Franciscan friars who ministered and sowed seeds of Christian faith with a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. This historic New Mexico mission is considered to be very holy. El Santuario de Guadalupe church is currently an art and history museum and contains the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s collection of New Mexican santos (carved images of the saints), Italian Renaissance paintings, and Mexican baroque paintings. Among the treasured works is Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the largest and finest oil paints of the Spanish Southwest, dated 1783 and signed by Jose de Alzibar, one of Mexico’s most renowned painters.Sanctuario de Chimayo – Located north of Santa Fe, New Mexico on Hwy 285/520 – a short 20 minute drive from Inn at Pueblo Bonito in the historic village of Chimayó, New Mexico – one can view this rustic and serene active Roman Catholic Church. This is one of the most famous churches in New Mexico and North America. Known as a shrine and National Historic Landmark, El Sanctuario de Chimayo receives over 300,000 visitors a year and is called the most important and largest Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States. The walled courtyard entrance is one of the most photographed sites in Northern New Mexico and houses a small cemetery. This picturesque church, built of three foot thick adobe walls has a bell tower on each side with pointed caps and a metal pitched roof that were probably added in the 1920s. Thick, yet elegant wood doors were carved by 19th-century carpenter Pedro Domínguez while notable folk-art carvings and decorations can be found inside the sanctuary and narthex. Of special note, a small room called el pocito (the little well), located just left of the front alter, contains a round pit. This “round pit” is the source of “holy dirt” (tierra bendita) that is believed to have healing powers. The adjacent Prayer Room displays photographs, discarded crutches, and unique testimonials of those who have received healing. Recently added is the outside sanctuary needed to receive mass numbers of pilgrims on Good Friday and Easter walks.
Pecos Mission (aka: Mission Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula or Mission of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciúncula) was a mission that served the people of Pecos Pueblo near Pecos, New Mexico. The first church at Pecos Pueblo is thought to have been built by Franciscan Fray Pedro Zambrano Ortiz around 1619. This isolated church was built along a narrow ridge, 400 m northeast of the pueblo’s main quadrangle, as the pueblo people would not allow construction closer to their dwelling sites. A permanent church was constructed outside the walls of the pueblo of Pecos, New Mexico in 1625. This church was destroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, wherein the Spanish were ejected from New Mexico. After the Spanish reconquest in 1693, a smaller church was built in 1717 for which the walls of this later church still stand on top of the prior church’s stone foundation. Ruins are located 25 miles south east of Santa Fe’s Pueblo Bonito Inn off I-25 in Pecos National Historic Park.
Spring is a fantastic season to create a memorable New Mexico Bird watching vacation as activity naturally increases and migrating birds return. Birders not knowing where to find spring birds can easily miss out on seeing many spectacular species native to Santa Fe and New Mexico. Knowing where to find and watch birds can lead to unique bird sightings and opportunities leading to refreshing and renewed interests in birding after long winter months.
Pueblo Bonito B&B inn in downtown Santa Fe creates a unique and distinctively memorable opportunity to enjoy up close and personal an inviting outdoor atmosphere for native New Mexico birds to viewed. Early Spring (May) sightings of Tangers (below left) resting on blooming branches of one of our large elm trees at Pueblo Bonito Inn as well as Rufous Towee (below right).
Commonly seen at Pueblo Bonito b&b inn – Santa Fe throughout the summer months are Mountain Blue Jays- large in size with beautiful displays of distinctive powder blue breast; Sparrows- buckskin brown in color and petite in stature, yet large in personality; and hummingbirds which are always a popular sight and sound!
Not as commonly seen at Pueblo Bonito b&b, but a delight when spotted is the roadrunner- New Mexico’s official state bird. We do see these little guys running along the sides of highways and byways frequently throughout New Mexico, as well as down streets of Santa Fe while momentarily flying over a fence (contrary to the popular belief- they do fly!).
Where to Find Birds in Santa Fe in Spring: Keys to finding birds in spring is to look for areas with freshly sprouting green and flowers. These are critical clues to attract both resident birds and visiting migrants. While spring birds can appear in any area, birder watchers who visit the right areas will see many more species. To find the most spring birds, check out…Migration Flyways: In both spring and fall, birds travel similar routes between their wintering grounds and breeding grounds. Visiting nature refuges and birding hotspots along migration flyways can be very productive birding during spring migration.
SPECIAL BIRD WATCHING ACTIVITIES for SANTA FE VACATIONS:
*ESPANOLA WILDLIFE CENTER: http://www.thewildlifecenter.org/ Operated under both state and federal permits regulating the capture, care, rehabilitation, release or “taking” for educational purposes of wild animals, this is a one-of-a-kind experience for real birders! We financially support this exceptional organization and have the pleasure to meet a few of their rehabilitation patients like a Red-Tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Falcon, even bear, coyote and skunks! Reservations a must and not always guaranteed available, but worth a call to see if possible! 505-753-9505
*Every Saturday en Santa Fe: RANDALL DAVEY AUDUBON CENTER– Located at the top of upper canyon Rd, a short 5 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn- Santa Fe, NM. Every Saturday a naturalist will lead a walk around the RDAC grounds at 8:00 am. Binoculars can be provided. Dress appropriately. All welcome. For information, call: 983-4609.
*Saturday, June 8, 2013 PRITZLAFF RANCH– This is an all-day trip. This 3,250 acre ranch, about a half-hour north of Las Vegas, NM has riparian, scrub-oak, and ponderosa pine habitat. Plan to walk a lot, bring lunch, water, and layers of clothing. Meet at 7:00 am at Pecos Trail Café- about a 3 mile drive from Inn at Pueblo Bonito- Santa Fe. Leader: Jerry Friedman, 505-753-2046, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Saturday, July 20 AMERICAN SPRINGS, WATER CANYON– A 1/2 day trip looking for mountain species, especially warblers, above Los Alamos . Could be lots of walking if the trip hikes up Water Canyon. Conversely, a light- weight folding stool could be useful at the American Springs Road washout. Bring food and drink. Meet at DeVargas Mall at 6:30 am- just 5 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn -Santa Fe on Paseo de Peralta. Contact leaders for trip status and more information. Leaders: Gail Szpatura (505-471-4426 email@example.com/ Mary Ristow 505-820-0906, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sunday August 4 WATROUS/VALMORA ROAD – This narrow road harbors riparian birds, Lewis’s Woodpeckers, orioles, and eastern strays. Bring food, water, all supplies. Driving time from Santa Fe (about 1.5 hours) makes this a 3/4 day trip. Limited to 12 participants with priority given to Sangre de Cristo Audubon members until one week prior to trip. Leaders: Roger Clark, 505-231-7369, email@example.com, Wyatt Egelhoff, 505-946-8028 firstname.lastname@example.org
*Wednesday, September 11 SANTA ROSA AND SPIRITHAVEN RANCH – This rull day fall migration trip along the Pecos River visit’s the Spirithaven Ranch in Santa Rosa with an afternoon stop at Ruby Ranch just north of Las Vegas. Songbird migrants and some lingering breeders such as Common Black-hawk at Spirithaven are the target birds. There will be a 6 am departure and 5 pm return to Santa Fe. ($25 per car entry fee at Ruby Ranch, an Audubon Important Bird Area)- Trip limited to 12 participants. Priority to Sangre de Cristo members until one week before trip. Call or email Linda Mowbray; (505) 989-8295, email@example.com to be placed on the list of participants. Leader: Bill West .
Car Pooling for New Mexico Bird watching trips above:
Pecos Trail Cafe: Located at 2239 Old Pecos Trail at the intersection of Old Pecos Trail and Calle Espejo. Park and meet on Calle Espejo.
DeVargas Mall: Located at Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe Street- five minute drive from Inn at Pueblo Bonito- Santa Fe. Meet in the parking lot in front of Starbucks on the south side of the mall. Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society Field Trips are designed to promote understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their habitats as well as cultivate awareness of outdoor ethics in an atmosphere of friendly companionship. Field trips are free and open to the public. Entry fees are required and driving costs are shared. Participants are expected to carpool whenever possible. Please wear walking shoes and clothing appropriate for weather. Bring water, lunch, and binoculars. No pets. Always call the trip leader before the trip. Trips may be cancelled for a variety of reasons.
*Daytrip information compliments of Randal Davey Audubon Center Newsletter.