You might think late winter in Santa Fe lacks excitement for bird lovers. On the contrary; late Winter – early Spring birds seen in and around Santa Fe consist of colorful migrants and back yard birds. Considered “permanent range” for bluebirds like the Mountain Bluebird and Western bluebird, Santa Fe is a great place for these Northern New Mexico birds to stay put! They like fairly open habitat so you’ll spot bluebirds on the edges of town- a popular location is near El Dorado (south of downtown). Bluebirds group in winter months so if you spot them, they’ll be large numbers. Bluebirds work together to find steady sources of food (berries usually) and water (horse trough, heated bird bath, etc.)
Other spotting like that of the Grosbeaks have been seen in large flocks in and around Santa Fe this year. These yellow, white and black migratory bird’s movements are unpredictable but have been reported.
A ladder-backed woodpecker which exhibits rungs like that of a ladder (male has red on his head) have also been sited nearby and in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Local residents who supplement winter time bird feeding with sunflower seeds, nuts and suet help bring these lovely creatures to Santa Fe. However, birds are not dependent upon feeders. It’s only a fraction of their diet. In winter months, most bird’s food comes from natural sources like berries, old seeds (pinon, flowers, grasses) and larva.
Birdwatching is but one enjoyable outdoor activity enjoyed by late Winter – Spring New Mexico travelers. Hiking, downhill skiing, snow shoeing, exploring ancient Indian ruins, historic villages or intriguing shops and galleries can be experienced in a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pueblo Bonito b&b inn welcomes visitors to our webpage or facebook page for information on Santa Fe Travel New Mexico ideas and current lodging rates and availability. We love our guests and we’d love to share a memorable Santa Fe experience with you too!
Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn– Santa Fe, NM
November Bird Watching can prove to be quiet exuberating when Santa Fe visitors take note of crystal blue New Mexico skies! Not only are our skies a glorious crisp blue in color, but some of Gods most amazing creatures have recently been spotted on the grounds of Santa Fe‘s Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn! Closeby areas – such as the Galisteo Basin- are also known for bird watching and recent spotting have been as follows:
Downing Woodpecker:Though I am not an expert birdwatcher, I have seen an active little Downy Woodpecker on several occasions balancing on the branches of tall Chinese elms at Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe, NM. He frequently makes his presence known by the rap-tap-tap of his pecking on a nearby light pole! His beautiful black-and-white colors are prominently displayed and easily identifiable even for my beginning bird watching knowledge!
American Kestrel: North America’s littlest falcon! Evidently The American Kestrel packs a predator’s fierce intensity into its small body. It’s one of the most colorful of all raptors from what I‘ve read. The American Kestrel spotted on the grounds of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn looked very much like the photo below to the right. Beautiful slate-blue head and wings with contrasting rusty-red back and tail. It was definitely on the prowl as it perched for a few minutes on our telephone lines then and swooped quickly across the street for what we assume was a tasty dinner treat!
These little beauties are frequently seen around Santa Fe as their migration begins in the November. They tend to hop the grounds of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn for both fall and spring visits. It is my understanding they winter in forests and feed in both deciduous and coniferous trees, often at higher elevations (Santa Fe is 7000 ft with nearby Sangre de Cristos mountains to 13,000+ ft).
In fall through spring, harriers can be found in wide-open grasslands, or fields in outlaying areas of Santa Fe county. Recently I sighted a Northern Harrier during flight just off 285 south of Santa Fe. Note the low, slow, coursing flight style, the bird’s V-shaped wing posture, and its white rump- all indications of correct classification of Northern Harrier. During migration in the fall and spring, you can see these magnificent birds high in the sky over nearby mountain ridges and hills.
November Travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico is a delightful experience for birdwatchers, history buffs, black Friday shoppers, Thanksgiving travelers, and so much more! The staff at Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn have been serving Santa Fe visitors for over 28 years! We strive to make your New Mexico bird watching visit memorable. Special Discount rates available on line (click here) or call 1-800-461-4599. Awarded: 2013 Guest Favorite Inn; 2012 Guest Most Likely to Return; 2011 Top Santa Fe Lodging.
Photos: All About Birds
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.