Pueblo Bonito Inn- Santa Fe host many bird enthusiasts year round who love the variety of birds in areas around Santa Fe, NM. On our secluded, quiet grounds guests enjoy viewing visits from a variety of winged creatures like the ones featured on our blog post Oct 2013. Most recently Evening Grosbecks have found a free “handout” at our back door! Valuable sources of information and sightings for birders are available at the Randall Davey Audubon Center- just a short drive from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn. Randall Davey Audubon Center offers incredible birder walks, information, tours, events, etc. A great place to add to a “to do list” while visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico. Do you like hiking? birding? nature? creation? reptiles? or just the great outdoors? Well, Randall Davey Audubon Center is the perfect place for you to enjoy! Center hours of operation: Monday – Saturday 8:00- Sunset; Visitor center & gift shop hours: 10-4 Monday – Saturdays. Closed Sundays! For more information call the Center directly: 505-983-4609 (Much of the following information is compliments of Randall Davey Audubon Center website):
In the meantime, here are a few Special Birding Events and Suggested Spots to consider:
FREE SATURDAY MORNING BIRD WALKS at the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary. Taking off at 8:00 am a guided bird walk, led by experienced birders is one of the best ways to get to know our local birds. Both experienced and novice birders are sure to discover new species and witness them in their natural habitat.
BEST BIRDING SPOTS AROUND SANTA FE AREA: A few great outdoor birding hot pots are: Hyde State Park and Road and the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Both capture the interest of many bird species. The extended area near Hyde State Park and along the trails off the road to the ski area includes several hiking options, each of which has birding opportunities. Williamson’s Sapsucker’s (breeding), Hammond’s and Cordilleran Flycatchers, Western Tanagers, Nuthatches (Red and White-breasted, Pygmy), Mountain Chickadees, Steller’s Jays, and Western Warblers are some of the species anticipated within the Black Canyon campground and trails. Further up Hyde Park Road, Blue Grouse are sometimes seen at elevations between the Borrego Trail to the ski basin. The Santa Fe Ski Basin has a great trailhead for those who want to venture into the high mountain back country. Species expected include Hermit Thrush, House Wren, Junco, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Gray Jay, and Clark’s Nutcracker. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Randall Davey Audubon Center east of downtown Santa Fe where a wide variety of birds reside and visit during migration. Nestled at the mouth of the Santa Fe Canyon, our Audubon Center encompasses 135 acres and includes miles of hiking.
HUMMING BIRD SPOT: Terrero General Store and Post Office- a hidden treasure! One of our favs to for taking a leisurely drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn through the Pecos National Wilderness, winding pass Montessori Lake, the State fish hatchery, Dalton Canyon (remember Billy the kid and the Dalton gang?), and glorious mountain landscapes ending at a sleepy log cabin with antique gas pump out front call “Terrero General Store and Riding Stables“. This is a gem! Providing hours, days, months of busy hummingbird viewings. Three common hummingbirds to this area are the Broadtail, Rufus, and Calliope. Broadtail are first to arrive the end of March, then Rufus begin to appear late June and finally Calliope make appearances in early July.
September, October, November and December are wonderful months to visit Santa Fe and New Mexico. Birding is such a fun hobby and/or profession and we invite our bird loving friends and family to enjoy all Santa Fe has to offer at the 2011, 2012, 2013 Guest Favorite b&b- voted by our guests from over 8,500 properties within the US & Canada!! CHECK OUT OUR INTERNET SPECIALS!
Christmas in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a beautiful time. With mild evening temperatures, outdoor celebrations have become holiday tradition! Lighting the way to a festive month in December -especially on Christmas Eve- luminarias or farolitos are found prominently on top of adobe buildings, lining quiet streets, and ushering friends to welcoming homes and businesses along walkways and doorsteps. So what are Farolitos? Luminarias? Simply put, these are” candles of light” which symbolize the way for the Christmas family to find warmth, comfort, and protection. These “candles of light” are carefully placed in sand inside a small brown paper bag, providing a warm glow at night. Generally found in prominence beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving at lighting of the Christmas trees on the historic Santa Fe plaza and enjoyed throughout December. Santa Fe infamous “glow of luminarias” throughout downtown, the historic plaza and surrounding neighborhood areas is truly a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience. Nighttime strolls in downtown Santa Fe are especially enchanting on Christmas eve when Canyon Road is lined with luminarias and spotted with farolitos (little bon fires) to provide warmth. Canyon road on Christmas eve creates lifelong memories for Santa Fe travelers as this famous holiday walk inspires carolers, hot chocolate vendors, good cheer, and warm greetings from friend and foe alike. Luminarias, lighting the way for Christmas strollers line the street, walls, and illuminate windows as well as walkways greeting guests, family and friends. A truly magical holiday community festival for all to enjoy is easy walking distance for guests of Pueblo Bonito b&b.
In the Beginning, Bonfires Led the Way
These little lights have their roots in the 1800’s. Small bonfires, like the current day bonfires on the corners of Canyon Road in Santa Fe (Farolitos), were used to guide people to Christmas Mass. Quite often they were set out during the final night of Las Posadas, the symbolic representation of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem walking from home to home before Jesus was born (replicated current day on the 2nd Sunday in December). In later days, children carried small farolitos as they reenacted Las Posadas with current “little lights” hung on trees in the plaza.
Use of Luminarias
Now a days people use luminarias to decorate the path to their door as well as outlining the roofline of their home with warm inviting electric luminaria lights. Historically, luminarias were a series of small bonfires lining the roads. As customs evolved from small bonfires to small paper bag lights, terminology has evolved as well and confusion as to what exactly a luminaria vs. farolito is. Farolito meaning small fire where as luminaria means small light. These two terms are now used interchangeably to describe the small paper bag lights that create a luminous wonderland in Santa Fe during December holiday season. Farolitos are much more risky as they are open fires vs. the small bagged light which are replicated for further safety by using small electric lights inside paper bags as can often be seen.
Making Your Own
Making luminarias, or farolitos, is fairly easy. Just purchase paper bags, votive candles and gather sand (dry). Crafty people may cut holiday shapes in the bags or textures on the top rim. Fill each bag with several inches of sand, then press a votive candle in the center of the sand so the flame does not touch the paper sides. We recommend lining your walk way and skip the more dangerous positioning of luminarias on your rooftop . Choose a dry night with very little wind so to prevent accidental ignition of bags. Luminarias usually burn about 4 hours before going out. You’ll probably be headed for bed about that time! So decorate, invite your friends and enjoy the ambiance and enchantment of true Santa Fe Christmas by bringing New Mexico traditions to your holiday decorating.