Sandhill Crane in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge is about seventy miles south of Albuquerque, NM on I-25.

This is one of the best places in America to see wildlife, especially Sand Hill Cranes, Snow Greese and Canadian Geese in large numbers.  And I really mean large numbers, like tens of thousands.

The best times to see the birds is at dawn and sunset.  At dawn you get to watch liftoff, which features thousands of birds lifting off from one of the many ponds in the refuge, all at the same time.  The roar of all these birds leaping into the sky, all at the same time is thunderous.  And unforgettable.

The same thing happens in reverse, sometime around sunset.

The birds spend the night at one of the large ponds to escape their predators, mostly coyotes.   When they lift off at dawn, they fly to the surrounding cornfields to eat all day long.  And then it’s back to the pond at nightfall.

If you have a camper or a tent, there is a small campground just before you get to the wildlife area.  Otherwise the best place to stay is back in Socorro.

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