Monday, September 17, 2012

Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Cranes
Last fall we went down to Colorado to visit some of my wife's family and take some nature pics in some of the parks in that part of the country. Our original plan was to travel to Arches National Park in eastern Utah to photograph the beautiful scenery there for the first time. Unfortunately snow storms can come early in the mountains and one was predicted to hit just about the time that we would need to cross back over to fly out of Denver. So we decided to rearrange our trip and go to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and the Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico.We still had to fight the snow as we left Sand Dunes and Colorado but the further into New Mexico that we got the warmer and more beautiful the weather got.
Snow Geese
 The Bosque is located adjacent to the Rio Grande River in central New Mexico. The refuge was established in 1939 to protect critical habitat for migrating birds, particularly waterfowl. The 57,000 acre refuge is comprised of a variety of habitats including Rio Grande flood plain, wetlands, arid grasslands, the foot hills of the Chupadera and San Pascual Mountains, irrigated farm land and a cultivated cactus garden.There have been 377 different species spotted on the refuge. Over 10,000 sandhill cranes and a combination of 20,000 Ross' and snow geese migrate down to spend the winter on the refuge. Refuge farmlands help to provide these wintering flocks with food while the shallow wetlands provide them a place where they can safely spend the night. Although this was not my first trip to The Bosque it was Michelle's first time and even though she is not as crazy about getting into nature as I am she was definitely impressed.


joanca bs said...

very nice shots¡¡

mick said...

Great photos - especially the one of the Cranes. It sounds like a place I would really like to visit.

Unknown said...

Beautiful birds!

MoabUtah said...

Annually the Moab Birders have a field trip to carpool to THE SPOT to watch a Raptor Migration.

This year, in fact, everyone is meeting at the Moab Information Center parking lot at 8:30 AM on Saturday September 22 (2012).

Bring food and water and spend the day. Then in January another Field Trip is in store to the Cisco Desert...

Oddly, this summer three sandhill cranes have been vacationing in Moab and seen sporadically to make us wonder...where are they camping?