Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge ~ 2015

We arrived at the Bosque del Apache in the afternoon with plenty of time to drive the loop road and walk one of the trails. Again, coming to the realization, that you just can’t move very fast when you have all this going on around you.

The following is from Friends of the Bosque. You can find their website here.

“The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, fondly known as “The Bosque,” is in New Mexico near the small town of San Antonio, NM, 9 mi. south of Socorro, and less than an hour and a half from Albuquerque. Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and many other migrating birds make the Bosque their winter home in beautiful New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment with incomparable sunsets, delicate multicolored mountains, intense blue skies and special light. Bosque del Apache translates as “Woods of the Apache.” Native Americans often camped at this river-side forest, and the area was occupied by Pueblo Peoples for centuries before the Spanish explorers established the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe) in the sixteenth century. The Camino Real ran right through the present-day Refuge. The Refuge is 57,331 acres located along the Rio Grande, and is located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, and straddles the Rio Grande. The heart of the Refuge is about 12,900 acres of moist bottomlands–3,800 acres are active floodplain of the Rio Grande and 9,100 acres are areas where water is diverted to create extensive wetlands, farmlands, and riparian forests. The rest of Bosque del Apache NWR is made up of arid foothills and mesas, which rise to the Chupadera Mountains on the west and the San Pascual Mountains on the east. Most of these desert lands are preserved as wilderness areas.”

These images were captured on the evening of December 23, 2015 and the following morning. Remember it’s a wild place.

(click on any image to enlarge and view slideshow)

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.I’ve never seen a big cat at The Bosque but I’ve heard of sightings.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Evening image, looking West.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Morning light on the red willow and cottonwood.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. Predawn reflection.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Shortly after entering the The Bosque and driving on the South Loop we came upon this scene of Mallards, Pintails and Sandhill Cranes.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.The oldest Sandhill Crane on record was at least 36 years, 7 months old. Originally banded in Wyoming in 1973, it was found in New Mexico in 2010.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.The earliest Sandhill Crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese in flight.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.The Northern Pintail male is easy to identify by his striking markings, long neck and long tail, but here the tail is hidden under the water surface.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Although it swims like a duck, the American Coot does not have webbed feet like a duck.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Mule Deer can be seen throughout The Bosque.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Morning flight into the corn field for a day of feeding.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Snow Geese in flight.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Note the dark morph Snow Goose in the top of this image. The dark color of the blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark being partially dominant over white. If a pure dark goose mates with a white goose, the offspring will all be dark (possibly with white bellies). If two white geese mate, they have only white offspring. If two dark geese mate, they will have mostly dark offspring, but might have a few white ones too.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Perhaps the most outwardly distinctive of the dabbling ducks, the Northern Shoveler. Its elongated, spoon-shaped bill has comb-like projections along its edges, which filter out food from the water.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.The Gadwall sometimes steal food from American Coots and other ducks.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Canada Geese in flight at sunrise.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.The oldest known wild Canada Goose was 30 years 4 months old.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.We almost passed this Great Blue Heron without seeing it.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Northern Harrier feeds on the morning kill at the waters edge.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Seems a rival Harrier wanted it’s breakfast as well.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Two Bald Eagles on what would be my favorite perch, if I were an eagle that is.

The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.Two unidentified ducks on a reflecting pond.

If you enjoyed these images of the Bosque del Apache……….

……please leave a comment

…….visit my on line image store here.

About Britt Runyon

A New Mexico based free roaming outdoor digital photographer, always on the qui vive for what Nature and humans provide.
This entry was posted in New Mexico and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge ~ 2015

  1. Cathy Jo Robison says:

    One of my favorite places and your images do it justice. ~~CJ

  2. Jason Pfeifer says:

    Great photos Britt! Got me excited to see a lion though!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *