Bosque Sunset

January In Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in south-central New Mexico near Socorro is the winter home to many thousands of migratory birds including ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes.  These photos were made the 20th and 21st of January, 2012.

Snow Geese
Snow geese by the thousands overwinter on the refuge.
Snow Geese Feeding In The Shallow Water Of The Refuge
Snow geese feeding in one of the refuge marshes.
Snow Geese
The darker goose in upper right is a variant called a blue goose.
Snow geese are strong fliers capable of flying great distances non-stop.
Snow geese are strong fliers capable of flying great distances non-stop.

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Snow geese are one of the most abundant waterfowl species in North America.

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Snow geese stay with the same mate for life.
Snow geese stay with the same mate for life.
Northern Pintail Ducks
Northern Pintail Ducks, three males and a female.
Northern pintails are called dabblers because they tip tail-up to feed in shallow water.
Northern pintails are called dabblers because they tip tail-up to feed in shallow water.
The female in center does not have the distinctive markings and long pointed tail characteristic of the male.
The female in center does not have the distinctive markings and long pointed tail characteristic of the male.
Sandhill cranes approaching one of the grain fields on the refuge.
Sandhill cranes approaching one of the grain fields on the refuge.

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They spend most of the daylight hours feeding in the grain fields and marshes of the refuge.
They spend most of the daylight hours feeding in the grain fields and marshes of the refuge.
Sometimes confused with great blue herons, sandhill cranes are much larger. They stand four feet tall and have a wingspan of about six and a half feet.
Sometimes confused with great blue herons, sandhill cranes are much larger. They stand four feet tall and have a wingspan of about six and a half feet. They fly with necks outstretched while herons fly with necks curved.
Sandhill cranes have a red patch on their heads similar to the endangered whooping crane which are white and even larger than the sandhill.
Sandhill cranes have a red patch on their heads similar to the endangered whooping cranes, which are white and even larger than the sandhill.
Sandhill cranes usually fly in large flocks and it is not unusual for them to gather in the thousands on feeding grounds.
Sandhill cranes usually fly in large flocks and it is not unusual for them to gather in the thousands on feeding grounds.

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Bosque Sunset
Bosque Sunset

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All images on this site are Copyright © Larry D. Brown and may not be used in any form without permission.

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