Migratory Birds of the Bosque | Rio Grande River in New Mexico

I hadn’t realized having just moved to Albuquerque for the first time on December 1st, and living a quarter mile (several hundred yards) from the Rio Grande, that the birds that I became so fascinated with that I bicycled every evening before sunset to hang out at a number of different spots on the river to watch and listen, that I was witnessing migratory birds. There in what is called the Bosque region of the Rio Grande river, running through the expanse of Albuquerque, I’d sit with fascination and delight. Though the Rio Grande river runs theoretically through the middle of Albuquerque, the city is so spread out that the waterway is fortunately protected from development, and the sections of the city reach in four quadrants outside of it. I’d go and sit, somehow always facing west to watch the sunset, where I noticed in December that the first ‘stars’ that appeared, were planets. And I realized after the announcement of the coming Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, that I was looking at Jupiter, with Saturn appearing to the upper left, then piggybacked right above it, then just to the right of it, and now Saturn has dipped significantly each day down to the right and below Jupiter. 

Each night I went to different parts of the river, feeling lucky each time to be exactly where flocks were arriving that evening, so fortunate. I did this each night, bringing layers of clothes in my backpack and bundling up as the sun went down. I felt I was witnessing something really special. I only found out after the 22nd day in a row that these were migratory birds. Wow.  I’m thankful to have witnessed this and to have really paid attention to something I find really special and unique.

The first time I heard the Cranes I was extremely intrigued, never having heard their call. I’ve also found myself laughing each time I hear one particular call of the ducks that sounds like laughter. It was only a few weeks into hearing the Cranes that I finally saw them and made the connection. Wow, their wing span is so wide that they looked like teradactils (found out the real spelling, pterodactyl! https://www.dimensions.com/element/pterodactyl

I added the video of the group of cranes from last evening, the solstice, at dusk in downtown Albuquerque. No kidding. It’s the 2:16 long video. 


According to this link above, “Winter(mid-November through late January) thousands of snow geese, Ross’s geese, and sandhill cranes spend the night in water to protect themselves from predators. Near dawn, the geese take off en masse in search of fields throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley to feed in for the day. Smaller groups of sandhill cranes then leave the safety of the water for the same reason…In addition to viewing cranes and geese and many species of ducks, you can drive the auto tour loop or hike the trails and see hawks, eagles, blackbirds, ravens, coots, and other birds along with occasional mammals, such as mule deer, coyotes, and jackrabbits. Check in with the visitor center staff for recent sightings.“

The first video in this link features a number of Crane calls, which astounded me and made me laugh.


At the one place I saw in the fading light what appeared to be Beavers, dark sleek bodies skimming downstream along the surface, in which I saw no head, just the top of their backs. And at another favorite spot, I was still sitting on the root of this large tree, now in darkness, when I heard rustling of leaves right next to me. I looked and made out the shape of this animal 5 feet away approaching, whose body was round. If it had been a skunk I would have made out the white line, but this was round and bigger than a skunk. At the moment I turned to face it, it changed direction. I hadn’t made out what it was. However, tonight, Jan. 3rd, where I sat editing this post of Dec. 31st, as I was leaving my spot, I heard a rustling of leaves, and this time saw a differently shaped, paler animal. I think it was a different creature. And this time, I walked away, in case I was in the space that it wanted to be. 


“More than 500 different species of animals claim New Mexico’s Bosque as their home including New Mexico whiptail, gopher snakes, great horned owl, Cooper’s hawk, porcupines and much more.”

I think the first may have been a porcupine. And earlier this evening, not sure. It wasn’t a javelina (wild boar), maybe it was a jack rabbit. Def not an ocelot. heheh.

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition.

About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

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