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Ken Duckert | profile | all galleries >> Wildlife of Bosque Del Apache & the Rio Grande River Valley tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Wildlife of Bosque Del Apache & the Rio Grande River Valley




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The Rio Grande created a broad river valley in New Mexico. Cottonwood trees spread out across it. The term, Bosque Del Apache, the “woods of the Apache”, was given to this area when Spanish explorers encountered Native Americans they thought were Apaches living here.

The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is the winter home for large numbers of sandhill cranes, snow geese, and a variety of ducks. It’s home for other birds too, but the cranes and geese are the birds most people come to see. Birds can be seen close up with a dramatic backdrop of blue skies, cottonwoods, and purple mountains. If you’re watching the birds at sunrise or sunset, the scene is especially dramatic.

Deer and elk graze in fields. Pheasants patrol the paths along roadside ditches. Coyotes amble across the fields and into the woods. Bald eagles keep watch over the ponds. There is activity everywhere.