Over 200 species of birds can be seen in the skies above our Ruidoso cabins and condos. This makes for a perfect bird watching vacation. Additionally, the migratory flyways along the Rio Grande corridor are not far away.
Hummingbirds arrive sometime in April and stay through the summer before migrating back south in October. In Ruidoso, the official hummingbird month is May. Six different species of hummingbirds are regular summer visitors.
One of the very best birding experiences in America can be found to the west at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on the Rio Grande near San Antonio, New Mexico, about a two-hour drive away. You may see thousands of snow geese at a time, or even the occasional whooping crane.
The Lincoln County Bird Club provides a great forum for folks who love birds and want to learn more about them and their habitat. They have speakers and organize bird-watching trips. Contact Anita Powell, president, at (505) 257-5352 or Marilyn Roberson, secretary, for more information, or write to:
When you set aside some time to go birding, it is important to have a field guide with good pictures that cover this area. We recommend the Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds as a great primer. Also, don’t skimp on binoculars. The more expensive models have more magnification power and better clarity. Do a little homework ahead of time to get a feel as to what to expect. The Lincoln County Bird Club can provide checklists of Ruidoso’s known feathered residents.
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the habitat of each of the local species, as well. This way you will find yourself looking in the right places: high versus low, exposed versus hidden, etc. You can learn a lot from others who are more experienced in this area. Lincoln County Bird Club members welcome visitors and will gladly share their knowledge. They also organize local tours and regional trips. Ask questions, keep a list of all the birds that you see, and above all, have fun with it and be kind to the birds!