The Ruidoso, New Mexico area boasts over 200 species of birds, perfect for a bird watching vacation. Additionally the migratory flyways along the Rio Grande corridor are not far away. Humming birds arrive sometime in April and stay through the summer before migrating back south in October. In Ruidoso the official hummingbird month is May and six different species 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, NM about a two hour drive away. You may see thousands of snow geese at a time or even an occasional whooping crane.
In Ruidoso 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:
Lincoln County Bird Club
When you set aside some time to go birding, it is important to have a field guide with good pictures that covers this area. We recommend the Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds as a great primer. Don’t be cheap on your binocular purchase. 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 Bird Club can provide check lists of known feathered residents.
It is a good idea to familiarize your self with the habitat of each of the local species. This way you will find yourself looking in the right places; high, low, exposed or hidden. You can learn a lot from others who are more experienced with this area. Lincoln County Bird Club members welcome visitors and will share their knowledge. They organize local tours and regional trips. Ask questions and keep a list of all the birds that you have seen. Above all, have fun with it and be kind to the birds.