Birding in Albuquerque

rio-grande-nature-center

Anytime you go birding in Albuquerque you need to include the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park in your circuit.  It is close to the downtown and offers a view of a wetland in an otherwise water-starved landscape.  The Visitor’s Center has cement wings with peep holes that extend from the main building giving a view of the main pond and a glass-walled observation room that provides up-close-and-personal looks at the waterfowl.  There are also various trails around the pond and down to the river.

wood-duck

The main attraction the day I was there was the ducks.  Lots and lots of ducks.  There were American Wigeons, Gadwalls, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards, Lesser Scaup, Coots, Redheads and Canada Geese on the pond and Sandhill Cranes in the field on the drive up.

BUT, the craziest thing was a coot that was struggling to eat something in the water.  We all watched it fascinated.  It was whitish and floating.  I thought it was plastic until one of the naturalists came in and told us it was a bullfrog, long-dead, killed by a muskrat.  The coot had been working it for a while.  Um, slimy putrid frog-legs would not be my choice, but then I’m not a coot.

coot-eating-a-frog

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5 Comments

Filed under Photos, Travel

5 responses to “Birding in Albuquerque

  1. Well I will put that on my list of birdie places to visit..I love the wood duck photo…and the crazy frog loving coot..

  2. Definitely looks like a fun place to visit for Birding. I just love to see wood ducks.

  3. One of my favorite places. I’d love something like that observation room around home.

  4. Hi Bev – I’ve decided to add you to my Google reader. Your posts are always so informative and lately they’ve been so relevant to my latest trip to New Mexico. I also saw the wood ducks at the Nature Center, along with a pair of sand hill cranes across the river. I also saw a few northern shovelers. I’m not sure if I saw any of the other ducks, but then I’m not always accurate with my IDs. That’s why I like to get photos so I can compare them with my field guides. I’m glad you posted about the Nature Center. This was my first time visiting; I didn’t know about it other years when I vacationed in New Mexico.

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