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.
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.