542 Bird Species Reside in New Mexico

Posted by Christy Caplan
Gila Woodpecker

Throughout New Mexico, more than 60 Important Bird Areas (IBA) have been identified. The Audubon New Mexico shares with us these IBA's, and we wanted to pass along the beautiful birds that can be seen at each spot.

Check out our favorite, the Gila Woodpecker. Here are four of the more than 60 important bird areas with the major bird species you'll see while out birding.

Gila River 

This region included the Gila-Cliff Area IBA, Gila Bird Area IBA, and Lower Gila Box IBA.

"New Mexico's last free-flowing river is threatened with a large-scale water diversion.  The entire Gila River system in southwestern New Mexico provides one of the highest breeding bird concentrations in North America including rare species such as the Gila Woodpecker and the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.  There are also numerous species of conservation concerns such as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Lucy's Warbler and Summer Tanager."

Ladd Gordon Waterfowl Area

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"Ducks, geese and Sandhill Cranes find food and shelter at the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Complex located along the middle Rio Grande and composed of the Belen, Casa Colorada, Bernardo, and La Joya Waterfowl Areas managed by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.  Nominated as a Global IBA because of the high numbers of Sandhill Cranes, these Waterfowl Areas totaling approximately 3,500 acres are farmed to provide feed for wintering waterfowl."

We love Sandhill Cranes.

Lower Rio Grande Bosques 

This includes Selden Canyon/Swan Pond IBA and Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park.

"Operated as State Parks, the waters of Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs are a significant concentration point for waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders as both stopovers and wintering habitat. The bosque and marsh habitats at Percha Dam State Park, Palomas Marsh, Selden Canyon, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, and scattered locations along the reservoir edges represent very rare habitats in southern New Mexico comprising a string of pearls along the Southern Rio Grande as the river moves through the Chihuahuan Desert."

Over 300 species of birds have been seen along the lower Rio Grande corridor including the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Lucy's Warbler, Bell's Vireo and Painted Bunting.

Melrose Woods 

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Two poses of the same cool warbler. The MacGillivray’s Warbler likes the thick prickly bramble bushes so that’s why I like the first image. It is striking a cool spread the legs pose and shows it’s typical habitat. However the second image is maybe the more insta-likeable one showing just the bird. What do you think? Which is ‘better’? . . . . . #birdsofbc #birdsofcanada🇨🇦 #warbler #warblersofinstagram #brambling #best_birds_of_ig #birdsofinstagram #bestbirdshots #your_best_birds #best_birds_of_world #naturephotography #birding #birdwatching #birdfreaks #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #birdphotography #birds #bird #naturephotography #birds_adored #eye_spy_birds #birdsonearth #wildlifeplanet #kingsbirds #bb_of_ig #nuts_about_birds #birdingwithacamera #earthcapture #canon_photography #nutsaboutbirds #pocketbirds #bird

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This whole list is of warblers!

"Of particular interest are the species of warblers that have been seen at this site including Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Virginia's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, MacGillivray's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat."

Birding at Melrose Woods is a very popular activity.

Other birds in New Mexico?

Check out the Hummingbirds, Thrashers, Sparrows, Quails, Grosbeak, Western bluebird, Towhee, Sandpiper, Kingbird, Grebe, Oriole, Greater Roadrunner, Ferruginous Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Kingfisher, Pelicans, Ibis, Vultures, Grackle, Osprey, Thrush, Meadowlark, Harrier, and Egret.
Have you ever seen any of these birds? Please leave us a comment below!

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542 Bird Species Reside in New Mexico