What has 57, 331 acres and is located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, and straddles the Rio Grand and has as many as 34,000 winter residents?
Is it the winter population increase of Tucson Arizona and Miami Florida? Nope sorry. It is the NWR, National Wildlife Refuge known as Bosque del Apache near the tiny town of San Antonio, NM, 9 miles south of Socorro, NM. and about ninety minutes south from Albuquerque.
Bosque del Apache translates into “Woods of the Apache” and Pueblo Peoples for centuries before the Spanish explorers established the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe, NM)
From November through February and March photographers gather from around the world to capture the beautiful Sandhill Cranes as they glide in to feed.
The Grus canadensis – Sandhill cranes move among several areas throughout the day to feed, rest, and socialize. Social behavior includes at least ten different types of calls, various threatening postures, and elaborate dances for everything from joy to courtship.
These cranes cruise in to rest in shallow ponds to rest for the night only to fly off in the morning to feed in the surrounding fields.
Many other species are among the cranes. Snow geese for example and ducks of all kinds are found in the reserve. As we spent three days coming to the ponds and fields we were treated to tens of thousands of flapping wings and feeding majestic birds.
If you ever get a chance to view this event take it ! It is truly an amazing sight.