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Desert Diary

Birds/Bosque del Apache


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Frantic calls of Snow Geese echo as thousands of them fill the air in a great white cloud, frightened from their feeding ground. They settle on a distant field as the reason for their sudden retreat, a Bald Eagle, drifts lazily out of the sky, descending to his majestic perch, a large deadwood tree in the center of the marsh. A trio of Sandhill Cranes, part of the thousands that winter here, ignore the distraction, while a Great Blue Heron halts in his approach, looking to see what all the noise is about. A coyote peering through the reeds, aiming for a Snow-Goose dinner, realizes that pickings are now slim and trots down an embankment and disappears into the dense brush.

Part of a wildlife program on television? No, just some of the many sights available for immediate viewing with no commercial interruptions at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, winter home to many species of birds uncommon in the Chihuahuan Desert. Just south of Socorro, New Mexico, it's definitely worth checking out. pen and ink


Contributor: Suzanne Kilbourne, Student, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Snow Goose

Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens). Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



Web Resources

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Friends of the Bosque.