Festival of the Cranes – part 8

After the fly out, we headed to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge visitor center to meet the bus for a Raptor ID tour.

The refuge is home to many red-tailed hawks…several different morphs. The basic ‘football’ shape is what we were looking for in the trees.

The bald eagle was in the snag in the middle of the flight deck pond. Nothing happened when the eagle opened its wings and moved all little (just as I snapped a picture…good enough to identify it as a bald eagle but not much else).

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Later the bird suddenly flew away….and caused a cloud of snow geese to rise all at one time from the water’s surface.

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There are a lot of northern harriers this year too. Every time we drove the wildlife loop, we saw a few. They fly low over the fields looking for their prey.

There were other birds that were not raptors that we saw too. The ravens seemed to pose of us.

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My favorite birds to watch were the hooded mergansers. At first there was just one pair interacting…then another male came along and then another female. They were almost beyond the range of my camera without the monopod. The first pair was acting a lot like is was time to breed but New Mexico is far from their breeding grounds.

The tour was an enjoyable 3 hours around the refuge wildlife loop.