Birds of New Mexico

Photos and identification guide for the birds of New Mexico, Sierra County New Mexico.
As I was returning from a wildflower hike several years ago I noticed some very brightly colored orange birds flying around the palms across the street from my home. Some research revealed these birds to be Bullock's Orioles. I learned they love oranges so I put an orange half in the Thorn-less Honey Locust tree in my yard and before long I was catching sight of the Orioles enjoying them. At first the Orioles were wary and would fly off if they caught sight of me even through a window. One day as I was standing on the deck just a couple of feet from the branch with the orange half a very small bird landed on the orange. Its back was to me and it looked rather plain grey but when it turned to look at me I was surprised to see a yellow face with black eye-line and a deep red shoulder patch. That was it, the Verdin hooked me on bird-watching.

To satisfy the different species of birds that visit,  the Honey Locust tree always has an orange half, an apple or pear half attached to a branch and usually a few peanuts in the crook of the tree.  There are two fresh water areas for drinking; one a pedestal bird-bath and one a ground-level dish fed by a dripping pipe. The ground-level dish is visited by an amazing variety of local and migrating birds and other creatures including snakes, coyotes and insects of all kinds. With very few exceptions the bird photographs posted on the species pages were photographed in my yard in Elephant Butte.

 

Sierra county is home to four Audubon Important Birding Areas (IBA)
Elephant Butte Reservoir: the largest lake in New Mexico
Emory Pass: (8200 feet) is located in the Black Range of southwestern New Mexico midway between Hillsboro and San Lorenzo.
Ladder Ranch: is owned by Ted Turner and is currently being managed for its biodiversity. Desert grassland and riparian habitats offer a wide range of birdlife both migrant and breeding. The ranch is being managed for its rich biodiversity by a conservation minded owner.
Caballo/Percha/Palomas area: Percha Dam State Park is a relatively manicured, open bosque of cottonwoods with picnic tables and campsites. Caballo Lake is 18 miles long and holds almost 350000 acre-feet of water. The Palomas Marsh is located at the northern most point of Caballo Lake