Crane Fiesta 2020
Many people in our part of the world look forward to the annual Festival of the Cranes sponsored by Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge three hours north of El Paso. This year in an abundance of caution because of Covid-19 the friends group is sponsoring a Crane Fiesta 2020 that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, November 19th through November 21st. You need to pre-register online so don’t delay. Event planners promise to bring to you favorite events from the Expo Tent, premium photography webinars, exciting birding webinars and even the Wildlife Zone!
View the schedule and register for all the cost-free webinars of your choice. Registration is a little confusing but don’t give up.
DISCOVER BOSQUE DEL APACHE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
If you have not been to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico then consider giving yourself a special treat. Located 176 miles north of El Paso along 1-25 on the interstate towards Albuquerque, the refuge is the winter home to nearly 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, tens of thousands of Snow Geese and all kinds of ducks including Pintails, Mallards and Northern Shovelers.
The best way to experience this wonderland of birds is to stay at a motel in Socorro, New Mexico the night before. You will definitely want to get up very early so that you can leave Socorro about an hour before sunrise. By arriving at first light you can experience the first flights of thousands of geese followed by Sandhill Cranes as they soar overhead. Go straight to the main Flight Deck by turning left at the first intersection once you pass through the entrance gate. Check out the refuge visitor center and flight deck the afternoon before if you have the time.
When you get there don’t rush home, drive the entire loop several times, bring binoculars, lunch and enjoy all the moments. The best time of year to visit is when it gets cold from late November to early January. Check for more information on the refuge on Facebook.
Rick LoBello, Education Curator
Photo credits – Rick LoBello
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