Depending on the time of year, Albuquerque offers abundant opportunities for birding enthusiasts to check several dozen species off their life lists in just one trip.
“As bird diversity is equivalent with habitat diversity, it is not surprising that Albuquerque, New Mexico ranks number four in bird diversity in the United States,” wrote David Mehlman, former director of the Nature Conservancy’s national Migratory Bird Program. “From the Rio Grande River Valley at 5,000 feet elevation to the Sandia Mountains at 10,678 feet elevation, both amateur and more experienced avian enthusiasts, will discover a fascinating range of bird species.”
New Mexico’s state bird, the roadrunner, can be found throughout the city; Cooper’s hawks can be seen year-round; and every birder knows that the Rio Grande is a migratory flyway for sandhill cranes each fall and spring. But did you know that our Sandia Mountains are one of the best places to view three different species of rosy finches, and that the area has one of the country’s largest populations of pinyon jays, which nest among our piñon and juniper trees? These colorful residents make Albuquerque “the land of the finch and the home of the jay.”
Accessibility and the diversity of migrating and native New Mexico birds are the primary reasons to experience birding in Albuquerque. Below is a map of Albuquerque showing the locations for some of the top birding spots in and around Albuquerque.