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New Mexico Bird Watching and Feeding Information

New Mexico is a great place to watch and feed birds. Birdbaths, misters and drippers are especially effective in attracting birds, including non seed-eating species. Species that might be expected at feeders include: American Goldfinch, Cactus Wren, Canyon Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird and Steller's Jay. Each of these species is shown in the Nifty Fifty mini-guide.

The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of New Mexico. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of New Mexico. View the guide by clicking here or on the Nifty Fifty link on the left.

If the guide does not load, try downloading the free Flash player.

 

greater roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner - New Mexico State Bird

Bird feeding

Developing bird-friendly habitat in your yard is the best way to attract a greater variety of species and to support local and migrating species. Native plants provide food and cover, are more insect and disease resistant than non-native species, and may require less water. A list of bird-friendly native plants for New Mexico is available by following the link on the left.

Bluebirds

All three species of bluebirds can be found in New Mexico. Both the Western and Mountain Bluebirds nest in the state with populations of both species increasing in the winter as birds from further north migrate into the state for the winter. An isolated resident population of Eastern Bluebirds can be found in the very far southwest corner of the state. Eastern Bluebirds also migrate into the eastern half of the state in the winter.

Bluebirds are usually found in fields, open woodlands, parks or along golf courses or other open areas, including suburban locations with open spaces and scattered tress. In the mountains they are found in clearings and meadows.

 

eastern bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird has a pleasant, musical song and a similar easy-to-identify flight call.

 

mountain bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is well known for its hovering flight as it hawks for insects.

 

western bluebird

Western Bluebird

 

Bluebirds can be attracted to peanut butter mixes, suet and fruit. Raisins soaked in hot water to soften them are well received. The bluebird's special favorite is mealworms.

Nesting
All three species of bluebirds nest in New Mexico, although the nesting range of the eastern bluebird is very limited. One, two and sometimes three broods may be produced in a single year. Clutch sizes vary slightly between the species. The mountain bluebird averages 4 - 6 eggs, the eastern bluebird 3 - 5 eggs and the western bluebird closer to 5 or 6. Eggs are pale blue or rarely white.

If you manage a bluebird house, watch for House Sparrows trying to use the next box and immediately remove any House Sparrow nesting material.

Visit the bluebird section for detailed information on feeding bluebirds or building your own bluebird house.

Hummingbirds

At least 6 different hummingbird species can be found in New Mexico. Most have limited ranges in the southwest corner of the state. Broad-tailed and black-chinned Hummingbirds are the most widespread within the state.

  • Violet-crowned Hummingbird
  • Lucifer Hummingbird
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Magnificent Hummingbird
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird

broad-tailed hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

 

Visit the hummingbird section for details on attracting hummingbirds as well as images of all regularly occurring North American hummingbirds.

Purple Martins

In New Mexico purple martins are limited to the western part of the state during nesting, but can be found throughout the state during migration. Martins in the western part of the U.S. rely more on natural cavities than they do in the east. Check the Purple Martin section for information on martins in New Mexico. Detailed Purple Martin information is available in the Purple Martin section.

 

purple martin

Purple Martin - male

Birding

New Mexico provides birders with a variety of exciting birding locations.

The birding section of this site has tips on birding locations and bird identification. The state-based birding information section provides additional birding related information.

New Mexico Resource Information

Lincoln County Bird Club

Central New Mexico Audubon Society

Mesilla Valley Audubon Society

 

Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society
P.O. Box 22083
Santa Fe, NM 87502

Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society
PO Box 1473
Silver City, NM 88062
505-388-3441


Additional resources

If you have suggestions for additional resources for watching or feeding birds in Alabama, please submit them using this form. The resource does not need to be a particular location.

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