Winter Birding in the Enchanted Circle
New Mexico is known for having a wide variety of bird species at every elevation, with ever-changing species by season. This winter is a perfect time to take visiting friends and family on a tour of the Enchanted Circle and search for these beauties. There’s a checklist of species at the bottom, and if you have a smartphone, the Audubon app allows you to download their field guide for offline use. Otherwise, I can personally recommend the invaluable Birds Of New Mexico Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. Log your sightings on eBird to help ornithologists understand habitat and migration patterns and let us at Questa Del Rio News know what other birds you spotted!
- Orilla Verde Campgrounds
Starting just south of Taos, the Orilla Verde Campgrounds are home to raptors, waterfowl, and songbirds. With a location right next to the Rio Grande, this is a prime location to see a wide variety of our feathered friends.
Access: NM-570, Taos
Price: $3 for day use
- Heart Lake
This is a moderate hike that rewards a steep 4.8-mile climb with a breathtaking serene lake. If you’re a more experienced hiker and want an adventure, take the Bull Creek Trail off Lake Fork for a 14-mile ascent to a deeply secluded spot.
Access: Start at Cabresto Lake and follow the Lake Fork Trail for 1.7 miles, then turn left for the Heart Lake Trail.Price: Free. Features pre-existing campsites near the lake.
- Oeste Vista Loop
A shady 2.5-mile loop nestled in Angel Fire that provides views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Moreno Valley.
Access: Start across from the Angel Fire Country Club entrance on Mountain View Blvd. (NM Hwy 434)
- Eagle’s Nest Lake
A wide open space that offers boating, fishing, hiking, and of course plenty of opportunity to view wildlife and birds.
Access: 42 Marina Way, Eagle Nest, NM 87718
- Lost Lake Trail
Located between Red River and Eagle’s Nest, this intermediate trail is also a great fishing spot, as it’s stocked via helicopter with native cutthroat trout. Birds that shelter in aspen and spruce trees will be here.
Access: Travel south approximately 6 miles on NM State Highway 578 to the junction of Middle Fork and East Fork. The pavement ends here. Take the road to the right, Forest Road 58, for approximately 1.1 miles to a parking area. No turnaround or parking is available beyond this point.
- Goose Creek Trail 65
A moderate trail that climbs 5.5 miles to Goose Lake and is also accessible via ATV. Alpine inclined birds will be found foraging here.
Access: From Red River travel 2-1/2 miles up State Road 578. Look for the trailhead on the west side.