Flight On

The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico is known for birds. Lots and lots of birds. More birds than you can possibly count, although they do have a method for making a pretty good estimate of how many there are. Suffice it to say, the Bosque del Apache is all about birds.

Long ago, before man began to encroach on the Rio Grande river, the birds would fly into the area for the winter. It had what they wanted: wetlands and food. Of course, as man developed the Rio Grande, this caused serious problems for birds such as the sandhill cranes and snow geese. Luckily, we also realized the necessity of maintaining the habitat, and in 1939 the Bosque del Apache was formally established. Ever since then, the birds have been wintering here. Today, this actively managed refuge is home to tens of thousands of various birds over the winter.

Which brings us to the snow geese. They, as a general rule, take off and land together, which provides an amazing spectacle. Rising as one wing into the blue skies above, an entire flock takes off from their resting place to somewhere else. Flight on!

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