Lincoln County Bird Club
        Ruidoso, NM


All About Birds - Local Bird List - Bird Count

Backyard Bird Watching
 Each season brings its own special element to backyard bird watching, and summer is no exception.

Now is a great time to witness adult birds bringing their fledglings to their favorite feeding spot or a refreshing birdbath. Also, summer is the time to spot species not present during winter and to admire the birds’ colorful breeding plumage. Bluebirds, American robins and some buntings and sparrows are just a few seasonal regulars.

How can you attract them? You can be sure your yard is a welcoming haven for birds this season by turning it into an official Certified Wildlife Habitat® site! Certifying your yard means you go the extra mile for local birds and other local wildlife, and it entitles you to great benefits!

Here are a few more tips to attract your favorite summer bird species!

Native plants: In addition to providing food and shelter, native plants are critical for birds in another way too. During the breeding season, most birds feed insects to themselves and their offspring—often only particular kinds of insects that eat only particular native plants. In fact, chickadees and warblers rely on caterpillars for 90 percent of their diet during spring and summer.

Supplemental feeders: Rose-breasted grosbeaks in the East and black-headed grosbeaks in the West migrate south in winter but are active at feeders in the United States during summer.

Sugar-water feeders: Many hummingbird and oriole species—also missing from northern regions in winter—frequent sugar-water feeders during the warmer months.

Birdbaths and ponds: On hot, dry days, water will lure a wide variety of summer-only birds. Indigo and lazuli buntings, gray catbirds, brown thrashers, red-eyed vireos and red-winged blackbirds are just a handful of likely bathers that may be hundreds or thousands of miles away later in the year.

Turning your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® site is a great way to make your yard welcoming to neighborhood birds this summer and all year long!


Upper Canyon in Ruidoso
Take Sudderth Drive west to the circle and follow signs to Upper Canyon.  Park along the road and walk the Rio Ruidoso.  Most of this is private land so, be considerate of property owners. This is a good place to see the four hummingbird species present by mid-summer; Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird. Black-headed Grosbeaks, Pygmy and Red-breasted nuthatch, Acorn Woodpecker, Evening Grosbeak, MacGillivray's Warbler, Grace’s warbler may be seen.

Mescalero Lake
Mescalero Lake at Inn of the Mountain Gods on Carrizo Road.
Wintering waterfowl and a good place to see wintering Bald Eagles

Rancho Ruidoso
Take Hwy 48 (Mechem Drive in Ruidoso) north to Airport Road, follow to Paso Monte on the right just before Spencer Theater.  Follow the road to the end, park and walk along Little Creek streambed by the condos.  Killdeer, Western and Cassin’s Kingbird, Bushtit, Say’s Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Lesser Goldfinch may be seen.

Ft. Stanton Road (Hwy 214)
Take Hwy 48 (Mechem Drive in Ruidoso) north to Airport Road, follow to the end and turn left.  The road goes through Ft. Stanton and ends at Hwy 380.
Lark , Rufous-crowned and Vesper Sparrow, Scaled Quail, Western and Mountain Bluebird, Blue Grosbeak, Greater Roadrunner may be seen.

Rio Bonito and Baca Campground in Lincoln
From Ft Stanton continue on Hwy 214 to Hwy 380 and turn right. At about six miles, there is a small picnic area on the Rio Bonito on the left; this is Salazar Canyon Road.  Across from the picnic area is BLM land accessible to birders. To reach Baca Campground, follow Salazar Canyon Road (dirt) for about six miles.  The campground is on the left. Red-tailed Hawk, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Solitary Vireo, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Juniper Titmouse, Bushtit, Rock Wren, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak may be seen.

Capitan Water Treatment Ponds
The Helen Hinch Memorial Park which includes an observation platform for the sanitation ponds is located about one quarter mile east of Capitan on Hwy 380.
Cliff and Violet-green Swallow, Say’s Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Western Meadowlark, Prairie Falcon may be seen.  Thirteen species of wintering and migrating waterfowl have been recorded here.

Bonito Lake
Take Hwy 48 (Mechem in Ruidoso) to Hwy 37 and follow signs to Bonito Lake.
You may bird the side roads around the lake for free.  There is a fee to bird in the private campground that the end of the lake. You may also hike and bird for free in the US Forest Service South Fork Campground. Spring and fall migrating warblers include Townsend’s, Virginia’s, MacGillivray’s, Grace’s and Wilson’s may be seen. Belted Kingfisher and Green-tailed Towhee are resident, Common Goldeneye in often present in winter, may see wintering Bald Eagles.

Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site
This site is 17 miles North of Tularosa and 28 miles South of Carrizozo off
Hwy 54 on County Road B30.  Stop by the fee based campground at the petroglyphs and then follow the road to the end at the base of the mountains. Cactus Wren, Rock Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Phainopepla, Pyrrhuloxia, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Verdin, Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher may be observed. This is a reliable site for Verdin.

Check lists are available in Ruidoso at the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce at 720 Sudderth Drive or the Smokey Bear Ranger Station at 729 Mechem Drive.

Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge
A drive to San Antonio, NM on the Rio Grande (about 2 hours) will take you to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, one of the best birding experiences in America.