casitas de gila guesthouses bed and breakfast new mexico 575-535-4455
info@casitasdegila.com

Southwestern Guesthouses on 265 Acres
near Silver City, New Mexico
overlooking Bear Creek and the Gila Wilderness

birding new mexico

Check out
Michael's
Gila Nature Blog

Places to Birdwatch in
Southwest New Mexico

Birds Seen or Heard Along Bear Creek
at Casitas de Gila Guesthouses …

roadrunnerSouthwestern New Mexico is truly a birder's paradise. The tremendous variety of habitat types and the geographic proximity to Old Mexico provide for a phenomenal diversity of avian species, including the infamous Roadrunner. Ranging from desert to deciduous riparian, more than 280 bird species have been recorded by biologists in our part of New Mexico, including the spectacular Hooded Merganser, the Northern Goshawk, the beautiful Peregrine Falcon, the White Throated Sparrow, and the Phainopepla.

woodpeckerThe Gila National Forest, comprising 3.3 million acres, is one of the more remote, pristine and least developed National Forests in the Southwest. The Forest is probably best known for its wilderness areas, in particular the Gila Wilderness — the first designated wilderness area in the United States. The magnificent mountain scenery, cool summer temperatures and relatively warm winters provide a unique combination of both plants and animals which share this diverse ecosystem, where the Rocky Mountains extend into the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts.Adjoining the Gila National Forest, the area along Bear Creek and the Gila River also provides a private refuge for nearly one-third of all bird species in North America, many of which have been sighted in the area, including the Gila Woodpecker.

Vegetation types range from Ponderosa pine at the mid elevation of 6,000 to 7,000 feet, to Piñon/Juniper or Oak/Juniper/Piñon woodland found on drier sites throughout the Gila Forest. This extreme range in elevation and the many corresponding vegetation types provide for a diverse bird fauna. Included are 170 bird species known to breed in the immediate area, 110 species known to occur at some time of the year, and 38 species considered to be casual or accidental.

Our nearby neighbor, the Gila Riparian Preserve, protects a prime example of the Southwest's fragile riparian habitat and a verdant gallery woodland, near the Gila River, the last of the Southwest's major free-flowing rivers. Naturally provided and protected is one of the most diverse broadleaf deciduous woodland areas in New Mexico.


Birds Seen or Heard at the Casitas de Gila Nature Preserve Include:

 

Herons and Bitterns
Great Blue Heron

Swans, Geese and Ducks
Mallard
Gadwall
American Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser

Vultures
Turkey Vulture

Hawks, Falcons and Eagles
Northern Goshawk
Cooper's Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Merlin
American Kestrel
Common Black Hawk

Quail
Gambel's Quail
Montezuma Quail
Turkey

Plovers
Killdeer

Pigeons and Doves
Band-tailed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
White-winged Dove
Ringed Turtle Dove

Roadrunners and Cuckoos
Greater Roadrunner
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Nightjars
Poor-will
Common Nighthawk

Swifts
White-throated Swift

Hummingbirds
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Magnificant Hummingbird

Meadowlarks, Blackbirds and Orioles
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Bullock's Oriole
Hooded Oriole
Scott's Oriole
Brown-headed Cowbird


   Hooded Oriole
hooded oriole

Kingfishers
Belted Kingfisher

Woodpeckers
Northern Flicker
Acorn Woodpecker
Gila Woodpecker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Williamson's Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker

Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe

Finches
Cassin's Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch

Weaver Finches
House Sparrow

 

 

Nuthatches
White-breasted Nuthatch

Ouzels
American Dipper

Wrens
Bewick's Wren
Canyon Wren
Rock Wren

   Cactus Wren
cactus wren

Mockingbirds and Thrashers
Northern Mockingbird
Curve-billed Thrasher

Thrushes
American Robin
Western Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire

Gnatcatchers and Kinglets
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Waxwings and Relatives
Phainopepla

Shrikes
Loggerhead Shrike

Vireos
Warbling Vireo

Wood Warblers
Olive Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Virginia's Warbler
Lucy's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Grace's Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

Swallows and Martins
Violet-green Swallow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow

Crows and Jays
Steller's Jay
Scrub Jay
Gray-breasted Jay
Pinyon Jay
Common Raven
Chihuahuan Raven

   Scrub Jay
scrub jay

Tanagers
Western Tanager
Summer Tanager

Grosbeaks, Sparrows and Buntings
Black-headed Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Northern Cardinal
Pyrrhuloxia
Green-tailed Towhee
Rufous-sided Towhee
Canyon Towhee
Black-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Titmice, Bushtits and Verdins
Plain Titmouse
Bridled Titmouse
Bushtit



The photographs above are taken from
"Watchable Birds of the Southwest",
by Mary Taylor Gray, published by Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana
(currently out of print).

"Watchable Birds of the Southwest" is copyright 1995 by Mary Taylor Gray.
Each photograph above is copyright 1995 by Mary Taylor Gray.

Also Visit:

The Nature Conservancy's Gila River Riparian Preserve
Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society
New Mexico Ornithological Society


Becky & Michael O'Connor, Owners
CASITAS DE GILA GUESTHOUSES & ART GALLERY
50 Casita Flats Rd • PO Box 325 • Gila, New Mexico 88038
575-535-4455  •  fax 575-535-4456

UPDATED AUG. 2015     COPYRIGHT ©2016 CASITAS DE GILA, INC.

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