25th Annual Festival of the Cranes
Nov 9, 2012 7:49 AM
25th Annual Festival of the CranesA real bird heaven. Refuge celebrates arrival of migratory birds in central New Mexico with six-day event by Tom Sharpe, The Santa Fe New Mexican 11/04/2012.
The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande is preparing to celebrate the 25th Annual Festival of the Cranes. The six-day celebration, Nov. 13-18, commemorates the arrival of Sandhill cranes and other migratory birds -- ducks, snow geese, raptors, and some rare whooping cranes.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the 57,331-acre refuge, which includes many artificial ponds that are flooded during the winter. The turnoff for the Bosque is 8 miles south of Socorro, along Interstate-25. The festival includes 100 tours, workshops, hikes, lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on activities in Socorro, at the wildlife refuge, andat other sites in central New Mexico. The events begin at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the bus stop at the Bosque Visitors Center. There is a six-hour workshop on sandhill crane behavior led by Paul Tebbel and Keanna Leonard. The workshops are daily and up to 20 people will be allowed in each workshop, which costs $85. There are also many free activities during the weekend. Registration has been extended until tomorrow, Nov. 10. http://www.festivalofthecranes.com for the workshops. There is also a wildlife zone that really caters to the curious, including kids, because you can actually walk right up to raptors and a wolf.
(They may use shuttlebuses to transport visitors throughout the Refuge along the dirt roads on the berms overlooking the artificial ponds and next to the Rio Grande; otherwise, the public is usually allowed to drive their own cars throughout the refuge.)
There is an RV campground near the Visitors Center and more than one in the city of Socorro, including a Wal-Mart supercenter that allows RV overnight parking. There are many motels in Socorro. Night temperatures are forecast to drop into the 20sF degrees in northern New Mexico (Albuquerque and Santa Fe) plus some snow in the mountains this weekend.
14,000 Greater Sandhill cranes, 50,000 snow geese, rare whooping cranes, 50,000 ducks, great blue herons, snowy egrets, bald eagles, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, rough-legged hawks, red-tailed hawks, ferruginous, hawks, northern harriers, peregrine falsons, merlins, American kestrels, golden eagles, wild turkeys, hummingbirds, western meadowlarks, yellow-headed blackbirds, tree swallows. (From guidebook to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.)
Edited by: trekker502
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