In “A List of the Most Common Backyard Birds in New Mexico,” readers will find a comprehensive compilation of the bird species that are frequently spotted in the backyards of New Mexico. The article draws upon actual data from the citizen science program eBird to provide an accurate representation of the birds encountered in the area. With vivid pictures accompanying each bird species mentioned, readers will not only be able to identify the birds easily but also learn how to attract them to their own backyards. In addition to discussing common backyard birds like the House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, and American Robin, the article offers a state overview of birds and bird watching in New Mexico, as well as insights into common birds based on seasonal variations and specific cities such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe. With eBird listing over 560 types of birds in New Mexico alone, this article serves as the perfect starting point for bird enthusiasts to explore the avian wonders of the region. It also encourages readers to utilize eBird and connect with local bird groups to gain further knowledge about the feathered friends in their area. Each bird species account provides rich details such as images, size and shape descriptions, habitat information, and feeding preferences, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of these backyard birds.
Common Backyard Birds in New Mexico
New Mexico is home to a diverse array of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore some of the most common backyard birds found in the state. From the vibrant House Finch to the elegant Dark-eyed Junco, these birds add color and life to our backyards. So grab your binoculars and let’s dive into the world of New Mexico’s backyard birds!
The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is one of the most recognizable and abundant birds in New Mexico. The males have vibrant red plumage on their head, chest, and rump, while the females have a more subdued brown coloration. These small birds have a stout body and conical bill, which is perfect for cracking open seeds.
The Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) is a small sparrow-like bird that can be found throughout New Mexico. They have a distinctive gray or brownish-gray coloration and a white belly. Their plumage adapts to the seasons, with a darker color in winter and a lighter shade in summer.
The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a familiar sight in many backyards across New Mexico. Known for its bright orange breast and grayish-brown upperparts, this medium-sized bird is known for its melodious song. They are particularly active in the early morning and late evening when they search for earthworms and insects on lawns.
The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a dove species that is frequently seen in New Mexico. These slender, medium-sized birds have a soft, gentle call. They have a pale grayish-brown body with a long, tapered tail. Mourning Doves are ground feeders and primarily consume seeds. You can often find them perched on telephone wires or foraging on the ground.
The White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is a larger species of dove that can be found in New Mexico. These doves have a grayish-brown body with a white stripe on their wings, which becomes visible when they fly. Their mournful cooing can often be heard in urban areas. White-winged Doves are primarily seed eaters but may also feed on fruits and insects.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) is a small and enchanting bird that can be found in New Mexico. Males have a black chin and throat, which gives them their name, while females have a pale throat. These hummingbirds are known for their high energy and agility. They feed on nectar from flowers and also catch insects in mid-air.
The Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) is a type of woodpecker that is commonly found in New Mexico. They have a brown body with black bars on their back and wings. The undersides of their wings, visible in flight, have a prominent white patch. Northern Flickers feed on ants, beetles, and other insects, which they find by drumming on trees or probing the ground.
The Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) is a striking bird with vibrant blue plumage on its head, back, and wings. They have a rusty-colored breast and belly. Western Bluebirds can often be found perched on fence posts or in trees, scanning the ground for insects and berries. They are known for their melodious calls, which add a touch of music to our backyard.
The White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is a medium-sized sparrow with a crisp black-and-white striped crown. They have a gray body with streaks on their breast and sides. White-crowned Sparrows are ground foragers, feeding mainly on seeds and insects. Their distinctive song can be heard in both urban and rural areas.
The Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) is a beautiful songbird that adds a splash of bright yellow to New Mexico’s backyard. Males have a vibrant orange-yellow breast and black wings, while females have a paler yellow coloration. These orioles are known for their melodious songs and their ability to build intricate cup-shaped nests. They feed on nectar, insects, and fruit, and may also visit backyard feeders.
State Overview of Birds and Bird Watching in New Mexico
New Mexico is a haven for birdwatchers, thanks to its diverse geography and climate. The state is home to a wide range of habitats, including deserts, mountains, forests, and wetlands, which attract a rich variety of bird species. In fact, according to eBird, there are over 560 types of birds that can be found in New Mexico.
eBird is a citizen science program that allows birdwatchers to contribute their observations and help scientists track bird populations. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in birds and is a great way to learn more about the species that frequent your area. By joining eBird and submitting your sightings, you can contribute to conserving bird populations and understanding their migration patterns.
Another way to connect with the birding community in New Mexico is by joining local bird groups and clubs. These organizations often hold regular meetings, bird walks, and field trips, where you can learn from experienced birders and explore new birding hotspots. Bird groups also provide opportunities to participate in conservation and community science projects, furthering your knowledge and contribution to bird research.
To truly make your backyard a haven for birds, there are several steps you can take to attract them. Providing a variety of food sources, such as bird feeders with different types of seeds, fruit-bearing plants, and nectar feeders, will attract a diverse range of species. Providing water sources, such as bird baths or shallow dishes, will also make your yard more enticing. Creating bird-friendly habitats by planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers will provide shelter and nesting places. By incorporating these elements into your backyard, you can create a welcoming environment for both resident and migrating birds.
Common Birds by Season in New Mexico
Bird populations in New Mexico vary throughout the year, with different species being more prevalent in different seasons. By understanding the seasonal patterns, birdwatchers can anticipate which species they are likely to encounter.
During the summer months, New Mexico welcomes a variety of vibrant bird species. The warm weather and increased insect activity make it an ideal time for many bird species to breed and raise their young. Some common summer birds in New Mexico include the Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Ash-throated Flycatcher. These colorful birds can often be seen flitting among the trees and singing their beautiful songs.
Winter in New Mexico brings a different cast of characters to the state. Many bird species that breed in the northern regions of North America migrate south for the winter, seeking warmer temperatures and abundant food sources. Some common winter birds in New Mexico include the Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, and Mountain Bluebird. These birds often gather in large flocks and can be seen foraging for food in snowy landscapes.
In addition to the resident bird species, New Mexico serves as an important stopover and wintering ground for many migratory birds. During the spring and fall migration periods, birdwatchers can witness the spectacle of thousands of birds passing through the state. These migratory birds include species such as Sandhill Cranes, Swainson’s Hawks, and Warblers. By timing your birdwatching outings to coincide with migration periods, you can witness the remarkable journey of these winged travelers.
Birds in Albuquerque
As the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque offers a diverse range of habitats that attract a variety of bird species. Whether you live in the heart of the city or on its outskirts, you can find common backyard birds that bring joy and beauty to your surroundings.
Common Birds in Albuquerque
Some of the common birds that can be found in Albuquerque include the House Finch, Mourning Dove, and Western Scrub-Jay. These species are well-adapted to urban environments and can often be seen foraging for food in parks, gardens, and residential areas. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you may spot other bird species such as the Curve-billed Thrasher or the Cactus Wren.
Birding Hotspots in Albuquerque
If you’re interested in exploring birding hotspots in Albuquerque, there are several areas worth visiting. The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, located south of the city, is a haven for migratory birds and offers excellent birdwatching opportunities. The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande, is another popular spot for observing both resident and migratory birds. Other notable locations include the Elena Gallegos Open Space and the Sandia Mountains, which provide a unique mix of habitats and bird species.
Birds in Santa Fe
Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes. It also offers ample opportunities for birdwatching, with a variety of habitats and a diverse bird population.
Common Birds in Santa Fe
Some of the common birds that can be found in Santa Fe include the Black-chinned Hummingbird, Bullock’s Oriole, and Mountain Bluebird. These species are often seen in urban areas and around residential neighborhoods. Keep an eye out for other bird species such as the Spotted Towhee or the Pygmy Nuthatch, which can be found in Santa Fe’s forests and woodlands.
Birding Hotspots in Santa Fe
For birdwatchers looking to explore the birding hotspots in Santa Fe, there are several locations worth visiting. The Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary offers a mix of habitats, including riparian areas, meadows, and Ponderosa pine forests, which attract a wide variety of bird species. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the Santa Fe River Park are also popular spots for birdwatching, with their diverse plantings and access to water sources. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, located to the east of Santa Fe, provide an opportunity to observe high-elevation bird species and enjoy breathtaking views.
The House Finch is a small songbird native to the western United States and Mexico. Males have a vibrant red plumage on their head, chest, and rump, while females have a more subdued brown coloration. They have a stout body and a conical bill, ideal for cracking open seeds.
House Finches are highly adaptive birds and can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas, suburbs, forests, and grasslands. In New Mexico, they are common visitors to backyard bird feeders. You can also spot them in parks, gardens, and along roadsides.
House Finches primarily feed on seeds, including those from sunflowers, dandelions, and grasses. They also consume berries, fruits, and occasionally insects. House Finch feeders with sunflower seeds or a mix of different seeds can attract these birds to your yard. Providing a constant supply of fresh water is also essential.
The Dark-eyed Junco is a small sparrow-like bird with a rounded body and a relatively short tail. Their plumage coloration varies depending on the region and season. In New Mexico, they can range from dark gray to brownish gray, with a white belly.
Dark-eyed Juncos breed in the coniferous forests of the mountains, but during the winter, they move to lower elevations, including residential areas, where they search for seeds and insects. You can often find them foraging on the ground beneath shrubs and trees.
Dark-eyed Juncos forage primarily on the ground, feeding on seeds, grains, and insects. They may visit backyard feeders that offer seeds, millet, or cracked corn. Providing a mix of these foods in a ground feeder can attract these delightful birds to your yard.
The American Robin is a medium-sized bird with a distinct orange breast and grayish-brown upperparts. They have a white eye-ring and a yellow bill. The males and females look similar, with the males being slightly larger.
American Robins are adaptable birds that can be found in various habitats, including backyards, gardens, parks, and forest clearings. They are often associated with lawns and open areas where they search for earthworms and insects in the early morning and late evening.
American Robins have a varied diet, feeding on earthworms, insects, fruits, and berries. In summer, they switch their diet to include more fruits and berries, which they pluck from trees and shrubs. Providing fruit-bearing plants in your yard can attract these beautiful birds and provide them with a valuable food source.
The Mourning Dove is a medium-sized bird with a sleek, slender body and a long, tapered tail. They have a pale grayish-brown body, with dark spots on their wings. Their call is a soft, mournful cooing sound.
Mourning Doves are highly adaptable birds and can be found in various habitats, including urban areas, deserts, grasslands, and woodlands. They are often seen perched on telephone wires or foraging on the ground.
Mourning Doves primarily feed on seeds, including those from grasses, weeds, and cultivated plants. They have a unique feeding behavior where they consume seeds and store them in their crop. They then digest the seeds overnight when they are at their roost site. Providing a platform feeder or scattering seeds on the ground can attract Mourning Doves to your backyard.
The Bullock’s Oriole is a bright and colorful songbird. Males have a vibrant orange-yellow breast, black wings, and a black eye-line. Females have a paler yellow coloration. They are medium-sized birds with a slender body and a slightly curved bill.
Bullock’s Orioles prefer open woodlands, riparian areas, and urban parks with mature trees. In New Mexico, they can often be found in cottonwood trees along rivers and streams. They are more common in the eastern and southern parts of the state.
Bullock’s Orioles have a varied diet, feeding on nectar, insects, and fruits. They are known for their ability to extract nectar from flowers with their specialized beaks. You can attract these beautiful birds to your yard by providing a nectar feeder or by planting nectar-rich flowers such as trumpet vine, honeysuckle, or salvia.
By familiarizing yourself with the common backyard birds in New Mexico, you can appreciate the beauty and diversity of the avian species that call this state home. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or just starting out, exploring the world of birds can be an enriching and rewarding experience. So grab your binoculars, step outside, and discover the fascinating world of New Mexico’s backyard birds!