Best Time To Visit Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (San Antonio, New Mexico, USA)

Sandhill cranes in Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico

Founded in 1939, the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (San Antonio, New Mexico) is a home to biological Aves (birds), as well as wildlife of all kinds. A hotspot for bird photographers, Bosque Del Apache is a sight to behold, and not just for the photographers. The best time to visit this place is during and between the months of November and January, when you are sure to find the greatest flock of various bird species.


Wintertime starts from November, and ends in late January in this region. This season sees different bird species- Sandhill cranes, Ross’s geese, and Snow geese camouflaging in the water at night to hide from predators. These geese take off en masse at first light, in search of favorable fields for daily pasture all over the Middle Rio Grande Valley. Visitors can easily check the sunrise time and recent roosting and feeding sites, as they change progressively during winter; by stopping in the Visitor’s center. Eagles, blackbirds, hawks, and several land mammals such as mule deer, coyotes, jackrabbits – all can be seen during the season of winter. A good hike along the trails, or a drive via the auto tour loop would get you a stunning view of these wildlife while they’re doing their thing.


Spring season kicks in fully from about mid February up till mid May. The wetlands are gradually emptied of water as spring season gets intense. This gives opportunity for other migrating bird species to take advantage of the available and favorable feeding grounds. Spring comes with more color to the flowers and foliage, the season where the roadrunners hit the auto tour loop and highway in search of sluggish reptiles (lizards, snakes). You’ll get to see well over a dozen species of warblers , vireos, and flycatchers as they comb the refuge during their migration, trying to find the perfect nesting territory.


Summer takes over shortly after spring, starting from mid May and ending in September. It is the right time to check out the colorful tricks of the black-chinned, calliope, and broad-tailed hummingbirds. See the flock…or multitude of variations of birds on their adventure around the refuge. Observe the flowers which bloomed during spring and how they’ve transitioned into the fruits of the summer. At the break of dawn in the mornings, and in the evening’s twilight, are the best times to view the wildlife; all these with Summer’s heat keeping you company. Most of the animals may seek refuge when it begins to reach the middle of the day. You can check out the parts of the refuge near waterways, as they constitute good places to check out the spoor of other creatures.


Fall season takes over from summer, beginning from mid-September to mid November. Red winged blackbirds coursing through the grasses provide a color combination with late blooming sunflowers. At the end of October, cranes and geese begin to appear; coyotes and mule deer start patrolling the fields too. The Northern part of the refuge becomes a venue for a gathering of wild turkeys of various family in their roosting flocks.

Best Time of The Day For A Visit to Bosque Del Apache

The best time to visit the Refuge is during the day, between the hours of 8am and 4pm. If you have visited Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge before, share the best time of the day in comments. Thank you.

Leave a Comment