New Mexico Field Guide to Birds

New Mexico Field Guide to Birds
While New Mexico is largely arid, brown and mountainous, an astounding variety of animal species make their home there. With 523 bird species reported by, New Mexico provides a wealth of opportunities for sightings over varied and rugged terrain. In fact, it is the fourth most diverse bird state in the entire country. Birds can even be found around the large cities, with a number of species spotted around Albuquerque.

Greater Roadrunner

Nearly 2 feet in length, with mottled brown and white plumage, the roadrunner is a fascinating addition to New Mexico's bestiary, even without the cartoon connection. Often seen along roadways, where it hunts insects and lizards, the roadrunner has been clocked running 15 miles an hour.

Black-Headed Grosbeak

The Southwest's answer to the cardinal, the black-headed grosbeak is a seed-eating bird in the same family. Easily identified by its color scheme--orange breast, black wings with white-stripes and a black helmeted head--the grosbeak is a common sight in New Mexico, which lies along its migratory patterns.

Canyon Towhee

True to its name, the canyon towhee is best found in low-lying areas, particularly valleys in the midst of mountain ranges. While common, the bird does not often take flight, preferring to habituate scrub and chaparral patches. This makes it a little rarer of a sight than its numbers would suggest. Brown to dusty gray, the canyon towhee has a long tail to balance out its pudgy shape.

Steller's Jay

A beautiful relative of the eastern blue jay, Steller's jay is frequently called the mountain jay or pine jay. A vibrant blue, the steller's jay's plumage darkens significantly to almost black on the head. In addition, its crest is much more pronounced than eastern blue jays.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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