Birds Flocking to the Rio Grande, 12-24-16


As winter tightens its grip in this part of the world, birds that require ice-free bodies of water are “flocking” to the Rio Grande of northern New Mexico. In particular, greater numbers of bald eagles are now showing up. They hunt the ducks that now, also, are arriving, along with fish.

Bald eagle in a ponderosa pine, in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Bald eagle, in a ponderosa pine, in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. In the background, a cliff of volcanic tuff.

Bald eagle pair, in a favored perch in a juniper snag, along the Racecourse run of the Rio Grande, near Pilar, NM

Bald eagle pair, in a favored perch in a juniper snag, along the Racecourse run of the Rio Grande, near Pilar, NM

Goldeneye males, in Orilla Verde

Goldeneye males, in Orilla Verde

Goldeneye pair, in Orilla Verde

Goldeneye pair, in Orilla Verde

Ring-necked pair, in Orilla Verde

Ring-necked pair, in Orilla Verde

Waterfowl medley, with gadwall, goldeneyes, mallards and canada geese. The latter two are year-round residents

Waterfowl medley, with (front to back), gadwall, goldeneyes, canada goose and mallards. The latter two are year-round residents

Also present are widgeons, buffleheads and common mergansers. Hooded mergansers have been present in small numbers in past winters, but have yet to show up. All of these ducks are skittish and hard to photograph, but become more tolerant of observers when they are in a group with canada geese, as in the photo above.

These photos were taken with a Coolpix P900, from a car parked on the roadside.

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
This entry was posted in Birding, Photography, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Birds Flocking to the Rio Grande, 12-24-16

  1. Britt Runyon says:

    Now I see them, GREAT stuff!
    To follow up on our conversation about “tack sharp”, I think the Goldeneye images are sharper than those of the Balds….IMHO……

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s