This tour is offered in partnership with Ventures Birding Tours.

Available spaces may be different to those advertised on our website.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, in the heart of New Mexico along the Rio Grande, is the setting for one of the most spectacular birding phenomena in the country. At sunset throughout the winter, thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese leave their feeding areas in nearby farm fields to roost in the shallow ponds of the refuge. This "fly in" is not to be missed on our Venture to the refuge. Along with the cranes and geese, Bosque del Apache is the wintering grounds for a good number of Bald Eagles and other raptors; several species of ducks, such as Cinnamon Teal and Common Merganser; other waterfowl, including cormorants and grebes; and several western species of sparrows, like Clay-colored and Brewer's. A twelve-mile loop road gets us up close to the birds, which are accustomed to vehicles, and from which we can also see Ring-necked Pheasant, Western Meadowlark, as well as coyotes and Mule Deer. Arid areas around the impoundments will yield desert species, such as Greater Roadrunner, Gambel's and Scaled Quail, Canyon and Spotted Towhee, Pinyon Jay, and Canyon and Rock Wren. Nearby Elephant Butte Lake State Park has a large over- wintering population of waterfowl, also: including Western and Clark's Grebes, loons, and perhaps an unusual gull.

This Venture also includes a visit to the Sandia Mountains, near Albuquerque, where all three species of Rosy-finch (Brown-capped, Black, and Gray-crowned) occur, and Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, on the edge of the eastern prairies, for sparrows such as American Tree, as well as other grassland birds.

Join us for this exciting Venture to New Mexico, "The Land of Enchantment", for both birding and enjoying the local color in a beautiful part of the Southwest.



Top Birds

Some of the Birds We Hope to See White-faced Ibis, Snow and Ross's Geese; Cinnamon Teal, Western and Clark's Grebe; Bald and Golden Eagles, Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Scaled and Gambel's Quail; Sandhill Crane, Greater Roadrunner, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Black and Say's Phoebe; Steller's, Pinyon, and Scrub Jay; Rock Wren; Mountain and Western Bluebirds; Green-tailed, Spotted, and Canyon Towhees; Gray-crowned, Black, and Brown-capped Rosy-finches.

Top Mammals

Coyote and Mule Deer

Habitats Covered

flats and scrub, desert, grassland, sub-alpine spruce-fir, lakes,

Expected Climate

comfortable, daily high temperatures average between 47°F to 52°F, whilst it is cold at night (18°F to 29°F)

Max Group Size

10 with 1 Ventures Leader

Tour Pace & Walking

easy, but some early mornings and later evenings, few long drives


good to comfortable

Ease of Birding

mostly easy with a few difficult species

Photographic Opportunities

good to excellent

What our clients say about us

Stephan Lorenz
MM & EM - Texas 2022

Wish we had the hearing and eyesight with the knowledge and youth of the guides.

Stephan Lorenz
JB - Colorado 2022

Thanks for an outstanding tour! Stephan is an excellent leader: great at finding and getting everyone on the birds, sharing information about the birds and the areas where we travelled, and handling the tour logistics. We had a few logistical difficulties, which Stephan handled beautifully. Both he and Claudia were excellent travel companions, and I would be happy to bird with them anywhere.

Stephan Lorenz
MC, Colorado & Texas 2022

I would just like to say how much I enjoyed both the tours - I saw lots of new birds, and our guide Stephan Lorenz was fantastic - extremely knowledgeable, and very patient, and made sure we all saw the birds. His wife Claudia was also extremely helpful in so many ways. I certainly hope I will do another tour with them in the not too distant future. The groups on both tours were friendly and easy to get on with. It was cold in Colorado, but it is a beautiful part of the world!

Stephan Lorenz
JS, Texas 2021

We enjoyed the tour. Stephan was great in every way and Claudia also terrific. The locations were interesting. The Lost Maples area was really lovely. The bat cave experience was amazing!

Forrest Rowland
SR - Montana 2021

This tour exceeded our expectations. Forrest Rowland is an exceptional guide. His intimate knowledge of Yellowstone Park and the general area and the species of animals and birds that inhabit the area are invaluable to the experience, but more than that his unbridled enthusiasm, superior patience, and ability to adjust to circumstances ensured the success of this trip. The area was hit with a very unusual early snowstorm that closed large parts of the park and many roads, but Forrest was able to pivot and ensure that we got to see animals, birds, and geothermal sites despite the difficult conditions. He organized excellent field lunches and great dinners in town and always had several backup plans in mind in case the weather turned either worse or better. The accommodation was located perfectly for easy and quick access to the park, and we found the hotel very comfortable with friendly staff. Forrest also organized a talk for our group with a wolf and bird expert from the Yellowstone Park staff, and this was certainly a highlight of the trip as it provided even more context and background for what we saw every day. I would travel with Forrest again regardless of the destination because he is a guide who will make sure that no matter where we travel the experience will be superior.

USA - New Mexico: Bosque del Apache: Las Vegas & Sandia Mountains 2024

14 Jan 2024 - 22 Jan 2024 (9 days)

USD2,775 - Spaces Available


Tour Leader: Local Leader

Tour price (Per person): USD2,775 * GBP2,267 * EUR2,609 * AUD4,310

Single Supplement: USD500 * GBP408 * EUR470 * AUD777

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Route Map

Tour Route Map