View Full Version : Some Personal notes on The Bosque Del Apache

bob williams
01-30-2012, 10:34 PM
I am a new member to BPN, but, while perusing the forums I have noticed a lot of questions about the the Bosque del Apache and thought I would throw my two cents worth in. I am a native of New Mexico and live about an hour north of the BdA. I have been shooting the BdA for about four years now; and though my photography skills are still at the amatuer/hobbyists level, I have some opinions about the BdA that I thought might be useful to those interested in visiting.

1. The BdA is a unique place, regardless of the time of year, there is always something to shoot if your a bird, wildlife or nature photographer.

2. The main birding season is November through February when the snow geese, sandhill cranes and eagles begin to fly in.

3. The month of November seems to be the most popular month to visit. The Festival of the Cranes occurs in November; there are tons of people, lots of learning opportunties and lots of workshops, The fall colors are gorgeous but unfortunately, not so many birds. This is the start of the season and the birds are just beginning to fly in. The weather is moderate during this time and jeans and a good jacket will usually suffice even in the early morning hours.

4. Later in the season, December and January, is my favorite time to go. The cranes and the geese are nearing thier peak numbers, there are more ducks, eagles and other raptors, and the four legged wildlife seems to be more abundant during the later months of the season. Most importantly, there are far less people. This is also the time of year that you should be prepared for bitter cold. The early morning temps are normally below freezing and can get near or below the zero mark on bad days. On these days I have had my 50d give me error 99 codes and my 7D had all of the rear buttons stop working on a recent outing---but once they warmed up, all was well.

5. So, if your seeking workshops, mild weather, connections with experienced photographers and simply want to celebrate the arrival of the cranes, then the month of November is probably the best choice for you. During the festival of the cranes, there are lots of workshops, tutorials, presentations and other events that many of us would enjoy. I have tried for three years now to get in to Canon's Long Lens Workshop, but it always seems to be sold out by the time I have the money to attend. If you desire one the many wonderful workshops, then plan early in the year.

6. If you are uninterested in the workshops, want to be where the birds are plentiful, can handle the cold and would like to avoid the masses of people; late December, January or early February are the months for you. Some may ask "What about the landscape colors?" I can assure you that even during the harshist and grayist of winter months that the sunsets, sunrises, snow capped mountains and even the foliage will provide plenty of color for your shots.

Hope this is useful to someone out there, if you have more questions about the Bosque del Apache, then please feel free to ask. I'm not an expert, but I am a local and will answer what ever I can.

Bob Williams

Grady Weed
02-11-2012, 06:18 PM
Thanks for your valuable input.

Randy Stout
03-06-2012, 09:02 PM
Thanks Bob:

I like the summary, haven't seen the info presented quite like that, so found it very useful!



Ian Cassell
03-16-2012, 03:40 PM
Thanks, Bob! Very helpful presentation of this information! I went for the first time this past November the week before T-Giving (during the festival) and had plenty to see and photograph. It was in the low 20s in the early morning hours, but it did warm up to very nice during the days. One of these days I'll get there later in the season.

Rosie Green
04-19-2012, 12:59 AM
I think this kind of article is really, really useful. I live in the UK and I'm going to the Hortobagy in Hungary in May to photograph birds from the specially designed photography hides run by a company called Sakertour. I've done my research so i know what to expect but this information has been gathered by me emailing past participants and asking them questions.

Perhaps we should all try to post information on particular well-known honeypots sites to help each other get the best out of them.

Thanks for your input, Bob.