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Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese of Bosque del Apache

Program Number: 18294RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/8/2013 - 1/12/2013;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Socorro, New Mexico
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Since 1939, refuge staff and volunteers have worked to restore wintering habitat along the Rio Grande, helping the sandhill crane population recover to as many as 15,000 birds after habitat loss and land mismanagement severely depleted their numbers. Experience this dramatic success story firsthand as you enjoy bountiful migratory birding opportunities.




Highlights

• Enjoy the spectacular bird and wildlife viewing opportunities that have earned this area international recognition.
• Witness thousands of snow geese rising through the air in “puffs.”
• Explore the renowned Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge as well as other state and wildlife refuges.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile over sometimes uneven terrain. Travel by van. Expect cold and windy weather conditions. Elevation 4,500-6,000 feet.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

1-8-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Socorro

Socorro is both historically rich and surrounded by natural treasures such as the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where tens of thousands of birds gather each fall. On the banks of the Rio Grande 75 miles south of Albuquerque, the town was settled by the Spanish in 1627 and is part of a historic corridor of trade and immigration.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with indoor pool and hot tub.
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
  Socorro, NM 4 nights
 Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 1100 N. California St.
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
phone: 575-838-0556
web: www.bestwestern.com
  Room amenities: Cable TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, work area
  Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, high speed internet
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in hotel 3-5 pm. Orientation meeting 5 pm You will be staying at Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Check-out after breakfast, hotel check-out by 10 am. You will be staying at Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form
  Parking availability:
No charge to guests
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Socorro, NM
  Nearest city or town:  Albuquerque
  Nearest highway: I 25
  Nearest airport:  Albuquerque
  From End of Program
  Location: Socorro, NM
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Socorro, NM

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Socorro Taxi
phone: 575-322-2425 x5758354276
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

90 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

75 miles

   

This is currently the only airport shuttle available and can be a bit expensive. Many people choose when flying into ABQ to rent a car and travel to other locations in New Mexico such as White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks.

 
Driving Directions
  Socorro, NM Socorro is located 78 Miles south of Albuquerque, NM and 189 miles north of El Paso, TX on Interstate 25. The Best Western is just south off Exit 150 on the east side of Hwy 60-1100 N. California St.
Elevation Note: 5,000 ft.

Equipment Requirements: Recommend Binoculars, field guides, warm clothes Please bring your Golden Eagle/or Senior or National Access Passes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in 3 to 5 pm. Dinner and introduction and orientation
(Tuesday, January 8)
   
 Arrive To: Hotel Check-in 3 - 5 p.m. Orientation 5 p.m. followed by dinner
 Dinner: Dinner will be in a locally owned restaurant with several entree choices.
 Evening: Orientation and Introductions. Lecture on birding etiquette and target species we hope to observe.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Daybreak mass ascension of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes with full day of bird watching in Bosque del Apache.
(Wednesday, January 9)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel expanded continental breakfast with hot and cold items.
 Morning: Predawn departure to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge to be in place for mass ascension of snow geese and sandhill cranes. Based in Socorro about 20 miles away, we will arise early, have a quick breakfast and be there in time to observe the dramatic early morning “mass ascensions” of birds. We will then spend several hours driving the loop roads and watching for birds in several locations. During the day, large flocks of Snow Geese may take off suddenly from adjoining fields. The sight and sound of thousands of birds rising up in unison is a breathtaking experience you will never forget. We may also experience the sandhill cranes leaving their roost; afternoon observation of geese and cranes feeding in the fields; porcupine, coyote, wild turkey, deer, and birds of prey; and watching amazing fly-ins at last light.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in a local cafe with choices off of the menu.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon bird viewing along Rio Grande River (prime roosting areas) or locations in Bosque del Apache Preserve, evening bird fly-in. Instructor will use best judgement as to location selected depending upon location of the masses of birds that frequently move.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in a locally owned restaurant with several entree choices.
 Evening: Free for relaxation and tallying bird list.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Daybreak mass ascension of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes with full day of bird watching along Rio Grande River Refuges. Evening descent of Sandhill Cranes.
(Thursday, January 10)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel expanded continental breakfast with hot and cold items
 Morning: Predawn departure to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge to be in place for mass ascension of snow geese and sandhill cranes. Early morning flyout locations will vary each day. Bosque del Apache translates as "Woods of the Apache". Native Americans often camped at this river-side forest, and the area was occupied by Pueblo Peoples for centuries before the Spanish explorers established the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe) in the sixteenth century. The Camino Real ran right through the present-day Refuge.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in a local cafe with choices off of the menu.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will travel to the State of New Mexico's impressive Camino Real Museum to learn about this amazing Road that traveled from Mexico City to Santa Fe in the 16-1800's. Our afternoon birding will include viewing along the Rio Grande River or locations in Bosque del Apache, including the evening crane and snowgeese fly-in. The Refuge is an important wintering home for Sandhill Cranes, and will host as many as 14,000 during the winter months. Cranes will begin arriving in November, and will leave as late as the end of February, heading for Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge for a month or two before migrating onwards to Greys' Lake, Idaho, their breeding grounds.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in a locally owned restaurant with several entree choices.
 Evening: Wrap up for day and planning session for next day
   
Accommodations: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Daybreak mass ascension of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes with full day of bird watching in Bosque del Apache. and other wildlife refuges.
(Friday, January 11)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel expanded continental breakfast with hot and cold items
 Morning: Predawn departure to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge to be in place for mass ascension of snow geese and sandhill cranes. As well as Sandhill Cranes, the Bosque is also home to over 32,000 Snow Geese and Ross Geese, dozens of Bald Eagles and Golden, Great Blue Herons, Occasional Pelicans, Avocets, and many, many other birds. Small herds of Mule Deer and families of Coyotes are also at home on this beautiful refuge.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in a local cafe with choices off of the menu.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will travel to Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and the Ladd Gordon State Waterfowl Protection Area for many bird viewing opportunities including cranes feeding. Our late afternoon birding will include viewing along the Rio Grande River or locations in Bosque del Apache, including the evening crane and snowgeese fly-in. Seeing the sunset "Fly In" and the dawn "Fly Out" is an experience you will never forget! If you are lucky you can also see what we call "Puffs" of Snow Geese, thousands rising into the air, sometimes within 10- 20 feet of you. The sound of wings and the sound of geese talking is a fantastic, primordial experience, guaranteed to "wow" you out of your worries and "wow" you out of your own body, and guaranteed to lift your soul to join them.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in a locally owned restaurant with several entree choices.
 Evening: Wrap up for day and week, compile bird list
   
Accommodations: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Departures after Breakfast, checkout by 10 am
(Saturday, January 12)
   
 Depart From: Check-out after Breakfast
 Breakfast: Hotel expanded continental breakfast with hot and cold items
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge- A Photographer's and Visitor's Guide


Author: Ralph H. Wetmore II


Description: This book is a compilation of over 15 years of photographic trips to the refuge. Photographs of many species of birds, some mammals, and beautiful scenes provide wonderful insight into the refuge. Become even more familiar with many of the wonders present at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico with this guide in hand.





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