eBird Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

Birding in New Mexico

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Important Bird Area
2901 Candelaria Road Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park webpage
Rio Grande Nature Center Important Bird Area webpage
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park map and guide

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Bernalillo County

Rio Grande Nature Center SP
Coordinates: 35.13, -106.683
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Rio Grande Nature Center SP–Candelaria Wetlands
Coordinates: 35.1297718, -106.6816235
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Rio Grande Nature Center SP–Visitor Center
Coordinates: 35.1304869, -106.6837344
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Tips for birding Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Located in the bosque, or cottonwood forest, and by the wetland bordering the Rio Grande, the Nature Center is the focus of the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park. The park offers opportunities to experience 270 acres of woods, meadows and farmland flourishing with native grasses, wildflowers, willows, and cottonwoods.

The Riverwalk Trail is an easy one-mile loop through the bosque and along the river, passing through open meadows and heavily wooded areas. The Bosque Loop Trail, about 0.8 miles, is an easy walk through the bosque with a spur to the river.

In the Visitor Center, you will find exhibits describing the area and plants, geology and animals. The Observation Room which overlooks the pond contains a library with publications on birds, herbs, trees, and other aspects of natural history that can be used on the premises.

The Candelaria Wetland is located east of the Nature Center, includes two ponds offering five surface acres of water and four more acres of meadow for visiting waterfowl and shorebirds. Planted with 98 species of native aquatic and riparian vegetation, Candelaria Wetland restores a habitat once common in the Albuquerque part of the Rio Grande.

In Albuquerque, take the Candelaria exit west from I-25 and continue until it dead ends at the Rio Grande Nature Center (on the north side of the road).
From Rio Grande Nature Center Important Bird Area webpage

Birds of Interest
Numerous birds make their homes in the park. Birds to be seen in winter are Ring-necked Duck and American Wigeon, Northern Harrier, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Western Meadowlark, Sandhill Crane, and Bald Eagle. Summer migrants include warblers, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Black Phoebe, and Western Kingbird. Seasonal and year-round residents include Cooper’s Hawk, Great-horned Owl, Canada Goose, Ring-necked Pheasant, Wood Duck, Black-capped Chickadee, Great Blue Heron, and Downy and Hairy Woodpecker.

About Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park has been designated as an Important Bird Area.

Located on the Rio Grande flyway, the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park offers excellent birdwatching opportunities throughout the year.

There are indoor and outdoor wildlife viewing areas overlooking ponds, a native plant garden, and a pollinator garden as well as access to the city-managed trails to the Rio Grande and Bosque. The Visitor Center offers informative displays and a unique Nature Shop. The park is day-use only, no camping. Leashed pets are allowed in the parking area and on the adjacent city trails only.
From Rio Grande Nature Center State Park webpage