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Melrose Woods

Birding in New Mexico

Melrose Woods
Important Bird Area
Taiban, New Mexico 88134
Melrose Woods information sheet
Melrose Migrant Trap Important Bird Area webpage

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Roosevelt County

Melrose Woods
Coordinates: 34.4343548, -103.7991207
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About Melrose Woods
Melrose Migrant Trap is designated as an Important Bird Area.

Melrose Woods, nestled among the grasslands of the Llano Estacado, is an unexpected oasis of remnant cottonwoods that serves as host to an open-air ornithological aviary for myriad migratory birds.

Located approximately 10 miles west of Melrose, the trap serves as a stopping-off point for a vast variety of migrating birds. The spring and fall typically are aflutter with winged visitors and the venue is a well-known haven for birders from within the state and from coast to coast as well. Melrose Woods hosts a wide variety of migrant birds and fowl – including the majestic barn and great horned owls, among over 250 other species.

The New Mexico State Land Office (NMSLO) is currently working with the Central New Mexico Audubon Society and the agricultural lessee to develop a plan to restore native vegetation, provide reliable water, develop better visitor facilities and generate new revenue to the NMSLO’s beneficiaries.

This site is easily accessible by most vehicles. Parking at the site is limited. For those wanting to get in a little exercise during your excursion, visitors can hike along primitive trails in the area. Visitors should be mindful of the fence line on the north side of the site which approximates the property boundary. Do not trespass onto this adjacent private land! Melrose Woods is leased to an area rancher who owns the agricultural improvements for their grazing operations. Visitors are prohibited from manipulating any of these improvements or interfering with the ranching operations.

Getting there: This site can be found by going west on US-84 from Melrose approximately 9.6 miles or east from Fort Sumner approximately 23 miles on US-84 to the access gate. There is a red gate on the north side of US-84. The site itself is approximately 0.25 miles beyond the gate and is easily visible from the highway.
From Melrose Woods information sheet

Melrose Migrant Trap is approximately 11 miles west of Melrose. The area has remnant large cottonwoods and an exotic poplar-type tree. There is a small cattle tank that provides water. The area is surrounded by grasslands as far as the eye can see.

This is a premier migrant trap. A very large variety of migrants pass through each spring and fall. Both Barn and Great Horned Owls often are here. In addition to normal migrants up the eastern plains of New Mexico, this spot has a long list of migrating vagrants.
From Melrose Migrant Trap Important Bird Area webpage