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Capulin Volcano National Monument–Headquarters and Nature Trail

Birding in New Mexico

Capulin Volcano National Monument
Headquarters and Nature Trail

Capulin, New Mexico 88414
Capulin Volcano National Monument webpage
Capulin Volcano National Monument map

Also, see Capulin Volcano National Monument

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Capulin Volcano NM–HQ and Nature Trail
Coordinates: 36.7783893, -103.9799416
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About Visitor Center and Nature Trail
The Visitor Center, located at the base of Capulin Volcano, serves as the park’s main educational center and an interactive learning area for visitors of all ages. In addition to an information desk and bookstore, the Visitor Center contains exhibits, a touch table, and dioramas about geology, natural history and the human history of Capulin Volcano. A small auditorium also provides opportunities for ranger-led programs and video presentations on a variety of topics.

The Nature Trail is adjacent to the visitor center. It is a figure-eight sidewalk trail that is handicap-accessible. Stop along the way at descriptors discussing plant life, geology, and wildlife in this short walk around a volcanic “squeeze up.” Dog Friendly!

About Capulin Volcano National Monument
Part of the 8,000 square mile Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field, Capulin Volcano showcases the volcanic geology of northeastern New Mexico. The views are spectacular day or night, with views of 4 different states from the volcanic rim and one of the darkest night skies in the country.

While the geologic history of Capulin Volcano began well over a million years ago, its involvement in human history has been much more recent. Capulin has traditionally been a crossroads of human activity as diverse people and cultures traversed to and from the Great Plains.

Capulin plays host to many birds throughout the year, from hawks and turkey vultures to towhees and hummingbirds. On occasion, a roadrunner or great horned owl may appear as well. The prairie grasslands surrounding the volcano are prime hunting grounds for birds of prey, while the abundant pinyon and juniper woodland provide protective cover for smaller birds. Ravens and hawks can be seen riding the warm columns of air that rise up and around the volcanic cone, called thermals. As you hike, listen for the chitter and rustling of smaller birds as they seek out insects or seeds in the sheltered undergrowth of pinyon, juniper, and Gambel’s oak.
From Capulin Volcano National Monument webpage