Birding Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Willie Chavez Educational Center

Birding in New Mexico

Willie Chavez Educational Center
Belen, New Mexico 87002

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Valencia County

Willie Chavez Educational Center
Coordinates: 34.6513911, -106.743679
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Photo by John Montgomery

About Willie Chavez Educational Center
The former state park property initially centering this hotspot is currently owned by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and used by the Belen Consolidated School District as an education center. Most of the old park is fenced off, with a locked gate, and a “private property” sign posted at the driveway to the building now utilized by the school district. The grounds are not open to the public, nor should birders park in the driveway, blocking official vehicle access.

However, birders may turn south off NM-309 (East River Road) just east of the former park entrance and either immediately park off that road on the dirt verge, or on a road (if open) between the old park and the river. Birds observed in the area directly south of NM-309 and west of the Rio Grande, abutting the old park, can be appropriately listed for the Willie Chavez hotspot. The habitat is mostly riparian cottonwood bosque, mixed with small-holder farmland and rural residential. North of NM-309 lies a separate hotspot, Eastside Bosque North of NM-309.
From John Montgomery