New Mexico is home to a plethora of unique and beautiful birds. From the majestic Bald Eagles of the Rio Grande Valley to the colourful Western Tanagers of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, birds in new Mexico possess a variety of species that are sure to amaze bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike.
With over 440 species that can be found in New Mexico, ranging from the common Northern Cardinal to the rare Green-throated Mountain Gem, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
In this article, we discuss the top 25 birds in New Mexico.
Red Birds in New Mexico:
New Mexico is home to various wildlife, including many species of birds. One species that stands out, in particular, is the red bird. The vibrant coloration of these birds makes them easy to spot against the desert landscape, and their unique behaviors make them fascinating to observe.
The House Finch is a common bird species found throughout North America. In New Mexico, these birds are a familiar sight in backyards and parks, where they can be seen hopping around on the ground or perched on tree branches. House Finches are beloved by many birdwatchers in the state with their vibrant red plumage and cheerful chirps.
House Finches have adapted well to urban environments and can often nest in trees or shrubs near human settlements. They feed mainly on seeds and fruits but also eat small insects during the breeding season to provide protein for their young. These birds are monogamous and typically mate for life, with both partners sharing in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.
|Length||5.1 – 5.5 inches|
|Weight||0.7 – 0.8 ounce|
|Wingspan||5 – 6 inches|
Scarlet Tanagers are one of North America’s most colorful and striking birds. Originally native to eastern forests, seeing one in New Mexico is a rare treat for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. The Scarlet Tanager’s bright red plumage and black wings make it easy to spot among the trees.
The best time to see Scarlet Tanagers in New Mexico is during their migration period, from late April through mid-May. During this time, they can be spotted across various habitats, such as mixed woodlands, deciduous forests, and riparian areas. So, sightings are only guaranteed if these birds move swiftly through their northern breeding range toward their wintering grounds in South America.
|Length||9.8 – 11.8 inches|
|Weight||0.8 – 1.3 ounces|
|Wingspan||6.3 – 7.5 inches|
Red-shouldered hawks are majestic birds of prey that can be spotted in various parts of New Mexico. These raptors are known for the red patches on their wing shoulders, distinguishing them from other species. They thrive near wooded areas and are often seen perched on tall trees or soaring through the air.
These hawks have a wingspan of about 40 inches and can weigh up to two pounds. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals such as mice, rabbits, and squirrels, but they also feed on insects, reptiles, and amphibians. During the late winter to early spring breeding season, these birds build nests out of sticks and line them with softer materials such as moss or pine needles.
If you’re interested in observing these beautiful birds in the wild, check out places like Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge or the Santa Fe Raptor Center.
|Length||17 – 24 inches|
|Weight||17 – 27.3 ounces|
|Wingspan||37 – 43.5 inches|
The Ruddy Ground-Dove is a small, plump dove in the southwestern United States and Mexico. The male bird has a vibrant reddish-brown head and breast, while the female’s feathers are more muted with grayish-brown tones.
In New Mexico, the Ruddy Ground Dove can be spotted in arid regions such as desert grasslands, mesquite thickets, and agricultural fields. The state is considered at the northern edge of its range for this species, making it a rare sighting for birdwatchers.
Despite being relatively common in parts of Mexico, the Ruddy Ground Dove faces threats from habitat loss due to human development and agriculture. Conservation efforts are crucial to protecting these birds and ensuring their continued presence in New Mexico’s unique ecosystem.
|Scientific Name||Columbina Talcott|
|Length||5.9 – 7 inches|
The Red-Faced Warbler is one of the most sought-after birds for birdwatchers in New Mexico. This stunning species can be found in the state’s higher elevations, particularly in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Gila Wilderness. With its striking red face, black and white striped wings, and yellow underparts, this bird is a true gem to spot in the wild.
The best time to see Red-Faced Warblers is during breeding season from May to August. During this time, they will defend their territory aggressively and perform an elaborate courtship dance for their mate. They can often be heard singing a high-pitched trill that echoes through the forested areas where they reside.
|Weight||0.3 – 0.4 ounce|
Blue Birds in New Mexico:
New Mexico has much unique and fascinating wildlife, but none more stunning than the Blue Birds. These birds are known for their vibrant blue feathers that shine in the sun and stand out from other bird species. They are common in the Southwest, particularly in New Mexico’s arid regions, where they nest and breed in spring.
The Eastern Bluebird is a small and beautiful bird that inhabits the eastern part of North America. However, many people are surprised to learn that this species has also made its way to New Mexico. This is due in part to the efforts of conservationists who have worked tirelessly over the years to protect and expand their habitat.
Eastern Bluebirds across New Mexico, from the high desert areas in the north to the grasslands and forests in the south. They are known for their striking blue coloring, contrasting beautifully with their reddish-brown breasts and white bellies. These birds are not just pretty faces; they play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by preying on insects that can harm crops and other plants.
|Length||6.3 – 8.3 inches|
|Weight||0.95 – 1.20 ounces|
|Wingspan||9.8 – 12.6 inches|
The mountain bluebird is a stunning bird species found in the high-altitude regions of North America. This beautiful birds in New Mexico is often spotted during spring and summer. The male mountain bluebirds have a bright blue color that stands out against the green landscape of the mountains, while female birds are pale blue with brownish-grey wings.
During the breeding season, these birds can be seen perched on fences or power lines, looking for food or nesting sites. They feed mainly on insects such as grasshoppers and beetles, which they catch mid-air using their acrobatic skills. Mountain bluebirds prefer open areas such as meadows or fields to nest in and will even use artificial structures like nest boxes if natural cavities are scarce.
|Length||6.1 – 7.1 inches|
|Weight||0.85 – 1.31 ounces|
|Wingspan||11.0 – 14.2 inches|
The Western Bluebird is a striking bird that can be found in the state of New Mexico. This medium-sized songbird is easily recognizable by its vibrant blue head, back, and wings. The male has brighter colors than the female, with a reddish-orange breast and throat. This bird prefers open woodlands and meadows with scattered trees to forage on insects and berries.
New Mexico is home to many species of birds, but the Western Bluebird stands out for its beauty and charm. Its melodious song can be heard throughout the day during the breeding season, which typically starts in March and lasts until August. These birds are also known for their monogamous pairs that mate for life.
|Scientific Name||Sialia Mexicana|
|Length||6.3 – 7.5 inches|
|Weight||0.8 – 1.1 ounces|
|Wingspan||11.4 – 13.4 inches|
The Purple Gallinule is a striking bird recently spotted in New Mexico. This brightly colored bird boasts an array of deep purples, blues, and greens, with a distinctive red and yellow beak. The bird is known for its unique appearance and playful behaviour, making it a crowd favourite among birdwatchers.
While the Purple Gallinule is not native to New Mexico, sightings of this beautiful creature have increased in recent years. The species typically resides near swamps and marshes in the southeastern United States but has been expanding its range westward. The discovery of these birds in New Mexico indicates that they adapt well to their new environment and may continue to thrive there.
Bird enthusiasts everywhere are thrilled about the news of this stunning newcomer to New Mexico’s avian community.
|Length||13.0 – 14.6 inches|
|Weight||7.2 – 10.3 ounces|
|Wingspan||21.6 – 22.1 inches|
Black-Throated Blue Warbler:
The Black-Throated Blue Warbler is a small bird species found in the southwestern region of New Mexico. This beautiful bird is easily identified with its striking blue coloration on its wings, back, and tail feathers. The male Warbler has a black throat, while the female is white. These birds are active during the day and can often be seen flitting through trees, searching for insects.
Black-Throated Blue Warblers are migratory birds that breed in eastern North America during the summer before traveling south to Central America and northern South America for winter. During their migration, they stop in New Mexico for food and rest. These birds prefer deciduous forests with dense understory vegetation where they can find plenty of insects. They also nest in these areas, building their nests near the ground or low branches.
|Length||4.3 – 5.1 inches|
|Weight||0.3 – 0.4 ounce|
|Wingspan||7.5 – 7.9 inches|
The Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem is a small, colourful hummingbird found in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. In New Mexico, this stunning bird can be spotted in the high-elevation forests of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Known for its vibrant blue throat patch and emerald green feathers, the Blue-Throated Mountain-Gem is a sight to behold.
The best time to spot these birds in New Mexico is during their breeding season from May through August. During this time, males can be seen displaying their bright colors and performing acrobatic aerial displays to attract females. They are also known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a high-pitched “tseee-tseee-tseee.
|Length||4.5 – 4.9 inches|
|Weight||0.21 – 0.35 ounce|
Green Birds in New Mexico:
These birds are commonly found in the southern parts of New Mexico and can often be seen flitting through trees or perched on branches.
The Berylline Hummingbird is a stunning and rare bird species that can be found in New Mexico. This hummingbird is known for its metallic green feathers on the back and head, while its throat feathers are iridescent purple-pink.
These birds prefer to live in mountainous or hilly areas with vegetation, particularly oak woodlands and pine forests. During migration season, they can be seen along the southeastern coast of Mexico and some parts of Central America. In New Mexico, these hummingbirds can often be spotted during late spring and early summer when they come to breed.
To attract these birds to your backyard, it’s important to provide them with sugar water or nectar feeders.
|Length||3 – 4.25 inches|
|Weight||0.14 – 0.18 ounce|
The Mexican Violetear is a species of hummingbird that thrives in the mountainous regions of Mexico and Central America. However, these vibrant birds in New Mexico can also be found during their annual migration. As they go northward, they bring a splash of colour and an energetic presence to the region.
In New Mexico, Mexican sightings are most common between May and August, when they stop to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. These birds have a unique appearance, with iridescent green feathers on their back and wings and a deep purple throat patch that shimmers in the sunlight. Their long bills are perfectly adapted for sipping nectar from flowers, making them excellent pollinators.
|Length||3.8 – 4.7 inches|
|Weight||0.27 – 0.3 ounce|
|Wingspan||5 – 6 inches|
The Green Kingfisher might be small, but it is a big deal for birdwatchers who visit New Mexico. These vibrant birds are found along streams or ponds in the southwestern United States and Mexico, making them a rare sight. Their striking green feathers and sharp, pointed bills make them stand out in the natural landscape.
Green Kingfishers are known for their hunting abilities; they can dive into the water at high speeds to catch fish and other aquatic prey. They also build their nests using mud, sticks, and grass near water sources.
Observing these birds in action can be an exciting experience for nature enthusiasts visiting New Mexico’s wetlands or riverbanks. With its unique appearance and fascinating behavior, the Green Kingfisher is undoubtedly one of the most captivating birds to watch in this area of the country.
|Scientific Name||Chloroceryle Americana|
|Weight||1.0 – 1.4 ounces|
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is a magnificent bird spotted in New Mexico. This hummingbird species is known for its vibrant colours and unique ability to hover mid-air as it feeds on nectar from flowers. The male birds are especially striking, with their iridescent green feathers and ruby-red throat patches.
Many birdwatchers flock to New Mexico every year to glimpse this beautiful creature. They can be found in the state’s mountainous regions and can often be seen darting around flower gardens and feeders. Experts recommend setting up hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water or planting native flowers like bee balm, penstemon, and columbine to attract these tiny yet mighty birds.
Despite their small size, ruby-throated hummingbirds are fierce competitors for territory and mates during mating season.
|Length||2.8 – 3.5 inches|
|Weight||0.1 – 0.2 ounce|
|Wingspan||3 – 4 inches|
Orange Birds in New Mexico:
Orange Birds in New Mexico are a sight to behold. These vibrant creatures can be seen all over the state, from the deserts to the mountains. Many different species of orange birds call New Mexico home, each with its unique characteristics and habits.
The American Woodcock is a unique bird species found in New Mexico. This bird is also known as the timber doodle or the bog sucker, and it is well-known for its distinctive courtship display. The American Woodcock prefers to live in damp forests or wet meadows, where it can feed on earthworms and other insects.
Despite being a popular game bird in some parts of the country, the American Woodcock is not typically hunted in New Mexico. However, many birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts come to this state specifically to observe this interesting bird species. The best time to see the American Woodcock in New Mexico is during its courtship display season, usually from February through April.
|Scientific Name||Scolopax Minor|
|Length||9.8 – 12.2 inches|
|Weight||4.1 – 9.8 ounces|
|Wingspan||16.5 – 18.9 inches|
The Streak-backed Oriole is a bird species that has been seen in the state of New Mexico. This bird is known for its unique features, such as black and yellow streaked back and bright orange breasts. It is a rare sighting in the United States and has caused excitement amongst bird enthusiasts.
The Streak-backed Oriole is typically found in Mexico, but sightings have also been reported in southern Arizona and Texas. Its unpredictable migration patterns make it difficult to predict when this species will appear in different areas. The recent sightings of this bird species in New Mexico have sparked interest among tourists looking to glimpse this elusive creature.
Bring your binoculars and patience to see the Streak-backed Oriole for yourself! These birds can be quite shy and may require time to reveal themselves.
|Scientific Name||Icterus Pustulatus|
|Weight||2.47 – 3 ounces|
|Wingspan||12 – 13.5 inches|
The Blackburnian Warbler is a brightly-coloured bird species that migrates from its breeding grounds in Canada and the northeastern United States to wintering grounds in Central and South America.
It’s rarely seen in New Mexico, making it a special treat for avid birdwatchers who visit the state. These birds are known for their striking orange throat, black and white stripes on their head, and vibrant yellow underbelly.
These warblers prefer coniferous forests during the breeding season but may also be found in deciduous forests during migration. Their distinctive buzzy trill call can alert birders to their presence even when hidden among leaves high up in trees.
In New Mexico, these rare sightings usually occur during the spring and fall migration seasons when these birds pass through on their way to or from their wintering grounds further south.
|Length||4.3 – 5.1 inches|
|Weight||0.28 – 0.46 ounce|
|Wingspan||7.9 – 8.7 inches|
The Varied Thrush is a beautiful bird in North America’s Pacific Northwest region. However, you might be surprised that it can also be found in New Mexico. The Varied Thrush is a medium-sized songbird with a striking appearance, characterized by its orange breast and black stripes on its head and neck.
While not native to New Mexico, this bird has been spotted during winter when it migrates south for warmth. Its presence adds an exciting element to the state’s diverse avian population. Bird enthusiasts flock to the state’s many birdwatching hotspots, hoping to glimpse this stunning creature.
Despite being relatively uncommon in New Mexico, sightings of the Varied Thrush are increasing every year.
|Length||7.9 – 10.2 inches|
|Weight||2.3 – 3.5 ounces|
|Wingspan||13 – 17 inches|
The American Robin is a widespread and beloved bird in many parts of North America, including New Mexico. With its distinctive red breast and cheerful song, the American Robin is easily recognized by birdwatchers and casual observers alike.
In New Mexico, the American Robin is typically found in urban areas, parks, and gardens, where it forages for insects and berries. During the breeding season, which runs from March through July, these birds build nests out of grasses and twigs in trees or shrubs. They are also known to raise two or three broods per year.
Despite their popularity as garden birds, American Robins face several threats to their survival in New Mexico. Habitat loss due to urbanization and agriculture has led to population declines across the state.
|Length||8 – 11 inches|
|Weight||2.7 – 3 ounces|
|Wingspan||12 – 16 inches|
Yellow Birds in New Mexico:
New Mexico is a state that boasts beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. Among the many species of birds found in this region are some stunning yellow-feathered creatures. These bright and vibrant birds add to the natural beauty of the area and provide a glimpse into the unique habitat of New Mexico.
Prothonotary warblers are a unique species of migratory birds that can be found in the state of New Mexico. These small, yellow-coloured birds make their nests in the wetlands and swamps of the southern United States and Central America during the breeding season. They can be spotted in New Mexico between late April and early September.
The warbler’s striking yellow plumage makes it easy to identify in its natural habitat. However, these bright colours also make them vulnerable to predators such as snakes and raccoons. Therefore, they build their nests close to water sources for protection. The males usually arrive at the breeding grounds and establish territories before attracting females with their songs.
Although not commonly seen in New Mexico, sightings of prothonotary warblers have been reported along the Rio Grande Valley and Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
The Thick-billed Kingbird is a striking bird with distinctive colours and features. Found in various parts of the Americas, this kingbird species has been spotted in New Mexico on multiple occasions. Bird enthusiasts and nature lovers flock to the state to witness this unique bird species.
One of the most notable features of the Thick-billed Kingbird is its thick bill, which is significantly larger than other kingbirds’ bills. The bird’s plumage consists of greyish-olive upperparts and pale yellow underparts. It also has a black mask extending from its eyes to its beak. Its wings are also noteworthy, as they are broader than other kingbirds’.
In New Mexico, these birds are typically found in open woodland areas or near water sources such as rivers or lakeshores. They feed on insects, fruits, and small vertebrates like lizards or frogs.
The Yellow Grosbeak is a stunning bird found in New Mexico. This brightly colored bird stands out among the trees with its vibrant yellow feathers and black wings. It’s truly a sight to see when you spot one of these birds perched on a branch or flying through the air.
These birds are not only beautiful but also have interesting behaviors and vocalizations. They are known for their loud calls that can be heard from far away, making locating them in the forest easy. Yellow Grosbeaks are social birds that often flock together during feeding, making for an impressive sight as multiple bright yellow birds gather in one area.
While they are less well-known than other bird species, Yellow Grosbeaks are an important part of New Mexico’s ecosystem.
|Length||7 – 8 inches|
|Weight||1.9 – 2.6 ounces|
|Wingspan||12 – 14 inches|
Other Birds in New Mexico:
Dark-eyed Juncos are a group of small, gray birds that belong to the sparrow family. They are commonly found in North America and can be seen throughout the United States during winter. These birds are particularly abundant in New Mexico and can be spotted easily in forests, woodlands, and urban parks.
One of the most distinctive features of Dark-eyed Juncos is their plumage. Their dark hoods contrast sharply with their white bellies and gray backs. Their wings also have white outer tail feathers that flash when they fly. These birds are typically ground feeders and can often be seen foraging for seeds and insects on the forest floor.
|Scientific Name||Junco Hyemalis|
|Length||5.5 – 6.3 inches|
|Weight||0.6 – 1.1 ounces|
|Wingspan||7.1 – 9.8 inches|
The Black-and-White Warbler is a small bird seen in New Mexico during migration. This species of Warbler is known for its distinctive black-and-white striped pattern, which makes it easy to identify in the wild. The Black-and-White Warbler is also one of the few birds that climb up and down tree trunks like a woodpecker, using its sharp claws to grip the bark.
While they are not residents of New Mexico, these birds can be spotted during their spring and fall migration as they travel to and from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northeastern United States. They prefer deciduous forests, where they can find insects such as caterpillars and beetles to feed on.
|Length||4.3 – 5.1 inches|
|Weight||0.28 – 0.53 ounce|
|Wingspan||7.1 – 8.7 inches|
New Mexico is a great place for birdwatching. Its diverse habitats and species make it a haven for many types of birds throughout the year. The variety of birds in the state makes observing common and rare species possible. Remembering that all species require conservation and protection to survive is important. By taking steps such as minimizing human interaction, controlling the use of pesticides, and preserving habitats, we can ensure the future of these amazing birds in New Mexico.