Cibola National Wildlife Refuge 
Jan 13, 2001
0715-1215, Sunny, 45-70 

A morning Audubon trip to see raptors, geese, and Sandhill Cranes.  We didn't let them down!
68 species total

As we drove down into the Colorado River Valley, a dreamy fog was lying on the agricultural fields and over the water.  It was just starting to lift as we crossed the bridge leading over the river, when Al, Helga and I spotted a foraging Crissal Thrasher.  Unfortunately, the vehicles behind us missed it--next time we'll take radios for everyone.

Northern Shoveler

Our first stop was at one of the hunting clubs north of the refuge; a pond in front of the ranch house provided a safe haven for Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, several Wood Ducks, and this Northern Shoveler.

Once on the refuge we met Brenda Zaun, who served as our tour guide and interpreter.  On the Goose Loop we located numerous sparrows:  Lincoln's, Song, White-crowned, Brewer's, Vesper, Savannah, and Dark-eyed Juncos.

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

A small herd of Mule Deer ran over the road in front of us and through the corn fields.  Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese, and Pintails gave us excellent looks as we made our way around the refuge.  
In an alfalfa field adjoining the Goose Loop on the se corner of Cibola, hunters had set up numerous decoys and waited impatiently.  Fortunately that didn't stop the Mountain Bluebirds from hunting there, also.

Mountain Bluebird
Close to the end of the loop road we stopped to hike along a newly created trail through a young cottonwood plantation.  Here we got excellent looks at Green-tailed, Spotted, and Abert's Towhees, along with a beautiful adult Vermillion Flycatcher and a White-tailed Kite.  At Cibola Lake we ended our trip with more waterfowl and looks at three adult Bald Eagles.  Lunch was at the Clip Mill, where we toured the Laccinoles' watershed restoration project and feasted on cold cuts and salads. 
# Species Name
1 Pied-Billed Grebe
2 Western Grebe
3 Clark's Grebe
4 Double-Crested Cormorant
5 Snowy Egret
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
8 Cattle Egret
9 Sandhill Crane
10 Ring-Necked Duck
11 Wood Duck
12 Northern Pintail
13 Mallard
14 American Wigeon
15 Snow Goose
16 Gadwall
17 Canada Goose
18 Bufflehead
19 Canvasback
20 Common Goldeneye
21 Ruddy Duck
22 Northern Shoveler
23 Lesser Scaup
24 American Coot
25 Red-Tailed Hawk
26 White-Tailed Kite
27 Bald Eagle
28 Osprey
29 Northern Harrier
30 Cooper's Hawk
31 American Kestrel
32 Gambel's Quail
33 Mourning Dove
34 Rock Dove
# Species Name
35 Greater Roadrunner
36 Belted Kingfisher
37 Northern Flicker
38 Black Phoebe
39 Say's Phoebe
40 Vermillion Flycatcher
41 Common Crow
42 Verdin
43 Marsh Wren
44 Mountain Bluebird
45 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
46 Loggerhead Shrike
47 Crissal Thrasher
48 Northern Mockingbird
49 Phainopepla
50 European Starling
51 Yellow-Rumped Warbler
52 Yellow-Headed Blackbird
53 Red-Winged Blackbird
54 Western Meadowlark
55 Vesper Sparrow
56 Brewer's Blackbird
57 Great-Tailed Grackle
58 House Sparrow
59 Green-Tailed Towhee
60 Brewer's Sparrow
61 Dark-Eyed Junco
62 White-Crowned Sparrow
63 Spotted Towhee
64 Lincoln's Sparrow
65 Savannah Sparrow
66 Song Sparrow
67 Abert's Towhee
68 House Finch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler