For a number of years the New Mexico Hummingbird Festival has been held at Lake Roberts, New Mexico. Some years there is a festival; some years there is no festival. I was excited to learn that there would be a festival this year and that a birding friend from Las Cruces and a birding friend from Arizona would attend. Although I received all this information less than a week before the festival was scheduled to start, I began making plans to attend.
The festival was held at the Little Toad Creek Inn and Tavern near Lake Roberts in the Gila National Forest.
There were many hummingbirds. We happily watched Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Calliope Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds and Black-chinned Hummingbirds at the many feeders. Joan Day-Martin gave an informative presentation on hummingbirds in the area, and there were other presentations as well as children's activities. The accommodations were charming, and the food at the inn is excellent! I enjoyed seeing birding friends again.
On the second day of the festival, one of the attendees offered to take us to an area where he had seen a Mexican Spotted Owl. We were very enthusiastic as only one of us had seen one previously. We hiked up an unmarked canyon, went around a bend, and there this gorgeous bird was, sleeping on a ledge. It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen as a birder. We didn't want to venture too close for fear of disturbing the bird. We stayed in the canyon for the better part of an hour, enjoying being in the presence of such a magnificent creature. The light could have been better, we might have been able to get closer, but I treasure these photos.
I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed being able to take them.
|Sleeping Mexican Spotted Owl with a deer-track pictograph above his head.|
|The owl sees us but is not concerned. We were very careful not to upset it!|
|A little feather preening.|
|Mustn't forget the feet!|
|What a beautiful bird!|
|Rufous and Black-chinned Hummingbirds|
|A Calliope Hummingbird shows off it's beautiful gorget.|
The children who attended the festival enjoyed hummingbird activities with Joan Day-Martin.
There were Black-headed Grosbeaks in the trees around the inn. . .
|Male Black-headed Grosbeak|
|A Great Blue Heron finds an unusual perch.|
The best part of the trip was seeing birding friends. It's my favorite reason for attending birding festivals!
|Cynthia White, Donna Simonette and Donna's son Juan|
|Juan and his net|
|A Water Strider for the net.|
|Prickle Poppies in the Gila National Forest|