In early November, most years, more than 1,500 Sandhill cranes fly in to the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge on their annual winter journey south. The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is 80 miles east of Santa Fe.
The refuge is open to the public every Sunday in November for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can drive by the lakes and riparian habitat that is not usually open to the public. A special Wildlife Kids Crafts activity will take place each Sunday between 1 and 3pm. And, there are other special programs during this time. Call the office to inquire.
The Sunday I was there, the office was filled with birders, there was a very long list of birds that were sighted that day and a special program was being held where birds of prey would be brought in for the visitors to see.
The preserve provides habitat for eagles, hawks, snow geese, cranes and dozens of other species. The refuge is on N.M. 281, just east of Las Vegas, N.M. For more information on the refuge, call the Visitor Services Office at 505-425-3581or visit their website.