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Birding Locations & Regional Ecosystems

Your introduction to birding locations in and around Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico. At most locations little walking is required and birding can be done near where you park your vehicle. Most of the sites are eBird hotspots. The pdf contains the hotspot links where you may view past bird sightings by year or month.

Waking/Birding in Silver City: Silver City Greenways Brochure Map [ PDF ]
Or pick up a print copy at GRIP, 305A N Cooper or the Silver City Visitors Center, 201 N Hudson

Birding by Ecosystem

Highland Oak-Juniper Canyons/Hillsides of Gila
National Forest are home to 4 jay species, thrashers, sparrows, vireos, warblers, Wild Turkey.
✔ Silver City, Arenas Valley, Pinos Altos, Gallinas Cyn/Hwy 152

Riparian Valleys with Cottonwood and Willow
Flycatchers, kingbirds, orioles, waterfowl, warblers, swallows, owls, and woodpeckers.
✔ Mimbres River Valley (15 miles E of SC)
✔ Gila River Valley Hwy 180 (25 mi W) [ INFO PDF ]
✔ Iron Bridge Conservation Area Hwy 180 (25 mi W) [ INFO PDF ]

Rolling grassland with mountains and scrub
To our south, large flocks of sparrow in the winter. Twelve or more species are possible in a morning drive along Separ Road.
✔ Separ Road (15 miles SW of SC off Hwy 90)

Chihuahuan desert
Terrain appears quickly southeast of SC. City of Rocks State Park area holds species of wren, thrasher, Long-eared Owls, and Roadrunners.
✔ City of Rocks (10 miles east of SC off Hwy 180)
✔ Floridas, Spring Cyn, Rock Hound St Park (15 miles SE of Deming) [ INFO PDF ]

Above 7000 feet in the Gila Forest
Habitat of mountain spruce and pine, home to unique species such as the Olive and Red-faced Warblers, Painted Redstart. Expect to find three species of nuthatches, vireos, and a variety of woodpeckers.
✔ Cherry Creek/McMillan campgrounds (12 miles N of SC on Hwy 15)

Sonoran desert
Plant communities to the West near the Arizona border hold Gray Vireo, Bell's Vireo, Montezuma Quail, and possibly Abert's Towhee.
✔ Red Rock (25 miles W of SC near the Gila River)


Local Birder Favorites! 

Enjoy these detailed descriptions of favorite local birding spots of SWNM Audubon chapter birders! -> Have a favorite local birding spot you'd like to share? Please contact us! <-

Jack’s Peak in the Burro Mountains [pdf]
Account and photos by David McDonald, October 2022


Find out what birds are being seen in our region. Use the EXPLORE feature to find bird sightings reported by county or by hotspots. The bar chart feature shows you what birds to expect throughout the year in a region or location.

eBird maintains a birding life list for registered users. You can also sign up for notifications of rare bird sightings in the area and for birds you've not yet recorded.

eBird is a project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is supported entirely by grants, sponsors, and donations.

Where are the spotted owls?

Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society does not share the location of spotted owls. The owls are very sensitive to human interaction and will abandon even long occupied territory and not return. Sadly, we have had this experience when their locations have been shared. This shyness is a reason eBird intentionally does not post spotted owl sightings. Certainly there is much interest in seeing this threatened species, but they are easily permanently driven away. If you do come across a spotted owl, enjoy the experience, but please minimize your contact with the bird, and definitely do not share the location. We would like them to continue to occupy and breed in the habitat they still have available. Thank you for understanding.

Area Checklists & Map Links

You Need A Permit!!

Did you know that you are required to have a permit to use certain wildlife management areas for hiking, biking and bird watching? WHERE and the Online Permit Purchase system is at wildlife.state.nm.us.