General Information

The Thursday Birders is a dedicated, inquisitive, jovial, and friendly group of birdwatchers. They embark on field trips nearly every Thursday throughout the year. Any exception to this regular schedule is posted on the BACNM Calendar. Thursday Birders is open to anyone interested in birds regardless of their experience. Trips last between 2.5 and 3 hours. For most trips, you don’t need to let the leader know you will be attending – just show up at the meeting spot no later than the specified time. You are encouraged to check this page before heading out in case of schedule changes or weather cancellations. For trips with limited numbers of vehicles or people, or for any other questions you have, contact thursdaybirders@gmail.com.

Please consider a voluntary $1 donation collected at the start of each trip that helps fund nature-related organizations. 

Click here – Checklist Archive – for eBird Checklists from past Thursday Birder trips
Click here – Thursday Birder Checklist – for a printable Thursday Birder Checklist or click here for how to print eBird checklists
Click here – History of Thursday Birders – for a history and more information on Thursday Birders


MAY 2024

Date: May 23, 2024 Rio Grande Valley SP – Riverview and Canopy Loop trails
Time: 8:00am-11:00am
Meeting Location: Depart from Sagebrush Church,  park here, east parking lot
Description: walk east and then north along bosque, returning along ditch
Facilities: no
Fees: none
Difficulty/Accessible: approximately 2 miles, flat, with some sandy areas partially ♿ accessible
Attendance Limit: none
Leader: Brian Anderson
eBird Hotspot: Rio Grande Valley State Park–Open Space Visitors Center bosque trails

Date: May 30, 2024 Cienega Canyon
Time: 8:00am-11:00am
Meeting Location: meet at Four Hills Shopping Village on Central in front of Sprouts Grocery park here to meet group in town at 8:00am. Alternate meeting place park in LOWER lot at 8:20am.
Description: The group will park in the lower parking lot in Cienega Canyon and walk up the road to the springs.
Facilities: pit toilets are available
Fees: $3 per vehicle or national interagency park pass
Difficulty/Accessible: walk up the road, a medium to steep incline, around the boardwalk to the top parking lot and return: ♿ accessible. 
Attendance Limit: none
Leaders: Perrianne Houghton, Susan and Jim Hunter
eBird Hotspot: Cibola NF–Cienega Canyon Picnic Area


JUNE 2024

Feltz Family Cabin – Jemez Mountains
Date: June 5, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Meeting Location: Meet at the south side of the Sprouts parking lot at San Mateo Blvd. and Academy Blvd. NE. Meet here.
Description: The Feltz family’s Jemez Mountain cabin at 8,600 feet near La Cueva with Lou and Arlene Feltz. One may view birds from the back deck or nearby meadows. Bring a sack lunch and a folding chair.
Facilities: You may use the restroom at the cabin.
Fees: No fee.
Difficulty/Accessible: Driving on some unpaved roads approaching the cabin with some rough roads, some walking in housing development if desired, no access to the closed-off forest, and sitting comfortably waiting for birds to arrive. The walk through the meadows is fairly level terrain but then begins to slope upward at a moderate grade. Some of the meadows involve walking on grass so may not be ♿accessible.
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: No leader
ebird Hotspot: None

Water Canyon
Date: June 13, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Meeting Location: South Valley Rail Runner Station on Camino del Tren Ave off Rio Bravo, Rail Runner parking lot
Description: Bring a picnic lunch. The trip should end in mid-afternoon. Water Canyon (campground location) is located at the north end of the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro. As an island of mountains surrounded by arid country, Water Canyon tends to draw in plenty of birds.
Facilities: vault toilet in campground
Fees: $3 per vehicle or national interagency park pass
Difficulty/Accessible: Walk along a rough road with questionable ♿accessible.
Attendance Limit: None
Leaders: Susan and Jim Hunter
e-bird hotspot: Cibola National Forest – Water Canyon

Sandia Crest
Date: June 20, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Meeting Location: If you wish to carpool, meet at the Sprouts parking lot, NE corner, at 7:50 for an 8:00 am departure. Or you may elect to meet at Sandia Crest. Take I-40 to Tijeras exit. Go North on North 14 and make a left on Sandia Crest Road. Drive all the way to the top. Click here for Sprouts parking lot: https://maps.app.goo.gl/yfNtRaXkDPzJ4KnW7
Description: Walk along Kiwanis trail in and out. Mostly wooded area with some meadows.
Facilities: Restrooms at Sandia Crest House at upper parking lot, if open.
Fees: $3.00 fee or National interagency pass
Difficulty/Accessible: Mostly level walk along the Kiwanis Trail. ♿accessible.
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: George Perry
ebird Hotspot: Cibola NF – Sandia Crest

Angostura/Algodones Diversion Dam
Date: June 27, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00am to 11:00 am
Meeting Location: 8:00am. Sandia Rail Runner Station on Highway 313 just north of Roy Ave Meet here to carpool. Take 313 north 12 miles to Algodones. The Birding area at Angostura Dam is the first left after passing the sign for Algadones City Limits and crossing over a ditch. A one lane dirt road that follows the ditch berm to the diversion dam parking.
Description: Walk the service road to the dam, cross over the dam and continue to the edge of the water below the dam returning along the service road and bosque to the parking area.
Facilities: None
Fees: No fee
Difficulty/Accessible: 1 – 2 miles on relatively flat wide trails and roads. ♿accessible
Attendance Limit: Parking at Angostura is limited to 6 cars
Leader: Sara Jayne Cole
ebird Hotspot: Angostura/Algodones Diversion Dam


JULY 2024

*JULY 4 HOLIDAY – NO BIRDWALK

Oak Flat Picnic Area
Date: July 11, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8 am to 12 pm
Meeting Location: Meet at the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras at 7:50 a.m. to carpool. Ranger station parking. To reach the Oak Flat Picnic Area, drive south for 9 miles on NM 337 (aka James McGrane Memorial Highway). Look for the brown “Oak Flat – Cibola National Forest” sign, on the east side of the road. Turn left on Oak Flat Road and follow it for .39 miles until you reach the entrance on the left side of the road. Follow the directional signs at the entrance to the Oak Flat Connector Trailhead & trail. At the site, we will park in the west-most parking lot (Pine).
Description: There are two trails here going in different directions. One is through a wooded area with some rocky areas on the path. The other is flat with some walking on asphalt.
Facilities: Only at the Ranger station.
Fees: No fee
DifficultyAccessible: one and a half miles – slight incline with paved and uneven trails. ♿accessible
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: Susan and Jim Hunter
ebird Hotspot: Cibola National Forest – Oak Flat Picnic Area

Embudito Canyon
Date: July 18, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Meet at the trailhead parking lot. Drive east on Montgomery Blvd. past Tramway, then turn left on Glenwood Hills. Continue 0.4 miles then turn right on Trailhead Road. Parking lot located here.
Description: No shade in this area we will walk, so be sure to bring water and a hat. We will walk in and out on the same trail.
Facilities: none
Fees: No fee
Difficulty/Accessible: This is an easy 1.5 mile walk up a sandy wash. ♿accessible
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: Darlene Benedict
eBird Hotspot: Cibola NF – Embudito Canyon

Ojito de San Antonio Open Space
Date: July 25, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Meeting location: Meet in the open space parking lot behind the church, located just off North 14 from the Tijeras exit off I-40. From I-40, take N14 north and stay in the left lane. Before Cedar Crest, turn left on San Antonio Drive. Go past the church and the entrance to the parking lot is behind it. Park behind church, here. Please do not park in the church parking lot.
Description: The trail will take you through what is left of an old apple grove and through a H.
Facilities: No facilities.
Fees: No fee.
Difficulty/Accessible: – one and a half miles – slight incline with some uneven trails. accessible
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: Brian Anderson
ebird Hotspot: Ojito de San Antonio Open Space.


AUGUST 2024

Balsam Glade and Capulin Springs – Sandia Mountains
Date: August 1, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 7:50 am – 12:00 pm
Meeting location: For those of you who would like to carpool, meet at the NE corner of the parking lot at Sprouts on Tramway and Central, NE at 7:50 am. If you would like to meet us there directly, meet at approximately 8:20 in the Balsam Glade parking lot, about one mile past the Sandia Ski Area on the right side of Sandia Crest Road. Balsam Glade parking. Then we will drive up the road a short way to Capulin Spring. An option is to take the trail that links the two locations, but it is probably not handicap accessible.
Description: Walk along the Balsam Glade Nature Trail to the Madera Canyon Overlook. We can bird in the picnic area as well. At Capulin Spring, birding in the area of the picnic tables, and a few birders at a time can go down to the Log.
Facilities: Restrooms at both locations.
Fees: $3.00 fee or National Park Service pass.
Difficulty/Accessible: Balsam Glade area and Capulin Springs are mostly level with some slight slopes. ♿accessible. Trail between them more difficult terrain.
Attendance Limit: None.
Leader: Perrianne Houghton
e-bird Hotspot: Cibola NF – Balsam Glade and Cibola NF – Capulin Springs

Alameda Bosque Trail – a.k.a. Paseo del Bosque Trail
Date: August 8, 2024
Meeting Location: south side of Alameda Blvd. just east of river, click here for parking.
Description: Walk along north valley ditches and through bosque
Facilities: Restroom near parking lot
Fees: No fee
Difficulty/Accessible: one to two miles some on flat sandy; some uneven sandy trails, partially ♿accessible
Attendance Limit: none
Leaders: Mary Raje
Ebird Hotspot: Rio Grande SP – Alameda Bridge Bosque Trails (including Alameda Open Space)

Durand Open Space, South Valley
Date: August 15, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Meet in the Open Space parking lot located at 4736 Isleta Blvd. From I-25, exit on Rio Bravo. Drive west on Rio Bravo and turn south on Isleta Blvd. Drive two miles to the property.
Parking location
Description: The walk is about 1 mile in length and will end by noon.
Facilities: No restrooms
Fees: No fee
Difficulty/Accessible: ♿accessible. Flat sand and gravel trail.
Attendance Limit: None
Leader: TBA
e-bird Hotspot: Durand Open Space & Adjacent Bosque Trails

Cienega Canyon
Date: August 22, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Meeting Location: meet at Four Hills Shopping Village on Central in front of Sprouts Grocery. Park here to meet group in town. Alternate meeting place park in LOWER lot
Description: The group will park in the lower parking lot in Cienega Canyon and walk up the road (south) to the springs.
Facilities: pit toilets are available
Fees: $3 per vehicle or national interagency park pass
Difficulty/Accessible: Going north, the trail is wide and level. Going south, there are some mild slopes and a narrow trail. ♿accessible
Attendance Limit: none
Leader: George Perry
EBird Hotspot: Cibola NF–Cienega Canyon Picnic Area

Otero Canyon
Date: August 29, 2024
Departure/Finish Time: 7:50 am – 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Meet at 7:50 am for an 8:00 departure from the Sandia Ranger Station on NM 337 in Tijeras. Ranger station parking
Description: The walk is in and out on same path, mostly unshaded but some shaded areas further in.
Facilities: The only bathroom accommodations will be at the Ranger’s station.
Fees: no fee
Difficulty/Accessible: Fairly easy two-mile walk along the bottom of the canyon. ♿accessible.
Attendance Limit: There is limited parking at the trailhead so carpooling at the Ranger Station is suggested.
Leader: Perrianne Houghton
e-bird Hotspot: Cibola NF – Cedro Creek/Otero Canyon Trail