• Historic inscriptions carved in the bluff at El Morro.

    El Morro

    National Monument New Mexico

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  • 2014 Compendium now available

    The 2014 compendium is now available via the link below. It includes new prohibitions on the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in national park units. More »

Birds

Raptor Watch
An observer scans the north face of El Morro watching for raptor nesting activity.
NPS photo Dale Dombrowski
 

The variety of habitats within El Morro offer birding enthusiasts an opportunity to see birds aplenty. More than 180 speceis have been documented at the monument, and depending on the season, there is no telling what you may encounter. Raptors, woodpeckers, tanagers, warblers, wrens and more can be found while wandering the trails. Bring your binoculars and camera, ask for a birding checklist at the Visitor Center, and keep a sharp lookout while strolling the trails.

 
Raven

Common Raven

NPS Photo Dale Dombrowski

Ravens

One of the birds that visitors frequently see (and hear) at El Morro is the common raven (Corvus corax). Don't let that name fool you though because ravens are anything but common and are among the smartest of all birds. Ravens are larger than crows (often weighing four times more than a crow) and have shaggy throat feathers that are noticeable especially when they are vocalizing.

Ravens are considered omnivores, but they mainly eat meat and scavenge for carrion, forage in garbage piles, and prey on rodents and the eggs and nestlings of other birds. Sometimes they will eat seeds and grain. Ravens are acrobatic flyers and you can sometimes see them doing somersaults, rolls and even flying upside down! Ravens appear in numerous Native American stories and legends.


Did You Know?

Image of White-throated Swift

El Morro National Monument's avian claim to fame is the White-throated Swift, which was described to science for the very first time here in 1851, by Dr. S. W. Woodhouse of the Sitgreaves Expedition.