• Historic inscriptions carved in the bluff at El Morro.

    El Morro

    National Monument New Mexico


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


Common Raven

NPS Photo Dale Dombrowski


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.