• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Closures and Missile Tests

    Upcoming Missile Tests: From time to time the missile range that surrounds us performs missile testing that may require the closure of the park or Highway 70. Please follow the link below for up to date information on closures More »

  • 2014 WHITE SANDS BALLOON INVITATIONAL

    The White Sands Balloon Committee and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting both days of the Balloon Festival on Sept 20-21 at the Ed Brabson Balloon Park on Lavelle Rd in Alamogordo. Call Pat at (575) 430-9226 from 8-5 pm MDT.

  • Summer Monument Hours

    The monument currently opens at 7 a.m. and closes roughly 1 hour after sunset. More »

  • Road Safety Corridor

    The first four miles of Dunes Drive is a road safety corridor. Slowing or stopping in the corridor is prohibited. Dune Life Nature and Playa trails are also temporarily closed. The staff of White Sands National Monument apologizes for the inconvenience.

A Checklist of Birds of White Sands National Monument

This checklist includes 210 species of birds which have been reported within White Sands National Monument. While few birds inhabit the gypsum dune field, many occur in the surrounding desert plains, playa lakes, and foothill areas of the monument. The Visitor Center area is usually the best place to observe birds.

The species names and the organization of this list conform to the classification of North American birds adopted by the American Ornithologists' Union in 1983. Should you observe and identify a bird not listed, report your findings to a park ranger. Notes on any unusual observations are welcome!


Legend

Status:

PR-Permanent Resident
SR-Summer Resident and Breeder
WR-Winter Resident
M-Migrant

Abundance:

c = common; easily found in proper habitat in the right season
o = occasional; usually present in proper habitat and season, but not certain to be seen
r = rare; occurrence unpredictable, with only a few sightings per year


LOONS

[ ] Common Loon M:r

GREBES

[ ] Western Grebe M:r

[ ] Horned Grebe M:r

[ ] Eared Grebe WR:r

[ ] Pied-billed Grebe M:r

PELICANS

[ ] American White Pelican M:r

HERONS AND IBIS

[ ] American Bittern M:r

[ ] Great Blue Heron M:o

[ ] Snowy Egret M:r

[ ] Cattle Egret M:r

[ ] Black-crowned Night Heron M:o

[ ] White-faced Ibis M:o

WATERFOWL

[ ] Snow Goose M:o

[ ] Canada Goose M:r

[ ] Green-winged Teal M:o

[ ] Mallard M:c

[ ] Northern Pintail M:o

[ ] Blue-winged Teal M:c

[ ] Cinnamon Teal M:o

[ ] Northern Shoveller M:c

[ ] Gadwall M:o

[ ] American Widgeon M:r

[ ] Canvasback M:r

[ ] Redhead M:o

[ ] Ring-necked M:o

[ ] Lesser Scaup M:o

[ ] Bufflehead M:o

[ ] Common Merganser M:o

[ ] Ruddy Duck M:c

VULTURES, HAWKS & FALCONS

[ ] Turkey Vulture SR:o

[ ] Mississippi Kite M:r

[ ] Northern Harrier WR:c

[ ] Sharp-shinned Hawk M:r

[ ] Cooper's Hawk M:r

[ ] Swainson's Hawk SR:c

[ ] Red-tailed Hawk WR:o

[ ] Ferruginous Hawk WR:r

[ ] Rough-legged Hawk WR:r

[ ] Golden Eagle PR:r

[ ] American Kestrel PR:c

[ ] Merlin M:r

[ ] Peregrine Falcon M:r

[ ] Prairie Falcon WR:r

GALLINACEOUS BIRDS

[ ] Scaled Quail PR:o

[ ] Gambel's Quail PR:o

RAILS, GALLINULES & CRANES

[ ] Virginia Rail M:r

[ ] Common Moorhen M:r

[ ] American Coot M:o

[ ] Sandhill Crane M:r

SHOREBIRDS

[ ] Black-bellied Plover M:r

[ ] Snowy Plover M:r

[ ] Semipalmated Plover M:r

[ ] Killdeer PR:o

[ ] Black-necked Stilt M:o

[ ] American Avocet M:o

[ ] Greater Yellowlegs M:r

[ ] Solitary Sandpiper M:r

[ ] Willet M:r

[ ] Spotted Sandpiper M:o

[ ] Long-billed Curlew M:o

[ ] Hudsonian Godwit M:r

[ ] Semipalmated Sandpiper M:r

[ ] Western Sandpiper M:o

[ ] Least Sandpiper M:o

[ ] Baird's Sandpiper M:r

[ ] Long-billed Dowitcher M:r

[ ] Common Snipe WR:r

[ ] Wilson's Phalarope M:c

GULLS AND TERNS

[ ] Franklin's Gull M:r

[ ] Bonaparte's Gull M:r

[ ] Ring-billed Gull M:r

[ ] Forster's Tern M:r

[ ] Black Tern M:o

DOVES

[ ] Rock Dove PR:r

[ ] Mourning Dove PR:c

[ ] White-winged dove SR:o

[ ] Inca Dove SR:r

CUCKOOS

[ ] Greater Roadrunner PR:c

OWLS

[ ] Common Barn Owl PR:r

[ ] Western Screech Owl PR:r

[ ] Great Horned Owl PR:o

[ ] Burrowing Owl PR:r

GOATSUCKERS

[ ] Lesser Nighthawk SR:c

[ ] Common Nighthawk SR:o

[ ] Common Poorwill SR:o

SWIFTS

[ ] White-throated Swift SR:o

HUMMINGBIRDS

[ ] Black-chinned Hummingbird SR:o

[ ] Broad-tailed Hummingbird SR:r

[ ] Rufous Hummingbird M:r

KINGFISHERS

[ ] Belted Kingfisher M:r

WOODPECKERS

[ ] Red-headed Woodpecker M:r

[ ] Red-naped Sapsucker M:r

[ ] Ladder-backed Woodpecker PR:o

[ ] Northern Flicker PR:o

FLYCATCHERS

[ ] Scissor-tailed Flycatcher M:r

[ ] Ash-throated Flycatcher SR:o

[ ] Cassin's Kingbird SR:r

[ ] Western Kingbird SR:c

[ ] Olive-sided Flycatcher M:r

[ ] Western Wood Pewee SR:o

[ ] Empidonax sp. SR:o

[ ] Black Phoebe SR:r

[ ] Say's Phoebe PR:c

[ ] Dusky-capped Flycatcher SR:r

LARKS

[ ] Horned Lark PR:c

SWALLOWS

[ ] Purple Martin M:r

[ ] Tree Swallow M:r

[ ] Violet-green Swallow M:o

[ ] Northern Rough-winged Swallow SR:r

[ ] Cliff Swallow SR:o

[ ] Barn Swallow SR:o

CROWS AND JAYS

[ ] American Crow M:o

[ ] Chihuahuan Raven PR:c

[ ] Common Raven PR:r

VERDINS

[ ] Verdin PR:o

NUTHATCHES

[ ] Red-breasted Nuthatch WR:r

CREEPERS

[ ] Brown Creeper WR:r

WRENS

[ ] Cactus Wren PR:c

[ ] Rock Wren PR:r

[ ] Bewick's Wren PR:r

[ ] House Wren M:r

[ ] Marsh Wren PR:r

GNATCATCHERS AND KINGLETS

[ ] Ruby-crowned Kinglet WR:r

THRUSHES

[ ] Western Bluebird WR:r

[ ] Mountain Bluebird WR:r

[ ] Townsend's Solitaire M:r

[ ] Hermit Thrush M:r

[ ] Wood Thrush M:r

[ ] American Robin M:o

THRASHERS

[ ] Gray Catbird M:r

[ ] Northern Mockingbird SR:c

[ ] Sage Thrasher M:r

[ ] Brown Thrasher M:r

[ ] Curved-billed Thrasher PR:o

[ ] Crissal Thrasher PR:o

PIPITS

[ ] American Pipit M:r


WAXWINGS

[ ] Cedar Waxwing WR:r

SHRIKES

[ ] Loggerhead Shrike PR:c

STARLINGS

[ ] European Starling PR:o

VIREOS

[ ] Gray Vireo M:r

[ ] Solitary Vireo M:r

WARBLERS

[ ] Orange-crowned Warbler M:r

[ ] Virginia's Warbler M:o

[ ] Northern Parula M:r

[ ] Lucy's Warbler SR:r

[ ] Yellow Warbler M:r

[ ] Yellow-rumped Warbler M:c

[ ] Black-throated Blue Warbler M:r

[ ] Black-throated Gray Warbler M:r

[ ] Palm Warbler M:r

[ ] Black-and-white Warbler M:r

[ ] American Redstart M:r

[ ] Ovenbird M:r

[ ] Northern Waterthrush M:r

[ ] MacGillivray's Warbler M:r

[ ] Common Yellowthroat SR:r

[ ] Wilson's Warbler M:c

TANAGERS

[ ] Summer Tanager M:r

[ ] Western Tanager M:o

GROSBEAKS, SPARROWS AND BUNTINGS

[ ] Pyrrhuloxia WR:c

[ ] Painted Bunting M:r

[ ] Rose-breasted Grosbeak M:r

[ ] Black-headed Grosbeak M:o

[ ] Blue Grosbeak SR:o

[ ] Lazuli Bunting M:o

[ ] Indigo Bunting M:r

[ ] Dickcissel M:r

[ ] Green-tailed Towhee M:r

[ ] Rufous-sided Towhee SR:r

[ ] Canyon Towhee PR:r

[ ] Cassin's Sparrow M:r

[ ] Chipping Sparrow SR:o

[ ] Clay-colored Sparrow M:r

[ ] Brewer's Sparrow WR:o

[ ] Black-chinned Sparrow SR:o

[ ] Vesper Sparrow M:o

[ ] Lark Sparrow WR:o

[ ] Black-throated Sparrow PR:c

[ ] Sage Sparrow WR:r

[ ] Rufous-crowned Sparrow M:r

[ ] Lark Bunting WR:c

[ ] Savannah Sparrow WR:r

[ ] Baird's Sparrow WR:r

[ ] Song Sparrow WR:r

[ ] Lincoln's Sparrow WR:o

[ ] White-throated Sparrow M:r

[ ] White-crowned Sparrow WR:c

[ ] Dark-eyed Junco M:o

BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES

[ ] Red-winged Blackbird PR:r

[ ] Eastern Meadowlark PR:c

[ ] Western Meadowlark PR:c

[ ] Yellow-headed Blackbird M:o

[ ] Brewer's Blackbird WR:c

[ ] Great-tailed Grackle PR:c

[ ] Common Grackle M:r

[ ] Brown-headed Cowbird PR:r

[ ] Bullock's Oriole SR:o

[ ] Scott's Oriole SR:o

FINCHES

[ ] Cassin's Finch M:r

[ ] House Finch PR:c

[ ] Pine Siskin M:r

[ ] Lesser Goldfinch M:o

OLD WORLD FINCHES

[ ] House Sparrow PR:c

CASUAL OR ACCIDENTAL SPECIES

Completely out of normal range, although some may be common in surrounding areas.

[ ] Common Black Hawk SR:r

[ ] Bank Swallow M:o

[ ] Scrub Jay SR:r

[ ] Pinyon Jay SR:r

[ ] Plain Titmouse PR:r

[ ] Blue-gray Gnatcatcher WR:r

[ ] Painted Redstart SR:r

[ ] Yellow-Throated Warbler M:r

Last Updated: Wednesday, 22-Dec-2004

Did You Know?

Photo of yucca growing on a dune

Some species of plants can survive burial by a moving dune by a process called "stem elongation." As the sand rises, the plants quickly grow upward to keep their leaves above the rising sand.