A jewel...

...in the southwest. Ok, America's southwest has lots of "jewels", but Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is an absolute gem to any wildlife photogapher. This 57,331-acre refuge was established in 1939 as a stopover for migrating waterfowl. It has become a treasured destination for photographers due to the prolific wildlife found there. I've been spending the last few days here and the sights here are truly amazing.

There are currently more than 55,000 snow geese and over 9,000 sandhill cranes here. There is just nothing like seeing a sunrise "blast off" of snow geese. The hardest thing is just remembering to take pictures while it's happening.

When the snow geese take off, it's just an overwhelming burst of sight and sound.

Probably, the biggest, showiest birds here now are the sandhill cranes.

It's a great opportunity to practice your birds in flight photography, but other opportunities to study these great birds abound.

While the geese and cranes are the "stars" this time of year, there are lots of other things to photograph.

Some birds will even stick their tongue out at you!

It's a big refuge with lots to offer. If you are fortunate enough to pay a visit, plan on spending some time. It will be worth it!

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