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  • Sunday storm over the Refuge/Bennette Jenkins

    Sunday storm over the refuge

    Summer rainfall in the distance moving in over the refuge makes for a cool overcast and good time to enjoy the outdoors.

    Seasons of Wildlife

  • Lake 13 shoreline at dawn/Leann Wilkins

    Shoreline of Lake 13

    Horizon view of Lake 13 shoreline at dawn. Fishing is allowed from March 1st to October 31st on the Lake.

    Refuge' Fishing Season Information

  • Long-billed curlew-Numenius americanus/Leann Wilkins

    Long-billed Curlew

    With a bill over a third of its total body length, this shorebird has a profile to rival Pinocchio's. It is the world's largest shorebird.

  • American Avocet-Recurvirostra americana/Bennette Jenkins

    American Avocet

    American Avocet chicks leave the nest within 24 hours after hatching. Day-old Avocets can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators.

  • Burrowing owl / refuge remote camera-USFWS

    View Our Photo Galleries

    Our most recent Photo Gallery highlights images of refuge wildlife captured via remote trail cameras. View the Gallery in the link below.

    Here's Looking At You!

Enhancing Your Visitor Experience!

Refuge's Scenic Auto Tour Route

View to a Rainbow / Bennette Jenkins-USFWS

Our auto tour route has improved! Winding through the refuge, the 10 mile loop has several pullouts for visitors to hike, observe, and learn about refuge wildlife. Take in the beautiful vistas from Lake 13, listen to the songbirds fleeting through the cottonwoods as you hike one of our newest trails, feel the wind while walking the new Prairie Path or sit and watch the black-tailed prairie dogs foraging in the shadow of the highest peak in New Mexico, Wheeler’s Peak. Maps are available at the visitor center.

For more information, Contact Us.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Refuge Habitat Increases Survival

Central Flyway Sanctuary

Grasshopper sparrow-Ammodramus savannarum/Robert Shantz ©

Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Central Flyway, a route traveled annually by numerous species of waterfowl and other migratory birds. Many of the most common birds on the refuge are considered grassland-dependent species. Grassland birds, many of which are experiencing population declines throughout their ranges, rely upon the short-grass prairie habitat of the refuge for their survival. Maxwell supports some of the highest densities of the grasshopper sparrow in the state of New Mexico.

Photo Gallery of Migratory Birds
Page Photo Credits — Refuge landscape view from Lake 12 / L. Wilkens, USFWS, Sunday storm over the refuge/Bennette Jenkins, Shoreline of Lake 13/Leann Wilkins, Long-billed curlew/Leann Wilkins, American avocet/Bennette Jenkins, Western burrowing owl/Bennette Jenkins, Rainbow after a summer storm/Bennette Jenkins, Grasshopper sparrow/Robert Shantz ©, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Sep 01, 2015
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