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  • Sunflower field overlooking Lake 13/Benny Tanner

    Spring sunflowers overlooking Lake 13

    Fields of wild sunflowers bring radiant colors in the spring. New life is abundant on the Refuge each spring season.

  • Burrowing owl / refuge remote camera-USFWS

    New Photo Gallery

    Images of refuge wildlife captured via remote trail cameras.

    Remote Trail Camera Photo Gallery

  • Lake 14 reflection of snow capped mountains/Leann Wilkins

    Reflection above Lake 14

    Reflection of snow capped mountains seen in the crystal clear waters of Lake 14. Fishing is allowed from March 1st to October 31st.

    Enlarged scenic photograph of Lake 14 reflection

  • 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

  • American badger-Taxidea taxus/Bennette Jenkins

    American badger

    The badger prefers to stay in wide open areas with deep but dry soil. They burrow and dig in the ground.

Enhancing Your Visitor Experience!

Completed Auto Tour Route

Sunflower field at Lake 13/Benny Tanner

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 — Northern shovelers/Bennette Jenkins, Sunflower field at Lake 13/Bennette Jenkins ©, Grasshopper sparrow/Robert Shantz ©, Bald eagle/Leann Wilkins, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014
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