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  • Northern shovelers over Lake 13 / © Bennette Jenkins, USFWS

    eBird Trail Tracker

    Find out what birds are being seen at the refuge, including the most recent sightings.

    eBird Trail Tracker

  • 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  

Follow NWRS Online


Let Us Know What Birds You Are Seeing

  • On-line eBird Trail Tracker

    Ferruginous hawk / L. Wilkins, USFWS

    Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird Trail Tracker is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. The link below allows you to set-up an account in eBird to submit your observations. The Refuge appreciates you entering your bird sightings on the eBird online checklist program. For more information about eBird go to:

    eBird On-line Program to Submit Observations
  • 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. Wilkins, USFWS, Northern shovelers over Lake 13 / © Bennette Jenkins, Shoreline of Lake 13 / L. Wilkins, USFWS, Long-billed curlew / L. Wilkins, USFWS, American avocet / © Bennette Jenkins, Burrowing owl / Refuge remote camera, USFWS, Rainbow after a summer storm / © Bennette Jenkins, Ferruginous hawk / L. Wilkins, USFWS, Grasshopper sparrow / © Robert Shantz, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Apr 27, 2016
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