• 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.

    Enlarged scenic photograph of Lake 14 reflection

  • 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

  • Western Grebe-Aechmophorus occidentalis/Bennette Jenkins

    Western Grebe

    Grebe's spend almost all their time in water and are very awkward when on land. Walking is difficult with their legs far back on the body.

  • 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.

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

    eBird Observation Entries

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

    eBird Daily Observation Entries

Enjoy Your Area Wildlife Refuge!

Our Shared Complex Friends

FLVNWR logo 512 x 452

The Northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Maxwell, Las Vegas, and Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuges is fortunate to have an invaluable, shared Friends Organization. Please see our Friends Organization link below. More details on the work this Friends Organization does for our wildlife refuges is on our Partnerships website page also.

Friends Organization Direct Website

On-line Observation Entries

Ferruginous hawk / L. Wilkins, USFWS

Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird website program 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: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/. Current entries at Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, can be seen on our Wildlife & Habitat page, in the header banner up above, and then open the left menu link titled: Report a Bird Sighting.

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
Visiting Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

Visitor Center Availability

Refuge Educational Program / L. Wilkins, USFWS

Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center is open when staff are available: 7:30 AM to 4 PM Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Due to a smaller staff, our refuge office and Visitor Center may be closed during some of these hours, when employees are in the field. You may call (575) 375-2331, Ext. 200, before coming to the refuge, to assure that a staff member is available. We appreciate your patience and understanding when visiting.

Contact Us

Auto Tour

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