Seasons of Wildlife

Sandhill Crane – mid-September – December 

Ducks (northern pintail, mallard, canvasback, gadwall, northern shoveler and four species of teal; cinnamon, American, green and blue-wing) – October - March 

Snow geese – November - March 

Snowy Plover – spring and summer 

Avocet – spring and summer 

Dragonflies and Damselflies – summer through September 

Featured Species

Bitter Lake is an ecological crossroad where the Chihuahuan Desert meets short grass prairie, the Pecos River, and the Roswell Artesian Basin. The blending of these different ecological conditions has created some unusual biological conditions. Here you will find wetland-dependent species interacting with desert creatures. 

The abundant water supply draws a documented 357 species of birds to the refuge. This in addition to the 59 species of mammals, more than 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, 24 types of fish, and more than 100 species of dragonflies and damselflies are found in this oasis. 

The refuge’s wetlands provide habitat for thousands of migrating lesser sandhill cranes, Ross and snow geese and about 20 duck species, including northern pintails, mallards, canvasbacks, gadwalls, northern shovelers and four species of teal; cinnamon, American, green and blue-wing.