My husband treated me to a weekend trip to Santa Fe for our wedding anniversary, and we took a drive to the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Audubon’s leading education facility and wildlife sanctuary in New Mexico. What a find!
Located in Santa Fe, the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary encompasses 135 acres of gorgeous landscapes and wildlife. Bounded by thousands of acres of National Forest and Santa Fe River Watershed land, the Center and Sanctuary provides a peaceful place for native plants, a variety of local wildlife, and visitors. Of special note is the approximately 190 species of birds that can be found in or over the various ecosystems of this sanctuary. (That was what intrigued me most!)
My husband and I stopped in on a Sunday, and while the Nature Store and facilities were closed, we were able to walk through the gardens and larger trail system. Of historic interest, we learned that Randall Davey, a vanguard of modern art, was an important part of the Santa Fe Art Colony. He was known as a skilled painter, printmaker, and sculptor who successfully practiced his art in his studio until his death in 1964. The Davey family gifted the property to the National Audubon Society in 1983 as a wildlife sanctuary, to be preserved and used as an educational, cultural, and historical monument.
We were there for a quick visit, but I spotted a number of finches and juncos, two white-breasted nuthatch, and a gorgeous young Cooper’s Hawk. I was equally delighted to have spotted several black-billed magpies and a dozen or so frenzied bushtits, two species I was able to add to my Life List. Woo Hoo!
The garden itself was gorgeous, with both native and provided food and water sources, and there were picnic benches out on the lawn. We definitely plan to go back when we can spend a little more time there, and we’ll even pack a lunch to bring with us.
Special Note: The facilities are closed on Sundays. (Yep, facilities includes bathrooms, which we discovered quite quickly. Doh!)
If you’re in the area and are looking for a new birding adventure, I give this place 2 thumbs up!
(See below for more pictures.)