Bandelier National Monument (13th-century Anasazi ruins) is located in the southern Rocky Mountains at the transition area between the Chihuahuan and Great Basin deserts of north-central New Mexico. It is situated on the Pajarito Plateau, between the Jemez Mountains on the west and the Rio Grande River on the east. The Pajarito Plateau was created from volcanic lava and ash flows which erupted from nearby Jemez Volcano, about a million years ago. Bandelier National Monument is located 11 miles south of Los Alamos and 48 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

From US-84/285 north of Santa Fe, turn at Pojoaque onto NM-502 toward Los Alamos. At the junction of NM-502 and NM-4, take NM-4 through White Rock and continue to Bandelier Headquarters.

Ornithological Summary

One prime area of interest includes White Rock Canyon from the White Rock Overlook to Cochiti Lake and where applicable from rim to rim as well as Capulin, Alamo and Frijoles Canyons. White Rock Canyon is relatively pristine providing potential habitat for several New Mexico threatened and endangered species. At higher levels (>7500 ft) there is excellent Ponderosa Pine, mixed conifer, Pi?on-Juniper and riparian habitat. Many species of special concern are found throughout the area.

The New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas has (and continues) to develop extensive records on birds in all habitats and elevations within the park. A number of species, represented with small numbers, are present including Zone-tailed Hawk (at its northern extreme), Spotted Owl, Blue Grouse, Northern Goshawk, and Whip-poor-will. Additionally there is a large breeding colony of Turkey Vulture in Frijoles Canyon (Travis).

Fettig, Stephen M. 2004. New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas Results for Bandelier National Monument: Summary of 2000-2003 Observations. Resource Management Files at Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544. (BBA)

Travis, James R. 1992. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Los Alamos County, New Mexico. Los Alamos National Laboratory, LA-12206, UC-908, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545

Fettig, Stephen M. 1996-1998. Breeding Bird Transects, Personal Observation from Bandelier National Monument. Resource Management Files at Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544. (PO)

Fettig, Stephen M. 2004. Park Flight Program, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, Autumn 2004. Report submitted to the National Park Foundation and in Resource Management Files, Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544.

Conservation Issues

Invasive or non-native plants can become a problem. Wild burros have been a problem in the past. Elk overpopulation is having a detrimental effect on the area. Water level changes at Cochiti Lake have a big impact on the habitat along White Rock Canyon.


US National Parks, HCR 1, Box 1, Suite 15, Los Alamos, NM, 87544, 505-672-3861

Land Use

Tourism includes viewing indian ruins, camping, and hiking.

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