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“Yellow-headed Blackbird”

Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Alamosa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Wilderness complex that provides a habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors.
Level Contributor
62 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Yellow-headed Blackbird”
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Actually, we went to the Monte Vista NWR and had a great time taking the auto tour. None of us had ever seen a yellow-headed blackbird but we have now. As well as ducks, coots, Canadian Geese, hawks, etc. The sanctuary is nice & peaceful and you can hear all of the birds but not the traffic noise from the nearby road.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank greg2mar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We have visited the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge numerous times. Sometimes there are
1000's of cranes and at other times none . When the weather is decent and La Veta pass is open we come down to the San Luis Valley every year . Our last visit was on Friday March 15th in the afternoon. What a treat, just south of the wildlife refuge auto loop was a field full of sand hill cranes as far as the eye could see. The sound of the cranes calling to one another is amazing.

Visited March 2013
3 Thank CSFowl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great for Birdwatchers and lovers of nature”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Monte Vista - excellent small reserve, easy to tour around in the car and watch birds. I went in March specifically to see the sandhill cranes and wasnt disappointed. Excellent viewing, great scenery as a backdrop. Easy to get out at designated areas to use telescope or camera if needed. There was very little people on the reserve which probably made the experience better.

At Alamosa, there was little wildlife due to a heavy frost/ice so I was more of a victim to the weather than the actual reserve. It looks as if it has potential, good easy tour track for cars, elevated so that you get views across the reed beds. Plenty of Butoes and Hawks around and I think a couple of weeks later would have been full of spring/summer migrants. Would recommend both reserves to birdwatching friends as a place to go in colorado at the right time of the year.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank daffyduck625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Birds and birds”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Lots of birds on the 2 mile drive around. No walking allowed off the dirt road. But not necessary. Eagles, all sorts of water fowl, sand hill cranes, harriers. More birds are listed in descriptions one comes to but they were not all there in March!

Visited March 2013
Thank Claudia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
67 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Not as good for photographers as other locations”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

The man attraction of Monte Vista is the annual Sandhill Crane migration in March & April. The refuge is not one of the larger refuges in the National system, and road access is fairly limited. You can enter from the West and do the loop, however, most of the cranes will be out of sight in the wetlands. The viewing deck on the South side of the loop is more or less useless. You an also enter the refuge from the East, but there is no accessible view of the wetland areas from that entrance.

It would also be nice if the people running the refuge would open the gates a little sooner than sunrise. It's a photography hot spot, but to get good photographs of the birds in the morning, the gate needs to be open an hour before sunrise, as the birds start leaving before the sun comes up.

So, for what it's worth, the annual gathering is exciting but the refuge isn't really very good in comparison to other locations such as Bosque del Apache in New Mexico

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Colorado53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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