This 4th Edition of the New Mexico Bird Finding Guide provides an expanded and detailed overview of the best birding locations within each of the state's 33 counties, as well as an updated Annotated Checklist of Birds briefly describing the status and distribution of all birds that have been recorded in the state. As of this writing 549 species of birds have been verified within New Mexico, ranking fourth among all the U.S. states behind California, Texas, and Arizona.
This Guide breaks down the state into seven regions containing three to eight physiographically similar counties. Each county chapter contains an Overview Map showing roads and major features, plus for most counties additional detailed maps of some of the major birding sites discussed in the chapter. The chapters mention some species one can expect to find at each location (with an emphasis on those that out-of-state visitors may find of interest), a subset of the rarities that have turned up, and additional specifics on where to find highly sought-after 'specialties' as appropriate.
The state has a number of popular birding sites frequented by state residents and out-of-state birders alike, such as Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and the Carlsbad Caverns area. Many parts of the state, however, are remote, difficult to access, and less well known ornithologically, with much yet to be learned at a time when species distributions and abundances are in considerable flux. Focusing on birds at a county level provides a convenient geographical reference for exploring the state's birdlife. It is hoped that the additional detail provided in this Guide may increase coverage by birders and continue to expand our knowledge of the avifauna statewide.