Bitter Lake NWR--Pajaro Bird Blind

Tips for Birding

General parking for the Pájaro Observation Blind is located on the east side of the tour loop, with ADA-accessible parking on the west side, where the path to the blind begins.

Often sparrows and occasionally meadowlarks are encountered around the parking areas. Do examine the spring run, which may be dry, in both directions as you cross the footbridge from the parking area to the sidewalk-like concrete path leading to the blind.

The one-eighth mile path, suitable for wheelchairs, takes you across a corner of Unit 7 with sparse vegetation, most notably, pickleweed.  The blind is also ADA-compliant, including a scope mounted for wheelchair users. The public scope may not be as clear as your personal spotting scope, so consider bringing that to the blind; while in the blind, telling a Ross’s from a Snow Goose on the far north edge of the water can be pretty difficult using only binoculars. 

This is a location-specific hotspot, and observations elsewhere on the Refuge should not be listed for the Pájaro Observation Blind.

A final tip: apply mosquito repellent before leaving your vehicle from the beginning of Spring through Fall.

About this Location

The Pájaro Observation Blind is accessed from the east side of the auto tour route. The blind lies on an east-west dike between two water impoundments, Unit 6 in the north and Unit 7 in the south. At about 250 acres, Unit 6 is the somewhat larger of the two impoundments.  Water collects in its southeast portion, and the blind looks across this area, making the hotspot popular during the late fall and winter waterfowl season.

About Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

See all hotspots at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Bittle Lake National Wildlife Refuge has been designated as an Important Bird Area.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge protects and provides habitat for some of New Mexico’s most rare and unusual creatures such as the least shrew, Noel’s amphipod, least tern, Pecos sunflower, and Roswell spring snail.

Located where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the Southern Plains, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one of the more biologically significant wetland areas of the Pecos River watershed system. Established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds, the refuge plays a crucial role in the conservation of wetlands in the desert Southwest.

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. In addition 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.


  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Official Website and John Montgomery

Last updated March 12, 2023