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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge Regional Event (December 4-7, 2022)

December 4, 2022 - December 7, 2022

Leaders | Travel and lodging | What to expect | Preliminary itinerary

Registration is now open

Event Overview

Join husband and wife team, Chuck Luzier and Maresa Pryor-Luzier as they take you to various locations in Bosque del Apache to capture all this refuge has to offer, from birds to scenic beauty, landscapes to macro subjects. Bosque del Apache is known for its bird concentration, especially Sandhill Cranes and Snow/Ross geese and ducks.  Field trips will occur during the prime lighting hours in the morning and afternoons on Monday and Tuesday.  Our shooting time will wrap up on Wednesday morning, then everyone will gather for a final farewell brunch.

Established in 1939 to provide a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl, the Bosque del Apache refuge is well-known for the thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl who winter there each year. Situated between the Chupadera Mountains to the west and the San Pascual Mountains to the east, the 57,331-acre refuge harbors a wild stretch of the Rio Grande, a ribbon of cottonwood and willow trees visible on the landscape from distant mesas.

The river and its diversity of wildlife have drawn humans to this area for at least 11,000 years when humans migrated along this corridor, sometimes settling to hunt, fish, and farm. Artifacts and stone tools found nearby tell us that nomadic paleoindian hunters pursued herds of mammoth and bison in the valley.

Today, Bosque del Apache is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside and managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.

Cost: $500 NANPA Members/$700 Non-members

Last Date to Register:  November 18, 2022

Maximum number of attendees: 18

Black bird Murmuration, Bosque del Apche NWR, NM © Maresa Pryor-LuzierBlack bird Murmuration, Bosque del Apche NWR, NM © Maresa Pryor-Luzier


Maresa Pryor-Luzier

As a founding member of NANPA, Maresa Pryor-Luzier began her career in the early 80’s after studying photography at Daytona State College. She worked as a photojournalist then stock photographer in Florida specializing in birds, macro, and travel.

Her works are seen worldwide in magazines, books, wall art, and other materials.

Her recent endeavors include author of a series of children’s books, lectures, and leading past regional photo workshops for NANPA in J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Chuck Luzier

Chuck got his degree from Daytona State College in photography and quickly moved into photojournalism freelancing for the Associated Press and Reuters America.  He has worked on historic assignments in professional sports and space.

He joined Canon USA in 2007 and became a market specialist for the nature industry attending birding festivals throughout the country working with visitors with technical issues concerning their DSLR’s, and Mirror less cameras.  He used his teaching experience while with Canon for a number of events including Biggest Birding Week, St. Augustine Birding Festival, Festival of the Cranes and Space Coast Birding Festival to name a few. Quickly, he built relationships throughout the U.S. and became associated with NANPA, serving three years on the board.

Travel and lodging

Comfort Inn & Suites
1259 Frontage Rd
Socorro, NM 87801

Telephone: (575) 838-4400

NANPA is holding a block of rooms for event participants:

  • 1 King Room (2 available) $96 per night + tax
  • 2 Queen Room (18 available) $96 per night + tax

Note the NANPA block room rate includes free breakfast, WiFi and parking.

To book a room at this discounted rate, call the hotel directly and mention that you are making a reservation in the NANPA block of rooms.

The last date to book a room in the NANPA room block is November 21, 2022.

Airports and Ground Transportation

Transportation to and from the hotel and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

  • Car Rental: A regular rental car will be fine; we will not be driving on roads that require extra clearance or 4×4

Ride Sharing:  We will be starting each day from the Comfort Inn and Suites in Socorro, NM. Ride sharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.


All meals except Wednesday’s Group Brunch/Lunch are on your own.  The location of the Wednesday Group Lunch, which is included in the event registration fee, will be shared at the Meet and Greet. Attendees are encouraged to eat together with their group as part of the overall experience.

Merriman's Turkey jake portrait © Maresa Pryor-Luzier Merriman’s Turkey jake portrait © Maresa Pryor-Luzier

What to expect

Photography Locations:

Some of the locations that we will most likely photograph include:

  • South Loop: Seasonal ponds along the route.
  • North Loop: Along Bosque Road, Coyote or Willow Deck, seasonal ponds, and Flight Deck.

Your leader will have visited the areas prior to the event and the field trip locations will be based on what’s most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Sunday evening during the Registration/Orientation.

Health and Fitness

Most photography will be by car or require short walks along the ponds.

Weather & Clothing

The elevation is 4500’ so temperatures in central New Mexico can range from the 20’s-30’s overnight to high 60’s during the day. Bring winter jackets, gloves, and dress in layers, sun hat, comfortable boots/hiking boots, wool socks, and sunscreen. It can be windy, and a slight chance of snow.

Camera Gear:

There will be many opportunities for birds, and scenic photography, so you may need a range of telephoto (400mm or larger) to wide-angles. Recommended length starts from 100-400 range, and a longer focal length will be a benefit if you have one to bring. Bring 1.4x or 2x Teleconverters if you have them. Be sure to bring a sturdy tripod with a ball head/gimbal head.  Polarizing and Neutral Density filters would be helpful, especially for sunset shots.

Please know your camera and setting before you arrive and bring your camera manual just in case we need to look something up.

If you don’t have a lens longer than 400mm, you can rent a lens and gimbal head (a useful accessory for long lenses) at (NANPA receives a small portion of each sale), at or through the loan program offered by your camera manufacturer. Note: If you’re using a long lens, a sturdy tripod is a must!

Other Recommended Gear:

A headlamp, extra batteries, memory cards, cable release, and chargers for everything.  We will be photographing in high desert conditions, so it’s a good idea to bring a bulb brush or small 2” wide paint brush to brush sand from your gear.


We will be based in Socorro, NM during this regional event.

Please keep in mind that this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not workshop. That said; don’t be shy about asking Maresa and Chuck for help if you need it. This tour is open for 18 participants to give each plenty of time with the leaders and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

This event is designed for all levels of photographers – amateur, intermediate, advanced and professional – interested in improving their photography skills or looking for location guidance to capture images of this magical park.  If you are new to photography, Maresa and Chuck will be available to answer questions, teach new techniques and help you improve your photographic skills.  If you already have plenty of photography experience, Maresa and Chuck will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots. Other participants are also great about sharing techniques, tips and ideas. Please know your camera before you arrive and bring your manual, just in case we need to look up something.

Sandhill crane coming in for a landing © Maresa Pryor-Luzier Sandhill crane coming in for a landing © Maresa Pryor-Luzier

Preliminary itinerary

For questions ahead of the trip please feel free to call or email:

Please note schedules are fluid due to weather conditions, and other variables. Group may be split up to accommodate smaller size at each location.

Sunday December 4: 

  • 6:00 pm Orientation and Meet & Greet at the meeting room at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Socorro, New Mexico

Monday, December 5th and Tuesday December 6th: 

  • 5:00 am Depart for Sunrise photography at the flight deck then onto the crane ponds.
  • 3:00 pm Depart photographing at various sites

Wednesday, December 7: 

  • Morning shoot
  • 11 am: Group lunch/brunch (included in the event fee)
  • The event wraps up after lunch at approximately 12:30 pm.

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services

COVID-19 Policy

NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events.  We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present.  We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip.  Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue or location.

You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate.  By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume these inherent risks associated with your attendance as we have explained them to you.

Most importantly: If you have been feeling sick or have been exposed to someone in your household who is feeling sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME.

NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held.  Those rules currently are:

New Mexico Department of Health:

Centers for Disease Control Travel Link:

NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event. We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe.


Thank You to NANPA’s 2022 Regional Events Sponsor


December 4, 2022
December 7, 2022
Event Category:
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USA States/Territories
New Mexico
Type of event
On Location
Cost range