New Mexico's state aircraft is the hot air balloon. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly balloon fiesta that takes place in Albuquerque during early October. This nine day event has around 750 balloons. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.
The New Mexico spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata) was designated the official state amphibian of New Mexico in 2003. They get their name from a distinctive spade-like projections on their hind legs which enable them to dig in sandy soils. This species is nocturnal and secretive.
The roadrunner was officially adopted March 16, 1949 as the New Mexico state bird. It was adopted under the name "Chaparral Bird". In Spanish, it is called "El Correcaminos". The comical roadrunner prefers running to flying and has been clocked at speeds of 15 miles per hour.
The Sandia hairstreak, or Callophrys macfarlandi, is the official state butterfly. It was discovered in Albuquerque in 1959 at La Cueva Canyon and can easily be found in New Mexico's wide open spaces, towns and cities among native beargrass. The butterfly is gold and green in color.
The New Mexico State Capitol (also called the Roundhouse), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the seat of government of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the only round state capitol in the United States. The building was designed to resemble the Zia Sun Symbol when viewed from above.
The biscochito is a small anise flavored, shortbread cookie used during special celebrations, wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious days. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico.
The New Mexico Cutthroat Trout (Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout) is native to the cold mountain streams and lakes of northern New Mexico. It is a dark olive color with sparsely scattered black spots. It derives its name from the red streaks under its throat. Anglers like the small fish for its fighting spirit.
The yellow field and red symbol colors are the colors of Spain brought here by Spanish explorers in 1540. On our flag we see a red sun with rays stretching out from it. There are four groups of rays with four rays in each group. This is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia.
New Mexico's state fossil is a small theropod dinosaur, Coelophysis bauri. Although its bones have been found in several southwestern states, the quarry at Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, is where all of the best specimens have been found.
The yucca is a member of the lily family and a symbol of sturdiness as well as beauty. In the early summer, pale ivory flowers bloom at the tips of its long, fibrous stalks. The plant's base has broad, sharp edged leaves that look like stilettos and it grows to the height of a small tree.
New Mexico designated turquoise as the official state gem in 1967. Probably one of the oldest gemstones known, turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. Only the prized robin's egg blue color is used to make gemstones. Occuring as vein or seam fillings, and as compact nuggets.
The Black Bear is our state mammal. They can stand and walk on their hind legs but it is more normal for them to walk on all fours. They stand to get a better scent or to look at something. Their characteristic shuffling gait results from their hind legs being slightly longer than the forelegs.
The "Land of Enchantment" describes New Mexico's scenic beauty and its rich history. This legend was placed on New Mexico license plates in 1941. This nickname became the official State Nickname of New Mexico on April 8, 1999.
The piñon is the official State Tree. This sturdy, slow-growing little evergreen flourishes over a vast area of the state. When the Spanish settlers arrived in New Mexico in the early sixteenth century, they found that the natives harvested the tiny, tasty nuts of the piñon.