Probably my favorite cryptid creatures are Giant Birds. Many people call them by names like Thunderbirds and such, but to me they are just giant birds.
As I grew up in the city of Albuquerque I liked birds somewhat, but when I moved here, just outside of town I really started to love all the different birds that I see. Everything from little yellow finches to huge hawks. I live next to the hawk watch and there have been a couple times where I have seen one that looks entirely too big to be a hawk. Several years ago there was what I assume was a hawk perched atop a large pine tree, it seemed to be at least 6 feet from claws to the top of the head. I saw him from a distance even being far away he seemed huge. I actually got a picture of him that is in a photo album somewhere, but it is hard to judge the size since there is really nothing to compare it with in the photo. I didn't have a zoom camera so he kind of looks like a black blob.
Dave Zander claims to have seen giant birds nine years ago in the Dona Ana Mountains near Las Cruces, NM.
"These creatures were so huge they looked like the size of small planes," Dave Zander said. "All of the sudden one of them jumped off dropped off the top of the mountain, came down the front of the mountain and all the sudden these huge wings just spread out.
"I would say the wings were at least a 20-foot wingspan."
"Not a normal bird, definitely of a giant variety," Zander continued. ""It makes you feel like it could come over and carry you off if it wanted to." more here
Giant Birds in New Mexico also include giant owls. Big Owl or Big Hoot is a Jicarilla Apache legend. According to the legend Big Owl is not a very nice creature. It can paralyze a humans just by staring at them and then will swallow them whole. Although I have seen some pretty large owls around here, none of them were large enough to swallow a human, but I do often worry about my cats.
Although I know there was a rash of giant bird sightings here and in Texas last summer because I heard about them at the time, there seems to be nobody who has gone on the public record about them. At least not here in NM. I suppose I really can't blame them for that, admitting to seeing a giant bird is probably thought to be even more crazy than seeing a UFO.
Mike Smith has an excellent article on NM giant owls here.
Of course I would love to hear from anyone in New Mexico that has had a cryptozoological or native legend related experience. Bigfoot, giant birds, skinwalkers, flying snakes and so on -- I would love to hear your story!