March 4 & April 8, 2017
US Route 90 and Separ Road leads us to A.T. and Cinda Cole’s property at the southern tip of the Burros. This is an area of ranch land steadily being restored to native condition. The Pitchfork Ranch lies at 5100 ‘ elevation, just west of the Continental Divide. Although mountainous, the land is primarily rolling Chihuahuan grassland. Riparian habitat (there is usually running surface water along at least part of the streambed) attracts migrants and, depending on the conditions, we may find orioles, flycatchers, warblers and more. Great-horned owls have nested on the property and have been seen on previous trips. March and April are the best times to expect migrants arriving in this part of the country. www.pitchforkranchnm.com.
March 4th – Meet at the Fine Arts Center parking lot at 7:00am.
April 8th – Meet at the Fine Arts Center parking lot at 6:30am.
This trip will be almost all walking, with 2-3 miles, including possible stream crossings; dress appropriately–bring sunscreen, water and lunch. Expect to return to Silver City by mid-afternoon. PLEASE–NO DOGS!
The Big Weekend
Celebrating International Migratory Bird Day
Friday, May 12 at 12:00 noon, to Sunday May 14, 12:00 noon
The International Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center to foster a better understanding, appreciation of migratory birds and to raise awareness and protection of areas critical for migratory birds. The goal is to encourage communities to hold events celebrating the wonder and spectacle of bird migration. In 1995 the coordination of the event was turned over to the US Fish & Wildlife Service and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The event became so popular it required more people dedicated to organize and coordinate the activities throughout the western hemisphere, so was turned over to the Environment for the Americas in 2007.
Stopover places the birds require to refuel before continuing on their way to their nesting grounds is the focus of this year's Big Day – prefect for recognizing the importance of the Gila Forest and riparian areas within Grant County.
The rules are simple, based on the same principles as a Big Day, individuals and teams go out and count as many species of birds as they can.
- please register either as an individual or a group
- start time is 12:00 noon Friday May 12 and ends at 12:00 noon Sunday May 14
- bird only within Grant County
- cannot go on private property unless it is owned by a friend and permission is granted. For example, the ranches in the Gila are off limits, as is the Glenn Ranch off of Ridge Road. You can look from the edges but do not access the properties.
- The Silver City Golf Course is off limits except from the outer edge or if you are playing golf.
A Pot-Luck dinner at Little Walnut Group Picnic area will follow, co-hosted by the Gila Native Plant Society. Participants should bring a dish to share cups, plates, utensils, your favorite beverage if you don’t want iced-tea or lemonade, which will be provided. Hot-dogs will also be provided. You may show up as early as 1:00 with food being served at 5:00. To register contact Karen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 575-388-2386.
So! Get on the List!