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Got Binocs?
Help Support budding birders and conservationists in Kenya!

There are many researchers, educators, and conservationists in Kenya striving to protect birds and their habitats, but are without the most basic equipment of binoculars and field guides.

Dale Zimmerman and Carol Fugagli are collecting working, used binoculars to take to Kenya this summer. These binoculars will be distributed to school children and colleagues through a conservation organization called Nature Kenya.  Please consider donating a pair collecting dust on your windowsill. Single Socks is accepting your binocular donations. Deadline for Donations: May 15, 2017

Single Socks is located at 111 W College Street, Silver City, hours: Tue. – Sat. 11:00 to 4:00. Thank you!

Deming's Water and Economic Future is Bright

That is the conclusion reached in a study by Western Resource Advocates when they looked at the water situation in Deming and Luna County. A two-page report summary PDF is available by clicking HERE.

Jorge Figueroa, Senior Water Policy Analyst with WRA, presented these findings to our Deming members, local businesses and elected officials in October. Audubon New Mexico and SWNMA sponsored Jorge’s visit. He also appeared on a KRWG-FM radio program to discuss the findings and answer listeners’ questions.

WRA has worked on a number of issues in NM to promote a clean energy future and protect our rivers and iconic landscapes. Several years ago they produced a report entitled “Filling the Gap,” which provided a framework for meeting urban and rural water needs in Southwestern NM. The Deming study used a market-based approach to identify water conservation targets in Deming that would secure its water security through 2050 by using a combination of water conservation, reuse, and planned water transfers.

Water conservation and infrastructure studies align with the goals of SWNMA because they provide sound alternatives to the proposed diversion of the Gila River. The current status proposal would use all of the remaining funds allocated under the Arizona Water Settlement Act to construct a small diversion near the Gila Gauge that would benefit fewer than 100 people along the river. The analogy Jorge used to describe the proposed diversion project is that it is would be like using a Da Vinci painting to light a fire to stay warm for one night. SWNMA is a strong proponent of using the available AWSA funds for water projects that provide a benefit for the 61,000 people in the four county region without harming one of our greatest natural resources – the Gila River.

Jorge Figueroa, Senior Water Policy Analyst, Western Resource Advocates, jorge.figueroa@westernresources.org
Beth Bardwell, Director of Conservation, Audubon New Mexico, bbardwell@audubon.org
For the Headlight 5:10 p.m. MDT July 27, 2016
DEMING - On Saturday morning, about 20 people went to the birds. They were part of a bird-watching field trip to the Deming Wastewater Treatment Plant sponsored by Audubon New Mexico. The ponds contain clean, treated water that attracts a variety of bird species. The plant is one of the top five birding spots in Luna County.

(Photo: Kara Naber Photo)

Birdwatching specialists were on hand to help attendees identify and learn about the different bird species. Patricia Taber, an Audubon volunteer from Silver City, spent time with Keruvi and Angel Zeferino of Deming. In a short time, the boys were able to identify birds by observing their physical characteristics like the long legs of the Black-necked Stilt. They also appreciated the beauty of the birds and the role they play in the environment.

The world could be a better place with birds, said Keruvi, 9.

Patricia Taber helps  Angel Zeferino identify a bird at the Deming water treatment plant. (Photo: Kara Naber Photo)

Patricia Taber helps Angel Zeferino identify a bird at the Deming water treatment plant. (Photo: Kara Naber Photo)

Audubon volunteers also explained to the group that the City of Deming uses the treated water to irrigate landscape plants in its parks, around government buildings and other properties. Recycling water is an important way to conserve water.

Beth Bardwell, Audubon New Mexico's Director of Conservation said, "We appreciate the City of Deming allowing us to visit the ponds to watch birds. In a desert, even treated wastewater is an important source of water for both people and wildlife. Using treated wastewater to irrigate the City's parks, and golf course means more of the City's existing water supply will be available for the next generation."

Antett Muňoz, 12, represents that next generation. She readily understood the implications.

"If we don't recycle the water, there might not be clean water for us in the future," she said.

While the message of water conservation was well taken, the Saturday morning group was focused on having fun watching the birds and interacting with each other. They were well rewarded.

Over 200 individual birds of 25 different species were seen in about an hour and a half. The birds ranged in size from a Great Blue Heron to a tiny hummingbird. Using the spotting scopes and binoculars provided by Audubon, everyone had a chance to examine the birds 'up close.' Deming resident Joe Karas summed up the experience this way. "I'm having a great time. They are wonderful people."

New Mexico Audubon Society holds monthly meetings in Deming on the second Tuesday of each month at La Fonda Restaurant, 601 E. Pine St. at 5:15 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Email notices sent 3-7 days in advance - Monthly field trips sometimes miss good birding opportunities. To take advantage of great weather, when birds or butterflies abound, we started "Spur-of -the-moment Field Trips."
A notice is emailed to SWNMA members 3-7 days in advance, indicating where and when to meet and the destination. Watch for email, especially during migration season.
Not a member? Get on the List!

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Farewell Western Scrub-Jay!

We have an important update for those of you living in the Western Scrub-Jay’s range: this species is being split into two. The “coastal” form (now the California Scrub-Jay) and the “interior” form (now Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay); the California Scrub-Jay is darker, while the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is pale. Really?! Check it out . . .