The Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society serves communities in four counties;
Silver City, Deming, Lordsburg, Glenwood, Cliff, Reserve, the Mimbres Valley, and the Gila National Forest.
Audubon’s Annual Pot Luck Picnic
Friday, August 31, 2018
Please join your friends in Southwestern New Mexico Audubon at our annual potluck picnic at the Little Walnut West group-use pavilion. The area has a horseshoe pit and volleyball net, so bring your equipment and play!
We begin gathering at 4:00, allowing time for birding and conversation before the potluck picnic at 5:00. Please bring a dish to share, your own plates, eating utensils and drinks.
Gila River Festival September 20-23
The 14th annual Gila River Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act with guest speakers, field trips and more. Full details can be found at www.Gilariverfestival.org
Tucson Audubon Society's Southeast Arizona Birding Festival is an excellent way for locals and visitors to learn about birds and other southeast Arizona wildlife. Visitors come from across the country for the chance to see over 200 bird species.
The 8th annual Festival features expert-led field trips to the region’s best sites, such as Madera Canyon and the Chiricahuas. The Festival offers family-friendly activities, workshops, free nature presentations by experts, and a vendor fair. Info: tucsonaudubon.org/expo. Registration: tucsonaudubon.org/festival.
Thanks to Our Generous Friends
May 2018 proved to be a month when members and friends of SWNM Audubon stepped up and confirmed their support by opening their checkbooks. We asked for support for two independent activities and were heartened by your response — Give Grandly and Audubon New Mexico Birdathon.
Give Grandly, an annual Grant County fundraiser for non-profits raised $160,000 county-wide for 54 local organizations. SWNM Audubon received over $500 in donations online and $600 at the May 5th downtown event. In addition, the organizers donated $250 to each organization. We are very grateful to all of those who were so generous.
In the first statewide Birdathon organized by Audubon New Mexico, SWNM Audubon was well represented with three teams of birders: Team Black Caps, made up of Julian Lee and Lynn Haugen; Team Meghan and John, consisting of Meghan Ruehmann and John Money; and Team Buff with Jarrod Swackhammer and Jess DeMoss.
Each team counted birds during a 24-hour period, on any day during the first three weeks of May. A total of 215 species were spotted statewide, with awards given in various categories. The Black Caps won the award for the most unexpected species, a Northern Waterthrush. The Buffs received the Night Owl award for the most nocturnal species seen or heard, Flamulated Owl, Great Horned Owl, Mexican Spotted Owl, and Mexican Whip-poor-will. The Best Travelogue award went to Team Megan and John for their delightful adventure commentary, which we share here:
“A great Birdathon day brought 116 species in Grant County at a handful of favorite birding spots. Camped at Gila Bird Area, we woke in the middle of the night to a pair of Western Screech Owls. Species #1! Highlight of the day was how it ended. We parked on the side of the road, turned off the engine and sat in silence waiting for darkness to fall in hopes of a few nocturnal targets. A couple diesel engines roared by and after all was quiet again, a Mexican Spotted Owl silently swooped across the road to perch on a snag in the half-light, watching the ground for prey. Two minutes later it was out of sight as quickly as it appeared. All while the White-throated Swifts were chattering high along the cliffs and two Dusky-capped Flycatchers were winding down their mournful whistling for the day. One lone Hermit Thrush was still sending its flute-like notes out into the hills, and soon a few Mexican Whip-poor-wills started up for the night.”
Thank you Birdathon participants and their wonderful sponsors!
SWNMA Defends San Vicente Creek
The San Vicente Creek trail south of the Highway 90 bridge is one of four trails highlighted in the SWNM Audubon Greenways brochure. This riparian habitat is home for at least 139 bird species and a pair of nesting Common black hawks. SWNM Audubon is among several organizations that asked the Town of Silver City to better protect the trail from off-road vehicles (ORV) that cause significant trail damage. Since then, trail maintenance staff installed/repaired gates at primary trail entry points. If you find damage or ORV riders, please report it to the Silver City police at 575-388-8840.
Year of the Bird
Audubon and other organizations have designated 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This act, which arose out of the massive slaughter of birds for the millinery trade, has provided protection for countless species of birds but is currently under extreme threat from Congress and President. See: www.nationalgeographic.com/birdsMatter.
Photo: Dale & Marian Zimmerman