Archive for the ‘What’s New?’ Category

MVBSP Trail Maintenance

If you are interested in helping maintain trails at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, please contact Jay Wilbur at

Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

State invites residents to MVBSP to discuss possible management transfer.

NM State Parks and the NM Department of Game and Fish are hosting an open house at MVBSP to discuss the potential transfer of park management to Game and Fish.  The discussion will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 10 at the park, 5000 Calle del Norte in Mesilla.

This transfer is being considered to provide additional services to the public and better utilize state resources, according to announcement jointly released by the two government divisions.

According to the release:  If a transfer to Game and Fish occurs, the MVB property will remain open to the public.  Game and Fish will not charge fees for visitors.  Game and Fish will continue to provide natural resource and outdoor educational programs.  Hunting will not occur within the property.  “A transfer of this property could be a tremendous benefit to everyone, including the wildlife that inhabits this area” said Game and Fish Director, Alexandra Sandoval.  “Strategically it fits within the Game Commission’s plan for all of our regional offices.  In addition to providing a site for eleven staff members, acquiring this property will give us an outdoor classroom for outdoor education and outreach programs.”

“State Parks has been honored to manage this property for the past nine years,” she State Parks Director, Christy Tafoya.  “Such a move would provide more funding, resources, staffing and programming to the MVBSP.

For information, contact the park at 575-523-4398

October 2017 Events/Announcements

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with the BLM-LC District at the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.

5:00pm Marcy Scott, author of Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest and “a birder, botanizer, former wildlife rehabilitator and garden consultant” and co-founder of the Robledo Vista Nursery.  She will talk about the hummingbirds of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and answer many of your bird or plant related questions.

6:00pm A short 1-1.5 mile hike on La Cueva Trail to look for birds that appear at dusk with C.J. Goin, an expert birder of southern New Mexico.  Please bring binoculars if you have them.  There will be some available on loan.  Flashlights are optional.

Meet at the Dripping Springs A.B. Cox Visitor Center.  Feel free to bring your dinner or snacks, hydration and wear layers in case of chilly temperatures.  $5.00 day use fee for Dripping Springs but events are provided at no additional cost.

Wednesday, October 11 and October 25, 2017

A History of Nature and Man at Leasburg Dam State Park

Please join Leasburg Dam State Park staff for a guided, moderate 2 mile hike and experience the diverse environments, wildlife and geothermal springs and the fall weather while learning about the different Chihuahuan Desert Plants and peoples that have made this area their home over the centuries.  Bring water shoes if you wish to experience the hot springs.  For directions, including a park map, visit  There is a $5.00 per car admission fee.  Event is free with paid camping permit.  For more information, contact Alex Mares at 575-524-4068 or email him at


October 2017 Meeting/Field Trip Reminders


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jackye Meineke, retired owner of Enchanted Gardens, will discuss the basics of plantings that can benefit birds in your own yard.  Our social meet and greet begins @ 6:30pm followed by the program at 7:00pm.  We meet at Southwest Environmental Center, 275 Downtown Mall in Las Cruces.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Beginner Bird Walk (every 3rd Wednesday of each month) at Tellbrook Park, 4290 E. Winchester Rd., Las Cruces.

Saturday/Sunday October 7 & 8, 2017

Monarch Butterfly Survey and Tagging

Netting and tagging Monarch Butterflies with expert Steve Cary of Santa Fe who will provide nets & tags, and conduct a short how-to session each day.  SATURDAY 10/7 meet at the NE end of the parking lot for K-Mart just off US 70 at 2pm to carpool to Placita Arroyo (north of Hatch) and return by 8pm.  SUNDAY 10/8 meet at the south parking area of the Las Cruces Dam at 8:00am.  The survey and tagging site is along the foot of the dam on the east side of the dam.

To sign up or if you have questions, contact Mark Pendleton at 575-635-8711 or putting “Butterfly Question” in the subject line


Monarch Butterfly Survey and Tagging

Photo Submission Reminder

Photos submitted must have been taken in our local area, i.e. Sierra, Otero or Dona Ana counties only and during the past 12 months.  Our publications committee judges entries based on photo quality, subject interest and subject variety.  Please include the name of the species and the location of where the bird was photographed in your email.  Our newsletter editor makes the final selection for publication.  From these, one is chosen as the First Prize winner.

By submitting your photo you automatically grant MVAS publication rights for one year.  MVAS may use your photo in any of our publications, including newsletter and our annual calendar.  Photos should be submitted electronically as a high resolution jpg file to

Mark Your Calendars

Aug 4 – 6, 2017

Mesilla Valley Audubon Society has been invited to participate in Old Lincoln Days.  Join the fun and head to this historic village for Billy the Kid reenactments, food, craft vendors, music, a guided bird hike and more.  If you want to help reserve our MVAS table, contact our president, Jennifer Montoya, at

The Mysterious Monarch in New Mexico

The Monarch Butterfly is probably the best known of North American’s butterflies, but its’ presence in New Mexico is not well documented compared to other states.  Our March speaker, Steve Carey, a natural resource specialist for the state of New Mexico, asked that we report any Monarch sightings to the website Journey North at  Data entered at the site contributes to our knowledge of the when and where of this remarkable animal.  The main migratory route for the Monarch butterfly is through Texas, but individuals are regularly recorded in New Mexico.  A more robust record of the species would help answer questions such as “Do some Monarch’s migrate from east to west?” and “How do Monarchs shift in the changing climate?”.  Most people like a good mystery so the next time you see a Monarch, take note and submit your sighting.  The more we know about the distribution of Monarch butterflies in North America, the more we can take measures to protect them.

Great Backyard Bird Count

If you are interested in participating in this weekend’s Great Backyard Bird Count, please click here for more information.

Bird Photo Winners

Congratulations to Barbara Jackson and her Yellow-throated Warbler photo taken in her yard in Arrey, NM.  Honorable mentions go to Frank Wilson’s Say’s Phoebe and Jay Wilbur’s American Coots.  Pictures can be viewed in the newsletter.

The deadline for this quarter is March 31, 2017

Photos submitte4d must have been taken in our local area, namely the counties of Sierra, Otero or Dona Ana, and during the past 12 months.  Our publications committee judges entries based on photo quality, subject interest and subject variety.  Please include the location taken and the name of the species in your email.  Our newsletter editor makes the final selection for publication and one of these photos is chose as the First Prize Winner.

By submitting your photo you automatically grant MVAS publication rights for one year.  MVAS may use your photo in any of our publications, including newsletters and our annual calender.  Photos should be submitted electronically as a high resolution .jpg file to judi626@earthlink.neet

Waterfowl Identification

MVAS members attended a waterfowl identification class presented by MVAS Secretary Jay Wilbur on January 18th.  Participants learned key field marks and other ways to recognize duck, geese and swan species common in New Mexico.  Then on Jan 21st and 22nd, Jay led the class on a tour of the Bosque del Apache NWR to put their new skills into practice.  The group saw over 40 species, including a family of four Tundra Swans.