Archive for the ‘What’s New?’ Category

NM MONARCH BUTTERFLY WORKSHOP

Saturday, March 10, 2018

8AM – 12PM, then 1PM to 4PM

Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

For more information, click here

2018 Great Backyard Bird Count

The 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count is right around the corner.  The dates are February 16-19, 2018.  For more information about the count and how to report your data, please go to their web site at:

http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

2017 Christmas Bird Count Data

The 2017 Christmas Bird Count results are in.  Click on the link below to view the report.

2017 Christmas Bird Count

Hi Everyone,
Thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the 2017 Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count (CBC)!  It is your hard work and dedication that makes our CBC a huge success for 43 years in a row.  The weather for our count on Dec. 16th could not have been more perfect.  Sure wish they could all be like that!
The total bird count was 32,259 (last year – 19,959).  That total count is about average for our CBC.  We had a total of 132 species identified, which includes general species and sub-species.  Last year we identified 101.  The White-winged Dove count was 6,205 (last year – 7,478), and the American Crow count was 7,951 (last year – 4,129).  The total sparrow count (excluding towhees, juncos, and house sparrows) was 2,157 (last year – 917).  That sparrow count is average for our CBC.
There were two species identified during count week (that weren’t seen on count day) – Common Grackle and Blue Jay.  There were 8 unusual/rare species observed during the count day – Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Turkey Vulture, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cave Swallow, Pygmy Nuthatch, and Black-throated Gray Warbler.  There was 9 new record highs, and 1 new record low.
Please see attached a pdf file of the final report that I submitted to the Audubon database.  If you would like to peruse our 43-year historical record, or any other CBC circle data, get on-line and see the following:
1.  enter this link into your browser -   Christmas Bird Count
2.  scroll down part way, and on the right, click on CBC Results
3.  at the top, you can choose to search by Species or Count; our CBC code is NMLC
Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope you are all fired up to bird in the CBC at the end of 2018!
Wayne Treers
coordinator and compiler for Las Cruces CBC

Mesilla Valley Audubon Society

2018 MVAS Calendars Now on Sale

Some of the best Mesilla Valley bird photography is available in the 2018 MVAS calendar.  Mesilla Valley Audubon members submit their most stunning work throughout the year for newsletters and the annual calendar.  Their level of expertise truly has to be seen to be believed.  Purchase copies while supplies last at upcoming monthly membership meetings or contact a board member directly.

2018 Annual Meeting – Officer Elections

In anticipation of the January 17, 2018 annual meeting and election of officers, the Nominating Committee of the current board is creating a slate to fill four officer and two director positions.  All chapter members are encouraged to self-nominate or suggest other candidates.   Please contact any board member.

The Board consists of the four officers – President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary, six directors and the Past President.  Outgoing President Jennifer Montoya will serve as Past President for one year.

Besides Montoya, current officers include treasurer Diane Moore, vice-president Ken Stinnett and secretary Jay Wilbur.  Current directors include C.J. Goin and Mark Pendleton whose terms expires in 2019.  Gill Sorg and Wayne Treers, elected in January 2016, are serving terms through 2018.  Terms for Judi Schultz and Aaron  Lucas expire in 2017 and are open for nominations to a new three year term running through 2020.

Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count Dec. 16, 2017

Our Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017, from sunrise to sunset.  Mesilla Valley Audubon Society (MVAS) has sponsored this CBC for 43 years.  Our CBC circle encompasses a varied habitat for birds – from a riparian corridor to agricultural fields to suburban areas to desert scrubland.  This diversity often has yielded more than 130 species sighted during the CBC.

MVAS will hold a pre-CBC meeting on Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00PM at the Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC), 275 North Main Street on the Downtown Mall.  The meeting provides an opportunity for team members to discuss final arrangements for the count day.

We have 13 teams of birders that cover the Las Cruces CBC circle.  Please consider joining us in locating and counting birds on December 16 and make a big contribution to citizen science.  If you are new to the CBC, we will find a team that you can bird with.  If interested, please contact Wayne Treers (coordinator and compiler for the Las Cruces CBC) at way1mike@yahoo.com or 575-528-8696.

MVAS studies birds at A-Spear Ranch

Last October, Mesilla Valley Audubon Society led a field trip to beautiful Las Palomas Creek on the A-Spear Ranch, LLC, in Sierra County.  This was the kick-off for a year of field visits by MVAS in order to build a bird list for this incredible example of a southwestern riparian gallery forest.  Thanks to the efforts of C.J. Goin and other MVAS board members, we were able to post bird lists on eBird and the number of species observed and confirmed at the A-Spear currently stands at 106.

In 2017, nests and subsequent fledglings were observed, including for Common Black Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Barn Owl and others.  Mammal species thrive and proliferate on the ranch as well, with trail cameras capturing young elk, black bear, mule deer, bobcats and mountain lions.

In coming months, the ranch hopes to move forward with a conservation easement for the riparian area as well as further habitat improvements.  This will include working with representatives from Bosque del Apache NWR to plant Monarch butterfly-friendly milkweed.

In addition, the owners of A-Spear hope to continue working with MVAS to develop projects that can be mutually beneficial to the ranch, MVAS, and, of course, the birds.

By J.R. Absher
Co-Owner, A-Spear Ranch

2017 Christmas Bird Count Information

Hello all,

The 2017 Christmas Bird Count will be here before you know it.  This year’s count will take place on Saturday, December 16, 2017 from sunrise to sunset.  The Pre-CBC meeting will be held Wednesday, December 13th at 7:00PM at the Southwest Environmental Center located at 275 N. Main Street.  Please click here to review the flyer about the event and contact information if you have questions or would like to participate in this annual Citizen Science event.

MVBSP Trail Maintenance

If you are interested in helping maintain trails at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, please contact Jay Wilbur at jay@jaysplanet.info.

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