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

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