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.

Fall 2017 Programs


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tyler Rogers of the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, will discuss the work being done on the Rio Grande floodplain that benefits bird habitats.  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with private and state landowners, has enhanced habitat from Leasburg to Las Cruces.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Movie night features the 2003 award-winning documentary, “Winged Migration”.  The movie was filmed over the course of four years on all seven continents using in-flight cameras, so that viewers appear to be flying alongside birds of successive species, especially Canada geese.  They traverse every kind of weather, covering vast distances in a flight for survival.  This spectacular film follows all manner of avifauna through their miraculous journets.  Hot toddies and popcorn will make this a perfect winter outing.  All meetings begin at 7:00PM with a social hour at 6:30PM.  This is also our annual meeting and officer elections.


Membership meetings and programs are held the third Wednesday of each month at the Southwest Environmental Center, 275 N. Downtown Mall.  Join us at 6:30pm  for a social gathering.  Programs begin at 7:00pm immediately following the business meeting and announcements.  Questions?  Contact Jennifer Montoya at 526-1320.

Winter 2017 Field Trips

November 14 – 19, 2017

As we have for the past several years, MVAS encourages folks to attend the Festival of the Cranes at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, NM (south of Socorro) for the November field trip.  Register now as accomodations fill up quickly.  Dates are Tuesday, November 14 – Sunday, November 19, 2017.  This is an opportunity to see some spectacular flocks of ducks, geest and cranes as well as other wildlife.  Visit http://friendsofthebosque.org/festival-of-the-cranes-1.aspx for information.

December 16, 2017

Saturday December 16, 2017 from sunrise to sunset is the 43rd annual Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count.  Take part in one of the longest running Citizen Science events going!  There are 13 teams of birders that cover the 15 mile diameter Count Circle.  To participate, contact Wayne Treers at way1mike@yahoo.com or 575-528-8696.

January 2018 TBD
Watch your email for more details.  We are currently discussing destinations and will announce it when the location is finalized.  To receive MVAS birding and meeting notices, make sure that Judy Wilbur (jkwilbur@gmail.com) and/or Mark Pendleton (mpndltn@gmail.com) have your email address and phone number for contact information.
Questions about field trips? Contact me:mpndltn@gmail.com or 575.635.8711. Mark Pendleton

Other Birdwatching Opportunities

MVAS Beginner Bird Walks It’s been one year since we started the monthly Beginner Birdwalks at Tellbrook Park in Las Alturas.  We will be continuing the walks the third Wednesday of each month (the morning of the monthly MVAS programs).  To view the 2017-2018 schedule of dates, click here. We hope to see you there!!

Other Bird Walks
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, Leasburg Dam State Park, and Percha Dam State Park frequently offer free bird walks on Saturday mornings. Consult the websites http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/ for these parks for specific dates and times.


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.

Bird ID classes

People are still welcome to join the final two Bird ID classes offered by MV Audubon at a discounted cost (50%).  There are 2 lectures (10/9 and 10/16 6:30 to 8:30pm) and 2 field trips left.  Please contact Jay Wilbur @ jay@jaysplanet.info if you are interested.

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