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 judi626@earthlink.net.

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 jatchley@zianet.com

May 2017 Program

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Las Cruces’ very own Charles Britt, recently featured in Audubon magazine, will give a presentation on the importance of Central American forests and the species that depend on them.  Britt will discuss his conversation work with Scarlet Macaw and Yellow-headed Parrot populations.  A professional wildlife biologist and graduate of NMSU, Britt is co-founder of the Belize Bird Conservancy.  Check out the article at http://www.audubon.org/magazine/spring-2017/meet-brave-bodyguards-protecting-belizes-scarlet.

MVAS Scholarship Winner

MVAS Scholarship winner is Tyler Wallin, a first year graduate student in NMSU’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology.   He came to NMSU from Southern Illinois and is working with Dr. Colleen Coldwell in the U.S.G.S. Cooperative Unit.  Wallin’s research focuses on critical habitat for fish species of special conservation concern to provide managers with the critical requirements for a stream to be a successful recovery habitat for the Gila Trout.  The MVAS scholarship committee received six proposals this year.  Wallin will collect data on population dynamics of four different Gila Trout populations using mark-recapture techniques to assess the long term viability of populations at these different sites.  Tyler will present his findings at a spring 2018 MVAS meeting.

2017 Lorraine Schulte Excellence in Teaching Awrd

Danielle Johnson, fourth and fifth grade teacher at Central Elementary School, has won this year’s Lorraine Schulte Excellence in Teaching Award.  The $300.00 annual award, now in it’s 20th year, recognizes a teacher for his/her efforts in teaching children to care for the environment.  Lorraine Schulte is a charter member of MVAS and coordinator for many years of Audubon Adventures, a creator of school or field based education program.  Congratulations Danielle!

May 2017 Field Trip

Saturday, May 20, 2017 – Broad Canyon Ranch
Broad Canyon Ranch is a great birding spot.  Through 2014, 208 species have been observed, including 47 species of concern in New Mexico.  The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Common Ground Dove, Peregrine & Prairie Falcons, Lazuli & Painted Buntings, White-throated Swift, Dickcissel, Summer Tanager and Golden Eagle are a smattering of notable sightings.  Meet at the NW corner of the parking lot for K-Mart just off US70/N. Main at 6:15am to carpool at 6:30am to Broad Canyon Ranch which is about 10 miles north of Radium Springs on NM 185.

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 https://www.learner.org/jnorth/.  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.