Welcome to another “Bear Fair” sponsored by the Sandia Mt. Bear Collaborative. Starts at 1 PM.
Prizes! Fun for the whole family! See you there!
See the PDF version of the flyer here: finalBear Fair Flyer 2017
Like the ABQ Wildlife Federation here in New Mexico, these volunteer groups in Arizona are using rocks to build well designed structures, slowing down water run-off and preventing soil erosion, which in turn builds up soil and supports vegetation for wildlife.
Early last Saturday under already sweltering conditions, a half-dozen men and women heaved bread loaf-sized rocks into a large drainage on the outskirts of the Patagonia Mountains to create a “Zuni bowl”, a rock structure designed to prevent soil erosion.
Read the full article here:
We organized another wildlife track and sign identification course with renown wildlife specialist Casey McFarland on April 9th and 10th. He will be in the area this summer and would like to do more courses, so get on our wait list and I’ll keep you posted.
Here is some feedback from a couple of the latest participants:
From Michael Cox ~ The weekend was terrific! Casey taught me a new way of looking at the natural world. It was like suddenly realizing that you’ve been living in the dark and having the light turned on. It was intimidating and challenging but I’d do it again next weekend if I could, and I hope that Casey does another session sometime soon.
I am interested in your project, but I should tel you that I only received a 68 in the course, and reached some astoundingly stupid conclusions, so I’m not sure how much help I could be. So please alert me when you go out next time.
PS- Thanks for the heads up on the course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
and from Sarah and Matt Fontaine ~Hi Peter,
Matt and I both thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and got so much out of it! I have been looking at tracks, and books of tracks, for a while… it was so satisfying to have someone with extensive knowledge to give hard facts to what had previously been questionable deduction. And Casey showed us animal sign that I would have walked right past, not knowing what to look for. We also appreciate the style of teaching: having us try to figure out what a track/sign is using whatever knowledge and common sense we have, before just telling us. That really gets one looking around, analyzing the surroundings, asking questions like ‘who would live here?’ or ‘what size animal would make that scat?’
We are interested in volunteering for the Pathways monitoring program, do keep us posted!
Amazing, simply amazing. The confluence between research science, technology, and volunteers on a massive scale yield these, I’ll say it again, amazing, heat maps of bird migration: Forecasts : BirdCast.
Without waiting for years of study to become published, and then instantly become irrelevant, this “real time” network of volunteers and bird scientists have been putting together easily readable maps and graphs that show how bird migration not only shapes up for this season, week by week, even day by day, but how it compares to other years at the same time.
To say that bird migration depends on the weather is an understatement, birds must follow weather patterns in order to move the distances they need to arrive at feeding and breeding grounds just in time to continue their life cycle. When those patterns are too early, birds can “hold on” to their current position to avoid being swept away to an area that is still too cold or dormant. When the wind and weather is too late, birds may be stranded in inhospitable locations. Even more complicated is when the seasons get mixed up, as in New England this spring, with winter and summer alternating rapidly, too cold, too hot, with “just right” fleeting fast away.
If you want a graphic example, in real time, of life trying to adapt to a rapidly changing climate regime, the heat maps of e-bird are a good place to look.
Western Willow Flycatcher habitat was improved last Saturday at the Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge as 22 volunteers with the New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors helped by cutting and trimming willows, then planting them in holes that were augered down to the water table.
Satisfying work on a calm, clear February day. Flocks of snow geese headed south to the Bosque del Apache refuge as we worked on the willow prep. under the budding old growth cottonwoods along the Rio Grande. Cutting all but the very top branches off the willow rods helps the willow roots get a good start. By May they will be leafed out and growing into their first season in their new spot along the river. These Gooding’s willows will grow much taller than the ubiquitous Coyote Willow, and when filled out with new branches in a few years, provide good habitat, along with the Cottonwoods, for the endangered Western Willow Flycatcher.
The refuge manager, Kathy Granillo, also voiced her concern for wildlife pathways throughout the state of NM, and recognizes the importance of wildlife connectivity between all the refuge lands. Even though Sevilleta is the largest refuge, 200,000 + acres, it still depends on connectivity with surrounding lands to stay healthy.
As we like to say at Pathways, “Life is a moving thing!”
Another great post from Caren Cooper on what engages people in a citizen science project: