Thursday, February 23, 2017

Go Birding!

Northern Shoveler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society recently did some birding at the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park. Here is what they saw:

Eared Grebe
Great Egret
Northern Pintail
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Cinnamon Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Copper's Hawk
Red-tail Hawk
Merlin ( Prairie Female )
American Kestrel
American Coot
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Eastern Phoebe
Black Phoebe
Chihuahuan Raven
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Curve-billed Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
White-crowned Sparrow
Lincoln Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
House Finch

That's a pretty impressive list of birds. I want to make two points: first, birding is fun. There is something about being able to identify a species that is, in and of itself, rewarding. Next, well, birders "bird" together. It's social. 

My second point is this: at first glance most of us just see dry desert and mountains. Unless we go outside and spend some time, we don't see just how much life that there is. And, there is something about discovering life that makes our place special, valuable, irreplaceable - a treasure to love and protect. Identifying different bird species helps us to see the bounty of our desert and mountains. 

I remember the first time that I ever went birding. I was a Junior in High School. My friend, who came from a family of birders, took me to the levee in the Mission Valley - an ecosystem much like the Bosque. It isn't there any longer. We channelized the river and built an ugly wall. The first bird that I ever identified was an American Avocet.

Contact the El Paso/Trans Pecos Audubon Society or just email Get on their emailing list and learn about upcoming birding adventures. Attend their meetings - there's the social thing again. Also educational. Along with local outings, they go into New Mexico and Arizona and see some very pretty places and meet some pretty interesting birds. (Did I mention that another thing that makes birding fun is the travel - together?)

Part of learning about and loving our desert home is to meet life in all of its splendid forms and certainly birds are some of the most splendid species around.

1 comment:

  1. The city and/or county really should devote substantially more resources to this treasure. Anyone who's been to the Bosque del Apache is aware of how important this kind of bird and wildlife site can be for economic development and quality of life.