10th "Natural History of the Gila" Symposium
Feb 28 - Mar 1, 2024 | WNMU Global Resource Center, Silver City
Coinciding with the Centennial Celebration of America’s First Wilderness: the Gila Wilderness
Sharing the natural beauty, research, and resources of the Gila Region in Arizona and New Mexico since 2006
The 10th Natural History of the Gila Symposium is set for February 28 – March 1, 2024. This biennial event will feature keynote speakers and presentations on research, management, education and policy focused on the Gila region, including watersheds and neighboring areas extending into southwestern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona and Mexico.
SWNM Audubon is co-sponsoring the social and is represented on the symposium planning committee.
This is a FREE event! We encourage all SWNMA members to attend!
Visit www.wnmu.edu/ gilasymposium to learn more.
Birds & Brews!
Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 4:30 - ??? | Silver City
Join us for Birds and Brews!! We will take a bird stroll down the developed portion of Big Ditch Park, ending at Little Toad Creek Brewery for some social time, bird trivia, and food with friends!
We will meet at the Main Street Plaza sign at 4:30 pm to start the stroll (See map below). We'll then slowly work our way towards The Toad , birding along the way. Accessibility notes: There is a set of stairs and uneven surfaces along the way; sturdy walking shoes are recommended.
We are aiming to be at the Toad (200 N Bullard St) around 5:15–5:30 pm for those that want to meet us there. Weather permitting, we’ll sit outside at back tables, where we can order food and drinks on separate tickets.
Space is limited! Please email RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you would like to borrow binoculars and we'll come prepared!
San Vicente Bird Outing
Saturday, March 23, 2024 | 8:00 - 11:00 am | Silver City
A World Water Day event organized by Silver City Watershed Keepers.
Join Dave McDonald and Beth Cable for a bird walk along the San Vicente Cienega trail.
Meet at the trailhead under the 90 overpass (go to the S end of Bullard and turn left, across from the Corner Kitchen; it’s around the bend about 200 yards further on).
Accessibility info: This 2+-mile out and back trail is dirt with uneven surfaces and some moderately difficult slope changes. Several points on the trail require water crossing via rocks. Open and shaded areas. No restrooms on site.
SWNMA Board Meeting
Mon, Apr 1, 2024 | 5:00 pm
Southwestern New Mexico Audubon invites members to our Board of Directors meetings. We meet every other month, on the first Monday of the month, at 5 PM. If you are interested in attending board meetings, please email email@example.com. We will add you to the list to receive the agenda and location a few days in advance of the meeting.
Gila Cliff Dwellings Outing
Friday, April 5 & Saturday, April 6
Overnight camping, bird walk, and fireside chat with Park Guide Jonah!
Friday: Pack camping equipment and food, then locate a site at the Upper Scorpion Campground. Join park guide Jonah Snead at 7 pm at the campfire. He'll share bird stories from indigenous cultures and discuss Saturday's bird outing.
Saturday: Meet at the Gila Cliff Dwellings trailhead at 8:00 am. We’ll walk the trail, looking for painted redstarts, hummers, and black- throated gray warblers, then head to the West Fork of the Gila River to spot birds feeding near the water. We’ll have extra binoculars on hand.
Accessibility info: Well-maintained 1.1-mile loop trail. Packed dirt with uneven surfaces / moderate slope changes throughout. Includes 600+ stone stairs without handrails. Flat paved area near visitor center for birding. Wheelchair-accessible restrooms available.
Deadman Canyon Outing
Saturday, April 13 | 7:45 - 11:00 am
Led by Brian Dolton. Deadman Canyon Trail is located on the eastern flank of the Burros, following the course of a seasonal creek from the fold between Burro Peak and Ferguson Mountain. The area has mixed habitats with Ponderosa pine slopes and dense oak scrub, offering good opportunities to find birds hard to locate elsewhere in Grant County (e.g., Hutton’s Vireo, Black-chinned Sparrow). The canyon hosts breeding American Goshawk. For mid-April migration, we can also expect a range of flycatcher and warbler species.
Note that at this time of year, we will hear more birds than we see, and the trip leader will at times require complete silence from the group as we attempt to identify and locate calling birds.
Accessibility info: 2+ miles out-and-back trail. Packed dirt surface, narrow trail with uneven surfaces and steep slopes in sections. No restrooms available.
Location: The site is located along Tyrone Thompson Road (sometimes just marked as Tyrone Road), a dirt road that turns north off Highway 90 between mile markers 31 and 30 (also identifiable by the large sign for the Burro Mountain Homestead). Follow the road for 3.7 miles, by which point it will be in Ponderosa forest: look for an “Entering National Forest” sign on your right; approximately a hundred yards further there is a forest road to the left and a sandy parking/camping area.
Please note that parking is limited. We STRONGLY recommend carpooling!
Those wishing to car pool from Silver City: Meet at the WNMU Fine Arts Center parking lot (see campus map) at 7 am, leaving PROMPTLY at 7:10 am, being on site by 7:45 am. In spring, the birds are most active (and vocal) early in the day!
Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 20 | 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
On Gila Earth Day at Gough Park, Saturday, April 20, 10 am to 2 pm, our SWNM Audubon Chapter will have a booth.
This is a very special Earth Day celebration because it’s the 100th anniversary of the designation of the Gila Wilderness. The park will be bustling with people, booths, and events. Volunteers are needed to help with our booth! There will be 2, two-hour shifts: 10 am – 12 and 12 – 2 pm. Two to three volunteers are needed per shift. If interested in helping out, contact Audubon member Jackie Blurton at 575-534-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be a really fun day of visiting with people and being in the middle of an exciting event.
Saturday, May 4 | 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society is pleased to participate in Give Grandly this year. This annual fundraiser event for area non-profit organizations is supported by the Grant County Community Foundation. The Give Grandly website will be live for donations from April 20th through May 29th, with a live event on May 4th. On that day we will be at the Main Street Plaza from 9 to 2 and hope to see you there!
More details coming soon.
SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT Field Trips
SWNMA programs are planned far in advance, so sometimes we miss good birding possibilities. That's why we encourage member-initiated Spur- of-the-Moment field trips. You don’t have to be an expert, you just need a desire to get out there with fellow birders! If you email us the date, destination, and when/where to meet, we'll pass that info to our list of interested others. Want to get on the list? Just send us an email.
Please visit us on Facebook for updates and for virtual gatherings, announced here on the Website or for members via email.
Feb 9 & 17
Waterfowl Program and Outing
Nearly 30 participants attended our Feb 9 Waterfowl ID program, presented by Bill Norris and Karen Beckenbach. And on a bright, sunny Saturday, 23 birders made the hike up to Lake Roberts to put these ID skills to use! Karen Beckenbach led the group, spotting over 30 waterfowl species, including teals (cinnamon and blue-winged), redheads, mergansers (common and hooded), ruddy ducks, shovelers, buffleheads, coots and more. Two bald eagles and two great blue heron showed up too. A great day all around, with familiar and fresh faces! See the full eBird list here.
Over 100 people stopped by the Audubon table at this annual event! Kids and parents had a great time painting the feather craft that Jackie Blurton created. Jackie and chapter president Linda Moore also developed and handed out activity books about feathers. Thank you to the chapter volunteers who showed up to help and to those who stopped by to say “hi” on a perfectly sunny day!
Mangas Springs Outing
Nearly 20 birders joined trip leader Brian Dolton on a chilly Sunday morning at Mangas Springs. This site's unique blend of habitats provides great sightings all year round. Participants were entertained by calls from both Virginia Rail and Sora in the marsh and got a good look at a Wilson's Snipe bobbing around in the creek. Thanks to all who attended, and a special thanks to Brian and Bill Norris for your generous and patient teaching.
Check out the complete eBird checklist of the 25 species spotted on this outing: https://ebird.org/checklist/S155807487