Thursday, May 6, 2010

Migratory Bird Day Set For Saturday At Bosque Del Apache

Mountain Mail Reports

Local bird watchers are invited to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Reserve Saturday, May 8, for International Migratory Bird Day. It’s part of a hemisphere-wide celebration in which visitors can take part in a pair of events.
First, a guided bird walk will begin at 8 a.m. in the vicinity of the visitor center, followed by a two hour birding tour of the refuge from 2 - 4 p.m. by bus. Each event is limited to 24 participants, who will receive a 20 x 30 inch full-color poster featuring the official 2010 IMBD theme art. The 2010 theme is The Power of Partnerships in Bird Con-servation.
The poster commemorates the 20th anniversary of the founding of Partners in Flight, a public/private conservation partnership, with portraits of 20 bird species whose recovery has been fostered by such partnerships.
Bosque del Apache played a key role as a partner in early recovery efforts in one of these featured species - the Whooping Crane - whose numbers have increased from a population of only 15 in the 1940s to nearly 400 today. Experience gained in a cross-fostering program begun at Bosque in 1975, and an experimental ultra-light aircraft-led migration to Bosque in 1997 contributed to the success of Whooping Crane
reintroduction flights between Wisconsin and Florida which succeeded the programs at Bosque del Apache. The refuge no longer has a Whooping Crane population.
Visitors unable to obtain reservations for the formal activities still may find this one of the most rewarding times for viewing colorful shorebirds and songbirds which stop over on the refuge during their migration to northern breeding habitat, according to Chief of Visitor Services Shawn Gillette.
The seasonal road and the boardwalk off the Wildlife Tour Route, or the Marsh and Rio Viejo hiking trails, are prime viewing areas for these seasonal avian visitors, Gillette said. Call 835-1828 for details and reservations.

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