On day two of Take It Outside, we are learning about bird migration! It’s the beginning of the spring migration, when birds are heading north for the summer. This means we’ll soon be welcoming back our summer friends, like the hummingbirds, and saying goodbye to winter birds like the Dark-eyed Juncos, who will be heading higher up in the mountains.
Join PEEC volunteer Bob Walker for live commentary from PEEC’s wildlife observation garden (technology permitting!) tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, at 10 AM. The nature center is closed to people, but birds are still visiting! Bob will point out birds that visit the garden, and we’ll discuss how PEEC created a bird-friendly habitat, and what you can do at your own home to encourage birds to visit. Viewers can ask Bob their birding and bird feeding questions in the live chat!
View the wildlife camera livestream here.
Did you know that the Turkey Vulture is a migratory bird? This bird is found throughout North America and is one of the easiest birds to find on the Pajarito Plateau. Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, the first Turkey Vulture of spring is spotted in Los Alamos County. Learn some fascinating facts about this scavenger in today’s blog post by PEEC volunteer Bob Loy.
Make your own hummingbird feeder, and be one of the first people in town to see hummingbirds returning from their winter homes. Make your feeder unique with your own decorations using red Sharpie or red paint. Hummingbirds should be making their appearance in late March or April. Mark on your calendar when you first see them! Find instructions for today’s craft here.
Outdoor Challenge (Beginner):
Birds have different habits! Some, like the Turkey Vulture, are often seen soaring in the air. Other birds are more often found in trees, or on the ground. Keep an eye out for a soaring Turkey Vulture!
While you’re looking, see if you can find birds in the following places:
☐ Soaring in the air
☐ On a tree
☐ In a bush
☐ On the ground
☐ Perched on something tall
Do you notice certain types of birds in certain places? Let us know what patterns you noticed!
Outdoor Challenge (Advanced):
Our earliest migrators have been reported in the County. Look for the Turkey Vulture in the canyon by the Los Alamos Ice Rink and the White-throated Swift at Kimberly Point in White Rock, or at the 6th Street Pond near Smith’s in Los Alamos. Say’s Phoebes and Black Phoebes have also been recently reported in Los Alamos! Share where you like to look for birds in the form below and let us know if you find any of these recent arrivals today.
- The Cornell Lab is an excellent online resource about birds. Check out this cool animation showing bird migration across the western hemisphere.
- The New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española connects people and wildlife and has an on-site wildlife hospital. Read about their resident Turkey Vulture, Sol, along with their other animal ambassadors.
- A fun Turkey Vulture comic from science educator and cartoonist Rosemary Mosco.
Share Your Experience:
Submit at least three outdoor challenge reports this week for a chance to win a set of PEEC’s custom bird stickers! We’d love to see your photos, too. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #peectakeitoutside.
Join us tomorrow to explore more about birds!