Aldea Birding Group
Aldea Birding Group
The Aldea Birding Group (ABG) is a group of Aldea residents who share an interest in learning more about birds, especially those that live in or visit Aldea. We maintain a list of birds seen in Aldea and a Resource Guide. In addition to learning more about the birds that we see in our yards and our open spaces, our goals are to improve the habitat within our neighborhood and share information about birding in New Mexico. We occasionally have talks and organize field trips with experienced birders. The ABG is a fun place to learn more about birding and make new friends. Birders of all levels should feel welcome to join us.
Juniper Titmouse Nest Box Project
This endeavor, in collaboration with Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch Program, is ABG’s main focus at this time. This ambitious project launched in 2017. It was spearheaded by Don Wilson and Aldea’s Permaculture Committee, and is an attempt to provide better nesting habitat for the declining Juniper Titmouse, a species found only in pinyon/juniper habitat in six Western states.
70 nest boxes were placed in Aldea Open Space, and the Birding Group heeded the call for volunteers to train in nest watching protocol and ethics, and then monitor the boxes during the nesting season from March to July. More than 20 Aldea residents have participated each year, and not only the Juniper Titmouse has benefited from this project. The Bewick’s Wren and Mountain Chickadee, who are also cavity nesters and are declining species, are benefiting too.
9 Bewick’s Wren nests with 36 fledglings
11 Juniper Titmouse nests with 42 fledglings
1 Mountain Chickadee nest with 5 fledglings
2018 Total Fledged: 83 (52 in 2017)
ABG’s success in impacting the conservation of these species and in contributing to Cornell’s community science is significant. Robyn Bailey, Cornell’s NestWatch Project Leader, had this to say about our efforts: “The Aldea Bird Group is by far the largest contributor of Juniper Titmouse nesting data that we have (72% of submissions). We at NestWatch are very excited that this group has burst onto the scene and quickly become our primary source of information about this species. In fact, they have risen to become the most active NestWatching group in New Mexico (regardless of species), contributing 77% of the states’ data in 2018.”
Due to this project and the hard work of all the volunteers, Aldea is now an official NestWatch Chapter, and the only one in NM.
The Juniper Titmouse Nest Box Project also supports Aldea’s National Wildlife Federation Certified Community Wildlife Habitat designation. Many Aldea residents have certified their yards, and the broader community designation is something we are very proud of.
But certification is not just a pretty sign we put in our yards, or on the Aldea website home page giving us an impressive distinction as a community. Certification reflects a way of life that respects the natural world, deepens our part in it, and recognizes our role in maintaining it. We have lots of work to do!
Join In! / Sign up for Messages!
Email : AldeaBirders@gmail.com to sign up and stay current on ABG events!
Be first to know of all talks, walks, more!
Many members are beginners! Join us!