Wednesday, December 30, 2009

At the Bosque: Who Lives Here?

Dogs aren't allowed on the trails; if these are from a coyote, he's a big one!

At the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, you will see coots, mallards, gadwalls in the water and roadrunners along the edges of the ditches; northern harriers, great blue herons, and egrets cruising over the open areas; and Gambel's quail, crissal thrashers, and the cardinal-like pyrrhuloxia year-round out in the desert areas.

Whose are these? Do you know?

There are mule deer, beaver, rabbits, javelinas, bobcats, and coyotes as well. Although we haven't actually seen any of these "in person" yet, there are lots and lots of tracks to be seen along the water's edge. We puzzle over them and try to guess at the dramas that have been played out, but we really need to learn more about the habitats of the bosque and those who live in them.

We are pleased that the park will be offering a basic animal tracking seminar in a few weeks. (Basic Animal Tracking, Saturday, Jan. 23rd at 8 AM). This workshop is free to the public with a valid park pass ($5.00 per vehicle) and we plan to attend. We hope to learn to identify the tracks of the animals we see, because we really have no idea what we're looking at right now!

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