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Spring is in the air, and so are the migratory birds that find their way into Los Alamos backyards around this time of year.
Stephen Fettig of Bandelier National Monument will have a class from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. The class will help those interested to learn or improve skills at bird song identification. This class will be offered free to those who agree to count birds at Bandelier for a minimum of four hours on Saturday, as part of the International Migratory Bird Day. The PEEC class is limited to only 12 participants and advance registration is required.
To register visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or by call 662-0460.
PEEC will have open registration to those who cannot spend four hours participating in the bird count. The cost to attend the program without volunteering will be $120.
“This class is your chance to start learning or improve your skills at identifying common birds of the Jemez Mountains by sound,” Fettig said. “The class will start with an introduction to song types. We will focus next on those birds that trill. Much of the class will focus on distinguishing birds that seem to have robin-like songs, such as Black-headed Grosbeak and Western Tanager. After these robin-like songsters, we will focus time on some non-musical complex songs such as those from flycatchers and sparrows. We will end the class with birds like our Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Greet-tailed Towhee that have complex musical songs,” he said.
Handouts with sonograms and descriptions of specific bird songs will be provided to use during the class, and all participants will receive a CD of local bird sounds and a booklet with sonograms to take home with them. The class will span the lunch hour, so participants are asked to bring their lunches, and the group will take a bird walk into the canyon below PEEC during the lunch break.
For more information about the program, contact Stephen Fettig at 672-3861, ext. 706.
The International Migratory Bird Day officially takes place on the second Saturday in May in the U.S. and Canada.