Migratory Birds of the Bosque | Rio Grande River in New Mexico

I hadn’t realized having just moved to Albuquerque for the first time on December 1st, and living a quarter mile (several hundred yards) from the Rio Grande, that the birds that I became so fascinated with that I bicycled every evening before sunset to hang out at a number of different spots on the river to watch and listen, that I was witnessing migratory birds. There in what is called the Bosque region of the Rio Grande river, running through the expanse of Albuquerque, I’d sit with fascination and delight. Though the Rio Grande river runs theoretically through the middle of Albuquerque, the city is so spread out that the waterway is fortunately protected from development, and the sections of the city reach in four quadrants outside of it. I’d go and sit, somehow always facing west to watch the sunset, where I noticed in December that the first ‘stars’ that appeared, were planets. And I realized after the announcement of the coming Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, that I was looking at Jupiter, with Saturn appearing to the upper left, then piggybacked right above it, then just to the right of it, and now Saturn has dipped significantly each day down to the right and below Jupiter. 

Each night I went to different parts of the river, feeling lucky each time to be exactly where flocks were arriving that evening, so fortunate. I did this each night, bringing layers of clothes in my backpack and bundling up as the sun went down. I felt I was witnessing something really special. I only found out after the 22nd day in a row that these were migratory birds. Wow.  I’m thankful to have witnessed this and to have really paid attention to something I find really special and unique.

The first time I heard the Cranes I was extremely intrigued, never having heard their call. I’ve also found myself laughing each time I hear one particular call of the ducks that sounds like laughter. It was only a few weeks into hearing the Cranes that I finally saw them and made the connection. Wow, their wing span is so wide that they looked like teradactils (found out the real spelling, pterodactyl! https://www.dimensions.com/element/pterodactyl

I added the video of the group of cranes from last evening, the solstice, at dusk in downtown Albuquerque. No kidding. It’s the 2:16 long video. 

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bosque_del_Apache/seasons/index.html

According to this link above, “Winter(mid-November through late January) thousands of snow geese, Ross’s geese, and sandhill cranes spend the night in water to protect themselves from predators. Near dawn, the geese take off en masse in search of fields throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley to feed in for the day. Smaller groups of sandhill cranes then leave the safety of the water for the same reason…In addition to viewing cranes and geese and many species of ducks, you can drive the auto tour loop or hike the trails and see hawks, eagles, blackbirds, ravens, coots, and other birds along with occasional mammals, such as mule deer, coyotes, and jackrabbits. Check in with the visitor center staff for recent sightings.“

The first video in this link features a number of Crane calls, which astounded me and made me laugh.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CXyNYYRiP4xL7KBZ9

At the one place I saw in the fading light what appeared to be Beavers, dark sleek bodies skimming downstream along the surface, in which I saw no head, just the top of their backs. And at another favorite spot, I was still sitting on the root of this large tree, now in darkness, when I heard rustling of leaves right next to me. I looked and made out the shape of this animal 5 feet away approaching, whose body was round. If it had been a skunk I would have made out the white line, but this was round and bigger than a skunk. At the moment I turned to face it, it changed direction. I hadn’t made out what it was. However, tonight, Jan. 3rd, where I sat editing this post of Dec. 31st, as I was leaving my spot, I heard a rustling of leaves, and this time saw a differently shaped, paler animal. I think it was a different creature. And this time, I walked away, in case I was in the space that it wanted to be. 

https://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/biopark-connect/the-bosque

“More than 500 different species of animals claim New Mexico’s Bosque as their home including New Mexico whiptail, gopher snakes, great horned owl, Cooper’s hawk, porcupines and much more.”

I think the first may have been a porcupine. And earlier this evening, not sure. It wasn’t a javelina (wild boar), maybe it was a jack rabbit. Def not an ocelot. heheh.

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition.

Migratory Starlings in Aix-en-Provence | Etourneaux | The Most Magnificent Site & Sound

I was sitting in this cafe and went outside for a pause. What? What in the world? Were these parrots? Birds at night in huge flocks like the parrots in San Francisco who found one another after each having escaped their cages?

The first person whom I asked, a young guy walking down the street in sports clothes, knew immediately the answer. He says that it happens twice a year in Aix-en-Provence. They are Etourneaux, I asked him to write it down for me. He then wrote down the English after looking it up on his phone.

Starling 'ballet' in danger as bird population declines

Starling ‘ballet’ in danger as bird population declines

I am in tears again as I read the headlines of this article in the Telegraph.

Starling populations migrate south and west in winter

Starling populations migrate south and west in winter

“The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) blames changes in intensive farming that means trees and hedges have been chopped down so there are fewer places for the birds to roost and breed. The use of chemicals and monoculture has also been blamed for reducing the amount of seeds and insects available for the animals to feed.”

Though I don’t have the equipment to record their sound. I was ASTOUNDED.

The ‘common’ starling. (Sturnus vulgaris), also known as the European starling, or in the British Isles just the starling, is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. I think it’s vulgar to call it common, the common starling, will be common no more, once they have all declined.

This bird is resident in southern and western Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in winter within the breeding range and also further south to Iberia and North Africa.

They were moving – in the darkness – along the trees lining this very famous street. I found this video, which at least documents them.

Starlings Etourneaux Aix-en-Provence  Migratory birds which will return to Africa

Starlings Etourneaux Aix-en-Provence
Migratory birds which will return to Africa

Frankly, I found this to be the most magical thing I saw all day. I appear to need a new profession.

carol the blogger March 24th, 2017 in New Mexico

carol the blogger March 24th, 2017 in New Mexico