By Eileen Richardson

The Santa Fe Raptor Center is a registered nonprofit 501 ( c ) (3) organization that relies on private contributions to finance wildlife care.

The Santa Fe Raptor Center has an educational program that serves the community that supports it. The beauty of Santa Fe is enhanced by Red Tailed Hawks soaring in our skies and Great Horned Owls hooting in our parks. The Center's goal is to establish a working relationship with Santa Fe area grade schools, high schools, and colleges and to cooperatively partner on projects that inspire appreciation, understanding, and respect for the wildlife around us.

Read more: Santa Fe Raptor Center

By Eileen Richardson

These masked beauties can be seen now in parts of New Mexico. They enjoy juniper berries so look for them around juniper trees.

The Cedar Waxwing is a silky, shiny collection of brown, gray, and lemon-yellow, accented with a subdued crest, rakish black mask, and brilliant-red wax droplets on the wing feathers. The red droplets on their wings give them their name.

In fall these birds gather by the hundreds to eat berries, filling the air with their high, thin, whistles. Since they are such social birds they usually are seen in large flocks. Occasionally you may see a line of waxwings perched on a branch passing a berry back and forth, from bill to bill, until one of them swallows it.

Except when nesting, almost always they forage in flocks. Sometimes these birds hover briefly while plucking berries or taking insects from foliage. They also often catch insects in mid-air.

Read more: Waxwings are Here!

By Eileen Richardson

First brought to North America by Shakespeare enthusiasts in the nineteenth century, European Starlings are now among the continent’s most numerous songbirds. They are stocky black birds with short tails, triangular wings, and long, pointed bills. Though they’re sometimes resented for their abundance and aggressiveness, they’re still dazzling birds when you get a good look. Covered in white spots during winter, they turn dark and glossy in summer. For much of the year, they wheel through the sky and mob lawns in big, noisy flocks.

Read more: European Starlings Came to Visit Santa Fe

By Eileen Richardson

The birds who stay around in New Mexico in the Winter need water and food. Although there are hoarders who have collected and stored food in the Fall to get them thru the Winter.
Birds like chickadees, Jays, and nuthatches all store food for later use but the Clark's Nutcracker is definitely the best at it. A Clark's Nutcracker may store more than 30,000 pinyon pine seeds during a single season, placing them in caches with 4-5 seeds each.

Pinyon Jays have an expandable esophagus which allows them to store as many as 40 unshelled pine seeds at a time. Steller's Jays have a smaller storage capacity though are also a hoarder. Unlike other jays, Pinyon Jays work with their mate to hide food items, therefore, both of them know the location of their hidden supply of food.
Acorn Woodpeckers store acorns in dead trunks of trees.

Read more: Winter Care for Wild Birds

By Eileen Richardson

The Juniper Titmouse is a plain gray bird with a prominent black eye and a crest of gray feathers on its head. It is a small songbird, but the long body, short neck, and medium-long tail makes it appear bigger than it is. A short crest gives the fairly large head a pointed silhouette. The short bill is fairly thick and round.

They mate for life and like other members of the chickadee family the Juniper Titmouse sticks around all winter and will come to seed and suet feeders. In the fall, they stash seeds in the crevices of tree bark to eat later. They are partial to pinyon nuts. New Mexico is the perfect habitat for this bird as they favor pinyon and juniper woodlands of the interior west. The Juniper Titmouse occurs in pinyon pine and juniper woodlands from about 2,250-8,000 feet. These cavity-nesting birds tend to nest in mature woodlands, where older pinyon and juniper trees offer a ready supply of cavities for nesting.

Read more: Juniper Titmouse

By Eileen Richardson

I have done some research and have found some great gift ideas for those “bird crazy” people in your life. These are gift items different from wild bird feeding supplies that I have mentioned in previous articles. Jewelry such as earring,s bracelets, and necklaces are always a good bet for women .Here are some very unique items you won’t find just anywhere. For instance:

Read more: Gift ideas for the bird lovers in your life

By Eileen Richardson

In ancient migration takes place in Southern New Mexico close to Socorro that thousands of bird watchers and photographers alike relish in. The Festival of the cranes is actually just the beginning of the migration of snow geese from Canada and sand hill cranes and other water fowl. In reality hundreds of other birds migrate in this area from hummingbirds to heron .The migration viewing opportunities actually go thru mid-February.

Read more: Bosque del Apache and the Festival of the Cranes

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count give scientists important data that they need to measure the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. This year marks the 117th year of the count. It started on Christmas Day in 1900 when Audubon Society ornithologist Frank M. Chapman proposed counting birds rather than hunting them. His suggestion was an effort to forge a new tradition. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition called the "side hunt", where hunters would choose sides and whichever group returned with the biggest pile of dead birds and other animals won.

Read more: The Audubon Christmas Bird Count

By Eileen Richardson

They saw a hawk above and then froze. Their natural camouflage and their stealth positions kept them hidden and unnoticed by the predator.

After I calculate over 5 minutes with no present danger the adults sent out a guinea hen like “chekar”

While the babies got into formation in one-line peeping. They quickly darted to the trumpet vine coverage and in small groups scurried across the driveway into the grasses and juniper trees for Cover and Safety.

Dry southwestern grasslands provide a home for this blue-gray quail. Coveys of Scaled Quail travel about on foot; even when disturbed, they tend to run rather than flying. In the concealing cover of the short grass they can be inconspicuous except in spring, when males often call from atop fence-posts or exposed rocks. At night, coveys of Scaled Quail roost on the ground in dense low growth.

Read more: Scaled Quail
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