During the month of July Clark County Wetlands Park visitors were treated to a display of stunning photographs from the 2018 Audubon Photography Award winners. The exhibit sponsored by Red Rock Audubon featured photographs taken by amateurs, youths and professionals.
Each photograph was accompanied by a description by the photographer, completing the story of the bird and photographer. What could go wrong while wearing your waders approaching a Wood Duck in a frigid pond during a light snow? How does a huge Great Gray Owl balance itself on a tiny branch?
Visiting Mount Charleston in the summer is always a good Idea. You can see many birds and plants, take in some fresh mountain air and enjoy noticeable relief from the Vegas valley heat.
Visiting Mt. Charleston in the company of John Hiatt, Red Rock Audubon's Conservation Chair, takes that experience to a different level. John graciously led 22 members and guests on a memorable walk through the lower part of the Mary Jane Falls trailhead and along Deer Creek on July 13th. You learn a lot about natural and human history any time you are around John.
Did you know that as many as 100,000,000 birds are killed each year in North America by colliding into windows?
Do you know what to do to prevent birds from colliding with your home's windows?
Do you know what to do if you find a bird that has been injured in such an accident?
Red Rock Audubon recently donated 20 pair of Vortex binoculars and 2 Vortex spotting scopes to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. The items will be used by school groups and day campers.
The children who were first to use the equipment quickly spread out to explore the Preserve with new eyes. The young girl in the photo was busy observing a verdin coming in and out of a nest, tending to its nestlings.
Helping children become excited and more engaged with nature will create lasting memories for them. Their experiences will hopefully lead them to become environmentally aware adults, if not future birders.
Many thanks to our good friend Eric Moore, proprietor of Jay's Bird Barn in Prescott, AZ. He helped us acquire the binoculars and scopes at much less than retail value so that our club's donation could include more equipment.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has a lot going for it. Situated in the shadow of the very popular Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, birders can enjoy their time observing nature in a smaller, less crowded venue.
With many small microclimates in one area, visitors can see a variety of birds in a short time. There are meadows, groves of trees and desert scrub. Birding in the early morning is suggested, before the summer outdoor yoga classes begin or families fire up the picnic grills for a perfect day out in nature.
Birding Basics visited the park on June 21st and saw 22 species of birds. Special treats included seeing colorful birds such as a Summer Tanager, a Yellow Warbler and a Lazuli Bunting. The group was also lucky to spot a Cooper's Hawk nest with three young, active birds waiting for lunch.
The Birding Basics group headed out to Floyd Lamb Park to join the regulars on the monthly bird walk there on June 15th to see what they could see. They ended up helping a youth group fulfill its mission to spot 30 species of birds!
Floyd Lamb Park is a great place for birding because of the variety of habitats within its boundaries. It has desert scrub, great stands of trees and ponds stocked with fish. Many of the paths are paved making access easy for all.
Nine Red Rock Audubon volunteers braved the summer heat to do some volunteer work at Henderson Bird Viewing preserve on Saturday June 22nd. Weeds were pulled, trees were trimmed, aphids were eradicated and trash waspicked up around Pond One. Invasive tamarisk were given the heave-ho around Pond Eight. Visitors enjoy better views and HBVP is looking good thanks to our dedicated volunteers.
While many people visit the Preserve to observe the many species of birds that live there or pass through on their migratory journeys, it is important to remember that other creatures also reside in this habitat. This beautiful California King Snake was spotted slithering around the visitor's center. Mourning Doves on the ground by the birdfeeder stayed a respectful, wary distance away.
Five members of Red Rock Audubon graciously hosted visitors to their yards on May 19th to give them ideas of what they can do to attract and sustain wildlife in our urban area. The weather was fantastic and the gardens were full of life.
Three days in May brought new experiences to third grade students from Ruby S. Thomas Elementary School in Las Vegas. Red Rock Audubon raised money through silent auctions to fund busses for field trips. Working with Clark County School District School-Community Partnership Program, field trips to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve were offered. The funds were made available to Title I schools and the third grade classes from Ruby Thomas were selected from a number of applications.
On Highway 15 going south from Las Vegas on the way to California you will pass two exits where there are casinos and the last gas station stops for visitors before crossing the border into California. You would never guess that these two exits host a large number of other visitors who also stop for refueling. These two places bordering the parking lots of said casinos are affectionately known as the Primm National Forest and the Lawn Patch at Jean. These little desert oases are important stops for birds migrating through on their ways from here to there.