The Mesilla Valley Audubon Society will be conducting its forty-second annual Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, December 17. During the CBC, 14 teams of birders will be identifying and counting birds within the Las Cruces CBC circle from sunrise to sunset. The CBC circle is 15 miles in diameter. It stretches from Fairacres east to the foothills of the Organ Mountains and from Doña Ana south to the Rio Grande.
For several years, the Las Cruces CBC has led all CBC circles in the U.S. and Canada for the highest number of White-winged Doves. Last year, birders counted 8,859 White-winged Doves within the Las Cruces CBC circle. During Las Cruces CBC 41-year history, the highest number of White-winged Doves counted was 42,521 in 2003.
Of course, White-winged Doves are just one species that can be spotted on this important counting day. Teams will gather data on a wide range of species, from those migrating through the area to year-round residents.
The December meeting of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society will help prepare birders for the count. The pre-CBC meeting will be held Wednesday, December 14, at 7 p.m. at the Southwest Environmental Center office at 275 N. Main St. (on the downtown mall). Presentations will be made concerning local bird ID and logistics for the CBC. Also, team leaders and their members will have an opportunity to get together to finalize plans for the count day.
Whether you are a beginner birder or an experienced birder, there is still room for more birders on the teams. If you’re interested in participating in this citizen scientist endeavor, contact Wayne Treers (coordinator/compiler) for the Las Cruces CBC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 528-8696.