Wikipedia, US Fish and Wildlife Service (American Kestrel Falcon)
The State Park welcomes many nature lovers on a daily basis transporting them to a haven complete with nature trails, native grasses, and wildflowers with plenty of feathered friends who call the park home. The park offers many bird watching opportunities, guided bird walks, an observation room overlooking their main pond with great views of the winter waterfowl and lists of recent sightings. The visitor center desk lends binoculars if you leave a driver license.
Photo by Jen Rodriguez (Canadian Geese)
Streams of enthusiastic visitors of all ages, walked through the visitor center for the opportunity to learn all about our bird and bat friends. Tables of various sized wings of owls, falcons, and road runner were on display for comparisons as well as bird claws and small bat skeletals. The tables, manned by volunteers greeting enthusiasts entering the visitor center, provided a wealth of information.
Invited guest speakers, Rob Yaksich (Bats), William Gannon (Anabat Project-analyzes bat sounds), and Michael Hilchey (Snow Finches), discussed and shared information and slides on each of their topics to a completely filled audience.
Also present were some very special live wildlife guests from the Wildlife Rescue Inc of New Mexico...an American Kestrel Falcon, Great Horn Owl, Western Screech Owl, and Peregrine Falcon. These wonderful guests made for an impressive presence as visitors asked their handlers questions and intently observed each bird from a close up safe distance. Most of these birds had suffered some sort of injury to their wing and currently assist in education programs offered by the organization.
Wikipedia, Peter Manidis (Great Horn Owl)
Wildlife Rescue Inc mission is to Raise, Rehabilitate, Release, and Educate. The organization strives to rehabilitate and release injured/orphaned wildlife back into its natural surroundings, as well as offer education programs tailored to children and adults of all ages.
For further information on the Wildlife Rescue Inc. of New Mexico, education programs, or volunteering visit www.wrinm.org and if you should come across injured wildlife contact 505-344-2500.
For further information of The Rio Grande Nature Center, becoming a member, volunteering opportunities, and guide schedules visit www.rgnc.org or visitor center (open daily 10am-5pm). ***As a special note, the new volunteer program for 2010 begins January 30 through March 6, 2010 (9:00am-1:00pm) so if interested, contact The Rio Grande Nature Center 505-344-7240.
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