Our second workshop for the day was about a New Mexico Important Bird Area - a wetland in the Desert. I never would have thought that there actually is a wetland existing on Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB), and open to the public. The base constructed the wetlands several years ago and it was declared an IBA in 2002 by the National Audubon Society's New Mexico chapter. HAFB has two large bodies of water attracting many unlikely migrants during spring and fall, and it even provides wintering grounds, too. Here is a checklist of the birds for that area. I'm hoping that one of these times when we return to the Bosque refuge we will take the time and drive over to the air force base and check out the wetlands.
Following the presentation we were treated to meeting a few educational birds. I cannot remember the name of the group who provided the birds, but it is a New Mexico rehabilitation center. The first two photos are an albino black-crowned night heron. The rehab center thought that this bird was showing signs that it could be released back into the wild, but upon further observation they realized that the bird probably would not survive.
This is a western screech owl. I didn't realize how small this birds are. It was only about 8 inches tall. I love those beautiful big yellow eyes. Don't you?
And here is another 8-inch bird - a burrowing owl. This owl lost its left eye, so hunting would be a problem for it.