Volunteer opportunities available with Weminuche Audubon Society

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By Jean Zirnhelt | Weminuche Audubon Society

Members of the Weminuche Audubon Society are inviting any interested community members to join us in two organizational meetings being held on Friday, March 4, at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library. Please bring a mask.

At 1 p.m., Pagosa Wetland Partners, a committee of the local Audubon chapter, will be getting together to formulate and discuss priorities for the coming season. This meeting will take place in the large meeting room. 

The mission of this advocacy group is to work with the Town of Pagosa Springs to protect and enhance valuable wetland areas with a primary focus on those located along the popular Riverwalk. Volunteer opportunities exist in several areas as we work to foster an awareness and appreciation of this rich habitat right in the middle of town. 

Last summer, we initiated Riverwalk Naturalist Tours beginning at the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership site and continuing along the Riverwalk to the Ross Aragon Community Center. We invite you to share the experiences of these trained guides and discover if you would like to become a member of this dedicated team. Join us to find out what we are about or email pagosawetlands@gmail.com.

Following this meeting, at 2:30 p.m., we will be moving to the small meeting room to begin planning for our second year of monitoring the nesting success of those amazing songbirds that swim under water, the American dipper. For American dippers to thrive, they need availability of suitable nesting habitat and food. Their diet consists of aquatic macroinvertebrates, like larvae of caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies, as well as small fish, fish eggs and worms. In their natural habitat, dippers build nests of moss, grass, algae or twigs. Preferred nest sites are close to water, safe from predators and often on cliffs from 1 to 10 meters above a flowing river. Dippers also build nests on bridges and other human-made structures. 

Dippers may nest from mid-March to mid-July, depending primarily on elevation. You don’t need to be an expert birder to join us in the fun of locating and observing nests of these incredible birds. For more information, email us at weminuche.audubon@gmail.com. 

If you can’t join us in person, Zoom links will be posted on our website, weminucheaudubon.org. Audubon events are open to the public.