On Father’s Day, Sunday June 17, PEEC will be offering a free Birdscape Tour of White Rock.
This is a chance to visit four homes that have optimized their yards for attracting birds.
The yards will be open for visitors 1-5 p.m. This is a self-guided tour, and no registration is required.
The four yards on display this year will be at the Dunns, 107 Sierra Vista Dr.; the Walkers, 305 Donna Ave.; the Foxes, 238 Rio Bravo Dr.; and the Arendts, at 608 La Bajada.
A map and directions are available at PEEC’s website, www.PajaritoEEC.org, and participants may visit the yards in any order.
The Dunns’ property is in a very natural state. Plantings include pinon and juniper trees, native buffalo grass, sagebrush, and chamisa, as well as other low-maintenance and low-water ground covers, and large stands of crabapple and wisteria to provide food and cover for birds.
Bird feeders, baths, and hummingbird feeders are arranged so the Dunns can see the birds from their kitchen window.
This home is on a good place in the flyway to observe Sandhill Crane migration in spring and fall.
The Walkers call their yard, “a typical, small suburban lot,” but they have observed over 60 species of birds there in the last two years.
The back yard is landscaped with grass, a vegetable garden, and a small pond with a small but noisy waterfall.
The sound of the flowing water helps to attract birds, as do the several bird feeders distributed around the yard.
Trees in their yard and neighboring yards help provide cover for birds.
The Foxes’ yard brings together in a most integrated way the lives of its birds, plants and residents, as all are tucked together around the New Mexico old farmhouse-style portal, which serves as the main entry to this partly formal, partly natural setting.
The result is treetop birdsong choruses and an enthusiastic gathering of finches, towhees, grosbeaks, hummers, nuthatches, sparrows, wrens, orioles, kingbirds, mockingbirds, tanagers, scrub jays, ravens, and the occasional rush-from-nowhere across the yard of a Cooper’s Hawk.
The Arendts’ property is on the rim of White Rock Canyon.
From their yard they can observe the birds that seem to effortlessly cruise in the almost constant updrafts.
During the summer one can enjoy watching ravens, vultures, swallows and the occasional raptor.
The Arendts consider themselves novice birders, but have installed many feeding and watering stations for birds that are successful in attracting many varieties.
They especially enjoy occasional visits from their resident roadrunner, who seems to spend much of its time along or near the canyon edge hunting for edible tidbits.
Donations will be accepted at any of the yards to help feed the birds at PEEC.
Your donation will help feed the birds (and squirrels, chipmunks, and the occasional coyote) that visitors enjoy watching come and go from PEEC’s bird/butterfly garden.