Introductory blog; Me, the birds and Bandelier

Introductory blog; Me, the birds and Bandelier


My name is Erwin; I am from Oaxaca-Mexico, and this is my first time abroad. I am grateful and excited for this opportunity given to me by the National Park Service and Environment for the Americas to participate as an intern through the Fish and Feathers Program at Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

I am a biologist. I have a master’s degree in conservation and use of natural resources, and my specialization group is birds. I highlight my participation with the Tierra de Aves group, where I started bird banding for the Monitoring Overwinter Survival (MoSI) program in Oaxaca City. In addition, I have promoted birdwatching in my state as a recreational activity and a citizen science tool, together with my birding club Birds of Oaxaca and Conabio’s Urban Bird Program. Finally, we also created the project called Oaxaca Bird Festival, an event of scientific dissemination and environmental awareness, of which we have currently begun the sixth edition.

During these months at Bandelier, I will perform bird banding for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program. Likewise, I will carry out outreach activities related to banding at the end of my stay. Bandelier has four MAPS stations to evaluate bird’s breeding seasons: three with twelve years of operation and one with five years. Additionally, this park established one station to assess the fall season.

Yesterday was my first day at Bandelier, and it was pretty nice! I started banding, and I met four species new to me. Likewise, I began collecting feathers of certain species for the Bird Genoscape Project (e.g., the American Robin in the photo below). Finally, I saw migratory birds breeding right now on their summer grounds (like Audubon’s Warbler in the below image) — incredible! 

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Audubon’s Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

I will let you know more experiences about my internship in subsequent blogs; thank you for reading this post!

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