Bird Sanctuary and Habitat Project

In June of 2016, my husband called from our mountain in New Mexico to tell me he had to evacuate.  I was in Houston.

“The mountain is on fire,” he stammered.

Dog Head Fire was ablaze and had consumed nearly 18,000 acres. Nearly 1,000 firefighters worked around the clock to contain it and it was only 10 miles from the tranquil beauty we call home. 

My husband packed a few items and headed down the mountain to safety.  “I don’t know what will happen to our place or our things,” he said.

“It’s just stuff.  You’re all that matters,” I said back.

Later that evening I thought about the devastation. Most of the land that had been consumed was natural forest and I wondered… what about the birds?


Some experts predict it will take 100 years or more before the forest will return to normal conditions. And yes, there will be casualties – both human and wild life.  But there will also be some who benefit from the fire.

If treetops burn to a crisp completely, the canopy dwellers like mountain chickadees (which we have plenty of on our mountain) will be forced to seek out new habitat. It’s the woodpeckers that win big as they head toward the large areas of scorched trees in search of bark and wood-boring beetles.


After the flames die down, scientists and forest managers expect birds will arrive in droves. That’s because some bird species depend on freshly burned forests, particularly in areas that are dry and riddled with lightning. 

I had mixed emotions about the fire.  My heart ached for the resulting loss: nearly 18,000 acres of beautiful forest and wildlife.  But I was also grateful. Our home and belongings were spared. My husband and our friends were eventually able to return to their homes.  And, we now have ample opportunity to provide food, water, and habitat to any displaced and stressed birds.


Our little slice of heaven, only 10 miles from the fire, sits at 7600 feet in altitude and backs up against the Carolina Canyon Park recreation area, nestled in the juniper-pinon forests of East Mountain.

East Mountain sits in the Manzano mountain range in the central part of New Mexico, known as the Land of Enchantment and home to the western branch of the Salt Missions Trail, formerly called Turquois Trail.  With a harmonious blend of over 270 bird species reported in the area, many are unique to mountainous habitats, including aspen ponderosa pine, high elevation willow, spruce, fir and alpine tundra.  Yes, East Mountain is a tribute to quiet excitement and adventure, and caters to a specific set of birds, including the gems featured in the video above.

As a lover of all things beautiful - especially birds - my heart's desire is to certify our 2.5 acres as a wildlife habitat and provide the special care and feeding of birds.   This the result of a definite surge in both population and species.   But also because national forests don't provide adequate food or water for birds, especially during critical winter months or droughts when food/water is scarce.  Also, every certified habitat is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife, both locally and along migratory corridors.


My commitment is to spend the funds accordingly:
 - Wildlife Certification Application
 - 12 Bird Houses
 - 10 Shepherd's Hooks
 - 10 Hanging Bird Feeders (Various Kinds)
 - 5 Platform Feeders
 - 5 Solar Bird Baths
 - Bird Food (Seed, Suet, Thistle, Peanuts)
 - 1 Observation Tower
 - Advertising Costs to Raise Money

Please see my tokens of appreciation for your donation:

Donations of $10 - $24:
- Receive my eBook, The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds

Donations of $25 to $49:
- Receive my eBook, The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds
 - AND my eBook, For the Love of Birds: Selected Essays & Poems from Literature’s Favorite English & American Authors
 
Donations of $50 to $99         
- Receive my eBook, The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds
- AND my eBook, For the Love of Birds: Selected Essays & Poems from Literature’s Favorite English & American Authors
 - AND my forthcoming eBook, Favorite Birds of New Mexico: Treasures of the Land of Enchantment
 
Donations of $100 - $199
- Receive my eBook, The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds
 - AND my eBook, For the Love of Birds: Selected Essays & Poems from Literature’s Favorite English & American Authors
 - AND my forthcoming eBook, Favorite Birds of New Mexico: Treasures of the Land of Enchantment
 - AND an autographed paperback version of my Backyard Birding Journal
 
Donations of $200 - $299
- Receive my eBook, The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds
- AND my eBook, For the Love of Birds: Selected Essays & Poems from Literature’s Favorite English & American Authors
- AND my forthcoming eBook, Favorite Birds of New Mexico: Treasures of the Land of Enchantment
- AND an autographed paperback version of my Backyard Birding Journal
- AND my online Video Course, How to Create & Enjoy Your Backyard Birding Paradise, including 20 short and easy-to-follow modules
 
Donations of $300 and Above
- Autographed paperback versions of all FOUR books (The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds, For the Love of Birds: Selected Essays & Poems from Literature’s Favorite English & American Authors, Favorite Birds of New Mexico: Treasures of the Land of Enchantment, and Backyard Birding Journal)
- AND my online Video Course, How to Create & Enjoy Your Backyard Birding Paradise, including 20 short and easy-to-follow modules
- AND a set of FOUR coffee mugs, featuring my favorite birds


My goal is to share the magic and beauty of our fine feathered friends in the hope that someday others, perhaps you, will have the chance to visit our mountain personally, experience the breathtaking views this enchanted landscape has to offer, and discover the magic of our treasured birds.

Thank you for partnering with me in this critical effort!

And feel free to join me on Facebook and at www.BackyardBirdingParadise.com.

Kristen Clark

Organizer

Kristen Clark
Organizer
Tijeras, NM

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