Guess who’s back, back again, your Environment for the Americas (EFTA) Intern and San Luis Valley Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Intern, Ricky Martinez. I’m here to give you an extremely exciting update on what is going on within the BLM’s Blanca Wetlands here in beautiful Alamosa, Colorado. Please sit back and enjoy the show, as I have some really exciting news and photos to share with you all, photos which give you a glimpse of just how important and diverse our Blanca Wetlands are.

A few weeks back I posted a blog explaining the methods of my shorebird surveys and also exactly the results we were seeing for shorebird migrations at the Blanca Wetlands. If you did not read that blog I can give you a quick reminder. So every Monday and every Wednesday I do my shorebird surveys at the Blanca Wetlands. The first week I went out, which was Monday March 19, 2018 and Wednesday March 21, 2018, we saw zero shorebirds. The reason I assumed was because temperatures were still a bit too cold and the mornings and nights were below 20 degrees F and the water was still sometimes freezing at the surface. However, we are now well into spring and the temperatures are warming up and we are seeing a lot of action. The first shorebirds we were seeing were the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), but then we started seeing yellowlegs species (Tringa melanoleuca/flavipes) and Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus), and I said more are sure to come.

Well, I was darn right more were sure to come, as here is a list of shorebirds we are seeing now.  Remember this is only the list of shorebirds as the list for all bird species would be ridiculous, and even more ridiculous would be all species (i.e. mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, aves).

LIST: American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), yellowlegs species (Tringa melanoleuca/flavipes), Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus), Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii), White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi), Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), dowitcher species (Limnodromus scolopaceus/griseus), Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus).

Migration is in full effect and it is breeding season. What a magical experience this is to see all the species come into the wetlands as it warms up, to find mates and reproduce. Another thing I would like to add, as I mentioned earlier, was that the Blanca Wetlands are home to a range of creatures and it is important that we inform the public and protect these creatures. I am going to share some fun photos of a range of species that are very exciting. Watching all these different animals live in harmony makes me hope one day that humans, too, can live in harmony with all other life instead of being so destructive. It’s up to us as individuals to make a difference little by little. Thanks again, everyone; hope you enjoyed the information and are looking forward to the next one.

Porcupine at the Blanca Wetlands foraging.

Can you see the porcupine? What amazing camouflage.

Western Meadowlark singing at the Blanca Wetlands.

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Blanca Wetlands.

Yellow-headed Blackbird at Blanca Wetlands.

White-faced Ibis at Blanca Wetlands.

White-faced Ibis doing one of its coolest and funniest behaviors.



Ricky Martinez

Im Ricky Martinez Metropolitan State University of Denver Alumni (BS Biology). Also I am a SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps Alumni (2016-2017). I currently am interning with the San Luis Valley Bureau of Land Management. I consider myself an ornithologist and I love birds.

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