TIJERAS, NEW MEXICO - 09/01/2017 (PRESS RELEASE JET)
One year ago this month, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, recognized Lawrence and Kristen Clark in Tijeras for having successfully certified their Wildlife Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program. This month, the Clarks are celebrating the habitat’s one year anniversary.
Kristen and Lawrence certified their mountainous habitat in response to the “Dog Head” fire in June of last year. “We experienced a sudden influx of both birds and wildlife immediately after the fire and we wanted to do our part to create a safe haven for them,” the Clarks said. “In fact, in just this past year alone, we’ve had 32 different bird species come through our habitat, many of which have nested and are now raising young.”
Common visitors to our bird sanctuary include chickadees, Steller’s jays, juncos, pine siskin, and house finches, while special appearances were made by a black-throated gray warbler and Williamson’s sapsucker. The Clarks provide for the wild birds with several birdbaths and over a dozen bird feeders. “We go through about 80 pounds of bird seed a month,” said Kristen, “but providing water is the most critical aspect of what we do. A bird will die from dehydration before it will die from starvation, especially during critical winter months or droughts when water is scarce.”
Even wild mammals need water, as evidenced by the photographs Kristen took this summer of a mule deer drinking water from her birdbath out back. Other mammals frequenting the wildlife habitat include Abert’s and rock squirrels, brush and cottontail bunnies, coyotes, and a pair of wolves. She explains, “We’re sensitive to the balance of nature, and wildlife and birds have a great stake in that balance.”
About Backyard Birding Paradise
Kristen Clark is a fan of all things beautiful, with a special love for birds. The author of several bird books, including The Special Care & Feeding of Backyard Birds and Favorite Birds of New Mexico, she founded Backyard Birding Paradise to educate others on the benefits and value of bird-watching.
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