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V.19 No.43 |
Pelicans in Chile.
Paul Rust
Pelicans in Chile.

Science

Where are all the sand hill cranes?

In the mean time...

What can I say, I have a fairly unhealthy fixation on birds the last year or two, in particular, sand hill cranes.

For the last month I have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of the ancient ones to Central New Mexico. I have seen huge flocks of birds flying high above the Rio Grande in recent weeks, coming in for the winter.

They blot out the sky. Some of them look like cranes. I love cranes.

Unfortunately, I am always going 80 mph on the freeway and can’t look too long. For this reason, I cannot confirm whether or not I’ve seen one yet. This is probably how I’m going to die, staring up at the sky trying to identify migrating bird species. I can think of worse ways to go.

I don’t want to say I’ve seen them until I’m sure I’ve seen them. Speculating will get you into trouble fast in this business. For this reason, I’m waiting until the three-foot-tall, dinosaur-like creatures are standing on the ground in a field somewhere, the crimson feathers on their heads plainly visible.

I can’t wait.

In the mean time, here is a picture of some pelicans in Chile, graciously sent by Mr. Paul Rust of Lawton, Okla. Thanks, Paul. You are tiding me over.

V.19 No.43 | 10/28/2010

Culture Shock

The Fat Man Cometh: Hitchcock at the KiMo

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V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010

Feature

Walk on these wild life refuges

Three nature-filled trips that are close to home and far from ordinary

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V.19 No.30 |
Snowy Egrets sit in the Belen Marsh at dusk.
John Bear
Snowy Egrets sit in the Belen Marsh at dusk.

Nature

The Belen Marsh

A really cool short trip south of Albuquerque

The jewel of the City of Belen is nestled behind a Taco Bell.

It’s the Belen Marsh, an accidentally made salty wetland where nearly 100 species of birds come to entertain bored photojournalists.

Legend has it the Belen Marsh was created when road crews dug out a large amount of earth to build a freeway bypass. They ended up hitting the water table and brackish water filled the hole in the ground, forming an ideal place for shorebirds to hang out.

Many amazing birds can be found in the marsh: Snowy Egrets, Ibis, Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, Kill Deer and a bizarre duck called Ruddy which has a turquoise bill. There are also muskrats in a nearby irrigation canal and a clutch of burrow owls is roosting in a nearby field. It’s a great place to take children who will find the large shorebirds reminiscent of dinosaurs.

The marsh has, unfortunately, been used as a dumping ground, but a local environmental organization has gone out and cleaned up some of the wreckage. It sits on private property so it is probably wise to stay on the street, unless, of course, you are daring.

It has been a source of contention, as one group wants to see the marsh drained and filled to make way for a parking lot. Another wants it left alone as it is a unique miniature ecosystem.

To get to the marsh, take I-25 south to the first Belen exit. Head east. Once you see the Taco Bell, take a right. It is to your left. It’s buggy down there so bring mosquito repellent. A camera wouldn’t hurt either, and it’s a good place to practice taking action shots. Those birds move.
Enjoy. And hurry before some oil company comes along and starts drilling and there are no more birds to enjoy. It could happen.

V.19 No.8 |

News

The Daily Word 02.26.10: Beer, traffic, coffee party

The Daily Word

Doug Vaughan of the Vaughan Company was arrested, and the state is investigating the bankruptcy of his real estate firm.

Albuquerque ranks 54th in worst traffic congestion.

The way deputies got ahold of 300 child porn videos was unconstitutional, judge says.

Beer might make your bones healthy.

Albuquerque Journal runs mugs of suspected burglars. Some are arrested, but most end up back on the street.

Rep. Harry Teague is behind Steve Pearce in early polls.

One senator from Kentucky is blocking a 30-day extension that would stop 1.2 million Americans from losing unemployment benefits next month. He says, "Tough shit."

Lefty coffee party forms in reaction to the tea parties.

The world's largest Arabic robe.

Some women can own property in Swaziland.

Malaysian opposition leader on trial, accused of engaging in sodomy with 25-year-old man.

Birds play guitar.

V.18 No.50 | 12/10/2009
The Wild Birdhouse
Eric Williams

Feature

Bernalillo

Camino del Pueblo and U.S. 550

Camino Real Antiques & Collectibles

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Today's Events

Stand-Up Comedy Thursday at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star

Featuring three of the country’s best stand-up comedians: Jose Sarduy, Jessica Michelle Singleton and Wolfman.

Train Conductor • psychedelic • Bone Forest at Blackbird Buvette

Story Time at Esther Bone Memorial Library

More Recommented Events ››
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Dj Ntox "In The Mix"
Dj Ntox "In The Mix"12.27.2014