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Canyon Notes

Third Annual Madera Canyon International Migratory Bird Day, May 2011

Doug Moore

Spring is “busting out” all over Madera Canyon! The creeks are flowing, birds singing, leaves unfurling, and wildflowers blooming. Arguably the finest season of the year in southeast Arizona, spring is a perfect time to visit the canyon and celebrate nature!

On Saturday, May 7, the Friends of Madera Canyon and US Forest Service are sponsoring the Third Annual Madera Canyon International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD). Dedicated to the canyon’s famous bird-life and the miraculous arrival of spring migrants, the annual IMBD nature festival celebrates all Madera Canyon’s amazing plants and animals. USFS parking fees will be waived for the event, providing a “free day” in the canyon! The public is invited for this excellent opportunity to explore Madera Canyon, discover its amazing nature and meet some of the local education/conservation organizations working in our Arizona Sky Island region. A schedule of IMBD activities can be found on the Friends of Madera Canyon website, and event posters distributed locally.

An international event created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C., the first IMBD festival was celebrated in 1993. Since then, the event has spread across the Western Hemisphere with 330 festivals registered in 2008 from Canada to South America. The Madera Canyon IMBD is one of several celebrations in Arizona this spring.

Bird walks led by local experts kick off the IMBD at 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM on canyon trails. Pre-registration for these walks is required and participation is limited; locations, times, and contact information are posted on the Friends of Madera Canyon website. With the return our spring migrants adding to the canyon’s resident bird population, the bird-watching promises to be spectacular!

The Proctor Ramada is the hub of IMBD activities from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Arizona Native Plant Society, FICO, Friends of Madera Canyon, Tucson Herpetological Society, Tucson Wildlife Center, Tucson Audubon Society, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Sky Island Alliance, and USFS will have information, displays, merchandise, and kid’s activities under the ramada. Friends volunteers will lead bird/nature walks around the paved, accessible Proctor Nature Loop at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00.

At Proctor Ramada the Tucson Herpetological Society will have a live reptile demonstration at 9:00 AM; Tucson Wildlife Center presents a live bird demonstration from 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon. Tucson Audubon Society is planning IBA (Important Birding Area) activities, to be announced.

The Friends of Madera Canyon want to thank all participating organizations and extend a big thank you to all the volunteers helping to make the Madera Canyon IMBD a fun-filled, successful public festival in the canyon!






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