Trade in those Wintertime Blues

A search for the "Blue Crows"

What could be better than blue spring skies, bright green buds on the trees, and longer, sunnier days? Being a part of it is best: don the boots, prepare for mud, and get out there to make a difference for our shared birds and environment. If you are suffering from lingering cold weather malaise, trade the winter blues for a search for the “Blue Crows.” You’ll be glad you did!

It’s no secret that Pinyon Jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) are declining at an alarming rate across their range. Fewer know, though, that they can help researchers determine trends across the birds’ range by submitting simple observations from their smart phones.

Audubon Southwest teamed up with the Great Basin Bird Observatory and the Northern Arizona Audubon Society Chapter last year to launch a community science project  that has now grown to include six states and over 1000 observations. The power of this effort is that it provides a snapshot in time of the birds’ whereabouts across a vast landscape. These data will enable land managers to make wise decisions before acting on a resource management stage set with competing interests.

The best news is that you don’t have to be an expert birder to help! Check out the program and instructions to get started here. Important: please add _ASW to your username so that you’ll be added to the Audubon Southwest group and have access to the correct data input form.

If you’d prefer to gather with others to get more natural history information about the bird and assistance with the online set-up, please join one of our free upcoming workshops.

P.S. An added bonus this spring in Santa Fe: The Santa Fe Botanical Garden proudly presents Pinon Country: Illuminating the Interdependence of Life in the Iconic Woodlands of the West. See 20 of renowned photographer Christina Selby’s works, captioned and nestled along garden paths. Christina is inspired by the Pinyon Jay and by the captivating habitat they call home: Pinon-Juniper woodlands. The show runs from Saturday, April 29, 2023 through Sunday, November 26, 2023 and is free with garden admission.

How you can help, right now