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(From Deming Headlight)

Deming - On Saturday morning, about 20 people went to the birds. They were part of a bird-watching field trip to the Deming Wastewater Treatment Plant sponsored by Audubon New Mexico. The ponds contain clean, treated water that attracts a variety of bird species. The plant is one of the top five birding spots in Luna County.

In a short time, the visitors were able to identify birds by observing their physical characteristics like the long legs of the Black-necked Stilt. They also appreciated the beauty of the birds and the role they play in the environment.

Audubon volunteers also explained to the group that the City of Deming uses the treated water to irrigate landscape plants in its parks, around government buildings and other properties. Recycling water is an important way to conserve water.

Beth Bardwell, Audubon New Mexico's Director of Conservation said, "We appreciate the City of Deming allowing us to visit the ponds to watch birds. In a desert, even treated wastewater is an important source of water for both people and wildlife. Using treated wastewater to irrigate the City's parks, and golf course means more of the City's existing water supply will be available for the next generation."

While the message of water conservation was well taken, the Saturday morning group was focused on having fun watching the birds and interacting with each other. They were well rewarded.

Over 200 individual birds of 25 different species were seen in about an hour and a half. The birds ranged in size from a Great Blue Heron to a tiny hummingbird. Using the spotting scopes and binoculars provided by Audubon, everyone had a chance to examine the birds 'up close.' Deming resident Joe Karas summed up the experience this way. "I'm having a great time. They are wonderful people."

New Mexico Audubon Society holds monthly meetings in Deming on the second Tuesday of each month at La Fonda Restaurant, 601 E. Pine St. at 5:15 p. m. The public is invited to attend.



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single quail perching on branches