Binoculars, a symbol of a shared passion, were a popular accessory at the Bosque del Apache’s Spring Migration Celebration.

Bird-watching enthusiasts, on the lookout for feathered creatures, flocked to the Bosque del Apache to attend birding workshops, capture photos, and participate in the Friends of the Bosque annual meeting.

Friends of Bosque del Apache and the refuge US Fish and Wildlife Services welcomed 60 folks to celebrate songbirds and hosted 12 workshops on Friday and Saturday.

“Folks learned more about migrating flashy songbirds like the western tanager, black-headed grosbeaks and bullock’s orioles. Many of the classes got point blank looks at various species of warblers, including the orange crowned, Wilson’s, yellow-rumped and the Virginia’s,” Julie-Anna Bloomquist, event manager for Friends of the Bosque del Apache said, “This year there were also spectacles of shorebirds including Wilson’s Phalaropes, Long-billed Dowitchers, American avocets, black-necked stilts, a Baird’s sandpiper and a stilt sandpiper.

Blomquist said one of the event’s highlights was the unusual treat of a white-throated sparrow singing, which is common in the east, and an American white pelican flock dropping into the dabbler deck, which is rare this time of year.

During the Friend’s meeting, they reviewed the last fiscal year and had local ecologist Gina Dello Russo as the keynote speaker. Russo shared the importance of riparian ecosystems and water as a threatened natural resource in these years of drought.

Blomquist said participants had positive feedback and commented on the enjoyment of learning more about the bird chatter and mindful healing birding can offer. Some of the youth participants said they liked going to the pond and seeing the size of the bald eagle eggs.