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Small wonders: Festival to explore bugs, birds at Rio Grande Nature Center

The smaller wonders of the Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center will be explored Saturday, Aug. 5.

The Nature Center is holding its Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center Summer Wings Festival, which features guided bird and bug walks, a porcupine and plant walk, hummingbird banding with certified bander Bill Talbot, dragonfly and damselfly capture-and-release with Karen Gaines and a walk to the Rio Grande with a water conversation with John Fleck, director of the University of New Mexico’s Water Reserve Program; Adrian Oglesby, director of UNM’s Utton Transboundary Resource Center; Sarah Hurteau of the Nature Conservancy and Kali Bronson of Bernalillo County.

Saturday is also BioBlitz day.

Join birders, scientists and naturalists on tours of the state park to identify and photograph as many species of plants and animals as possible, according to Beth Dillingham, superintendent of the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park.

“We have kids’ activities and Central New Mexico Audubon Society helping us identify birds,” Dillingham said. “And then we have the demonstrations. … People will get a chance to learn about insects, birds and plants and other organisms here at the Nature Center.”

Several agencies are participating in the event, including Bernalillo County Open Space Master Naturalists, Central New Mexico Audubon Society, Middle Rio Grande Education, Employment and Environmental Alliance (MRGE3), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and the UNM department of geography and environmental studies and Wildlife Rescue of New Mexico.

“The Wildlife Rescue is located here, and they take in orphaned or injured wildlife here, and they will be here with their education birds,” Dillingham said. “We also have the master naturalist program here. There’s a lot of different organizations that are coming together to talk about the other creatures we share this place with.”


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