Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival 2014

Arts and Entertainment

July 9, 2014

From: Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

12:00-1:30 - Paquime: An Ancient Town, a Continuing Inspiration Ron Bridgeman
See the new documentary film on the Amerind Foundation's 1958 - 1961 excavations at Paquimé (Casas Grandes) that helped inspire the ceramic revolution at Mata Ortiz. One feature of the site that has excited the imagination of many is evidence of large scale breeding and trading of Scarlet Macaws and turkeys. Interestingly, these birds appear to have been raised for their feathers and perhaps for religious purposes.

After the film screening (running time 60 minutes) Ron Bridgemon, Associate Curator at the Amerind Museum, will give a short presentation on the museum and its various important projects in the region throughout its 77 year history.

1:30 3:00 pm - Herpetofauna of Extreme Southeastern Arizona: A World Apart Roger Cogan
A rich diversity of amphibian and reptile species occur in southeastern Arizona. This region of the Sky Islands where the influences of the Sierra Madres from the south, the Rocky Mountains from the north, the Sonoran desert from west and the Chihuahuan desert from the east create a region of unique biodiversity like no other on our planet. This presentation will focus on the herpetofauna to be found in Santa Cruz and southern Cochise counties in extreme southeastern Arizona.

3:00-5:00 - Joint Program - Wolves and Jaguars Northern Jaguar Project - Diana Hadley
Protecting the world's northernmost jaguars. Renowned for their power, strength, beauty and grace jaguars once roamed across much of the southern United States. Today, these magnificent predators are vanishing throughout the Americas. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the U.S. Mexico borderlands. Removed from their historic northern range by poaching and habitat destruction, jaguars have all but disappeared from this part of their territory. Dozens of jaguars have been killed just south of the U.S. Mexico border in the last decade alone. Join members of the Northern Jaguar Project to discover what is being done to help them survive. The presentation will include a discussion of the distribution of jaguars in the southwestern United States prior to government and rancher extirpation programs.

3:00-5:00 Joint Program - Lobos without Borders - Jean Ossorio
Sixteen years after the first Mexican gray wolves were released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona, wild wolf numbers still lag behind projections. This presentation examines how artificial boundaries to wolf movement, political interference, and bureaucratic inertia have dampened population growth, led to a genetic crisis in both the wild and captive populations, and stalled the writing of a new recovery plan to replace the one written in 1982. The presentation ends with specific suggestions for action by lobo supporters.

5:00-6:30 - Hummingbird in a changing world: what can we do to help? Susan Wethington
Habitat Loss and changing climate conditions are significant drivers of change for hummingbirds. HMN is working with multiple universities and organizations to understand and predict how hummingbirds will respond to these changes. In this presentation, Dr. Wethington will present some recent research results and offer suggestions on how each of us can help hummingbirds to survive.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Registration Desk Open 5:00 am to 6:00 pm

8:30-10:00 - Sky Islands Ethnobotany w/carpool field trip - Vincent Pinto
Ethnobotanist and Naturalist Vincent Pinto will guide you in discovering some of the amazing and useful native plants of the Sky Island's region. Venturing into several habitat types, you'll soon discover how to find, identify, collect and use a wide variety of wild native plants. Plant uses will include wild edible plants, rope-making, medicinal plants, fire-making (without matches!), shelters, tools, glue and more! Vincent will demonstrate several skills using these versatile native species. You'll even get to try your hand at several skills during your time in the field. Be sure to pack a lunch and bring a hat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and plenty of water bottles. (Carpool; Maximum 12 participants)

Please note: Participants on the field trip must be physically capable of walking with the group. They must carry water, wear appropriate clothes for the sun and heat, and wear shoes with closed toes. The guide has the discretion of refusing participation in the field trip if he/she feels there is concern for a participant's health and well-being. The guide will describe the hikes terrain, weather and difficulty.

10:30-12:00 - Ecology and Hydrology of the San Pedro River - Mike Foster
Learn how precipitation that falls on the mountains and deserts surrounding the San Pedro River becomes ground water which struggles to maintain a surface flow in the river as people compete for it's use. The San Pedro River is probably the best remaining example of a functioning river ecosystem in southern Arizona. Come and see some of the works from our educational series produced by the Friends of the San Pedro River. These videos are intended to introduce the public to the water issues that affect the health of our rare riparian cottonwood gallery forest ecosystem. Even though the two mile wide ribbon of land where the river flows was preserved as a National Conservation Area, this environment is in great danger because of activities going on outside the Conservation Area.

10:00-11:30 - Ants of Southern Arizona - Dwight Long
Join Dwight Long, a local photographer and Friends of the San Pedro docent, for a presentation geared toward those who would like to know more about the fascinating and often ignored world of ants. The program will cover the behavior and interactions of the more prominent ants found in southern Arizona and the San Pedro River area. Dwight will use information obtained from local experts and leading entomologists and his own observations supplemented with amazing close-up photos. Most of the discussion will cover local ant species such as the harvester ant, spine-waisted ant, field ant, army ant, leaf cutter ant, honey ant and more. Some material may also cover non-local and exotic tropical species if time permits.

11:30-1:00 - Secrets of the Spotted Cats: Jaguars and Ocelots in the Southwest - Pinau Merlin
Deep in the shadows of the night, "el Tigre", the jaguar, slips silently through the rugged terrain. They are rarely seen, but we know both jaguars and ocelots are here, as remote cameras document their presence in Arizona. Their mystery, beauty and power evoke a sense of awe in us, even if we only see them in a photograph. Although we readily recognize their images, these charismatic cats are so secretive and elusive that most of us know very little about their lifestyles and habits. What are they doing out there in the wild? How (and what) do they hunt? Where do they sleep? What sounds do they make? Join Pinau Merlin for an exciting look into the natural history and ecology of jaguars and ocelots.

1:00-2:00 - Bright Lights: A serious threat to birds and wildlife - Robert L. Gent
For millions of years, life evolved on earth with a day and night. Now, as we turn the night into day, we are beginning to understand some of the adverse impacts on many living creatures. We are creating a nature out of balance. As numerous studies have already shown, light pollution doesn't only affect people. Many species of birds, especially the small insect-eaters, migrate thousands of miles at night. Guided in part by the starlight of constellations, they are attracted to lights shining from skyscrapers, broadcast towers, lighthouses, monuments and other tall structures. The birds either flutter about until they drop from exhaustion, or actually hit the object and die. In addition, all species of sea turtles are endangered or threatened. Now, Florida's sea turtles have been facing a major threat from bright lights. Endangered sea turtles emerge from the surf to deposit eggs in sand nests and later, tiny hatchlings struggle from their nests to return to the ocean. Nearly all of this activity takes place under cover of darkness, and all too often, bright lights cause the hatchlings to get lost and die. Mr. Gent will address these and other issues concerning light pollution.

2:00-3:00 - Social Snakes! And other things snakes aren't supposed to do - Melissa Amarello
Although generally thought of as solitary, cold-blooded killers, snakes exhibit a variety of behaviors that we typically associate with animals such birds and primates. Caring for their kids and helping out their neighbors are just a couple behaviors captured by our remote, time-lapse cameras that you will get to see during this presentation. You may never look at snakes the same way again!

3:30-5:00 - Raptors - Ed Harper
Birds of prey readily arouse our interest and awe by their very nature. They are masters of the sky, consummate hunters, and possess an aura unsurpassed by most creatures. Our fascination with these birds is tempered only by the challenges they often pose to our uneasy attempts to correctly name and identify them to species. This presentation will offer a variety of approaches to aid one's ability to identify raptors. Augmented by numerous images depicting shape, size, age, plumage, and manner of flight as useful clues, the presentation will also address behavior, habitat, and other important aspects of natural history. It is promised that you will gain some useful tips along with an increased understanding of raptors from attending this program.

5:00-6:30 - Dragonflies (Especially Their Sex Lives) - Rich Bailowitz
Carpool Field Trip immediately following
Southeastern Arizona's wetland habitats include canyon streams, ponds, reservoirs, rain pools, irrigated fields and spring-fed cienegas. All of these offer a rich, colorful, and initially confusing assortment of dragonflies and damselflies. Several new field guides and the advent of close-focus binoculars have encouraged birders and butterflyers to turn their optics toward these fascinating aquatic insects. After explaining the benefits of watching them, Rich will present an introduction to Arizona's dragons and damsels, differentiating the characteristics of the two groups, discussing something of their life history, behavior and habitats, and providing some suggestions for recognizing them in the field.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Registration Desk Open 5:00 am - 6:00 pm

8:30-10:00 - Thorns, Stingers and Fangs - Vincent Pinto
Carpool Field Trip immediately following
Join Naturalist & Wildlife Biologist as he teaches you how to find, identify, appreciate, and artfully avoid some of the myriad of dangerous plants and animals found in the Sky Islands. From plants that sting and others that pierce to venomous creatures of many types, you'll discover how each species is equipped to protect itself and how to avoid unpleasant or even life-threatening encounters with them. You'll also discover how fascinating Rattlesnakes, Centipedes, Black Widows, Scorpions, Mountain Lions, Agaves, Poison Ivy, and many others can truly be!
Please note: Participants on the field trip must be physically capable of walking with the group. They must carry water, wear appropriate clothes for the sun and heat, and wear shoes with closed toes. The guide has the discretion of refusing participation in the field trip if he/she feels there is concern for a participant's health and well-being. The guide will describe the hikes terrain, weather and difficulty.

8:30-10:00 - Sonora Origin of Many Species - Mike Foster
Northern Sierra Madre Evergreen Woodland Walk
The San Pedro River Valley and surrounding sky island mountain ranges mark the northern limit of many plants and animals from the subtropical Sierra Madre Mountains to the south. Mike Foster will present a new video on these species and discuss where they can be found. The presentation will be followed by a hike in a healthy madrean evergreen woodland surrounding the Carr House Information Center in the Huachuca Mountains. This is a good place to see many bird species and observe some of Arizona's southernmost plant communities. Please note: Participants on the field trip must be physically capable of walking with the group. They must carry water, wear appropriate clothes for the sun and heat, and wear shoes with closed toes. The guide has the discretion of refusing participation in the field trip if he/she feels there is concern for a participant's health and well-being. The guide will describe the hikes terrain, weather and difficulty.

Friday10:00-11:30 - Hummingbirds of the United States - Charles Melton
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and southeast Arizona is one of the best areas in the U.S. to view them. This video program is the product of six years of shooting video of hummingbirds in the U.S. This program provides information on identification tips, range, habitat preferences, and migration patterns for most of the species occurring in the U.S. Behaviors such as nesting, feeding, bathing, courtship, territorial defense, singing and many others will be shown. Information on where to view hummingbirds in the area will also be discussed.

10:00-11:30 - Freeze Frame: Wildlife Cam - Lori Kovash
We all love to watch wildlife out of our windows but we can't watch all the time day and night. This class will demonstrate the value of a good wildlife camera. Where to set it up and how to attract animals and wildlife to your yard.

11:30-1:00 - Early Settlers and History of the 3 Triangle Ranch - Bill Cavaliero

The Early Settlers - A Colorful Past" covers the early pioneers who settled the borderlands country. Their everyday lives, as well as their struggles with Apache Indian and border bandits are discussed. Photos of the settlers, their ranches and their graves are shown. "The History of the Three Triangle Ranch" discusses the beginnings of a ranch and it's evolution through the years, from its start as a humble homestead, to a vast empire, to its remnants today. Located in the San Simon Valley on the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains it was, at one time, one of the biggest ranches in the area.

11:30-1:00 - Where and when to look for interesting insects in Arizona - Margarethe Brummermann
This talk will introduce great locations and habitats for insect observations and photography, describe the seasonality of insects' life cycles and touch on the natural history of a few examples. Collecting techniques for entomologists and naturalists will be mentioned. For hobbyists and teachers I will add some information about species that might be interesting to keep and breed in captivity

1:00-2:00 - Nectar Feeding Bats - Ronnie Sidner
In southeastern Arizona residents wondered, "Why does my hummingbird feeder empty overnight?" Patient observation shows what's happening. Two species of nectar-feeding bats visit southern Arizona from April through October each year. In spring and early summer they give birth and raise one young while feeding on nectar and pollen from saguaros and organ pipe cactus. From July through October mother bats and grown young fatten up on agave juice (and sugar-water from humming-bat feeders!) before migrating back to Mexico. Arizona residents now are asking, "How can I get nectar bats to come to my feeders?" Come learn about these two remarkable species of bats.

2:00-3:00 -Mexican Spotted Owls in Miller Canyon - Charles Melton
In the summer of 2012, a Mexican Spotted Owl nest was discovered in Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona. This photo and video presentation will follow the development of the youngster both in and out of the nest. Video of interesting behaviors and interactions between members of the family will be shown. Diet preferences based on examination of regurgitated pellets will be discussed. Background information on the species distribution and taxonomic status will also be presented. Find out where and when Mexican Spotted Owls can be observed in the area.

2:00-3:30 Chiricahua Apaches in Myth and History Becky Orozco
As the last Native American group to reach a peace accord with the U.S. government, the Chiricahua Apache were often featured in the press. Famous warriors Geronimo and Naiche were photographed many times. This presentation contains a collection of historic photos from the end of an era - the late 1800s.

3:30-5:00 - La Frontera: A History of the Cochise County Borderlands - Becky Orozco
Our region has long been the focus of competing cultures: Native America, Spanish, Mexican and United States. Today's border is just the latest in a series of boundaries. This program will look at the peoples who have occupied our borderland through history.

8:00-10:00 PM - Insect Carpool Fieldtrip at Ramsey Canyon Preserve - Margarethe Brummermann

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Registration Desk Open 5:00 am to 6:00 pm

8:00-12:00 - Paleozoic Rocks of the Tombstone Bisbee Area - Glenn Minuth
Carpool Field Trip to follow
Did you know several ancient seas invaded our area from the west? Take a half day journey in geology to discover the nature of our famous local limestones that were deposited during the Paleozoic Era between 600 and 225 million years ago. We will learn about differences in the local formations and see their respective ancient (sea life) fossils. Additional feature: In route, we will also examine the geologically more recent, genesis of the San Pedro River's three major river terrace units and discuss their origins. Please note: Participants on the field trip must be physically capable of walking with the group. They must carry water, wear appropriate clothes for the sun and heat, and wear shoes with closed toes. The guide has the discretion of refusing participation in the field trip if he/she feels there is concern for a participant's health and well-being. The guide will describe the hikes terrain, weather and difficulty.

10:00-11:30 - The Good the Bad and the Ugly - Bob Parks
This will be a look at various aspects of insect life history and especially various ways insects communicate. Also insect pollination.

10:00-11:30 - The San Bernardino Valley: Land of Fire - Mike Conway
Join Arizona Geological Survey geologist Mike Conway on a virtual field trip through the San Bernardino volcanic field (SBVF) of southeastern Cochise County. Less than one million years ago, the San Bernardino Valley was a locus of volcanic eruptions. The SBVF comprises 130 individual volcanic vents erupted between about 3.2 to 0.3 million years before the present. We'll examine some typical vent structures cinder cones, tuff rings and maar volcanoes, and describe how they formed. We'll also take a fly-over tour of the field and discuss how the vent structures and lava flows have fared over time.

11:30-1:00 - Reptiles and Amphibians - Tomas Miscione
Learn about Reptiles and Amphibians of southeastern Arizona from a reptile nut! Through photos and live animals, by hands-on experience and humor, find out how to understand and appreciate the beauty, habits, and habitats of these misunderstood desert creatures.

1:00-2:00 - Vinegaroon! - Justin Schmidt
Many people have never seen a vinegaroon, perhaps never heard of a vinegaroon, yet vinegaroons are abundant and may be the most important predators of insects on high desert grasslands and riparian areas. Sporting large lobster-like pinchers and a long thin hair-like tail, these two inch, strikingly black, strange looking relatives of spiders and scorpions earned their name from the vinegary smell they emit when threatened. Though harmless they have no stinger or venom, cannot bite or meaningfully pinch a person, and are slow moving vinegaroons are far from defenseless. When threatened, they aim at an attacker's eyes and face, a fine spray of concentrated acetic acid some 14 times more concentrated than the acetic acid in the wine vinegar of your oil and vinegar salad dressing. This acid spray is so effective a defense that adult vinegaroons have no known predators, large or small. But there is more to these magnificent animals than salad dressing: they have one of the longest and most complex courtship rituals known to science, live for 10 years, and are caring and nurturing moms. We will go on a photo safari visiting all aspects of the lives of these special animals.

2:00-3:30 - Butterflies for Birders - Priscilla Brodkin
Add a new dimension to your field trip experience with ID's of the endemic Arizona Sister, the bright yellow Two-tailed Swallowtail and the lustrous blue Spring Azure. This program is a MUST-SEE for birding, butterfly and dragonfly field trips! Join Priscilla Brodkin, (co-author with Bob Stewart and Hank Brodkin of the book, Butterflies of Arizona-A Photographic Guide) for a PowerPoint adventure into the realm of Arizona's butterflies. You can use your birding skills to observe and ID butterflies. Butterflies' defense mechanisms, food and nectar plants, and some basic butterfly gardening will also be discussed

3:30-5:00 - Hummingbirds 101 - Tom Wood
From their insect-like flight to the brilliant iridescence of their plumage, hummingbirds have long fascinated birders and non-birders alike. In this program, Tom Wood of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory answers many of the most common questions about these often misunderstood birds, including how to attract and feed them and how scientists are revealing new and surprising information about their behavior and adaptations.

6:30- 9:30 - Keynote Speaker will be Ed Harper - Festival Dinner

Our annual festival dinner with Keynote speaker Ed Harper will be held on Saturday Aug 2nd - 6:30- 9:30 in the Cochise College Student Union. Tickets are $35.00 and available through registration.

Date: July 30 - August 2, 2014

Location: Cochise College
901 N. Colombo Ave. ,
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635