The reason people want to come to the Wildlife Refuge is because we miss our mother — the mother of us all, Mother Nature — according to Jan Arrott at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. Jan and other members of the Friends of the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge are there for the birds and other wildlife because people need that connection. Human beings long for something that connects us with our roots in nature, with soaring eagles and smooth-sailing cranes.
That’s why presentations at the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge have been growing in popularity over the past four years since the formation of “Friends of the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.”
“Migrating to Alaska with Bald Eagles and Sandhill Cranes” is the next program that Jan Arrott and members of the Friends bring to the refuge.
The lecture and PowerPoint presentation will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Refuge. It is free, although there is donation box on the premises. Erv Nichols and Sandra Noll, adventurers, travelers, volunteers, writers and photographers will take us on a migratory journey north to Alaska.
Erv and Sandra, who blogged their adventures at ervandsandra.blogspot.com, summed up their trek as follows:
“It’s been an excellent eight-month adventure spanning two nations and more than 13,000 miles. Along the way we’ve been privileged to experience a wide range of landscapes and wildlife, to meet a variety of interesting people and to make a few new friends. Still, it’s great to be back home in the Southwest. We are proud to have survived the rigors of travel/tent camping and communal living with no major illnesses, accidents or automotive problems. Are we glad we undertook this journey? Yes! Will we do it again? No. Our days of tent camping, other than short jaunts, are over. We’ve come to accept that a 60s road trip meant the 1960s rather than in one’s 60th decade.”
Along with the Sandhill Cranes and the Bald Eagles, we’ll see and hear about other fascinating birds and wildlife on the way.
Erv and Sandra are no strangers to the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge: the two recently presented a program there about condors.
The Bald Eagle and Sandhill Crane program is in preparation for the best show of all in the month of November. November is when all of us are invited to drive the back roads of the refuge —something that is not allowed most of the year. This “Wildlife Drive” is a rare experience as migratory birds will be feeding and resting up for the long journey south —perhaps to as far as Mexico or maybe even further to South America. This wildlife drive on the back roads of the refuge is no slide show — it’s the real thing.
Birds follow separate paths — if you look at the migratory patterns, they look like a highway system. And migratory birds stick to one side of the Rockies or the other.
“We are not on the same migratory pathway as the birds in Bosque Del Apache, which is on the west side of the mountains,” said Arrott. “We are east of the mountains and are on the central pathways. Our flocks of cranes may look the same as the ones in the Bosque at Socorro, but those birds are on the western pathways. Our flocks are on the same path with Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Roswell and Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge north of us in Maxwell.”
Wildlife refuges were begun by President Theodore Roosevelt in the beginning years of the previous century. The first beneficiaries of this refuge movement were pelicans in the state of Florida, Arrott said.
The nonprofit support group of Friends is made up of people like Jan Arrott who work for the protection and of our wildlife and their habitat. They also work to keep the world beautiful and sustainable for the other species that give the essential human nature the joy ride of soaring with the eagles and smooth sailing with the cranes at least once in awhile.