By Jennie MacFarland, Arizona IBA Program Biologist
On October 29th, 2011 Arizona IBA staff and volunteers gathered on Mount Lemmon to party! The Arizona Important Bird Area Program simply could not operate without its dedicated and talented volunteers! Our volunteers help with surveys, data entry and at special events such as the recent BioBlitz!
Very recently, Arizona added two new IBAs (San Rafael Grasslands for wintering sparrows and Aubrey Valley for migrating raptors) and expanded the Sabino Canyon IBA to include Tanque Verde Wash. This program simply would not have the 42 identified IBAs (5 of which have Global status!) without the data collected by our wonderful volunteer surveyors!
To celebrate our awesome volunteers, the Arizona IBA program held a barbeque at the Rose Canyon picnic area on Mount Lemmon! All enjoyed grilled hotdogs/turkey dogs, grilled corn and many delicious goodies brought by attendees! Everyone enjoyed good company and conversation while dining on a great lunch! Later everyone participated in a bird trivia contest with the top prize being a $25 gift certificate to the Tucson Audubon Society Nature Shop and a copy of the newest edition of Finding Birds in SE Arizona (just released!) and second place also received a copy of the book.
When all of the excitement settled down, all volunteers present received a special custom hat so they can proudly display their participation in the IBA program! To all of our Arizona IBA volunteers, past and present, one-timers to those who have helped for years on end: THANK YOU! We couldn’t do it without you!