Photo © Keith Williams
Photo © Kevin Holladay

Real Millennials Wear Boots

We here at NestWatch know that the future belongs to young people, but we reject the maligning of millennials as “Generation Me.” We celebrate the many young people who are doing so much good work, and this month we are shining a light on a group of outstanding high school students.

The arid Caja del Rio area near Santa Fe, New Mexico, is perhaps better known to bird watchers for the charismatic Burrowing Owls that call it home. But Kevin Holladay of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is teaching these students about other cavity-dwelling birds in the landscape. So far, the students have installed boxes for Western and Mountain bluebirds, Bewick’s Wren, Northern Flicker, and American Kestrel, with plans to set up Western Screech-Owl boxes soon. They have also installed a few winter roost boxes.

All of New Mexico is historically under-represented in the NestWatch database, and more data from the arid west are needed! This nest box program is just getting started, and while they have no nesting results yet, we’re optimistic that by this time next year the PiƱon-Juniper forest will be home to plenty of bold new fledglings exploring the sage.

Do you have stories of positive youth development to share? Tell us, so we can spread the word.