Clubs – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:27:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bird of the Week Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:00:57 +0000

Photo courtesy Ben Bailey

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the blue-winged teal.
Among the ducks that summer here, the blue-winged teal is one of the last to arrive and the first to leave. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering as far south as Chile and breeding across much of the central U.S. and Canada into the Arctic. In North America, only the mallard is a more abundant duck.
This dabbling duck feeds on mudflats and in shallow marshes and ponds, where it is often found along the edges. Like many birds, in spring and summer it needs the extra protein of insects, larvae and invertebrates for producing eggs and feeding young, but its diet mainly consists of seeds, plant parts, grasses, sedges and pond weeds.
Blue-winged teals are small, crow-sized ducks with rounded heads and large black bills. In breeding plumage, the male has a brown body covered with dark speckles and a white patch near his rear. His slate blue head is cut by a bold white crescent behind the bill. Females have brown patterned plumage, a darker head cap and dark eye line. In flight, beautiful powder-blue and green patches display on the wings.
Young blue-wingeds mature quickly and are often left to fend for themselves before their first flight at six weeks. In fall, some migrating groups consist entirely of young birds, suggesting that the migratory route is instinctive, not learned.
Bird-watching is a great antidote to the current troubling news and an activity any family can share. When our Audubon chapter can resume group activities, they will be posted on our website,, or at

Bird of the Week Tue, 24 Mar 2020 11:00:40 +0000

Photo courtesy Brenda Breding

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the northern pintail.
The migratory northern pintail (anas acuta) ranges from North America to Eurasia. With in-flight speeds of 65 mph, pintails are among the first to migrate in spring and fall. Their name is acquired from the male’s tail feathers. It’s nicknamed “The Greyhound of the Air” due to the elegant, swift flight in V-formation. Other names are spike and sprig.
Depending on sex, pintails weigh from 1-3 pounds and are 20-30 inches long with wingspans of 30-38 inches. Markings vary between sexes. Males display a chocolate head, slender brown neck, a white line from the head through the neck, white breast, long black tail feathers and lighter brown back and wings. In flight, a green speculum (inner wing feathers) is evident.
Females flash a bronzy speculum. Hens are dull, lack the white stripe and have brown/white mottling. Both sexes have gray bills, legs and feet.
Sexual maturity is at one year, and they breed from April to June in wetlands, wet meadows and grasslands. While courting, the female preens the drake and he stretches his neck, tips his bill, gives a whistle and preens his wings, displaying his green speculum. Both greet with a lift of the chin and a chase.
Nesting occurs along wetlands, in fields and in tall grass for protection. The female scrapes the ground close to water, forms a shallow bowl, adds grass and down to the depression, and then lays three to 12 greenish eggs. Incubation period is 22-24 days.
Pintails filter insects and seeds with their bills and feed on grains, aquatic insects, crustaceans, worms, and snails in fields and wetlands. Ducklings feed on dead insects until fledged in 45-47 days.
Loss of wetland habitats, destruction of nests from agriculture practices and cultivation of grasslands affect population numbers, which have declined 70 percent in 50 years. The North American Waterfowl Management Plan works with farmers on restoring wetlands through habitat improvement.
For information on local bird-watching events, visit and

San Juan Shootists cowboy fast draw club to hold club match Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:00:48 +0000 By Dave “Mongo” Miller
Special to The SUN
The San Juan Shootists Pagosa Springs local cowboy fast draw club will hold its February 2020 monthly club match on Saturday, March 21. The match begins at noon. The public is invited to come out and watch.
We shoot a real .45 caliber single action six gun just like the cowboys and gun fighters used in the Old West. The ammo is a wax pellet in a .45 caliber blank shell case powered by a 209 shotgun primer. There is no live ammo used.
You are welcome to come out and have a great time with the San Juan Shootists Pagosa Springs’ Cowboy Fast Draw club. We might even strap a gun on you and let you give it a “shot.”
The address is 7489 County Road 600. It is located 1 mile north of where Piedra Road turns to dirt; in the barn on the right on the hill.
Visit us at


The San Juan Stargazers will not meet in March Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:00:24 +0000 By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers will not hold a regular meeting in March. We hope that the health situation will be better by the time of our April meeting.
Looking at the magnificent night sky in Pagosa is a safe and awe-inspiring activity.
Keep looking up, especially at night.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S.
We have a new website,, as well as an email address,, and a club phone number, 335-8286. Our club address is P.O. Box 2217, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The Knights of Columbus fish fry Thu, 19 Mar 2020 21:00:21 +0000

Photo courtesy G. Margiotta

The Knights of Columbus annual Lenten fish fry has been canceled. Don Heitkamp and Mark Bergon made the sign announcing the cancellation.

Dems cancel club lunch Tue, 17 Mar 2020 11:00:42 +0000 By John Porco
Special to The SUN
The Archuleta County Democratic Party will not hold a Democratic Club lunch in March.
March is already a busy month, with caucuses on March 7 and the County Assembly and Convention on March 21.
In addition, several training sessions will be scheduled. However, please mark your calendars for April 21 for our next lunch with speaker Abby Burk.
Burk is Western Rivers regional program manager for Audubon Rockies. She promotes cultural change in water use and river conservation through interacting with government representatives, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, businesses, and by recruiting and training community leaders.
In addition to Burk’s presentation, we will discuss the results of the State Democratic Assembly and Convention, which will have been held shortly before the lunch. More details on the program will be distributed in early April.

Bird of the Week Tue, 17 Mar 2020 11:00:31 +0000

Photo courtesy Charles Martinez

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the snow goose.
Snow geese are birds that may stop here on their long migratory flights to or from their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundras of Canada and Alaska. On their winter grounds in the U.S., they are found in one of three distinct population groups: the western, mid-continent or eastern. Within a group, they congregate in enormous flocks feeding in wetlands or agricultural fields. Look-out birds in the flock are on the alert for predators and their warning calls may cause thousands of birds to take to the air in a burst of white.
These geese eat all parts of a plant, everything from seeds to roots, often pulling the whole plant out of the ground. Huge winter flocks can cause significant damage to wetland and farm vegetation by leaving little behind. Large nesting colonies have also stripped much of the plant life from their Arctic summer homes, causing a problem for themselves and migratory shorebirds that breed there.
Snow geese are strong fliers, walkers and swimmers. Within the first three weeks of life, goslings may walk up to 50 miles with their parents in search of better feeding habitat.
Snow geese come in two different color forms. The more common white morph is all white with black wingtips and pink legs. Its thick pink bill shows a dark line known as a grin patch. The dark morph, or blue goose, is a sooty gray with white on its head.
Snow geese are considered over-abundant and population management to preserve their habitat, both in Canada and the U.S., has proven to be challenging.
For information on local bird-watching events, visit and

Bat and owl presentation at next Weminuche Audubon meeting Sun, 15 Mar 2020 11:00:12 +0000 By Jean Zirnhelt
Special to The SUN
The monthly meeting of the Weminuche Audubon Society will take place on Wednesday, March 18, at the Community Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Socializing and setup begins at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
An update of chapter activities at 6 p.m. will be followed by a program presented by Jordan McMahon.
After completing his master of science degree in biology at Mississippi State University in 2018, McMahon began work as a wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Canon City, where he is currently employed. At the BLM, he has focused on implementing a comprehensive monitoring program for bats across the Front Range in anticipation of white-nose syndrome, as well as various monitoring projects with other species of concern such as lynx, Mexican spotted owls and other raptor species.
White-nose syndrome has decimated many colony-forming bat populations since its arrival on the East Coast in the late 2000s. Unfortunately, many scientists think that it will spread to Colorado and across the rest of the U.S., although it has yet to be detected in our state. Because of this threat, the BLM’s Royal Gorge Field Office in Canon City has decided to implement a monitoring project to obtain baseline population estimates for bat species in our state, which will be used to assess future changes in populations and better manage habitats and populations of concern.
Included in McMahon’s talk will be details of a study to characterize habitat variables of the Mexican spotted owl, a species listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1993.
Weminuche Audubon will be participating in two citizen science monitoring projects this summer. We will be continuing our monitoring project of forest bird populations in areas treated for fire mitigation and joining in the expansion of a study of American dipper nesting.
If you are interested in information or in volunteering for either of these studies, please contact us at
Audubon meetings are free and open to the public. In appreciation for our meeting space, we ask that you bring a donation of nonperishable food for the Methodist Church food bank.

Entry deadline for Ice Melt Contest March 15 Fri, 13 Mar 2020 11:00:33 +0000 By JoAnn Laird
Special to The PREVIEW
The Ides of March are upon us. Looking back at the history of the Roman Empire, March 15, 44 BC, is known for the day Brutus and other senators killed the Roman dictator Julius Caesar.
March 15, 2020, is known as the day the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club’s second annual Ice Melt Contest meets its end.
With great anticipation, the Pagosa Springs Rotary, in conjunction with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, is waiting for the ice to thaw enough that a huge barrel will drop into Lake Hatcher and stop an attached clock. The lucky person guessing the closest day, hour, minute and second of when the clock stops will win a cool $1,000. Second place will garner $750 and third place will get $500.
To be counted, entries must be turned in to Rotary no later than midnight, March 15, or earlier if the thawing happens before March 15. Tickets for your guesses are $5 each, $20 for five and $100 for 30. Get your tickets soon, as the Pagosa weather is as unpredictable as Caesar’s friends.
Forms are available through links at and, the PLPOA Administration Office, PLPOA Rec Center, The Choke Cherry Tree, Chamber of Commerce, and Ski and Bow Rack.
As in most fundraisers that Rotary presents, all proceeds will go to the Pagosa Springs Rotary Scholarship Fund.
So, friends, Romans and Pagosans, “take a stab” at guessing when the clock will meet its end. This Ides of March will surely be better for you than it was for Caesar.

Knights of Columbus fish fry Thu, 12 Mar 2020 21:42:53 +0000

Photos: Terri House and Gene Tautges

Scene … at the annual Knights of Columbus fish fry. The annual Friday evening Lenten tradition features not only tasty catfish, hand-cut french fries and more, but also the chance to visit with family and friends, and help community programs.