Anyone who loves birds and
enjoys watching them in the wild is welcome to join Mel Gabel and the
Borrego Birders on their Wednesday morning adventures.
"The Birders is not a formal
organization at all. It's more like a group of like-minded individuals who
get together regularly for a good time," says Gabel. There are about a dozen
regulars, and about 50 to 60 who join the outings from time to time.
The Birders meet twice a
month during the fall, winter and spring, and not at all during the summer.
Times are posted at the state park headquarters. Most start on the first and
third Wednesday of the month.
Borrego Birders used to be
conducted by the state park volunteers for volunteers. Then it evolved to
include anyone who wanted to be included.
Talking about the attraction
of birding in the Anza Borrego State Park, Gabel noted "The desert has
different birds than people who don't live in the desert are familiar with.
So from the standpoint of visitors and others who want to get out, it's a
fun things to do."
He added "It's the challenge
of identifying moving objects. Learning about flowers is totally different
because they are there and they don't move. Learning about birds and being
able to identify them in quick order is a challenge. The benefit is it gets
you out into the territory and terrain. That's why a lot of people like it."
Gabel is a park volunteer who
has taken classes to qualify as a volunteer naturalist. It's an interest
he's had since college. Most of the regulars are also state park volunteers,
but that's not required. Participants come from all walks of life but share
an interest in birds. Many are older and retired.
about Birding Sites in the Anza Borrego Desert: