Just east of the library, on the edge of the arroyo, a small stone basin nestles into the hard stony soil. We pour water into it year round, through the dry season, and the frozen season, and even when we didn’t have any running water at all. This water attracts birds, and we like our birds around here.
We are probably the only library in the U.S. to be listed as an official nesting site on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website. We have two nesting boxes just across the arroyo, where a pair of Western Bluebirds raised their young last year. You can see last year’s nest on display in the Children’s section. This year, we’re exploring ways of putting a camera in the box so we can show live footage in the library.
Of course, we also have lots of useful bird books, such as the New Mexico Bird-Finding Guide in the Southwest Collection (SW 598.07), and we always keep copies of the pamphlet Birds of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, courtesy of the Sandia Ranger Station. But for those who just want to hear birds without having to go out and look for them, try Bird Songs and Bird Songs from Around the World, located in our Oversized shelf. (That’s the big shelf between Biography and Reference.) With these, you can actually listen to the recorded songs of hundreds of different birds, or just get your cats excited. Whichever you prefer.