Articles written by Ernie Cowan
Sorted by date Results 1 - 25 of 61
Christmas Bird Count
The 37th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is in the books, as more than 70 volunteer birders spread out around Borrego Springs Dec. 19 to conduct the yearly bird census. Count coordinators Mark Jorgensen and Bob Theriault said t... — Updated 1/14/2022
Borrego Ham Radio Group Schedules Field Day Display
The Borrego Radio Amateur Membership Society (RAMS) wants to invite local amateur radio operators and the public to a display of ham radio communications during a club field day demonstration starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 22, at Christmas Circle. RAMS was recently formed by a group of... — Updated 1/13/2022
Nature Watch: "Northern Harrier"
I thought it might be a bush blowing across the desert in the strong winds last week near Hawk Canyon. Looking closer I spotted a northern harrier maneuvering just above ground level and being chased by an angry raven. This... — Updated 1/13/2022
Nature Watch: Mule Deer
The morning sun was just beginning to sweep across the landscape as I came down Montezuma Grade around the sweeping curve into Culp Valley. My eye caught a large animal standing in the middle of the field. Slowing down and looking... — Updated 1/10/2022
Anza-Borrego Foundation Acquires Additional Land
Bri Fordem dreams of the day when Anza-Borrego Desert State Park becomes whole. With the help of a dedicated staff and an active Board of Directors, she is also working to see that dream come true through the recent acquisition of... — Updated 1/10/2022
Nature Watch: "Black-tailed gnatcatcher"
Like a tiny bouncing ball, the movement in the palo verde tree caught my eye. It was a black-tailed gnatcatcher and I stopped for a moment to see where it was going. Tucked into the thicket of green branches there was a tiny nest,... — Updated 12/29/2021
Nature Watch: "Long-eared owl"
There were these two beady eyes looking down at me through the thicket of tamarisk branches. I had inadvertently disturbed a sleeping long-eared owl who was comfortably tucked into a protective pocket in the trees at... — Updated 12/13/2021
Nature Watch: "iNaturalist"
It's desert season and both residents and desert visitors alike are returning to the many trails and wilderness routes that offer access to a fascinating natural world. Hikes will often encounter plants, birds, or other animals... — Updated 12/1/2021
Nature Watch: Raccoon
They look cute and cuddly, and these little masked bandits are wild critters that most people would expect to find in woods. But the common raccoon occupies a wide range of habitats from forest to scrub woodlands, urban neighborhoo... — Updated 11/12/2021
Nature Watch: Rock Wren
Hiking in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park can always be an adventure for the observant person, and there's a tiny bird to look for that can add to your adventure. Bouncing around on boulders with lots of energy, hikers are... — Updated 11/4/2021
Nature Watch: Black-throated Sparrow
Many birds seen in Anza-Borrego are migrating through or seasonal visitors, but the black-throated sparrow is a local resident that you will find most common in the desert southwest and northern Mexico. This true desert species is... — Updated 10/15/2021
Plans for Camp Borrego Explained During Public Meeting
An exciting plan to create a permanent Camp Borrego facility that could also be used by the community was unveiled last week during a public meeting hosted by the Anza-Borrego Foundation. About 30 people attended in person or via online conferencing. Primarily designed as a... — Updated 9/23/2021
ABF Acquires Key Desert Property
The Anza-Borrego Foundation is playing a unique checkers game where every move hopefully eliminates a square on the checkerboard. The organization's checkerboard is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the jewel of California's state... — Updated 9/21/2021
Nature Watch: "Phainopepla"
He's a handsome critter with a funny name, but one of the more distinctive birds that call Anza-Borrego home. I'm talking about the phainopepla, a resident bird easily identified by a distinctive crest and bright red eyes. Males... — Updated 9/21/2021
Nature Watch: "Lightning: Nature's Flashbulb"
Visitors and residents alike were treated to a spectacular sky show recently when tropical storms from Mexico brought an intense display of lightning to the night sky of Borrego Springs. As one of nature's most dramatic events,... — Updated 9/7/2021
Nature Watch: "White-Winged Dove"
You don't see a lot of birds in the summer heat of Anza-Borrego, but one of the more common spring and summer species is the white-winged dove. On a recent afternoon walk around the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitor center,... — Updated 8/25/2021
Acres for Anza-Borrego
They called it “A Really Big Deal,” and with more than 400 people registered for the Zoom event marking the transfer of 17,597 acres to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, it really was. The event was hosted by the Anza-Borrego Foundation that has worked for nearly 30 years to... — Updated 8/13/2021
Perseid Meteors to Light Night Sky
Visitors and residents of Borrego Springs will not have to travel far in early August to enjoy a spectacular celestial show as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower appears in the midnight sky. The Perseids, so named because they seem... — Updated 8/11/2021
Nature Watch: Tumbleweed
You always knew "there's gonna be a gunfight" when a tumbleweed rolled down the dusty main street of Tombstone, Dodge City, or Deadwood. That thought crossed my mind as I turned onto S-22 and what seemed like a giant bowling ball... — Updated 8/4/2021
Nature Watch: Do Snakes Drink?
The heat was oppressive as I headed into the house, but movement in the garden caught my eye. I stopped and watched as a beautiful California kingsnake slowly emerged, moving toward our garden fountain. To my surprise, it lifted... — Updated 7/26/2021
Summer Escape From Borrego Heat
Many Borrego residents leave the heat of the desert in the hottest months, but for those who don't there are still nearby places to enjoy the great outdoors and bask in far more comfortable temperatures. A group of locals did just... — Updated 7/16/2021
Sheep Count Cancelled
While the death of a volunteer bighorn sheep counter on June 19 was tragic, the event has forced cancellation of the 50th annual bighorn sheep count and prompted state park officials to close several popular hiking destinations to all entry. The San Diego County Coroner has identi... — Updated 7/13/2021
Nature Watch: Flash Floods
Any day now, summer skies in Borrego will fill with billowing thunderheads as monsoon storms push up from the Gulf of California. It's a dramatic change for the blank, blue sky of summer. The rolling thunder, nighttime light shows,... — Updated 7/13/2021
Effort to Ban Mylar Balloons
You don't have to spend much time wandering around the desert to know that it has become a dumping ground for mylar balloons dropping from the sky. It's one of those things that everyone knows is a problem, but until now, no one... — Updated 7/13/2021