This group of birders—and their field trips to nearby and far-flung destinations within New Mexico—began in 1988 and has continued to the present. During its 30-plus years, the group has amassed an impressive list of 306 bird species that have been identified on its field trips.

Thursday Birders also contributes several thousand dollars each year to nature-related organizations in New Mexico through the voluntary $1-per-trip contribution of participants.

Thursday Birders come from all walks of life, involving people with interesting and varied backgrounds, including a superb collection of experienced birders and folks who are just beginning their journey into the satisfying world of birdwatching. Each Thursday brings a different destination, a different trip leader, a different set of birds, and the same delightful sense of camaraderie and the sharing of bird-related and other information.

Over the years, Thursday Birders has evolved from a dedicated group that consisted mostly of women to a vibrant collection of people whose primary interest is birds but whose other interests are as diverse as the individuals who gather together each week.

For the first eight years of its existence, Tami Bulow led Thursday Birders field trips and the group collectively decided where to go on the next week’s outing. Following Tami’s dedicated effort, Julie Gooding and Madge Wallen assumed responsibility for leading trips and deciding on each week’s destination during the years 1996-1998.

In 1998 and continuing into 2004, Mary Lou Arthur began planning trips two to three weeks in advance, leading many of the trips herself and asking others to lead trips as well.

In 2004, Rebecca Gracey began planning trips three months at a time, emailing locations and the names of trip leaders to more than 100 people in the group. In 2014, the field trip information was posted on the CNMAS website, ending the email list and opening the Thursday Birders to locals and visitors to New Mexico. The CNMAS Burrowing Owl Newsletter also includes the upcoming three-month Thursday Birder Schedule in its quarterly publication.

In 2019, Rebecca retired from her Thursday Birder leadership role, having built a very strong and efficient organization and left a legacy that has encouraged others to continue to work together to ensure Thursday Birders survives and flourishes. After a short break during the pandemic, Thursday Birders restarted with two new organizers – Shannon Caruso and Glenda Morling – both of whom had attended Thursday Birders before the pandemic, and both of whom wished to see that Thursday Birders could keep going. Thanks to members stepping forward to lead birding walks each week, Shannon and Glenda have been able to keep planning trips into the future.

We look forward to you joining Thursday Birders as your schedule allows. If you have participated in the group and have an interesting story to share, or if you have any questions about our organization, please email us at