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Learn about the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory at Monument event

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On Saturday, visitors to the Scotts Bluff National Monument can discover what is being done to conserve the local bird population.

Maggie Vinson, a member of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, will stop by the monument visitor center at 3 p.m. to discuss what the observatory is doing to protect and learn more about man’s feathered friends.

Along with the handouts and the many pictures of the birds that are native to the area, Vinson said she’ll discuss her organization’s history and future plans.

“We’ll talk about some of the work we’ve been doing and tie that into what we can do here in Nebraska,” she said. “We’ll talk about what people can to do to provide habitat and food for native birds.”

For the past 25 years, the RMBO, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization, has monitored and researched bird ecology, educated the public and partnered with local, state and federal agencies, private citizens, schools, universities and other organizations for bird conservation.

 The RMBO continues to collaborate with partners in the Rocky Mountains region, the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond.

“We focus on conserving birds and their habitat because we’re of the belief that a habitat that is healthy for birds is also a healthy one for people,” Vinson said.

Vinson, whose operations are based in Minatare, relocated from the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire to join the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and the Nebraska Prairie Partners team in Scottsbluff in 2011. She coordinates the Nebraska education and outreach activities, focusing on wildlife habitat of the ponderosa pine and short grass prairie ecosystems.

Vinson received her bachelor’s in Russian language and literature from Smith College in 2005 and her master’s in environmental studies/education from Antioch University New England in 2010. She has worked at a variety of field and educational facilities including The Centre for Rainforest Studies in Yungaburra, Australia, Stonewall Farm in Keene, N.H, and the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Okla.

She said she was drawn to the RMBO by its commitment to synthesizing its research findings with its public education tools.

“They actually have people on the ground, doing research and learning about new ways for people to make a difference,” she added.

The Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Summit Road is open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  All monument trails are open from sunrise until sunset.

Additional information about Scotts Bluff National Monument programs and schedules may be obtained at the visitor center by calling 308-436-9700.

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