At Santa Fe airport, a 'conflict between wildlife and aviation' – Santa Fe New Mexican

Jim Walters set up his Swarovski spotting scope on a patch of gravel in front of the Santa Fe Wastewater Treatment Plant in late July and positioned it to face a grassy slope, divided by a busy road and a barbed wire fence. Horse flies buzzed maddeningly and the air smelled of mulch. Occasionally, a plane would depart or land at the nearby Santa Fe Municipal Airport.

But Walters’ lens was focused lower on the horizon, and through it, he said, he could spot a small burrowing owl hopping between prairie dog holes, trailed by three fluffy chicks. Burrowing owls nest and reproduce in prairie dog colonies.

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