There are many benefits to living in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. One of the more delightful benefits for birders living here is being able in the winter months to see Rosy-Finches at Sandia Crest outside of Albuquerque. Sandia Crest at 10,600 feet is an easy 45 minute drive from the Albuquerque Metro area. It is one of the few places in the United States where it is possible to see all three species of Rosy-Finches. There is feeding station for Rosy-Finches at the Sandia Crest House at the top of the road up to Sandia Crest It is possible to park, walk into the Crest House, buy hot chocolate and wait inside in cozy warmth waiting for the birds to appear. And appear they do. At intervals throughout the day, a flock of more than 100 Rosy-Finches appear in the trees and at the feeders.
|Rosy-Finches flock to the Piñon trees around the deck at the Crest House|
|The flock stages in the bare trees below the feeder.|
When the Rosy-Finches come to the feeder, the activity and the beauty of the birds is almost overwhelming.
The individual birds are lovely:
|A Black Rosy-Finch flies to the feeder.|
|A volunteer examines a Hepburn's race (coastal) Grey-crowned Rosy Finch.|
|A close look at a beautiful wing.|
|Artist Catherine Hamilton prepares to release the banded and examined bird.|
|Abert's Squirrel in a tree near the deck.|
|An Abert's Squirrel forages on the deck below the feeder.|
Sandia Crest is a wonderful place to see Rosy-Finches. It is a "must-do" birding area. You can find out more about the Rosy Finches on the Rosy-Finch Forum. If the flag in the upper right corner of the page is waving, the Rosy-Finches have arrived!