On January 29, 2017, about 25 enthusiasts made the trek to the Sandia Crest House on Sunday morning in the hopes os seeing rosy finches. The weather was fine, the road up to the Crest mostly clear but icy in spots
Participants were amply rewarded with good looks at all three species: Gray-crowned Rosy finch, Black Rosy Finch, and Brown Rosy Finch—and one subspecies (Hepburn’s Gray-crowned Rosy Finch). A flock of about 150 finches was present at the feeders and, though somewhat flighty returned regularly so that it was easy to get a good look. Steve and Nancy Cox of Rio Grande Bird Research were trapping and banding birds and a number of the participants were given the opportunity to release the banded birds. Steve explained some of the features of the biology of the birds, about which little is known. They ended the day with banding a total of 78 Rosy-Finches plus 5 that were previously banded this season. They captured 28 Rosy-Finches within 1 minute of setting the traps up. The majority of the birds banded were Brown-capped (66). We banded 9 Blacks and 3 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (all interior race). One of our repeats was a Hepburn’s Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch.
In addition to the birds, many of the participants enjoyed the breakfast burritos cooked up to order by the staff of the Crest House. The Crest House staff helps the banding program by filling the feeders and providing space for the banders—and the viewers.
No pictures, I’m afraid. I brought my camera along but left it in the car and forgot entirely
[mp_gmap address=”NM-536, Sandia Park, NM 87047″ zoom=”10″]