The 2020 field trip starts on Friday May 22nd. This is a small-group field trip limited to four birders. Plan to arrive the evening of Thursday May 21, 2020 in Albuquerque. Book your Thursday night stay in the Airport Best Western Inn Albquerque. The field trip begins with a Friday morning breakfast in the Hotel. The field trip ends on Tuesday May 26, 2020 at 5 PM in Albuquerque. If you plan on staying Tuesday overnight you will need to book a hotel for yourself.
New Mexico is a spectacular state with an astonishing ecological diversity – wet and dry habitats, wide-open blue sky, eastern plains, grasslands, mountain ranges exceeding 12,000 ft. elevation with wonderful Aspen forests, deep canyons, plus pine and juniper forests situated on the spine of the Continental Divide. Birding in New Mexico offers bird species found west of the Continental Divide–Pacific Flyway, as well as bird species from east of the Continental Divide–Central Flyway, which contribute to an impressive birding experience. Spring migration for Rocky Mountains will be underway. Birds will making their way to the northern nesting grounds. Bring your camera to take advantage of the many photo opportunities this field trip will provide.
Day 1, Friday May 22th, 2020
We begin our field trip with a 6:45 AM breakfast and hotel pick up. We’ll begin by birding the irrigated alfalfa fields south of Albuquerque now a National Wildlife Refuge – Valle del Oro. Here we will be seeking early spring migrant raptors, woodpeckers, tanagers and flycatchers. As the temperature becomes warmer, we’ll move on to Mt. Sandia (10,500’ elevation) in the Cibola National Forest to search for Pinyon Jay, Townsend’s Solitaire, both Mountain and Western Blue Birds, Grace’s Warbler, and Red-Backed Dark-eyed / Gray-headed Junco. After lunch we will make our way up the back side of the mountain to Sandia Crest to look for Pine Siskins, Pygmy Nuthatches, Red Crossbill, Clark’s Nutcrackers, possible Grey-crown Rosy Finch and up to four species of hummingbirds. Using Arizona state highway 14, we’ll drive to Santa Fe to our lodge and dinner.
Day 2, Our destination is the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Santa Fe. After an early start, we’ll bird along the riparian and mountain path above the ranch, seeking both Virginia’s, Warbler Grace’s Warbler, Clark’s Nutcracker, Juniper Titmouse and Summer Tanager. A late lunch in Santa Fe along Canyon Road is a relaxing treat. Taos will be our destination after lunch. We’ll begin birding along the way when we enter the Rio Grande River Gorge. We’ll search for Rock and Canyon Wren, Sage Thrasher, Plumbeous Vireo, and Black-Chinned Sparrow. Reaching Taos in the late afternoon, we’ll bird Taos within the city limits, taking some time to bird a local park for Tanagers, Orioles, Vireos, Common Nighthawks, Swifts and Sapsuckers. We’ll check into our rooms at the Hampton Inn, take a rest period before meeting for mid-evening dinner. We’ll have dinner at El Meze, with its patio facing 13,160’ Wheeler Peak.
Day 3, After an early breakfast we will bird the Rio Grande Bridge State Park, which rises 565ft above the river and is at 6000 ft elevation. There we may see raptors, Golden and Bald Eagle, American Kestrel and possible Prairie Falcon, Scaled Quail, Sage Thrasher, up to five sparrow species. Rock and Canyon Wrens and the Gray Flycatcher. After lunch we’ll go to a higher elevation aspen forest, which should yield a Dipper, plus five species of warbler and Cordilleran Flycatcher. Here we may find the Interior West group of White-breasted Nuthatch, Lincoln Sparrow and Hepatic Tanager. We’ll bird our way back to Taos in a relaxed manner stopping at interesting habitats. We’ll have dinner in Taos. This field trip does not visit the Taos Pueblo.
Day 4, We will have another early start toward eastern locations. We’ll bird the Angel Fire/Eagle Nest area as we make our way to the eastern grassland (short-grass prairies) high plains. In route we’ll be seeking Raptors, Sparrows, Finches and possible Red-crossbills, , Pinyon Jay, Eastern Kingbird, Cassin’s Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Canyon Towhee. We’ll move on to the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge to search for Burrowing Owls, Great Horned Owl, Solitary Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, White-faced Ibis, Blue-winged Teal, Lark and Lazuli Bunting. Several species of sparrow (Vesper, Chipping, Clay-colored, Brewer’s, Lark, and Grasshopper) plus Yellow-headed Blackbird are all possible. Also if US-FWS opens a new area, we may see Northern Bobwhite, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and other oak woodland species. We return to Taos for dinner.
Day 5, Before leaving Taos, we’ll bird a very productive area seeking Evening Grosbeaks, Yellow-breasted Chat and Prairie Dog colonies. We take the High Road back to Santa Fe and then Albuquerque . Birding can be very good in a few “hot spots” for missed species, seeking the Pinyon Jay, Grace’s Warbler, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Thrashers and raptors as we travel back to Albuquerque. The field trip ends at 5PM Tuesday in Albuquerque.
If you are not flying home on Tuesday evening, you’ll need to reserve a room for yourself.
Contact Rich Cimino at 925-353-0266, or Yellowbilledtours@gmail.com to reserve a space. Space is limited to four birders. Field goes with three birders. Rich Cimino is your guide; fee includes auto transportation, fuel, lodging, and field guide services. Airfare and meals are not included.
Field Trip Cost:
The field trip begins and ends in Albuquerque, NM airport. The total cost of field trip is $1860.00 for each attendee. The cost of the trip does not include airfare, meals, Thursday or Tuesday night hotel. A $1000.00 deposit is required upon registration. A $100 administration fee will charged if you cancel within 60 days of the trip. The balance of $860.00 is due March 22 eight weeks (60 days) before the start of your field trip. If a participant cancels after balance is paid and no replacement is found your payment will be placed in a Client account less any cancelation charges YBT may incur for lodges, etc. The balance will be maintained in a YBT- Client account for use on another YBT field trip within 16 months or forfeited to Yellowbilled Tours.
This is my second field trip with Yellowbilled Tours. The first field trip was to Belize.This year the New Mexico was everything I expected from a field trip. Rich starts with an introduction dinner which warms the group up.The birding locations and species are specific and are in sync with the itinerary. Lodging and meals are all top notch. The field trip pace was relaxing allowing time to study new species, take photos and discuss with other attendees.
Kent Mac Donald and Betty Smith, May 2019
Thank you for all the wonderful birding and all the extras too.
It was a great week in New Mexico and I enjoyed every day of it.
Loved all the different locations, habitats and restaurants you took us.
I’ve added several life birds on this trip and of course for the state too.
Rich, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent trip in New Mexico. Birding was excellent with 10 new life birds for me. It is amazing to see the variety of habitats that New Mexico has to offer birders. And you can be counted on to show participants enjoyable side adventures through little known areas that are productive for birders as well as a treat for sightseeing in general.
I have just returned from a most interesting, rewarding and very exciting trip birding in Northern New Mexico. I love New Mexico and have visited on several occasions. This time my friend and I decided to take the Yellowbilled Tours birding field trip. Rich Cimino is an excellent leader and tenacious when it comes to finding and focusing on the bird – he does everything except climb a tree to find the birds. Our first day we had very close views of Red-crossbills a life bird for me.
Other life birds were Pinyon Jays and Ferruginous Hawk on the ground and a flock of 40+ Evening Grosbeaks. Everyday brought new discoveries both of birds and animals. Of particular interest was Maxwell Wildlife Refuge. We ended the trip with a Roadrunner on a grassy strip at the Albuquerque airport.
Beth and Lyann 2017