The 2020 field trip starts on Friday May 22nd. This is a Small-group field trips 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. Field trip ends on Tuesday evening 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 variety of ecological diversity – wet and dry habitats, wide-open blue sky, eastern plains, grasslands, mountain ranges exceeding 12,000 ft. elevation with wonderful Aspen forest, deep canyons, pine and juniper forest 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 an 6:30 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 / 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 and Clark’s Nutcrackers, up to four species of hummingbirds. We’ll drive to Santa Fe to our lodge in Santa Fe and dinner.
Using Arizona state highway 14 (offering good early morning birding) we will reach our destination the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Santa Fe. The Audubon Ranch offers good birding we will seek out , Interior Western Scrub Jay, Pinon Jay, Townsend’s Solitary, Clark’s Nutcracker, and Juniper Titmouse, Canyon Towhee, also we may observe Vireos,Western Tanagers and Orioles before a late lunch. Las Vegas, NM will be our destination after lunch. We’ll make a stop at the Pecos National Monument to bird along the mix habitats of the monument. We’ll search for Rock and Canyon Wren, Sage Thrasher, Plumbeous Vireo, and Black-Chinned and Calliope Hummingbirds at the Monument Headquarters feeders. Reaching Las Vegas, NM in the late afternoon, we’ll check into our rooms and plan dinner. In the early evening, we’ll bird Las Vegas within the city limits,seeking, Common Nighthawks, Swifts and Poorwills.
Day 3, We will have an early breakfast and begin birding at the Las Vegas NWR and Maxwell NWR. Both refuges are on the high plains of New Mexico boarding Oklahoma. We’ll be seeking Burrowing Owls, Great Horned Owl, Solitary Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, White-faced Ibis, Blue-winged Teal, Eastern Kingbird, Cassin’s Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Canyon Towhee. We’ll move around the Wildlife Refuges to search for Lark and Lazuli Bunting, several species of sparrow, Vesper, Chipping, Clay-colored, Brewer’s, Lark, Cassin’s and Grasshopper are all possible and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Also if US-FWS opens flooded pond areas, we may see Wilson Phalarope, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird’s Sandpiper and both Sora and Virginia Rails.We will be seeking eastern species as Eastern Kingbird, Willow Flycatcher. Board wing Hawk, Buntings, Warblers and Cassin’s Sparrow. We will use the late afternoon to bird Angel Fire & Eagle Nest area as we make our way to Taos, NM. where we will stay for two nights.
Day 4, From Taos, 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 and Rock and Canyon Wrens and the Gray Flycatcher. After Lunch we’ll go into the higher elevations which surround the in an 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 are possible. 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 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 Saturday 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 six birders. Rich Cimino is your guide; fee includes auto transportation, fuel, lodging, and field guide services. Airfare and meals are not included.
Cost and Cancellation
The Field trip begins and ends in Albuquerque, NM airport. The total cost of field trip is $1860.00 each with four attendees, $2450.00 each with 3 attendees and $2850.00 each for two attendees. The cost of the trip does not include airfare,meals, Monday and Saturday night hotel. A $1000.00 deposit is required upon registration. A $100 administration fee will charged if you cancel before 60 days prior to the trip. The balance is due eight weeks (60 days) before the start of your field trip. If a participant cancels after balance is paid, every effort will be made to find a suitable replacement. If 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 13 months or forfeited to Yellowbilled Tours.
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