Plan to arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico the evening of Monday May 6th. 2024. Book your Monday night stay in the Airport Best Western Inn, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The field trip begins with a Tuesday morning breakfast in the hotel. The field trip ends on Sunday May 11, 2024, at 5 PM in Albuquerque Airport. If you plan on staying Sunday overnight, you will need to book a hotel for yourself in Albuquerque.

New Mexico is a spectacular state with 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 through the Rocky Mountains will be underway. Birds will be making their way to the northern nesting grounds. I will bring the latest field guides for you to use during the trip. Bring your camera to take advantage of the many photo opportunities this field trip will provide. I will bring a 60 Power Swarovski Scope for the trip to share. We do not get dirty on this trip but bring a fleece vest and light rain cover.

Towsends solitaire

Townsend’s solitaire

Day 1 Tuesday Albuquerque, NM.
Albquerque warms up quickly, so we begin our field trip with a 6:00 AM breakfast and we will be on the road by 7AM. We’ll begin by birding the irrigated alfalfa fields and the Bosque 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(s). 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 Crossbills, Clark’s Nutcrackers, possible Gray-crown Rosy Finch and up to four species of hummingbirds. Using New Mexico state highway 14 The Turquoise Trail, we’ll drive to Santa Fe to our Best Western hotel and group dinner.

Day 2, Wednesday Sante Fe, NM. 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 Warblers, Grace’s Warblers, 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 Taos hotel, using the same lodging for three nights, take a rest period before meeting for mid-evening dinner at El Meze, with its patio facing the 13,160’ Wheeler Peak.

Day 3 Thursday, Leaving Taos after an early breakfast, we will bird the Rio Grande Bridge State Park, which rises 565 ft. above the river and is at 6000 ft. elevation.  There we may see raptors, Golden and Bald Eagles, American Kestrel and possible Prairie Falcon, Scaled Quail, Sage Thrasher, up to five sparrow species. Rock and Canyon Wrens, scores of Western Tanagers and the Gray Flycatcher. We’ll purchase our lunches to go, and picnic in 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 Friday, Leaving Taos, we have another early start driving to eastern New Mexico. 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 Jays, Eastern Kingbird, Cassin’s Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Canyon Towhee. Arriving at the  Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge for lunch. We’ll search for Burrowing Owls, Great Horned Owl, Solitary Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, White-faced Ibis, Blue-winged Teal, Lark and Lazuli Buntings. 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 Hampton Inn, Taos for dinner.

Day 5 Saturday, Birding Taos and local areas not yet covered. We’ll bird back road areas with some historical and cultural appeal while seeking species such as the Red Crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, Yellow-breasted Chat and others.

Day 6 Sunday morning We take the High Road back to Santa Fe birding along the way. We will stop for lunch as we travel back to Albuquerque Airport. The field trip ends at 5PM Sunday in the Albuquerque Airport or a hotel of your choosing. 

If you are not flying home on Sunday evening, you’ll need to reserve a room for yourself.

Contact Rich Cimino at 925-353-0266, or to reserve a space. Space is limited to 6 birders. This field trip goes with three birders with a fee adjustment. Rich Cimino is your guide; the fee includes auto transportation, fuel, lodging, and field guide services.  Airfare and meals, or hotel Monday May9th or Sunday May15th are not included.

Field Trip Registration: By contacting Rich Cimino at

The field trip begins on Tuesday morning at 6:30 AM, May 6h. Albuquerque, NM., in the Best Western Airport Inn and ends in Albuquerque at 5 PM on Sunday afternoon, May 15th. You need to arrive by the evening Monday May 6th, 2024, and stay in the Best Western Airport Inn – not covered in field trip fee. Yellowbilled Tours will host a get-to-know your dinner (local Mexican Cuisine).
The cost of the field trip is $2260.00 with four to six attendees, for three attendees $2660.00 and two attendees TBD. The cost does not include air fare, meals or hotel Monday May 6th or Sunday May15th.
Registration form on request. To confirm return registration with $1260.00 deposit payable to Yellowbilled Tours. The Balance of $1000.00 is due March 10th, 2024. A $340 administration fee will be charged if you cancel within 60 days after you register.  If you cancel after the balanced is paid, there can be no refund unless a replacement can be found. 

Client Testimonials:

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

Dear Rich,
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.
California, 2017

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.
Tom 2014
Hi –
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