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Elaine's, A Bed and Breakfast
Bird Watching Information

See them, hear them, identify them, and count them! From now until early spring you are likely to see black, brown-capped, gray-crowned rosy finches and if your are lucky, you may see a subspecies of the gray-crowned--the hepburn's form. All these are in the National Forest just minutes from Elaine's. You might see Evening Grosbeaks or Pine Siskins from the yard of the bed and breakfast. Call Elaine to make a reservation and get the latest information on where they are.

Bird Watching at Elaine's Bed and Breakfast

Elaine's has designed special welcome packages for guests with birding interests. These include a bird list of over 100 birds that can be seen here at this bed and breakfast, as reported by Ken Schneider, one of the area's expert birders.

  • In warm weather breakfast can be served outside within plain view of the bird feeders and the birds.

  • Breakfast options range from continental to-go breakfasts (available to birders that like to get an early start on the day), to late full breakfasts, so you can see and hear the birds on their schedule.

  • Guests are welcome to borrow maps of the local birding areas with directions to many of the local bird watching points just minutes away.

  • A list of over 250 birds that have been spotted in the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, including the Manzanitas and Gallinas Mountains, by Hart R. Schwartz, neotropical bird specialist for the Cibola National Forest will be given out, as long as, supplies last.

  • Directions to, and information on, tours at Talking Talons Living Museum (a recognized leadership center).

Black Rosy-Finch through windows of Deck at Crest House JAN 30 2003 Canon A40/ KOWA 77mm x 20 zoom (Click on picture for larger image) © Ken Schneider


Please sign the log near front door -- Nick Harada, Manager, and the staff at Crest House expect the finches to attract many visitors, and we believe that birders are having a positive impact on business.  Show your support by purchasing souvenirs and food.  Rosy-Finch Patches, Pins and T-shirts are now available.  Sales of these items tell the merchant that birders are important to the local economy!

A word about counting -- we count the largest number (total and species) seen at any one time during our period of observation.   Therefore the numbers may not add up.   For example, one day we saw a flock of over seventy birds, in which Black and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches predominated, with only 4 Brown-capped species.   They departed and were promptly replaced by a small flock of 16 with 10 Brown-capped individuals.   We reported 10 Brown-cap's and 35 Blacks, based on the separate counts. 

The feeders need filling every two to three days and the rosy-finch feeding program volunteers can not always get up there.  Join the cadre of volunteers who are willing to  help out.  Thanks to those who have left donations of seed in secure bags (sealed or zip-lock; Hull-less "Patio Mix," or hulled sunflower seed  only-- NO MIXED SEED!).  Please give it to the US Forest Service volunteer at the Visitors Center near the gift shop door, or directly to one of the Crest House staff. (Cash donations cannot be accepted, but thanks for offering).   If you happen to see that the feeders need filling, please advise Alan Mickelson or one of the Crest House staff, but PLEASE DO NOT fill the feeder or spread seed yourself.   NOTE that the deck feeder is always  stocked with hull-less seed to reduce the amount of litter.  Do not insist that employees fill the feeders immediately, as they have their own work to do, and our volunteer project is carried out through the courtesy of Two Mile High, LLC and Crest House management.  Please do not scatter seed on the ground or pavement.   

Do thank the staff of the Crest House for their hospitality and consider purchasing souvenirs and snacks. Crest House is a private business that operates in a newly expanded private building constructed on land that is leased from the US Forest Service.  This is the only accessible "disturbed" land on Sandia Crest, as the US Forest Service prohibits feeding of wildlife in the surrounding Wilderness Area, so we are most grateful for the hospitality that Crest House extends to birders. Please respect their 10:00 AM opening time, even though staff may arrive earlier to set up for business.

Keep in mind that non-birding customers and visitors have every right to enjoy the view from the deck, even when their activities may cause the birds to stay away from the deck feeder.  PLEASE do not occupy a table if you are not purchasing food or drink.  Take advantage of every chance to orient visitors to these unique birds.   Allowing them a brief glimpse through your scope or binoculars may turn some of them into birders for life, or at least help them understand why you are enjoying a different view from the Crest House.  More than once we have noticed they gain respect for your wishes not to flush the birds, and may even become "lookouts" for the next flock!  

Please keep your coats and equipment off the dining tables, so that other visitors are free to sit down and eat.

When you get home, be sure to enter your observations into the Cornell Lab of Ornithology data base at

Bird Watching Links

Otero and Cedro Canyons

Quarari Ruins National Monument & MAP

Panoramic View of Otero Canyon  

Panorama: East Slope of Sandia Mountains

Panorama: Sandia Crest in Winter

Otero Ridge Breeding Bird Survey

Species Seen in Past  6 Years: Quarai IMBD

Latest News on Military  Plans to Fence Certain Trails in Otero Canyon

Hawk Watch Discovers  Flammulated Owl Migration in Manzanos

Spring Birds of Quarai Ruins National Monument

Link to GPS Coordinates for Indicated Locations

Directions to Sites Described here

Check List: Birds ofSandia and Manzanita Mountains (PDF)




Ryan Beaulieu, Beloved Local Teen Birder Killed in Auto Accident-- VIEW TRIBUTES IN RYAN'S MEMORY



SPRING AND SUMMER BIRDING: Species seen on Morning Bird Walks at three locations in the Sandias

Bird Walk and Rosy-Finch programs gain US Forest Service National "Eyes on  Wildlife" viewing site award (Full Text) 

We have moved from New Mexico-- The Rosy-Finch Project has NEW COORDINATORS! 

Photo of Williamson's Sapsucker in Cedar Crest back yard November 2, 2003

Photos of Piratic Flycatcher at Bosque Redondo, NM

Birding Tres Pistolas Open Space/Sandia Hawk Watch Area in Tijeras Canyon

Read Central NM Audubon newsletter THE BURROWING OWL -- click on "Newsletter" tab for current news about field trips and other birding events

Picture of "THE LOG" AT CAPULIN SPRING and some of its spring avian visitors

Proposed construction around "THE LOG" at Capulin Spring

Thursday Birders and Central New Mexico Audubon-- click on the "TRIPS" tab for  FIELD TRIPS 

Link to National Forest Fire Closure Information

Backyard photos of Blue Grosbeak, Black-throated Gray Warbler and More...

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