Update on the Rosy-Finches of Sandia Crest, New Mexico. The flag is waving–
flocks of Rosy-Finches are still visiting the feeders at Sandia Crest House.
The banders had a quiet day today, only capturing 10 rosy-finches, of which 7 were repeats, all from this season. This, despite the fact that they saw at least one flock of 150 birds! “They would come in for just a very brief time and then take off. There was fresh snow on the deck but the trees were snow free,” acording to Steve and Nany Cox. The 3 newly banded birds were: 2 Brown-capped Rosy-Finches and 1 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Interior race). The road was clear.
This morning, BirdFreak called attention to an amazing Web site. As keeper of a lighthouse on tiny Machias Seal Island, off the coast of New Brunswick, Ralph Eldridge has photographed great concentrations of migrants that seek safety on his isolated parcel of land. A great variety of warblers, thrushes, orioles and even a Spotted Sandpiper are seen roosting wing to wing, sometimes literally covering the ground and crowding together on the porches, window sills and railings around his house. View his slide show here.
Don’t miss seeing this local PBS documentary about the Sandias that includes a segment on the rosy-finches, archived on-line and accessible for viewing now:
Click on the above graphic, or go to knmetv.org/ to open the “MY NEW MEXICO” tab, and then select “The Sandias” to get it started. The eight chapters of this film document a project for a one-night spectacular light show, but also delve into the cultural, geologic and natural history of the mountain. If you are pressed for time, go directly to Chapter Three, which describes the ecology of the Sandias, and features the rosy-finch banding project near the end. There are great views of the birds taken at the Crest House, at the feeders and in the hand, not to mention wonderful photography that makes me really miss my mountain home!