Crest House is closed for the winter but feeding/banding program continues
This post was updated on .
I just received word from Fran Lusso, co-coordinator of the Rosy-Finch Feeding Project at Sandia Crest House. For the past week I have been trying to cut through the fog, as although the feeders had been put up, no seed was placed in them, allegedly because the rosy-finches had not yet arrived. Of course, they would not likely appear until there was some food to attract them to that site. The coordinators did not have access because of a schedule conflict, and found the establishment closed on Veteran's Day, most unusual as it practically never closes all year around. The Crest House Manager has been in the hospital for the past few weeks, so it was impossible for us to communicate with him. We will try to keep everyone up to date as to the alternatives that may be available to continue feeding the rosy-finches. Here is the bad news, as sent to Nancy Cox and me:
Ken & Nancy,
I just got off the phone with Eva at the Crest House. They were closed yesterday when Dave went up to start putting seed out.
Eva informed me that the Crest House is going to CLOSE for 3 months starting December 1st and reopening March 1st. What a shock!
Obviously we will have to move the feeder since there will be no access to the deck and I guess the banding operation will need to rethink if and how to do that.
Dave will need go up and try to figure out where to put the feeder - we might need to change the type of feeder tray. If anyone has suggestions let us know!
Obviously a set back for the Rosy Finch operation....lots of people will be quite surprised and disappointed.
Re: Bad News-- Crest House is closing for the winter!
We will do our best to keep everyone informed, as many people are making plans to visit during the winter, which is prime viewing season. Indeed, The American Birding Association is planning a meeting in Albuquerque during that time.
I have confidence that some arrangement to provide an alternate placement of the feeder is possible. The feeders may only be placed on disturbed land, which is why they were permitted at the Crest House.
There had originally been two additional feeders in use just to the south of the building, also on disturbed land. They were readily visible from the lower parking lot and of course were not as convenient for viewers as the one on the deck. These two feeders were removed partly because they posed maintenance problems in deep snow conditions, and they "diluted" the rosy-finch flocks anyway. Their placement also caused birders/photographers to congregate at windows in the merchandise area, creating security concerns and inconvenience to shoppers and staff.
Perhaps this fact may be the starting point for finding alternative placement other than on the deck of the building.
Re: Bad News/Good News--Feeders will be up all winter
This post was updated on .
See later posts above-- the banding team will erect one or more feeders in their original location on the land next to the Crest House (to the south and west). These feeders will be readily visible from the lower parking lot, and there are trees near them where the rosy-finches will roost.
Of course, birders will not enjoy the convenience of observing from the warmth of the restaurant, but their view will not be impeded by window glass. Be sure to dress warmly. Primitive rest rooms are conveniently located at the Crest parking lots, but food and drink will not be available after December 1. The nearest food services will be at the ski base after conditions permit it to open, (about 4 miles down the Crest Road from the summit) or in restaurants and convenient stores along NM-14.
Banding operations will begin this Sunday morning, November 18 at the usual Crest House location, and will continue outdoors on the upper parking lot after December 1. The banding team will provide a schedule, and it will also be posted on the researchers' Facebook Page: SANDIA ROSYFINCH PROJECT