The Rosy-Finch Project is a multi-faceted ecology study of the three North American species of Rosy-Finches. The Bird Alliance of Central New Mexico has adopted the project and helps to support this important conservation and education effort. The project itself is run by Rio Grande Bird Research Inc. (RGBR), a local non-profit organization that conducts volunteer bird research throughout New Mexico. RGBR has a Facebook page at this link: Rio Grande Bird Research Inc. Additionally, the researchers give frequent presentations about the project all across New Mexico and sometimes further afield. Some of these presentations are paid events but many of them are free.

Come Visit!

Rio Grande Bird Research and BACNM invite you to come visit the Sandia Crest, the Rosy-Finches and the project! The Rosy-Finches are present in the Sandia Mountains from November till March and the RGBR conducts bird banding every Sunday during that period. Come enjoy the beautiful birds and scenery and you may even get to participate in the banding process.

The weather in the Sandia Mountains is extremely variable from year to year. A storm right at the time you are visiting might make it challenging to reach the feeders until the road is plowed. There are years, however, when there is very little snow at all in the Sandias. If you are traveling through the area, it will be worth your time to give it a try.  The weather at the Sandia Crest is usually 20-30 degrees colder than the temperature in Albuquerque. 

New Mexico Highway 536/Sandia Crest Scenic Highway is the best direct route to the Rosy-Finches. The Sandia Crest House is permanently closed but can be used as the destination for mapping. The feeders are very accessible once you get to the parking lot of the Crest House. It is not advisable to use the Sandia Peak Tramway to reach the feeders.  There is over a mile hike at 10,000 feet elevation between where the tram stops at the top of the mountain and the location of the feeders.

Keep in mind that the finches don’t keep a regular schedule. They spend time in the forest and then pop in to the feeders, seemingly at random times. Even the banders can’t predict their arrival and often wait for several hours. 

Get Involved

The project runs entirely on volunteer support and is always looking for help. Specifically there is a need to folks interested in helping to do data entry and field work. Anyone interested in learning how to participate in banding, radio telemetry, summer surveys, data entry, etc. should contact Jason Kitting at

The project is funded completely by donations and grants. If you’d like to donate to the project you can send checks to Rio Grande Bird Research. Checks should be written out to “Rio Grande Bird Research” (or just “RGBR”) with “Rosy-Finch” in the memo. Checks can be sent to:
P.O. Box 6557
Albuquerque, NM 87197-6557

Rosy-Finch Story