NOV 13: UPDATE ON PLANS FOR ROSY-FINCH FEEDERS DURING CREST HOUSE CLOSING
At 9:43 this evening we received this update from Michael Hilchey of the Rosy-Finch Banding Team-- good news for those planning to visit after the Crest House closure begins on December 1st. (posted on the Sandia Rosy-Finch Project Facebook site)
Raymond [VanBuskirk] has been in touch with Gene as recently as last week. All I know is... [medical information redacted]. Raymond knows a little bit more but not much. He does not know where Gene is or how to get a hold of him. We are working on contacting him for more information and will report back as soon as we know more.
As far as Rosy-Finches go. The feeders will be move off the deck and down below the building so that visitors will still be able to view the birds and we will still be able to band the birds. Obviously this year's" Rosy-Finching" will be a whole lot colder than years past but we are still planning on continuing the feeders and the project.
We are also trying to gain access to the crest house facilities for the weekend of the February ABA rally so that we can band birds inside for all the folks coming down for that event. We will keep you posted on that as well.
The banding schedule will be emailed out and posted to the Sandia Rosy-Finch Project Facebook site sometime later this week. The first day of banding is planned for this Sunday. Please contact me or Raymond if you plan on coming up.
Re: NOV 13: UPDATE ON PLANS FOR ROSY-FINCH FEEDERS DURING CREST HOUSE CLOSING
Just in at 10:37 PM-- Additional information from Michael Hilchey. Thank you, Michael!
To clear some things up.
Raymond talked to Gene this morning. He is doing well but will not be in any condition to work at the crest this winter.
The Crest House WILL be closed this winter for a number of reasons. They have been struggling financially (especially in the winter) for several years due to the recession and because it is very expensive to maintain the heating and maintenance bills of the building during winter conditions. Gene has been an incredible host and supporter of the Rosy-Finches but having to work as hard as he does in such a difficult location has been challenging and, considering his recent medical situation, working at the crest would be dangerous for him.
The Crest House will be closed starting December 1st.
We DO plan on maintaining the feeders, as well as the banding project, this winter. The feeders will be moved to their previous location below the building (or somewhere nearby) sometime this week. Raymond, Fran, Dave, me, and the rest of the crew will sort out a plan to keep the feeders filled on a regular basis. Obviously the banding situation will be different (and likely much colder) but we will still be out there on Sundays. I will post a banding Schedule here and on the Facebook page before the end of the week.
In summary, we are thankful that Gene is okay and for all his continued support of these amazing birds. The Sandia Rosy-Finches have been an icon of Albuquerque birding for over a decade now and we are thankful for the all the support from volunteers, visitors, and the Crest House staff during that time. We are very sad to hear that the Crest House will be closed, and things will surely be different this year, but the birds will still be there, the banders will still be there, and the birders will still be there too!
The first day of banding is scheduled for this Sunday (the 18th). The Crest will still be open at this time so banding will be as normal.