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January Visit to NM (1 Viewer)


New member
Hi all, I'm a birder from the UK and will be birding for a week in NM in early January. There are a couple of species that I would like to connect with, I was hoping to get some ideas of where I could possibly see Pinyon Jay, Gray Jay and Clark's Nutcracker. I won't be going to Sante Fe.
I'll be doing Sandia Crest and also staying at both Socorro and "Truth and Consequences".

Is it possible to get the Jays and Nutcracker near any of these sites?

Any help much appreciated.


Well-known member

Gray Jay is very unlikely at sandia crest. The best spot is Santa Fe (only an hours drive from ABQ) - last time I was there I had a couple of blue (dusky) grouse at the aspen picnic area on the way up to the peak. I have had clarks nutcracker at sandia crest but it is not easy there even using its call - far more likely at Santa Fe. Pinyon Jay is not an easy bird as it erratic near albuquerque; perhaps the best shot (near where you will be staying) is 'the box' near Socorro. There is an easy spot for it about 2 hrs nw of abq. By the way sandia crest is supposed to be good for possibly all 3 rosy finches in winter. If you are going to Truth and Consequences, I highly reccomend going into Arizona to cave creek near portal (You can cover distances quite quickly in NM).

Feel free to PM me for details of any specialty birds, I might be able to help.

below is a link to the AZ NM 'Bird List'.



Well-known member
rosy finch update: I saw brown capped and grey crowned at sandia crest saturday; I could only spend 1/2 an hour as I got stuck behind a pregnant toad of a driver on the way up and had a flight to catch. -therefore worth visiting early morning to avoid the overcautious drivers.

Also there is a great spot for scaled quail, crissals thrasher and 3 sparrows on the way to sandia crest from albuquerque (just off rt 40 on tramway) - its the spot listed for black chinned sparrow in the NM bird finding guide. Pinyon Jay is also possible in this area though I haven't identified it in the sandias.

Bosque Bill

Active member
There is a semi-reliable spot for Piñon jays only about 10 miles north of Albuquerque, go about 3 miles east of I-25 on Highway 165 toward Placitas. There is a dirt road leading south off into National Forest Land with a parking area less than a quarter mile off the highway. I can dig out specific details if you want to email me.
Last edited:

graham catley

Well-known member
we are planning a trip from UK in November; looking at driving from Houston to NM seems to be about 900 miles! but may take in some sites on the way; any advice appreciated




NM Woofer
Your trip to New Mexico

we are planning a trip from UK in November; looking at driving from Houston to NM seems to be about 900 miles! but may take in some sites on the way; any advice appreciated



Two spots that I would recommend are Aransas NWR in Texas and Bosque del Apache in NM. You can Google either for lots of good info. I think both would fit nicely into your Houston/Albuquerque trip. I'm a novice birder but if you visit the websites for these loctions you will be able to decide if they fit into your plans. RIght smack in the middle of Albuquerque is the Rio Grande Nature Center... a small but enjoyable spot. Enjoy your trip to New Mexico!

As a native New Mexican, I am quite in love with my state and would be happy to share any other travel info that I could offer. [email protected].
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