Meet your Neighbors

We are pleased to introduce you to the current & future residents of Birds of a Feather Community through photos and testimonials about what they love about Birds of a Feather's "magical" LGBT community. We invite you to meet us in person and tour our homes and community. We are singles and couples... all LGBT'S. And, of course, our friends & families are welcome, too.

References to "BoaF" are an abbreviation for Birds of a Feather Community in all of the following testimonials.

Bonnie

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Community began more than twenty years ago as my vision to create a special and “magical” community for LGBT's to have a safe place to live, play and belong.

Although finding the right location was extremely important, I knew that the property and infrastructure would only be the framework for the community... it would be the people that would make up the heart and soul of the community!

In 1999, I found an amazing 160-acre pine-forested property just a short drive from Santa Fe and surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and National Forest Service property. After a very long process of getting subdivision approvals from State and County agencies and installing infrastructure improvements, I began lot sales in 2004 and sold all eighteen lots in Phase I by 2006. In 2012, I continued the growth of our community by offering Phase II lots for sale, which I'm calling Hawk's Landing at Birds of a Feather Community. 

There is currently only one lot left in the first development phase of Hawk's Landing (Lot 2).  The second development phase consists of seven lots (12 - 18) ranging in size from 1/2 to 2+ acres. As of September 2017, there are only 2 lots remaining (17 and 18).

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! It has been a long journey to see my dream become a reality, but worth every minute of my time to see the community “come to life” with the many wonderful people that have become a part of “our flock”. As you read the testimonials from some of our current and future residents, you will discover that they too, were initially drawn to Birds of a Feather because of the community concept and our magnificent property and location, but ended up being totally taken in by the warm and caring people... their neighbors with whom they have developed friendships to last a lifetime!

Gretchen & Lindsey

Gretchen & Lindsey Love Birds of a Feather We are longtime Central Oregon residents, where the climate is quite similar to the mountains that are home to BoaF, with juniper (a cousin of the pinon), sage brush and ponderosa pines. So when we started thinking about retirement, we wanted someplace familiar but with the community that BoaF offers. When Gretchen found Bonnie's website we started emailing back and forth and within a week decided we had to see it for ourselves, so we booked a flight to New Mexico. It was a cold and snowy day in February when we visited the property, but Bonnie was so patient and helpful and answered all of our questions that we ended up buying the (little) lot 2 on the spot! Unfortunately, we still have some time before we can retire but we are chomping at the bit to get going on construction and make BoaF our new home!

Fay & Jenny

We are on our way!! From our initial visit in April, 2015 to check out the area and Birds of a Feather, to now...the end of 2015...the Universe has placed us in a position to physically join the BoaF community. We have left western PA and and sold our alpaca farm. Our journey is being made in a motorhome with two dogs and a cat as we slowly make our way West to New Mexico. When we finally decided to retire for a second time and relocate, we knew this would be our last home and wanted it to be someplace beautiful, inviting, and in a place where we could continue to be actively engaged in the community. We purchased our beautiful lot on our first visit and then returned in August to meet other owners. We were so taken with the caring and inclusiveness of all the people we met! As events unfolded to move our plans forward, our excitement for the beginning of our next adventure has grown. We look forward to becoming a part of this dynamic BoaF community and enjoying New Mexico sunshine, culture, and new friends.

Allen

Allen Loves Birds of a Feather "For many years I've been searching to settle into an environment that had natural beauty, but proximal to culture; had a degree of community planning, but enough flexibility for creative home design; lot sizes for privacy, but near enough to like-minded neighbors... which I found at Hawk's Landing as part of the expansion of Birds of a Feather. It's an exciting life-phase to not only build a personal vision, but one that can mingle into the hamlet, and also become part of the eco-community."

Julia

juliaIt’s been about 10 years since I stumbled upon Bonnie’s Birds of a Feather website, which I found to be fascinating!  I immediately joined the newsletter distribution in order to keep tabs on this tremendous idea nestled within this fabulous location!

I wasn’t yet looking for retirement property in earnest, but the idea of finding a community with like-minded, caring individuals in the serene setting of the “Land of Enchantment” was just too good to pass up.

Fast forward 10 years and my situation has changed and I was in a position to start making plans on what the next chapter of my life was going to look like. I contacted Bonnie and arranged to visit Birds of a Feather in September of 2015.  Needless to say,.. they had me at “Hello”!  The beauty, the development (planned and actual), and especially the feeling of community had me hooked!  I purchased my lot during that first visit and plan to build my forever home over the next couple of years!

I have already experienced the welcoming assistance from many of the community members and plan to visit again soon to network within the community and explore my options for building my dream home!

Mary & Susan

We can hardly believe we are here and getting ready to start building our house in the spring of 2017. Last July, we revisited the Birds website after trying retirement living in a condo in Massachusetts and deciding we wanted our own house and space again. We saw that Hawk’s Landing had been opened, and Lot 1 looked perfect for us. We sold our condo, and in late November we were on our way to New Mexico and Birds.

Seeing our lot in person for the first time was thrilling. It is so beautiful. Being welcomed to Birds by everyone and being instantly included as members of the community has confirmed for us that we made the right decision. We are looking forward to building our house and living at Birds.

Cameron & Pete

Sometimes life hands you a big surprise when you least expect it…and that’s what happened to Cameron and me. We had briefly discussed relocating to the southwest, and New Mexico seemed like the logical location, because it offers so many opportunities for photography, hiking, and learning about history. After spending a lot of time researching condos, I stumbled onto Birds of a Feather’s website. The more we investigated the area and the tremendous amount of work Bonnie had put in to create this incredible community, we knew we had to look no further.

Living in a wilderness community with like-minded individuals checked off one of the boxes on our bucket list. Having neighbors to share social gatherings with and to mature together was a huge attraction.

It only took one visit to Birds of a Feather in 2015, to know this was where we wanted to spend our “golden years.” We have laid out our master plan to start building our home in three years…can’t wait.

Di and Tammy

tammy and diWe first visited Santa Fe in 1990. Not only was that year the beginning of our story, it was the beginning of our love affair with New Mexico and the Southwest. It was not until 2004 that we entertained the notion of moving here for our retirement. We visited Birds then, and loved the idea, but it wasn’t until 2014 that we purchased our lot.

We are looking forward to breaking ground this fall. As many here have mentioned, this place feels like home to us. Include the appeal of living in a community of like minded people, the beautiful landscape, the opportunity for outdoor activities, and the opportunity to build the home of our dreams and it seems too good to be true! We will be part timers for a while until we are both retired and can’t wait to become permanent residents. Thanks Bonnie, for creating a magnificent community in a magnificent place!

Susan

SusanMy first visit to northern New Mexico and the Pecos area occurred when I was a child. My grandparents loved the mountains and one of my grandfather's favorite fishing spots was the Pecos River. A life-long Texan, through the years I occasionally visited the Land of Enchantment. I have always been drawn to the Santa Fe area: the climate, the mountains, the more centered yet casual style of living. In 2003 a "perfect" job in Taos, New Mexico, landed in my lap. I packed up my belongings, my two cats, and left Texas to become a permanent New Mexican. It was around 2004 when I first learned of Birds of a Feather. I was intrigued and idly thought that maybe I should go check it out. The plan to do so never reached fruition and the "perfect" job turned out to be not so perfect. In 2005 I returned to Houston, Texas but I knew I would return to New Mexico.

At some point I signed up for the newsletter and with great interest, I followed the development of the community. The years passed and somehow the idea of "retirement" started to become less of a concept and more of a reality. I considered other areas of the country. I have a sister and other family on the East coast and two very good friends in Eureka Springs. The more I looked, though, the more sure I was that my heart and soul belonged in New Mexico. I had planned a vacation in Santa Fe for the summer of 2016. I contacted Bonnie and arranged for a tour. I knew that my heart would tell me if being at BOAF was a fit or not. I thought that I would spend maybe an hour and see the area and would get better insight. Well, I ended up being there most of the day. I was drawn to the beauty of the land, the careful attention to detail within the community lay-out, the history of the area and Bonnie's commitment to her vision. We drove around and I met some of the other residents. Meeting all of them was like seeing old friends. I wrote a check that day for one of the lots in Hawks Landing. The beauty of the lot (#14) is breath-taking. I envision myself there all the time! I love the outdoors, hiking, and cycling. I love the Santa Fe opera and tailgating while watching the sun set. The time table is up to the universe, but I look forward to becoming a resident Bird!

GO PACK, GO!

Michael

I had the good fortune of first learning about Birds of a Feather, when my friend, Tim, googled “gay retirement communities” and he forwarded the link to the BoaF website to me. The Maya Angelou quote on the home page spoke to me immediately. “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

I was born in San Francisco, grew up in California and went to UC Berkeley. I worked in food service, went to massage school in Seattle and became a state-licensed practitioner. Concurrently, I became a companion/caregiver/CNA. I knew of friends who had moved to communities of like-minded “Friends” such as Quakers, and found myself envious and feeling like I, too, wanted to live amongst like-minded LGBT folks. I have felt somewhat alienated at times in my life, and I felt like at this point, at age 64, I wouldn’t mind a bit of a “bubble”, perhaps to feel more at ease and more connected to people. I was thrilled to learn that an LGBT community called Birds of a Feather existed in sunny Northern New Mexico!

My 98+ year old mother recently passed away, so I’m now venturing forward with the next chapter of my life and seeking folk of a similar ilk both politically and emotionally... as well as those who share my concern for environmental and humanitarian issues.

Although, I bought my lot in Hawk’s Landing sight unseen, friends have told me how beautiful the area is and I thought that the photos of my lot and BoaF looked aesthetically beautiful and the community seemed to be extremely well-thought out. So, that is what initially attracted me to BoaF. I’m so looking forward to visiting in the near future and building the home of my dreams in a safe place among like-minded folks!

Steve & Greg

The best laid plans…

When rehabbing and redesigning our house outside of Chicago to be elder-friendly and ready for retirement back in 2008, who could have guessed that beginning to search for a vacation property would translate into early retirement and relocation to a new home at Birds of a Feather!?

Climate, weather and natural beauty put the Santa Fe region on our list of possibilities. An LGBT community where we wouldn’t be at risk of the discrimination that can crop-up in some mainstream retirement/resort communities (and a community that survived the recession when so many didn’t) certainly got our attention. Then we discovered that the property was only 10 miles off the route we were about to drive on the way to a vacation in Phoenix. Sometimes you just have to accept that providence/fate/destiny are trying to tell you something!

Our first visit to Birds of a Feather was a 2-hour drive by…literally! Bonnie gave us the 50 cent tour and it was obvious that this formidable woman had created something extraordinary. Her passion for the development of the community was infectious. After that first visit we spent several months discussing the possibilities, analyzing the finances and beginning to design a house just to see if the whole plan was even possible. Pictures of the community and surrounding area began to pepper our fridge and soon became screen savers and desktops on home and work computers. Work and family pressures all seemed to conspire to increase the appeal and urgency of early retirement and building our own slice of tranquility at BoaF.

Almost one year later in 2015, we determined that we couldn’t risk losing our opportunity to be part of this community through inaction and we reached out to Bonnie and again hit the road for a visit. A family emergency while en route to Pecos left us with only a few hours on the ground, but we made an offer on our beautiful lot and had the good fortune to meet several of our future neighbors. Now, just short of another year later, we’re about to visit Pecos to interview builders and continue getting to know our new neighbors/friends/family (and fervently hoping we get to spend more than 4 hours there!).

The best laid plans are still not written in stone and there are so many aspects of life where we are offered little choice. We’re so grateful that becoming part of the Flock was a choice we were able to make.

Helen & Nancy

Helen and Nancy We discovered Birds of a Feather when we were deciding what we would do after Nancy retired in mid-2015. We lived at the time in Baltimore and had both been city/suburban people pretty much our whole lives. Helen grew up in Northern Virginia, Nancy in the East San Francisco Bay area, where her family lives now.

Knowing that we weren’t going to stay in Baltimore, we needed to figure out what we wanted in a new place considering housing and cost of living climate, culture, access to scenic places to explore, opportunities for new adventure and a new network of friends and neighbors. Nancy was particularly interested in moving to the West, given her roots and family in the Bay Area and many trips throughout the West. One possibility was to move to Northern Virginia to Helen’s house, but a possibility arose where we could live in the San Francisco. maybe permanently or at least temporarily while we figured out what place would be best

Then however Nancy found Birds online. Helen was thrilled at the idea of moving to New Mexico. We had been here separately over the years and together several times — it was one of our favorite places, anywhere. We immediately came to see Birds, met Bonnie, decided to buy a lot and build, but then changed out minds when we saw the Casita for sale on Wild Wings Circle. It had everything we wanted, including a lovely interpretation of the Southwest pueblo style. Gradually meeting the neighbors, we were even more convinced that Birds was where we belonged.

We often think how lucky we are to be living here, in a real community in a place we love. Looking out on the meadow in front of our casita at dawn, at sunset, on a starry night … these moments are what we wanted. The wildlife right outside our door is a constant delight. Having Santa Fe —one of our favorite cities — just down the road makes it that much better. It was also a wonderful bonus for us, having the Pecos River and its excellent fly fishing just minutes away.

Helen contiues to work as a freelancer for the Chicago Tribune doing informational graphics on science, medicine and technology. When we get more settled, Helen will return to her art (portraits and landscapes in soft pastel) and Nancy will likely explore gardening again — with a totally new world of plants and climate, so very different from gardens in the East. Nancy, who was a Professor of Genetics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will continue to be involved in molecular biology, working on the 3rd edition of a textbook with five females authors and a new book on mobile DNA.

Marj & Mac

Mac and Marj After almost 20 years of living in South Carolina, we decided that it was time to make plans for the next phase of our lives together. Very early in our relationship, we had lived in Colorado for 10 years and fell in love with the West. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we moved back East to our home state of Pennsylvania for a couple of years, then landed in South Carolina.

Last summer, we drove to Wyoming to deliver some furniture to Marj’s sister. We returned home via the Colorado-New Mexico-Texas-Oklahoma, etc route. We realized how much we missed the West and decided to start planning for our return. We did some research and planned a trip to Salt Lake City over Thanksgiving to look around and also spend it with Marj’s sister and husband. SLC was not for us for a variety of reasons. Colorado is too busy these days, so we started looking at New Mexico.

Several years ago, Mac came upon the Birds of a Feather web site, but the timing wasn’t right. Flash forward to a rainy Friday in April this year when Mac came upon BOAF again. We sent an email to Bonnie and planned to have a phone call on the next Saturday to discuss what options were available. Due to a miscommunication, Bonnie called us on the following day and the three of us talked for an hour or more. Needless to say, we were smitten. Marj was scheduled for spine surgery in 10 days, but we wanted to see the property in person prior to her surgery. We knew that it would be several weeks before she would be able to tolerate flying. After much discussion and consulting with friends, it was decided that Mac would head to NM and check things out. She left the following Thursday, met with Bonnie on Friday and signed the contract on Sunday. It was a whirl wind trip, but thanks to technology (Facetime and Skype) Marj was involved as much as if she were there. (and Mac got to enjoy several awesome New Mexican green chile meals, etc).

We purchased Lot 8 in Hawks Landing at the end of May. Our intention is to be residents within the next 2-3 years. There are lots of variables that need to happen before we move, but the planning has already started. Marj’s parents lived with us for 17 of the last 19 years until their passing. We had a large house built on 2.5 acres for all of us to live in. Now with just the two of us and Paddy, our Mini Schnauzer, it is overwhelmingly huge. We are planning a big yard sale soon and Marj is constantly filling bins with items that will be going with us. We can’t wait to join our sisters and brothers at BOAF and begin a new chapter in our lives.

Renee & Becky

Becky & Renee Love Birds of a Feather From our first glance at the website for Birds of a Feather, we thought it looked like everything we were wanting in a retirement location. Once we visited and saw it in person, we were convinced.

The setting is spectacular: sunshine, blue sky, fresh air, mountains, pinion pines, and while all of that is what initially drew us here, it’s the people that make it truly special. Every new neighbor we met felt like an old friend. We had several “six degrees of separation” moments telling us it really is a small world. The community is genuine, warm and welcoming, and we feel so lucky to have landed here.

We were also struck by how beautiful everyone’s home was, and how they were built considering both the residents and the natural landscape features of their property. We are very excited about building our EcoNest at BoaF. We wanted to build as green as we could afford, and our architect, Paula Baker-Laporte, has been so creative and great to work with. Our home will take every advantage of the views that our property has to offer. It is truly a dream home in the making, and we can't wait to break ground!

Nina & Ruth

Ruth & Nina Love Birds of a Feather Hello from Nina and Ruth in Maryland. We are so excited to be planning our new home at Birds. We have been working with a Taos architect for over a year now to plan the perfect zero-energy home for our retirement years. We love our lot with the lush terrain and mountain view, and we can’t wait to break ground in 2017. Relocating from the East Coast to New Mexico is indeed an enchanting journey for us. But it wasn’t just the location that attracted us to Birds. From our first visit, we fell in love with Bonnie's vision of building community as well as with each of the high-energy folks who had already come on board. We have felt like an integral part of this nurturing community from the beginning, and look forward to contributing to it in the years to come.

(Click images below to zoom)

Mary

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Moving to Birds of a Feather Community was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

It is amazing how one person's vision has turned into an incredible reality of a beautiful place to live filled with wonderful people......
I love being here!

Ellen

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! I’ve been coming to the Birds of a Feather property since 2004 – before lots were for sale. I fell in love with the land then and I’ve grown to love it more and more. The community we are building is fun-loving, caring, and dedicated to creating a place where everyone can live in a safe and loving environment where differences are celebrated and talents are shared. We celebrate together, work together, and share good times and bad. It is a long time dream come true and everyday I wake up and am grateful for the blessing of living here and having the opportunity to share my life with loving and caring people.

Michael J. Chavez
David E. Duran

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Our journey into retirement at BOAF has been an incredible experience. Who would have thought we would surround ourselves by some of the most wonderful people we have ever met? To say that we've become a family doesn't quite capture our close relationship. But there are no other words to describe it. While our natural families live in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, we don't play golf with them as often as our BOAF family. We don't celebrate almost every weekend or holidays with them like we do our BOAF family. We don't take nature hikes or eat home-made ice cream or share wine or have snowball fights like we do our BOAF family. When David and I first visited the BOAF website, we read something about a magical place. If there is a term to describe retirement at BOAF, in every sense imaginable it is a "magical place."

Debbie & Tori

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! “We are finally home” is the phrase that came to both Debbie and me when we moved to Birds of a Feather Community. We were searching for a place where we could be ourselves, make lasting friendships, feel like family and grow old with dignity and we found it here. The nature is beautiful beyond words, the people are the same. The community in and outside of BOAF is welcoming and we feel a part of the whole. Life at

BOAF in a word…PERFECT!

Candie & Becky

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! When we first saw Birds of a Feather, we thought it was one of the most beautiful places on earth to live. The landscape was breathtaking. Now that we've built our home, we know the true beauty of Birds of a Feather Community is the people who live here. We've not only built our home, but friendships for life.

Lauren & Helen

Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Birds of a Feather Meet Your Neighbors! Living at Birds has enriched our lives in so many ways. We have shared good times that have created so many wonderful memories for us. We are grateful for discovering this wonderful place where we can grow old with a group of caring and loving people.