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 the first lots in Phase II, which I'm calling Hawk's Landing at Birds of a Feather Community. As of May, 2020 there are a total of 22 lots in Phase II, and 18 lots in Phase I, making a total of 40 lots in Birds of a Feather's LGBTQ community.

There are a few new lots still available in Phase II, as well as some re-sale lots available in both phases, so still plenty of choices for your future home site.

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!

Kelly & Anne

Kelly and Anne As “women of a certain age”, our dreams of the future began to include how we want to spend our golden years. In 2019, while conducting a late night web crawl for LGBTQ retirement options, we stumbled upon the Birds of a Feather website. We quickly realized that in Birds, Bonnie had created the type of active living community that we sought: nature based, nearby arts and culture, close proximity to good medical facilities and airports, and most importantly, a safe space to “age in place”. In December 2019, we arranged a tour with Bonnie and put Hawk’s Landing Lot 19 "under contract" on the very same day.

We currently live in Ventura County, California and are both criminal justice professors at separate colleges. Anne began her professional career as an urban park ranger and police academy instructor before transitioning into full time teaching. Kelly began her professional career as an actress, which naturally transitioned into joining the FBI, then the Federal Public Defender’s Office, while concurrently establishing private practices as both a marriage and family therapist (MFT) and a private investigator. She also suffers from under-achiever syndrome.

We love traveling, Broadway shows, dogs (all animals, really), hiking, nature, reading, and are both nerdy about various topics, notably musicals and crime. The latter, a byproduct of our careers. We view life as a wonderful adventure and approach it with an attitude of curiosity, compassion, flexibility, and above all, a sense of humor. We are deeply grateful to be a part of Birds and Bonnie’s vision of a way of living that embodies a sense of shared community. We’re hoping to begin building in the next couple of years.

Lorraine & Val

We had fallen in love with Santa Fe a few years back but only discovered Birds of a Feather this year (2019) when googling LGBTQ retirement communities. We flew in to see the property, met Bonnie, and felt this well planned, rural and wooded community was exactly right for us, We signed a contract to purchase our lot (22 of Hawk's Landing) the same day and are are delighted to begin our journey towards building a home and joining the Birds of a Feather Community.

We currently live on our horse ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains of California where Val is a Clinical Psychologist and the CEO of Stand InBalance, which provides equine assisted psychotherapy. Lorraine is a clinical psychologist, and previously a registered nurse. She has been the Associate Clinical Director of a Mental Health Agency and specializes in teaching and supervising couple’s work.

Gaye & Gail

Gaye and Gail Deciding where to live so we can age in place is a big deal. We considered all kinds of options, but nothing felt right. There were so many considerations…lifestyle, community, culture, cost, weather, traffic, services, etc. We discovered the Birds of a Feather website in 2019 and arranged to meet Bonnie and tour the community. We never expected to find a place that met all of our retirement criteria. The proximity to Santa Fe is phenomenal as is the natural beauty of the Birds of a Feather development and beautiful homes going up. But it was the idea of a supportive community and companionship for our aging years that drove our decision. Or, perhaps it was when we learned of the daily group dog walks! After 2 visits and plenty of discernment, we decided to buy a lot.

We currently live in a semi-rural area of Colorado so the transition to living in New Mexico will be nearly seamless. We can still enjoy mountains, fabulous sunsets, arts, culture, music, golf, hiking, biking, skiing and more. Gail is retired from a dual career in aerospace engineering and rehabilitating lame horses. Gaye works at home for a company involved in wildlands conservation, and has had, for years, a mysterious vision of living in a pine forest, which was a bit bewildering until recently!

We were blown away by the gracious reception when we got to meet some of our neighbors a few weeks ago. We plan to build our new home in 2-3 years. We can’t stop talking about this new adventure.

Tania & Martha

We got here early. As we expected, the wide metal gate was closed. After a brief struggle with the button pad, the gate sloooowly yawned open onto a well-maintained country road. We entered prudently, but soon realized that we were forever changed once we crossed that threshold. By the end of the day, we had decided upon a lot at the far north end of BoaF. We have endearingly named it the “Upper Hectare.” Hawks, magpies, turkeys, coyotes, elk and deer wander the Ponderosa and Pinon pine-covered property. Wide open contours of forested hills, tall flat mesas, and expansive cloud-sculpted skies grace the panoramic views. Best of all, living in this Eden, is a colony of colorful men and women ready to take us into their nesting bevy. Circumstances prevent us from building on Hawk’s Landing lot 12 at this moment, but we look forward to joining BoaF in a few years. In the meantime, we participate in community activities whenever we are in town.

Both of us will leave behind lives as college professors. Tania is an avid gardener, naturalist, and committed educator. Martha is a hardy hiker and pursues interests in photography and music. Together we enjoy distant travels, playtime with our pets, and quiet time at home. Both of us come from small rural areas and find the open space of Pecos irresistible.

Sharon

What is it like
to arrive at a place,
a space,
where you have never been before,
and yet, to know
in that moment
when gates open and time stops,
that you are home?
I call on kindred spirits
animal, plant, mineral
to help me build
and grow in this place
to define a space
that is inclusive
that embraces truth,
change, and letting go.
There is no place else
I’d rather be.
Right here.
Right now.
Satyagraha.*
*Satyagraha = The force that is generated through adherence to truth. (M. Gandhi)

Lara & Jeannette

Jeannette and LaraLong before Jeannette met Lara, she had discovered Birds of a Feather and dreamed of retiring after a long career in one of the most beautiful places in the United States, fully free to be herself among fellow LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors. Years before Lara met Jeannette, she had her sights on retirement and searched the internet for an LGBTQ+ community, where she has always felt most at ease. She found Birds of a Feather. It only took about 8 years of being partners then spouses for us to realize that we had the same vision for what seemed liked years away. And here we are, taking steps towards our dream so that our retirement home will be ready when we are. 

  We currently live and work in Denver, Colorado. Lara is a Spatial Ecologist and works for the Federal Government. After many years as a Professor of Medicine, Jeannette now has her own community based primary care and geriatric practice. We have a love of the outdoors and are avid hikers, with our pups Koi and Madonna. Our senior feline princess monitors all of our activities. We also spend our time socializing with friends, traveling, reading, baking, gardening, and birding. We are looking forward to being a part of the Birds Community and contributing to Bonnie’s vision.

Patti

PattiI had researched various retirement communities throughout the United States for the past couple of years and I visited 2 other communities. As I researched and spoke with my children and friends, a magnet continuously drew me to Birds. I am not a "beach" person and I enjoy the seasons, having spent my life in the Northeast. Every time I visited or looked at different places, I found myself comparing the community to Birds, even before I visited.

I finally took the leap and visited in August 2020. My daughter and I first traveled around Santa Fe before heading out to Birds. What a wonderful city.

Amid the pandemic, Bonnie used her creativity and ingenuity to help keep us safe during our tour of BoaF by using separate cars and walkie talkies to converse. That helped make our visit meaningful despite not being able to meet other residents of the community. When my daughter and I drove around Birds, I felt such a sense of peaceful tranquility that is difficult to explain or imagine. As soon as we got to Lot 14 at Hawks Landing, we looked at each other and via "walkie talkie" asked Bonnie if we could get out of our car and look around.

That was it. I placed a deposit on Lot 14 and within a couple of months, I purchased it!

My hope is to begin building in early spring of 2021. A member of the community has already reached out and she has been remarkably helpful as there is lots to consider. I frequently look at pictures of Lot 14 and look forward to living among like minded folks.

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!

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 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.

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.