Panoramic View from Sandia Crest
"I love their color and their behavior," he said. "Their pink is like no other pink you've ever seen. And I love how they come down in this huge, swirling flock and just the whole living-on-top of the mountain thing."


Dedicated to ensuring that all qualified students can access a St. Pius education, as a reminder of Ryan's life and the mark he left on our graduation class.
DONATE: CLICK HERE and go to Donate Information;
select Designation

->Other; type in Ryan Beaulieu Class of 2005

Newspaper article about benefit concert in Ryan's memory (December 17, 2010)

For youths between the ages of 13 and 20, or educators of youth, to attend a specific program, camp or course pertaining to the candidate's interest in the natural sciences.
Central New Mexico Audubon Society (CNMAS), a 501(3)(c) nonprofit corporation,  has established an endowment "to give testimony to the living legacy of what Ryan gave to all of us as family, friends and community." Proceeds will provide at least one youth or youth leader scholarship annually. 
VISIT THIS PAGE for more Information, Application Form, and Submission Deadlines

(article in CNMAS Burrowing Owl)

RYAN Scholarship Fund receives major donation
(Click on thumbnail below to read the donor's inspiring letter)

Dean William Rudoy Letter

(Click here for information)
The New Mexico Ornithological Society  now offers two $1000 research grants each year to help support research on New Mexico birds in memory of Ryan Beaulieu. Follow the above link for grant criteria, application procedures and list of past scholarship awardees.
"PEOPLE WONDERED  how I could keep doing this after the accident," Raymond [VanBuskirk] says, fingering a tiny band. "How could I not?" Read about how Raymond is carrying out the Rosy-Finch research..
[Link to Full Text of Albuquerque Journal article with beautiful photos of Raymond and Ryan]

BEAUTIFUL ESSAY  and note written by Nicole VanBuskirk, whose brother Raymond was in the car wreck the night when Ryan was killed. (PDF  file)

High Fives to an "Awesome" Birder!

READ MORE TRIBUTES and remembrances of Ryan Beaulieu by visiting THIS PAGE

ADD YOUR THOUGHTS, photos and recollections of Ryan by sending us an e-mail.

The Rosy-Finches of Sandia Crest, New Mexico

Ryan Beaulieu Portait

Earth’s Beat

By Ryan Beaulieu

Listen! Can you Hear?
The Earth speaks.
It speaks to us through its most precious manifestation,
It speaks through nature.
The wind moves, whispering words of wisdom.
The stream moves, giving toward sounds of peace.
The ocean rolls toward the shore,
Turning every pebble,
Each pebble giving its own story.
Listen, the Earth speaks,
The beat of birds singing, calling.
The sounds of leaves falling, insects chewing,
All worries gone with these sounds,
Every problem solved, every answer found.
All it takes is time, just listen.
Akira Literary Magazine, Legends Never Die, Published by St. Pius X High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2005

August 27, 2006

Ryan D. Beaulieu’s Memorial at Sandia Crest:

Celebrating Ryan's Life

Approximately 160 people attended the memorial dedication program. Guests included Ryan's special friends and family.

Welcome and Readings – Ray Schaedler (Ryan’s Step-dad)

Thanks to all of you who could be here this evening to join Ryan’s family in remembering him after the first year of his death.  This has been an extremely difficult and painful year with the first anniversaries, holidays, and recent memories of his life.  Friends and close acquaintances being with Eileen and the rest of her family are so helpful in the ongoing and ever present grieving process.

A year ago, we gathered to mourn the loss of Ryan.  It was in essence a time of great sadness and sorrow.  Tonight however, in contrast, it is our intention to gather and remember Ryan and try to celebrate his life…..too short but one filled with earthly richness and a blessing to those whose lives he touched.

We thought the best way for Ryan to be with us would be to listen to him.  Hear some of this thoughts and feelings, especially from the last year or so of his life.  He was neat guy.  Sometimes silly and funny, sometimes outrageous and even annoying, yet the sum total was a person who was good, kind, and loved the Earth and most everything that inhabited it.  This is the Ryan that we wish to remember this evening.

Considered certain aspects of his beliefs and behavior that would reflect an overall picture of the Ryan you knew…

Appreciation of Life – Ray read the following

Living was to be to the fullest.  His hyperactivity served him well when he was engaged and interested, e.g. birds….always on the go.  Being in nature and the outdoors was his tonic or elixir.  “Being grounded” as a way of changing some behavior was more punitive in nature than a means of teaching consequences…he was like a caged animal that needed to be outside exploring his world.  Not surprising, he responded better to incentives such as outdoor gear or birding equipment to follow guidelines for assuming family and school responsibilities.

Appreciation of Life :

Readings from Ryan’s Journal

3/17/05 – Yeah, I have never gotten a disappointing gift.  I appreciate all gifts given to me because it really is the fact that you know someone is thinking of you.  In life you can’t always get what you want, so appreciate the things you have and receive.  There is always someone who would appreciate the gift you called disappointing; be happy you were able to receive anything.

4/14/05 – Costa Rica was awesome!!! I need to look in the Thesaurus for another word for “Awesome” because I think I have exhausted it.  I am going to live in the tropics and marry a Costa Rican girl.

4/28/05 – My dearest Sally, I will miss you so much.  I still remember the very day we found you.  Mom took me to the park.  I had the option of taking you home or playing in the park; no questions asked; I took you home. We lived such a happy life together.  You watched me grow and I watched you grow.  You turned into the greatest dog of all times.  You were always there for me when I cried, you always gave me your side to cry on, and you soaked up my tears.  You’re not with me right now to soak up my tears physically, but you’ll always live through my memory.  Sally, I love you so much, you were my dog.  Remember all the fun time we had together, remember them! Sally, I will miss you.  I love you, my dog, Sally.  Love, Ryan “Your Boy”

4/28/05 – So Ivory Billed woodpecker has been rediscovered in Arkansas.  This is the best news I’ve heard in a while.  It is really good news from the news about Sally.  It is helping me recover from her death.  Ivory-billed woodpecker still survives?? Ivory-Billed Woodpecker still survives!!!

11/04/04 – You know I really like living.  I feel that I have a great life.  I really feel for those people who don’t have great lives.  I guess it is because I live in a place that has great values.  You know I really don’t like this journal entry and I definitely don’t want to talk about today’s journal entry because it talked about being famous and I don’t want to be famous, I really am not going to write anymore in this entry.

A Rap Poem Written by Ryan – Read by his Uncle David

I am a person of hope
Don’t like doing dope
Not down with the Pope
I am not a hater
Don’t never want to be a waiter
I’ve always loved them alligators
I am a person of love
Always down with the dove
That comes from above
I am extremely hyper
Don’t’ want to be bit my a viper
Never want to be a sniper
I am a man of the outdoors
Even though I like to make smores
I don’t like it when I have to do chores
I am a ladies man
But I don’t like to tan
And I only sometimes use the frying pan
I am a the end of the rap
You don’t need to make fun of this crap
Unless you can do better.. ohh snap!
Peace, I’m out

Dreams and Aspirations – Read by Ray

Ryan wanted to expand his world through learning and experiencing new things.  Particularly, the environment and of course, the birds.  He talked about being an Environmental Scientist or Engineer….when he wasn’t talking to his Mom about how to met and connect with girls.  His goal was to teach others, to share knowledge that he had or was learning.  From your contact with him, I suspect you would agree he had already begun.

Readings from Ryan’s Journal

Date unknown - I feel like I have found a path in my life.  I want to do some type of ecological research in the third world country.  Where human impact on the environment is minimal.  If that doesn’t work out then I would like to do seabird research on tropical islands.  Right now, I have my research project planned out, at least through the end of college.

The big question to me is what is life?  Why is there life?  There are many different theories but are any correct or are they all wrong.  I believe that one can find the meaning of life through the natural world.  Nature is perfect, and if nature is understood in a spiritual sense, then the meaning of life will be found.  However, could it be there is not meaning to life?  Could life be life and that’s all it is?  Is there even a reason for life?  Is there an afterlife or even a reason for an afterlife?

10/25/04 – If I could be anywhere doing anything right now, I would be in South America doing ecological research on the impacts of humans on the ecosystems of the tropical rain forests.  I would also teach many of the villages and towns different methods of ecologically sound agriculture.  I also want to be a professor of ornithology and ecology.  It is so hard to choose where I would be right now because there are so many things I want to do, such as a reporter for National Geographic.  Right now, though I am going to stick with my Rosy Finch project.  That is enough on my plate right now for the winter.   I can’t even decide on a major for college, so I can’t really answer this question!

Instructions for Life – Read by Ryan’s Godmother Maeve Sanders

The following message given to Ryan when he graduated by his mother – the author is unknown.  The following was found in his papers dated June 2005.  This is a wonderful reflection on how Ryan tried to live his life.

Instructions for Life

Take into account that great love and great achievements
 involve great risk.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Follow the three R’s
Respect for self,
Respect for others, and Responsibility for all your actions
Remember that not getting what you want
is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake,
 take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone every day.
Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life.  Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only
with the current situation.  Don’t bring up the past.
Share knowledge.  It’s a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which
your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Approach love and your passions with reckless abandon.

Relationships – Read by Ray

Relationships were special to Ryan, especially family and friends.  He loved meeting and being with others; persons of like mind were very attractive and attracted to him.  However, he tried to be open and available even to those who weren’t initially on the same wavelength.  Ryan wanted to learn from others and be a friend if able.  He accepted all and I never heard him criticize another even if there was disapproval or hurt involved.

Memorial Notes Written in Remembrance of Ryan

Ryan, your brightened up my day each time you personally said hi to me.  You really made a point of making everyone feel accepted and cared about.  I won’t ever forget you.  Love, Breanna

Ryan – I will always remember what a wonderful soul you were and will never forget to pray for the mountains, the trees, and the birds you loved and with whom you are now.  I love you!  Molly

Ryan - you are a brother and a free thinker.  You live on in the trees, birds, and in me.  Thank you for bettering my life.  Love, Nathan

Ryan - you are such a great person, always in a good mood.  You made anyone having a bad day smile.  We will never forget you!
  God Bless,

My sweet brother, what will I do without you?  We have been through so much and you always managed to see the upside of it all.  I will always remember our adventures and walks looking for rare birds.  You were the closest person I know who loved and gave without wanting anything in return.  I love you so much buddy.
Love your big sis,

Dear Ryan, I will always remember the devotion with which you spoke of our Earth, our environs, and the creatures who share it all with us.  You found your bliss in honoring and observing God’s creation.  We loved your sharing of words and thoughts.  You now enjoy it from a different perspective, which we won’t be able to share for a while, but I’m sure you honor your new environs and hope there is joy in it for you.  It was my honor to work with you for a year.
 Mrs. Julia Huchmala

I will always remember your love for life and I will miss you.  Joe

Ryan, you were an amazing person; we love you and will never forget you.  Thank you for all you gave us. Love, Jenne

Earth & Environment – Read by Ray

Next to family, Ryan’s great love and concern was for the Earth, the Environment and “All creatures, great and small.”  He felt these to be sacred and they should be treated as such.  He significantly changed our family’s vision and perspective in t his regard, e.g. compost, recycle, electricity, water fossil fuels etc., and nearly every type of bug, insect, and animal.

Readings from Ryan’s Journal

09/09/04 - The Chiricahua Mountains are the ultimate place of peace and relaxation.  From all the mountains I have ever visited, a part of me has always stayed there.  From the Chiricahua pines and Arizona Cypress to the Arizona Sycamore.  The Chiricahaus have to be the most beautiful place in America.

    Our Earth so Sacred
        The one giver of life
        The one provider of life
        The one true object of worship
        Our life; their lives, together
        All things come together on Earth
        5 Kingdoms of life living symbiotically
        Why wars? Why fighting? We all live here
        We all live on the same beautiful place.

04/13/04 – I will describe a spruce fir forest.  While hiking through the forest you can feel the soft ground slightly giving under each footstep.  The air feels moist and soft with a slight touch of coolness.  Birds are always singing, woodpeckers always drumming, squirrels always calling and the sound of deer as a branch breaks beneath hoof.  The sight of a low cloud and of fog quickly rolling over and through the trees.  Look, over there, a Blue Grouse with four chicks following quickly behind her.  The sight of the new spring green needles forming on the spruce.  Look at how nature becomes so perfect here.  Smell the needles of the conifers that fill the air.

11/27/04 – This journal entry will not be as long as you like it because it is taking a while to process my thoughts, but I will indeed write for 15 minutes.  The assignment was to find 20 minutes over the Thanksgiving break to sit in silence and contemplate our life.  I choose my spot where I am most comfortable, outdoors in the forest.  I sat for more than 20 minutes just allowing the cool fall breeze to fall on my face.  I allowed my mind to be at peace with my body.  The silence was amazing.  It allowed me to clear my mind and contemplate my life.  Through this exercise, I found that I really enjoy life very much.  This really wasn’t a surprise to know because I already knew that I appreciate the gift of live.  This also made me realize how beautiful the outdoors actually are; Mother Nature if you will.  I realized that I am at peace with everything when I can feel, hear, smell and see the amazing wonders that nature can provide.  This was a great experience!


Eileen (Ryan’s mom) shared her appreciation for all that was done for Ryan’s family; all the love and kindness that have been shown to us during this difficult year.

Dedication of Sculpture – Sharon Fullinghim

Sharon is an acclaimed artist, known for her sculpting talent.  Ironically, she knew Ryan from past “birding” experiences and recognized his passion for nature.  Sharon remarked on the privilege to create a memorial piece to preserve his memory.


On the balcony at the Sandia Crest House, where Ryan and other birders conducted the Rosy Finch research, his memorial sculpture has been placed for friends and visitors to view and remember him.  View the sculpture.

"Ryan will always be remembered, and even though he can no longer be reached out and touched- or seen, his sparks that left their marks in my life will always remain."-- Joan E. Day-Martin

Central New Mexico Audubon Society Tribute

Ryan Beaulieu was a young ornithologist, environmentalist, and conservationist whose love of the earth and all its creatures and his desire to protect them was but one example of his spirit and wisdom beyond his years. He was 17 years old when a tragic accident took his life on August 27, 2005, during a birding trip in eastern New Mexico.

Ryan was a member of the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, New Mexico Ornithologist Society, The American Birding Association, The Rio Grande Nature Center, Rio Grande Bird Research Group, and an originator and principal bander of the Rosy-Finch Research Project at the Sandia Crest.

Ryan’s gift was his love for bird watching and his connection to nature. His life was filled with the joy of exploration and discovery of nature, and this sustains his family, his friends, and the birding community of which he was a part. This scholarship fund was established “to give testimony to the living legacy of what Ryan gave to all of us as family, friends, and community.

Song written by Ryan's Uncle David
on the Second Anniversary of Ryan's Death, August 2007

By David Burke

There you go, leavin it all behind,
Looking down, not even the wild                                           
Bird can reach you

Chase that sun, if you dare my son                 
The earth calls your name, its waiting                 2X

Runnin’ fast, no time to wait,
We all thought we had it figured out,                                     
You believe what you want to believe
We’ll just keep on rockin’

Chase that sun, if you dare my son                                       
The earth calls your name, its waiting                 2X

Not gonna follow, not gonna lead,
But they understand now, thanks
For the time my friend the earth was                                  
Your playground, that led us to a

Path untraveled

Chase that sun, if you dare my son                                         
The earth calls your name, its waiting                 2X

New Mexico son ridin' on a dream,
The earth and the rivers call you                                                
Blazin' a trail, no time to stop
The earth drums out its beat

Chase that sun, if you dare my son                                         
The earth calls your name, it's waiting                 2X

The Last Summer
By Ryan's Brother, Dylan
I look back on it now.
I must stay still very still
To hold the tears at bay
My brother, Ryan, forever smiles

Leaning against the Celtic sea
If I had known then
How short our time would be
I would have photographed
Each momentphotographed
Each memory
To cherish in the album of time

But here it goes
I remember the last summer
I spent with my brother
The summer before he passed
That great summer that wouldn’t last

I sat there on the beach wall
Trying to feel as tall
As the person I admire most
His smile was the
World to me

True and honest and bright
I sat there without a bit of stress
Feeling the cool Irish breeze
Graze across my flesh
In that moment I was in the best place in the world

So calm
So relaxing
And fresh
I will never forget this place

I hope heaven is as good as that day
When I sat there on the beach wall
And I smiled at
Your smile.

Ryan  and Dylan

NEW: Visit this beautiful You Tube tribute to Ryan,
commemorating the 16th anniversary of his tragic death
 prepared by a person who was touched by his life


 MORE TRIBUTES and remembrances of Ryan continue

(Click on Images to enlarge)

Ryan with Brown-capped Rosy-finchNancy Cox of Rio Grande Bird Research, Inc., who with her husband Steve supervised the rosy-finch banding operaton at Sandia Crest, said that upon hearing the news of Ryan's death,

Banded Gray-crowned Rosy-finchthe banders at Rio Grande Nature Center
 "...kissed the birds they banded today, because that is what Ryan always did as he released them."
(Photos by Hans Spiecker, used with permission)

Ryan by Larry Gorbet

Larry Gorbet's favorite photo of Ryan

Ryan by Lee Hopwood

Lee Hopwood captured this study.

Eileen, Dylan and Ryan

Ryan's Mom, Eileen with Ryan and Dylan

Ryan and Ken Schneider

 Ryan with Ken Schneider

Ryan at the CLiffs of Moor

Ryan at the CLiffs of Moor in Ireland, shortly before his death

Raymond, Joan Say Martin and Ryan

Raymond, Joan Day-Martin and Ryan

Ryan and Raymond

Ryan and Raymond in younger days

Ken, Eileen and Mary Lou FEB2006

Ken, Eileen and Mary Lou at Crest House

Wall Sculpture at Crest House

Wall Sculpture at Crest House
Dedicated to Ryan