Raptor Chronicles
By Colorado's Oldest Raptor Sanctuary
Message from the President

The official start of fall is less than a month away, but as far as I'm concerned, it started on August 26th, when I saw my first sharp-shinned hawk in the late afternoon, not far from my house. The tiny accipiter was soaring in a tight circle, hardly larger than a blue jay. I'm fairly certain it was a bird of the year, a juvenile who had just made its way down from the mountains, possibly to spend the fall and winter prowling backyard bird feeders.

I feel like I just wrote a note singing the praises of the glorious season that is autumn, but of course it's been a full, busy year. For raptorphiles, fall is a miraculous time and the chance to spot a bird who is off course, a bit early, or a bit late. The migrations of many bird species continue to be somewhat of a mystery, so I hope you enjoy the video pieces featuring two raptor "stars" of the Americas.

Our visit to Cheley Camps of Colorado, detailed near the end of this edition, was a very memorable experience, supported by Dr. Sharon Minzer's Memorial gift. She loved the outdoors and loved that we brought our birds into classrooms for children to experience.

Sometimes, it's as simple as that.~Anne Price, President
On the Beach
Peter was vacationing in the Pacific Northwest in the Olympic National Park earlier this month, and sent this report:

"I had just walked three miles south of Kalaloch Creek, past Beach Two and Beach One. After heading further south, I decided the camera and tripod were getting too heavy and I hadn't seen much that was worth filming. Returning back to just south of Beach Two, I caught the quick movement of something up in the trees on the sandy, 50-foot high bluffs which form the eastern side of the tidal flats of Olympic National Park. I didn't have my binocs handy, and at first I thought of a pigeon as I had seen them earlier in the area. However, as I focused the zoom on the Canon, this beauty materialized.

I spent the next twenty minutes totally captivated by this young peregrine. The afternoon sun made the big falcon stand out from the background as I recorded in 4K, and listened as crows began to harass the bird. Then, as I watched the falcon move for the second time, it lifted up, then dropped down to the beach heading straight for me. I actually had to jump out of the way, hitting my tripod, as the bird would have slapped my face. While I stood there with my jaw disengaged in complete disbelief, I watched the peregrine vanish south. I then looked up into the viewfinder and saw the two boys on the sand. One had buried the other, and they were oblivious of the falcon that had just flown over them. I was just as oblivious of them up until that point.

The two boys and I were the only ones on the beach as the falcon became a gray shadow on the bluffs. An eerie feeling crept over me and the writing of Nevil Shute suddenly materialized. Some of you may remember the movie that was made from his most popularized book, but that's for another time..."
Nefarious Intentions
Another short piece from Peter's time on the Olympic Peninsula at Kalaloch Creek. We believe the bald eagle to be a female, and she's scavenging an immature California gull. As always, the crows are waiting for leftovers!
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“A unique book aimed at introducing young and beginning birders to the world of raptors. . . . Creative for certain! Helpful, too.”–Jim Williams, Wingnut Blog, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A very cool new book.”–Doc Kirby, On The Bookshelf

“Bird enthusiasts of all ages will find this book full of educational fun.”–Skipping Stones

“Beautiful, educational coloring book.”–Katie L.Burke, American Scientist

“All the essays were well-written and provided lots of easy-to-understand information, which allows the reader to identify many different types of raptors. I also really enjoyed the further reading at the back of the book about the kestrel box. The instructions were clear-cut, and the activity was easy and fun to do.”–Hannah, age thirteen, Kids’ BookBuzz

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Listen for us the first Saturday of the month at
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delight with the BirdTalk Guys,
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At long last, our friends at Jabebo have given raptorphiles what we want: the most ubiquitous hawk working with humans around the world! The new Harris' hawk design took a bit longer than expected; getting the dark eyes to stand out against dark plumage turned out to be harder than Anne or Kevin expected, but we're thrilled with the results! Get yours here!
Driving For Wildlife
Help us put another 1,000 eagles on the streets of our great state. Qualified members of REF are entitled to display them on their cars. Put Colorado's first and best environmental plates on YOUR vehicle!
One of our members sent us this picture of his Cobra with our license plates. Anyone else out there with a classic car wearing our eagle? Send us your image!
Special thanks to The Kroenke Group & THF Realty for extending our lease and keeping the fee at zero dollars though 2023! Support like this ensures we will make it through these challenging times.

Thanks to our past and future partners, THF Prairie Center Development, L.L.C., THF Prairie Center Investors, L.L.C. and the City of Brighton, for creating the best intersection in Colorado just a minute or two north of our headquarters!

As the new villages grow at Prairie Center, so do the streets with cool names! Check out some of the newest intersections as of October 2021.
We're looking for a gently-used, 20-25 foot RV (Class C) that would serve as a mobile office for traveling programs around Colorado and farther away. Or maybe you have an SUV or pickup truck you would like to donate? We can put it to good use! Please give our office a call if you have a vehicle you think we could use!
(303) 680-8500
Thank you!

in case you missed it!

The Diel Migration

The largest migration by number and mass in the world. It occurs every 24 hours and most people know nothing about it. It is also one of the largest examples of carbon dioxide sequestering about which little is known. Read more about the DVM.
Limited Edition Eagle Pin
An exclusive creation for us, this fine pewter pin has been hand painted to let everyone know what you think of America's living national symbol. Available in a very limited edition, while they last. This beautiful pin measures 1 1/8" by 1 1/2". Two clasps keep it firmly attached. $50 each includes shipping. Discounts for multiple purchases. Click here to order.

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Swainson's Hawks Preparing for Departure
For the second segment of the video we created for Raptor Day at the Denver Botanic Gardens back in July, we thought the Swainson's hawk would be the perfect choice.

Peter captured this lovely hawk practicing a bit of "self care", carefully preening his/her feathers, stretching each wing and leg, and otherwise enjoying the nice summer weather. Anne often jokes that the entire goal of a Swainson's is to never see snow, as they leave Colorado before the first really hard frost (usually!) in late September and return in the middle of April. This year, their plan didn't work out so well, as the Denver area experienced up to twelve inches of snow on May 21st. Random, late snowfalls not withstanding, this is the most common hawk seen in the Metro area during the summer.

This slightly-smaller cousin of the red-tailed hawk enjoys two springs and summers, wintering in Argentina and hunting insects, reptiles and small mammals. Additionally, their longer, pointed wings indicate that like the broad-winged hawk, they are a long-distance, hemispheric migrant.
A Request for Help
With colleagues and friends in Russia and Ukraine this tragedy is very difficult to understand. This is Putin's war, and the old Slavic tribal animosities never linger far below the surface when irrational fear and anger rule. These two charities are very active feeding and providing medical supplies for my Ukrainian brothers and sisters in their homeland and in those bordering countries that have taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees. If you can help, please do. Дуже дякую! (Thank you very much!)
~Peter Reshetniak, Founder
Children's Hospital Burn Camp Visit
We were privileged to visit Cheley Camps of Colorado to present a surprise raptor program for the kids and counselors participating in "Burn Camp", a week-long journey of bonding and exploration for children who are survivors of severe burns.

Situated just south of Estes Park in Colorado's beautiful high country, children from around the country had a chance to meet our bald eagle, short-eared owl, Swainson's hawk and Eurasian kestrel for an hour-long program right before dinner. The weather was perfect, the questions and comments were very insightful, and these wonderful 8-12 year olds, along with their older peer counselors, had a very memorable experience.

This program was underwritten by the Dr. Sharon Minzer Memorial. Sharon was a life-long student of nature, birds and especially raptors. Thanks to Tim Shuetz of Children's Hospital of Colorado for making all the arrangements, and hanging onto our coloring book!
Dillon Delight
As we wrap up our summer appearances, we once again enjoyed the perfect weather and enthusiastic audience at the Dillon Amphitheater on July 31st for our annual evening program. No osprey made an appearance this year, however we're very grateful to audience member Elaine Collins for sending us this stunning and beautifully artistic portrait of our female bald eagle! Elaine calls the image, Head and Talons.

Thank you to Matt and Dustin with the Town of Dillon!
Join the 55 Families Supporting Our Raptor Sanctuary
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Have you signed up for the King Soopers Community Rewards Program yet? Do you have a Loyalty Card and digital account? Just visit https://www.kingsoopers.com/o/store-services/community-rewards , log in and enroll to have REF receive donated funds from King Soopers and Kroger! We'd love to increase the number of families supporting us...please share with your friends and family!

OUR COMMUNITY REWARDS NUMBER IS TF405. Simply log into your account, look for "Community Rewards" on the left hand side, and enter TF405. Our name will appear, and you can link your card to REF. You save on groceries, earn fuel points, and we'll receive a quarterly donation from King Soopers.
Automatic Monthly Donations: Thanks to everyone who has set up a monthly donation via PayPal. We have people from both coasts, a few states in the middle, and in Colorado contributing automatic monthly pledges...thank you!!
REF Staff: Anne Price, President & Curator; Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects; Savannah Grout, Mews Manager
Docents & Volunteers: Elise Bales, Phil Carter, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Bernhard Hafner, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner, Ann Stanz
Docents in Training: Kristy Bortz and Karen Ogle