Raptor Chronicles
Message from the President
'Tis the season for...EAGLES! Can't say enough about these wonderful, winged dragons! February begins peak bald eagle viewing season in many part of the country, including Denver. Both golden and bald eagles also begin re-establishing pair bonds and rebuilding nests at this time of year. Although roughly the same size, America's two eagle species could not be more different in temperament and lifestyles.

We're also excited to introduce the first in a series of videos in partnership with the Highlands Ranch Community Association Backcountry Wilderness Area, documenting a long-established pair of golden eagles on the southwestern edge of greater metro Denver. This community has embraced the wildlife living on the outskirts of their human dwellings, to include elk, wild turkeys, and even black bears!

If you're local, be sure to mark your calendars for March 24-27 and join us at the International Sportsmen's Expo at the Colorado Convention Center. This event, postponed from its usual early January date, promises to be a welcome reunion of old friends and new members after the Covid cancellation in 2021. We hope to see many of you there!

Stay warm, and be sure to get out there and find those eagles when the snow stops flying!~Anne Price, President
Another Golden Girl Passes
The world was saddened to learn of the passing of actress Betty White on December 3, 2021. Many organizations around the world dedicated to the welfare of animals received donations in her memory on January 17, on what would have been her 100th birthday. We are pleased to have been one of them, but we also had our own special connection to Ms. White, who visited Denver around 1999. She loved ALL animals, and was delighted to meet our own "golden girl" who was around eighteen years old at the time. A cold and snowy morning at a local TV station's backyard did little to dampen that dazzling smile of hers...we'll miss you, Betty!
Wildcat Mountain Golden Eagles Back Again
Welcome to the 2022 nesting season on Wildcat Mountain! This year in collaboration with HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area we’re documenting a beloved pair of golden eagles as they work to rebuild their nest and hopefully raise some eaglets. Stay tuned for intimate and exciting glimpses into the challenging and beautiful life of our wild eagle neighbors.

This is the 12th consecutive year this golden eagle pair has nested on Wildcat Mountain. Courtship for the eagle pair begins in December and the trails close January 1st to prevent human disturbances from impacting their nesting process and to comply with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Laws. They typically begin incubating by late February or early March which is the marker to close the Douglas County trail directly below the nest. Appropriate trail closures are in place through August if the nest is successful.
For information on trail closures, including maps and lots of background on this nest, just click.
Lots of Other Ways to Help!
A Special Anniversary Offer on All Three of Our Books!
Celebrate our 41st anniversary by purchasing our
three books at this special price!
Our Online Store is Open!
A new look...click on the image below.
Help Our Book Take Flight:
Order Today!
Winner of the 2020 Skipping Stones Honor Award for Nature and Ecology Books

“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

Orders Here! Or you may order on Amazon. Peek Inside
Read more about the author and the illustrator.
Support us by shopping at AmazonSmile 
Listen for us the first Saturday of the month at
12:00 Noon for five minutes of "raptorous"
delight with the BirdTalk Guys,
Scott & David Menough. Click here!
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!

Previous Issue,
in Case You Missed it!
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. Just click to order.

If you don't wish to use PayPal, then click here.
Construction Conflict at Commerce City Nest Site
Beginning January 7, 2022 and going back to November 17, 2021 a disturbing situation was captured at the Commerce City eagle nest site which we've been monitoring for six years. Last November, Peter came back to the site only to discover a massive construction project well under way. After a quick inspection it was very obvious the construction crew was easily within the state and federal exclusion borders for an active bald eagle nest.

Peter contacted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and filed his report. He has not received any follow up information from the federal Agent in Charge as to whether or not the construction crew has received permission to violate the buffer zone around the nest. As of January 7 the project looks like it is still in progress, although with snow on the ground no construction crew was observed. The bald eagle pair was very visible, with one eagle sitting near each of the nests they had constructed over the past six years. Despite their previous nest failures, it is clear that they're back and preparing for the upcoming nesting season.

Now they have another major challenge. Will the considerable noise and activity of the construction project disturb them and force them to abandon this site? We'll be monitoring the activity and waiting for feedback from the USFWS Agent in Charge as to the legality of this clear breach of normal eagle protection measures.
Only a Few Left!
This beautiful five-year study of our female bald eagle was photographed and composited by Marilyn Stevens. It measures 16″ x 20″ and is printed on fine photo paper with a “luster” finish. The print will fit many ready-made frames. To our knowledge this is the only available photographic sequence of an immature bald eagle showing off the plumage changes as she matures. Remember, both male and female look identical except for their size, but the male is about 30% smaller. Our foil seal is attached to the bottom of each print. (Not shown in the image above). This is a limited offer and the price includes shipping anywhere in the continental U.S.A.
This limited offer is only available here. $40 for one print or $60 for two.
Pick it up at our office for only $25!
Spa Day
On Monday January 31st, it reached 58 degrees in Denver, but to borrow a line from a very famous book and TV series, "winter is coming!" Snow and VERY cold temps are on their way, so we rushed to give every bird outside fresh water. We've had more than DOUBLE the normal amount of snow fall in Denver in January, and have been struggling to keep up with removing the stuff from our mews. Providing fresh water to our raptors also involves our own made-up winter Olympics sport: the ice chunk discus throw. Thank goodness we have Colorado's legendary 300-ish days of sunshine per year to help melt what we cannot shovel. Regardless of snow on the ground from the last storm, our female bald eagle NEVER misses a chance to bathe!
Jeff's New Year's Gifts
Colorado is a phenomenal place for winter raptor watching. We have Harlan's hawks, merlins, and this year, a very large number of rough-legged hawks close into the suburbs, including a lovely adult female who's decided to make our facility part of her wintering territory.
Above, what Anne considers to be the loveliest falcon in the US: an adult, male, prairie race merlin. The medieval English name for a male merlin is "jack", and the prairie race, formerly known as the "Richardson's merlin", is the largest and palest of the three North American subspecies or races. This handsome devil has bluish-gray wing and back feathers the color of a fine piece of Wedgwood. Weighing about 175g or 6.1 oz, these zippy falcons visit the western US in the fall and winter. Jacks tend to specialize in smaller birds such as sparrows, while female prairie merlins can catch birds the size of a pigeon. So the next time someone tells you excitedly that they spotted a "Jack Richardson's" while out birding, you'll know they're talking about a falcon, not a cocktail!
No, this is not a golden eagle. This is a dark-morph ferruginous hawk, the largest soaring hawk or "buteo" in the United States. The bright yellow cere (skin connecting the beak to the face) and the fully-feathered tarsi (lower legs) can be confusing when viewed from a distance. However, the lack of amber-golden feathers on the crown, and the two-toned color under the wings indicate that this is a ferruginous hawk. A big female can weight up to 4.5 pounds, while a male golden eagle weighs around 7 pounds. Usually these hawks are very white on the breast and belly, with iron-rusty color on the legs, wings and back. All morphs have a very large "gape" to their mouth, which allows them to swallow huge chunks of food, and cool off during long, hot summers on the wide-open prairie.
A bit of raptor yoga! A good wing and leg stretch before take off is always a wise choice, don't you think?
Thanks to Jeff Wang for the wonderful photos!
Join the 49 Families Supporting Our Raptor Sanctuary
Help Us Reach 100 Supporting Families!
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 monthly pledges automatically...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
Docent In Training: Kristy Bortz