American Bald Eagle Foundation
February 2020
Weather in Alaska is often extreme, but Haines has been hit with more inclement weather than usual this winter with record breaking snowfall and intermittent rain. On January 26 th , Haines was hit with 24 inches of snow in 24 hours. While the Foundation was closed to the public that day, staff still needed to get outside and feed birds.

Equipped with snowshoes and shovels, staff made the short journey outside to the aviaries. Once the snow finally stopped and the work week began, the path was cleared to allow easy and safe access to all the aviaries at the Foundation. Paths were dug to each aviary and snow was removed from roofs to prevent structural damage. Despite the snow, the birds were safe, healthy, and well fed. The next day staff spent several hours outside digging a wider path for easier access to the aviaries. Everyone was a little sore the next day, but enjoyed their time getting rid of the mountain of powder.
Diorama Room Interpretation
The Diorama Room at the American Bald Eagle Foundation displays animals from all over the Chilkat Valley from the mountains, to the rivers, to the oceans. In the coming months, Curator of Collections Katie Dickerson, with the help of intern Ali Gustavson, will be updating the interpretation currently in the space.

The new interpretation will detail information about each species in the Diorama Room and follow the cohesive aesthetic that the ABEF has been creating over the past few years. Dickerson applied for and was awarded a grant from the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation to complete the project. When finished, each species will have up to date interpretation that can be easily read and understood by visitors of all ages. The new interpretation will be sturdier and allow staff to remove the wooden posts and ropes which had previously acted as a physical barrier.
Elementary School Program
Program Coordinator Josh Sanko connected with a class in Walcott, Connecticut this month via video call to explain the young lives of bald eagles before and after they leave the nest. First grade teacher Sara Tedesco reached out to the Foundation for the program in preparation for a field trip to a local eagle observation area.

Bald eagles from Alaska and Connecticut live different lives and explaining how two animals of the same species act differently 3,000 miles away was an interesting topic to communicate to the class. After the program, the class had many great questions to learn more about the species they’d be seeing up close in a few weeks. Thank you Sara and her first grade students for inviting the ABEF to their class!
February Enrichment
Enrichment is a high priority at the ABEF. Giving the avian ambassadors the choice to interact with new things in their environment can keep them both mentally and physically stimulated. Training, foraging boxes, as well as sights and sounds are just a few forms of the enrichment employed at the Foundation.

The staff at the ABEF likes to keep up with current events when crafting enrichment. This month, themed enrichment to recognize the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day were created and given to the ambassadors. Warrior, the red-tailed hawk, correctly chose the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49ers in the big game by pouncing on one of the two cardboard helmets he was presented, recreating a natural hunting behavior for his species. On Valentine’s Day, all the birds received heart shaped forage boxes and their own personal Valentine’s. Pictures and videos were posted on the Foundation’s social media pages, click one of the icons at the bottom of the page to check them out!
Species Spotlight:
Gray Wolf ( Canis lupus)
The gray wolf is the largest species in the canine family, weighing between 85 and 150 pounds. They can be found throughout Alaska, with the smaller Alexander Archipelago wolf found in the southeastern part of the state where the ABEF is located. Wolves are omnivores and have a varied diet of large and small mammals, as well as berries, twigs, and grasses.

This species lives in family groups called packs, which normally consist of 5-8 members. The pack will take care of the young, protect the group, and hunt together. When hunting in Alaska, a main source of prey is the moose. Because a wolf is much smaller than a moose, wolves rely on their numbers to chase the animal until it is weaker and they are able to overpower it. The wolves in coastal areas in Alaska take advantage of the salmon spawning seasons by eating fish that wash up on the banks of rivers or taking scraps left by brown bears.
Sponsors, members, and other donors are vital to continuing high quality operations at this facility. When you sponsor an avian ambassador at the ABEF, your donation goes directly towards their continued care while they live and work as educators here. By clicking the BECOME A SPONSOR tab below, you will be taken to our website and be able to read each ambassador's story. If you decide you would like to sponsor one or more birds at the ABEF, simply click on their picture or name and complete the payment process.   113 Haines Highway Haines, AK 99827 907.766.3094