Raptor Chronicles
Year End Message From the President
As 2020 draws to a close, it is difficult to add more words to what has been a tumultuous, terrifying and simply heartbreaking year for most of the world. Even if people have not personally lost a loved one, chances are they've lost their job, their social circle, or the ability to do the work and activities which give their lives meaning and pleasure. It's no secret that many, if not most non-profits are struggling to keep their doors open and fulfill their missions. Volunteers and member/supporters, always key to success, have now become absolutely critical in the day-to-day survival of many charities.

If you are able, I ask you to consider a year-end donation to support our work and the care of our wonderful raptors. As we celebrate the holidays and huddle together on these cold winter nights, I am uplifted by the courage and optimism of friends and colleagues, and have taken to heart the words of Margaret Renkl:

That’s the great promise of the solstice: Like steadfast friends who see us through everything a cold world can throw our way, the solstice reminds us...that light is coming. It tells us that darkness is never here to stay.”

Anne Price: President
First Virtual Collaboration With CPW
Enjoy the third video in our series with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, featuring the smallest "buteo" or soaring hawk in the United States, the broad-winged hawk. Males of this diminutive species can weigh as little as ten ounces! Our East Coast members may recognize this familiar face, but here in Colorado, we usually only see them waving to us as they fly through our state during the spring and fall migrations.
The Great Grey Dilemma
Wildlife photographers spend endless days and months pursuing opportunities to get themselves into a position for close-up pictures of their favorite subjects. With self-focusing cameras and massive lenses, almost anyone with the time and money can travel to a location where their subjects will predictably appear. A good guide doesn't hurt, but luck is still a major component. As you can see, Lady Luck certainly favored a group of photographers on this particular day. What happens, however, when your subject gets too close?

Photographer Scott Dere was on an owl photography outing when an owl unexpectedly landed on his Canon 600mm f/4L IS III, blending in strangely well with the camouflaged lens. Dere had set out to photograph some great gray owls and along the way, teamed up with three other photographers, including Beaumon Day and Olympus Explorer Brooke Bartleson.

“In a minute or two, I found one perched and wolf-whistled to the three others,” recounts Dere to PetaPixel. “It was an incredible moment when the owl decided to land on my lens! It sent tingles down my spine for hours. After a moment, the owl repositioned on my lens, and I was able to pivot it slightly to pose for an image. Thankfully Beau has the reflexes and sense to take the photograph that I will cherish forever.”

After this, the owl landed on Brooke’s head, startling her. Full story here, and thanks to Betty Frost from Seattle for the tip!
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 Again!
A New Look...click on the image below
Help Our Book Take Flight: Order Today!

Orders Here! Or you may order on Amazon. Peek Inside
Read more about the author and the illustrator.
Support us by shopping at AmazonSmile 
Look 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!
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!
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!
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!
Waking Up to The Endogenous Growth Theory
As Romer explained to his Nobel audience on a lovely winter evening in Stockholm, Endogenous Growth Theory is the beautiful explanation of why, “on balance, it is better to have more people” rather than fewer. Limiting our population is not a progressive idea. The most sophisticated, cross-disciplinary science emerging from academia appears to tell us that the ancient Mosaic wisdom of the Judeo/Christian tradition, to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” is exactly the correct progressive prescription for the continuation of human well-being. And failing to do this is what the end of the world actually looks like.”

Gates Foundation research along with numerous other published findings point to the fallacies of current popular thinking. Take the time to read where our cognitive decline is taking us. Click here.
Join the 31 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.
Jeff Wang's Winter Raptor Delights
Among many the many unusual and hard-to-spot raptors that grace Colorado during the winter months, none seem to "blend in with the locals" as well as the rough-legged hawk. This buteo (the same genus as the broad-winged hawk at the top of this newsletter) is fairly close in size to the ubiquitous red-tailed hawk, but with feet barely half the size of the red-tail. Rough-legged hawks inhabit the Arctic Circle during the breeding season, where they hunt lemmings, voles, mice, young hares, and birds such as ptarmigan. They have fully-feathered tarsi (lower legs) which help keep them warm during the cool spring. When fall arrives, these hawks spill out from the north and migrate south to Scotland, Scandinavia, northern Russia and the US. While more common in the west, "roughies" will range as far east as the Great Lakes. The bird above is an adult female.
The two brown birds above and below, are "dark morph" rough-legged hawks. These are birds with a high amount of melanin pigment in their feathers, and it's a fairly common phenomenon in buteos. Some scientists estimate that up to 10% of all the roughies found in North America may be dark-morph birds. Note the deep, chocolate-brown patagium (the leading edge of the underside of the wing) and the dark head, breast and belly. It can be extremely hard to distinguish the sexes in dark-morph roughies...see below!
Rough-legged hawks are also one of the few raptors species in the US with color difference, as well as a size difference, between the sexes. This is a "typical" morph male. He has a very speckled belly and breast, compared to the adult female plumage. Males also have a subterminal thinner band on the tail, followed by a wider band, which most females lack. Sharp-eyed viewers may notice that this hawk has broken a tail feather on the right side of his tail, perhaps while catching a rodent on the ground. Thanks once again Jeff!
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 (PT)
Docents: Elise Bales, Morgan Brantmeyer, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Bernhard Hafner, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner, Ann Stanz