Raptor Chronicles
Ides of March Blizzard Survived
From March 14th to 15th a blizzard roared across Colorado and several other western states. Our security cameras captured it all. The first priority upon arriving at our facility was to check all the enclosures to see if any of the birds were in a critical situation. The next step was to clear a pathway around each enclosure so the birds can move about easily. The feeding areas were also cleared as well. The snow was coming in so hard that Peter had to make multiple passes through almost all the enclosures to ensure our birds could get around. The northern enclosures housing our two male eagles and our female bald eagle got the least amount of snow, while the ones on the south end got the most. While Peter shoveled, docent Bernie prepared food and delivered it. The spring snow stuck to all the vertical and horizontal surfaces, which made Bernie's job that much harder trying to keep the food visible and accessible.

Fortunately, we did not lose power during the storm so our inside birds were in very good shape. Bernie's truck had to be dug out of a drift, and Peter ended up being stranded at the office the night of the 14th. Thanks to Bernie, Peter, Anne, and all of our docent staff who worked for the rest of the week to clear snow and keep our feathered team safe and fed!
Charlotte Beatson: Eagle Scout!
With perfect timing for Women’s History Month, we were thrilled to present our signature Eagle Scout Court of Honor program for our very first FEMALE Eagle Scout. Congratulations to Charlotte Beatson, one of the very first among the 2021 group of young women who have met the requirements, completed their projects and are now being awarded the highest rank in Scouts BSA. It was gratifying to be able to speak to the accomplishments of women, both past and present, and be surrounded by young women who are destined for great futures.

Charlotte’s younger brother Alex was awarded his Eagle rank in September 2020. The Scouting tradition runs deep in the Beatson family…congratulations once again to Charlotte, Alex, Christine and Anselm!
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 
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!
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!
Our New 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.
A New Print for 20201
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. Only 12 left!

This limited offer is only available here. $40 for one print or $60 for two.
Pick it up at our office for only $25!
Join the 36 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.
The Secret Drinking Rituals of Our Screech Owls
Many of our enclosures have small cameras to help us monitor the behavior of our birds along with the current weather conditions. Our two male eastern screech owls (gray and red morphs) are quite old and we monitor them very closely. The cameras we use (Arlo) are triggered by motion, so there is a bit of a lag between when the owls enter the frame and when the camera starts recording. We can also tune in and see live activity. Peter spends a lot of time combing through the library of stored video clips to create videos that are useful as management and informational tools. He has noticed as he reviews hundreds of videos, that both screech owls twirl and spin when they step into the water dish. It seems to be an unusual ritual, so if anyone in our audience has noticed the same behavior in screeches or other raptors, please let us know.
Eagles & Elephants
Chemical forensic work has solved the decades-old mystery of why bald eagles and other US wildlife have been dying of a severe neurodegenerative disease. The scientists have determined that the culprit is a neurotoxin produced by cynanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, which grow on invasive aquatic plants. For the whole story, just click. Thanks to John Graves & Michael Merson for the talon tip on this story!
COVID Masks Killing Wildlife
If the above report isn't eye-opening enough about unintended consequences, this one may be very much easier to witness in your own day-to-day lives. Billions of face masks are going into the waste stream, and technically these masks are considered "medical waste". However, they aren't being treated like medical waste, which means that a certain percentage of these masks are spreading disease of one sort or another. As this report shows, the masks are killing wildlife by entanglement and ingestion. The masks are also showing up in nests, which means the inhabitants of the nest may become vectors of whatever the mask is contaminated with.
Jeff Wang's Northern Harriers
Ah, the lovely raptor Formerly Known As The Marsh Hawk! Officially now known as the northern harrier, Circus cyaneus, this species is also found throughout the Europe and the United Kingdom, where it's known as the hen harrier. These light, agile, long and lean raptors have a slight facial disk like an owl, which helps them hear prey in long prairie and marsh grasses. They are also one of the few North American raptors that have color difference as well as a size difference between males and females.
Males are a lovely pale gray color above, and both sexes have yellow eyes as adults. Note the distinct white rump, or the base of the long tail where it attaches to the body. This is an excellent field mark if the bird is flying away from you.
Jeff photographed this adult male which had just captured a robin. Harriers often fly just a few feet above the ground, quartering back and forth, looking down to both see and hear their prey. Sometimes they just don't look very serious or intimidating, but they are capable of putting on surprising bursts of speed to capture small birds.
Where the males are black and gray, the females are tawny beige and deep brown as adults. Being larger, they will capture prey as large as ducks. The long legs of harriers enable them to wade into wetlands and capture invertebrates, amphibians
and reptiles with ease. Because they are ground nesting birds, the brown and more speckled coloring of the
females enables them to better camouflage from predators.
Anne will be discussing northern harriers with the Avian Amigos, Dave and Scott Menough, on Saturday, April 10th at 12:00 Noon. Be sure to tune into BirdTalk on 710AM KNUS!
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: 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