Raptor Chronicles
Happy Thanksgiving!
This is normally the time of year when we stop and count our blessings. Last year, I was so profoundly grateful for our many supporters and friends who had seen us through the shock of Covid and the cessation of most of our programs. We remain deeply appreciative of the countless ways that folks have contributed to the care of our birds and kept our doors open, of course. However this year, my greatest thanks is for every hand I've been able to squeeze, and every comforting, warm hug and smile which I've enjoyed in person.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all...make sure you all take extra helpings of hugs and smiles!~Anne Price, President
Naval War College Meets REF
On November 16 at Barr Lake State Park, REF Founder Peter Reshetniak had the privilege of presenting a program on golden and bald eagles to a very distinguished group of international visitors from 30 different countries. Members of the Blue Team are attending the US Naval War College. This is a graduate-level professional development program designed for mid-career officers representing navies from around the world, including the USA. Each year, they bring together students from diverse cultures to share their maritime traditions, experiences, and challenges. Upon graduation they earn a Naval War College diploma. A select group will earn a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies. Their graduates return to their navies to continue their successful careers; to date over 130 have become chiefs of service.
During the 45-minute program, Peter focused on the golden or "War Eagle" and the officers followed with a variety of questions. Everyone then went out onto the deck at the Visitor's Center for a group picture along with many individual pictures with REF's 21 year-old male golden eagle.

REF's 42 year-old mission will now be known in Bahrain, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Estonia, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan,Korea, Lithuania, Madagascar, Montenegro, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Vietnam! Last but not least, officers from the US Coast Guard and the US Marine Corps were also present.

As a token of our appreciation for the program's mission and the Navy's dedication to protecting our shores, REF gifted one of our eagle posters of our female bald eagle...scroll down to view. Commander Mark Yehl, Director of the Naval Staff College also presented Peter with the beautiful brass medallion shown below.

Thanks to Michelle Seubert, CPW Manager of Barr Lake State Park for hosting our program
for this very special group of naval officers!
Birds of Prey 2021 Return with a Tribute to Blondie
We are SO excited to announce that we will be returning to Beaver Creek this year, for resumption of the Men's World Cup Alpine Ski Races! The event was held in Europe last year due to Covid, and everyone involved in this huge effort is excited to gather again and witness the very finest downhill ski racers from around the world compete on the Birds of Prey course.

But as the photo from 2013 reminds us, we have one member of our team that won't be around this year. We lost Blondie on April 18th, and her passing has left an indescribable void in our lives, both personal and professional. However, we are so grateful to the Vail Valley Foundation who are going to be doing a video tribute to Blondie on Friday, December 3rd, in advance of the first day of Super G competition. After much discussion with the race organizers, all while taking new Covid protocols into account, we'll be bringing our six-year old female bald eagle to the event. Even though she's larger by weight and wingspan than Blondie was in her later years, she still has some big talons to fill. It goes without saying that "the world" loved Blondie; the top athletes from countries like Austria, Norway and Italy all can claim the golden eagle as a resident. But the races begin each day with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner...Anne is pumping iron and cannot wait to show off our national symbol to the world! Be sure to check out the schedule (and NBC Sports for TV coverage) at Xfinity Birds of Prey.
More of Jeff Wang's Fantastic Raptors

In this edition, we highlight some marvelous photos which Jeff shot at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. Originally established in part to protect wintering bald eagle habitat, it is a marvelous place to spot wintering raptors right in the heart of the Denver metro area. During the heart of winter, some amazing interactions between various species of raptors and other wildlife can be observed throughout the 15,000 acres of short grass prairie habitat.

Both bald and golden eagles are commonly-seen in the winter and can occasionally be seen squabbling over
prairie dogs and other eagle "fast food" such as cottontail rabbits.
The rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus) is a common winter resident in the northern hemisphere, frequenting Europe, Asia and the United States. They breed above the Arctic Circle, nesting on the ground, which is one reason they have have fully-feathered tarsi. Even though they are very similar in size to their close cousin the red-tailed hawk, they have very small feet with short toes designed for catching lemmings, their summer food specialty.
One of the most beautiful raptors which can be observed close to Denver in the winter months is the ferruginous hawk
(Buteo regalis), the largest species of hawk in the US. The brown beauty above is a dark-morph bird, meaning it has extra melanin in the pigment of its feathers. In more typical plumage, this species has rusty gray feathers above, and white belly with various degrees of brownish rusty streaks and stripes. The leg feathers are also very rusty in color, forming a distinctive "V" shape when viewed from underneath.

As you can see, the "ferruge" was minding its own business when a female northern harrier decided she was unhappy with
the presence of the larger raptor. Since the large buteo outweighs the harrier by at least a factor of three, you can see in the final photo that s/he was pretty unconcerned with the marauding harrier!
On the left is a very typical juvenile ferruginous hawk coming in for a landing. These hawks specialize in hunting prairie dogs and are very comfortable on the ground. Like the rough-legged hawk, they too have fully-feathered tarsi and short toes. But the ferruginous hawk has long, powerful legs and feet and is capable of catching larger prey like jackrabbits.

The falcon on the right is the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), another common winter bird. In recent years, we've seen more and more prairie falcons moving into the suburban and urban areas of Denver during the coldest parts of the winter. Cities are warmer than the windy eastern plains, and have plenty of food like pigeons, starlings and sparrows. High-rise buildings often have air conditioning units and other structures on the roof which provide good shelter from the wind on a cold January night!

Thank you again Jeff!
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!
Previous Issue,
in Case You Missed it!
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!
These Owls Can't Hide Anywhere
No cryptic plumage on display with these owls!

Kailia and Caleb Gomer, the grandchildren of former REF Director Robert Koehler, unleased their creative juices and artistic flair on these three owl designs. They are proof-positive that coloring is for ALL ages, and that owls remain some of the most intriguing and inspiring birds on the planet. Thanks to Mom Alison and Grandmother Roxanne for the colorful surprise!
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.
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!
Join the 48 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, 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