Raptor Chronicles
By Colorado's Oldest Raptor Sanctuary
Happy Holidays to All!

As I reflect upon the last year, I feel both astonished and grateful at all we accomplished in 2022. Climbing out of the Covid morass, we resumed many of our normal programs, and brought our birds to new venues as well.

The summer months were as busy with the spring, with summer camps, several programs across the "road" at Barr Lake State Park, and an unexpected storm that damaged the west fencing on our buteo pen. Our members instantly rose to the challenge and we are deeply appreciative of the contributions which allowed an excellent and sturdy repair before Halloween.

Despite many reasons for gratitude over the last year, the specter of Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues to cast a shadow over many areas of the country, including here in Colorado. We haven't accepted any donations of wild birds (waterfowl) for food in ten months, and we are now limiting our tour numbers and requiring foot baths to keep our birds safe.

As 2022 draws to a close, I wish you and your families a joyous and healthy holiday. Enjoy the warmth and beauty of the season, and be sure to venture outside for some natural winter splendor. I'm going to wait a few days, as it's -5F and dropping while I write this evening.~Anne Price, President
How Legends Are Made
The Birds of Prey World Cup 2023 gave us all a "run" for our money! Three days of action were packed into two this year, thanks to the ten inches of snow that fell on Friday, December 2nd. The legendary Talon Crew and Beaver Creek Mountain staff managed to re-groom the course, getting everything in top shape for the Downhill on Saturday, and by then, our female bald eagle was more than ready to greet the crowds at the Red Tail Finish stadium.

"Uncle E", our favorite racing entertainer, dropped by the VIP area to chat with Anne, as we watched the intense competition among the world's best male alpine skiers. It snowed AGAIN during the awards on Saturday, but we had sunny skies and sunglasses for the Super G on Sunday. Congratulations to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway, and Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, who placed first and second on both days, respectively. Kudos as well to Canadian skier James Crawford who rounded out the podium for the Downhill, and to Alexis Pinturault of France who placed third in the Super G.

Twenty-five years ago, when we helped inaugurate the Birds of Prey course by flying a hawk down to the finish line, we had no idea of the adventures that lay in store for us. Now, the world comes to Beaver Creek for the most challenging downhill in North America. It's been a privilege sharing our raptors with the crowds and athletes alike, helping to showcase Colorado's incredible winter beauty.

Thank you once again to the Vail Valley Foundation, FIS, Beaver Creek Mountain, and the Talon Crew!
The Black and White Hawk-Eagle
Searching for the black and white hawk-eagle...

You can either take a boat taxi south from Puerto Vallarta for two hours to get to the little beach village of Yelapa, or come down a dirt road carved out of the ochre soil that winds its way through a tropical forest. Down the volcanic ridges is the habitat of one of Mexico's most exotic raptors. The trip takes about four hours and the winding road is full of tight turns with no guardrails to protect a vehicle from slipping over the steep edges. After two recent hurricanes, the road has been recently restored as the rains made it completely impassible. Our guide, Fernando Romo, had recently seen both the black and white hawk-eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus) and the black hawk-eagle (Spizaetus tryannus) soaring over the steep ridges that delineate the southern border of Yelapa.

It was here that he was hoping to show us both hawk-eagles again. We failed to see them at the highest points of the ridge line where we first stopped to look for them. It was probably too early yet and the thermal currents weren't real active, so we slowly made our way down the twisting road and about 300 feet above the beach floor as we rounded a sharp turn, this beauty was perched in the tree. Despite flying off, the raptor did not venture far. In fact, it circled around and returned to look at the stunned humans. It showed a curiosity about us on the ground while perched 60-75 feet above in the canopy. Initially, it looked like a goshawk with that very long tail...an exotic goshawk for sure and a stunning find!~Peter Reshetniak, reporting from Mexico
Lots of Other Ways to Help!
A Special Anniversary Offer on All Three of Our Books!
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Reviews
“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. Click here!
Broad-winged hawk earrings
Presenting the newest Jabebo raptor earrings! Kevin and Anne's latest collaboration is the broad-winged hawk, the smallest member of the Buteo genus in North America. Weighing as few as 10 ounces, these hardy hawks migrate all the way to South America each year, and are common in the eastern half of the US.

Get ready for a new release soon in early 2023: the northern goshawk!
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.
WISH LIST
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!
Raptor Chronicles
Previous Issues Archived Here
in case you missed any issues, we currently have 42 issues dating back to January 2020!
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. Click here to order.

If you don't wish to use PayPal, then please click here.
Be Sure to Visit Us at the International Sportsmen's Expo
We're very excited to be returning to the International Sportsmen's Exposition next month, back at the traditional January timeframe. This huge show, with something for everyone, runs January 12-15. More information on the show hours, location and admission is here. We hope to see many of our Colorado members in person!
Pygmy Titan in the Tree Tops
The ferruginous pygmy owl is one of the smallest owls that is active in daylight. Peter has filmed him/her working a grove of trees in a few acre area at Rancho Primavera near El Tuito, Mexico. If you are lucky with your timing, you can find them high up in the canopy of trees sitting on horizontal branches, hiding in the shadows of the leaves and branches above them.

What gave this bird's position away, was his long tail pointing down from the branch. He was found at 11AM, waiting quietly until an opportunity presented itself. Their prey consists of a wide variety of small birds, big bugs, small rodents and small reptiles. They are explosive fliers, for a bird weighing about 4.5 ounces, and found not only in Mexico, but North America as well.

Rancho Primavera is an old cattle ranch which has been converted to a bird sanctuary and offers excellent birding adventures. If you'd like more information, e-mail Peter at PR@usaref.org or check them out here.
Join the 56 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.
Elegant Dining
The omnivorous elegant trogan is another example of a bird of prey that is not a raptor, and another example of why we always differentiate true raptors that hunt with their feet and talons, as opposed to a bird of prey like this species which captures its prey with its beak. As you can see, the trogan caught a luscious green caterpillar, but the caterpillar was clinging onto a tiny stick which prevented the trogan from swallowing the juicy snack until it shook the stick loose. Once that happened, down went the meal. Any raptor would have simply held the caterpillar with its foot on the branch and used its beak to slice and dice. The elegant trogan also consumes fruit as well as hunting a wide variety of insects and even small reptiles. They sit motionless in the shadows up in the canopy and then dart out to capture their unsuspecting victims. The red and green color scheme really reminds me of Christmas.~ Peter Reshetniak, Director, reporting from Rancho Primavera near El Tuito in the state of Jalisco, Mexico
In addition to the USA, our Facebook followers are found in the following countries:
United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Pakistan, Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, Australia and France!
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 automatic monthly pledges...thank you!!
REF Staff: Anne Price, President & Curator; Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects; Savannah Grout, Mews Manager
Docents & Volunteers: Phil Carter, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Zachary Nastri, Peggy Plaus, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner and Ann Stanz
Docents in Training: Kristy Bortz and Karen Ogle