Raptor Chronicles
As Colorado and the rest of the country begin to re-open businesses, and attempt to resume life under the "new normal', we have been very busy here in Brighton. Our work to repair the annual damage of winter continues, and we have installed our sprinkler system and shade screens to keep our birds as cool as possible in the 100+F degree temps which are just a few weeks away. Our mosquito abatement and deterrent measures are now in place, all in the hopes of preventing the deadly scourge of West Nile virus... see the video of vaccination day below!

The upside to having no programs to attend off-site for three months, means we've been able to spend a bit more time recovering perches, building new ones in some cases, and spiffing up our facility in anticipation of resuming our Small Group Tours, hopefully later this month. Stay tuned for more information about our re-opening!

We've still been busy with programs, all via Facebook Live and Zoom. Thank you again to Mark and Lindsey at the Highlands Ranch Community Association Backcountry Wilderness Area for facilitating five Facebook Live/Nature Chat events since April 3rd. We did another one on May 26th celebrating our national symbol, the bald eagle:
Once again, we need to give a shout out to our incredible docents who have steadfastly assisted us (or just outright made it happen!) in feeding and caring for our birds. Their unwavering support has given Peter and me additional time to plan for the future and prepare for resumption of programs as soon as possible.

Thank you for your donations, large and small, including folks who have kindly sent in gloves, bleach, and other supplies. We are very grateful for the support. If you would like to do a "front porch" drop off of supplies for
our raptors, please call our office at (303) 680-8500 and we'll be happy to let you know what we need, and
how to get it to us. Please remember that under the current CARES Act, your donation is more likely to be
tax-deductible. Click here for more information

Stay safe everyone, and we look forward to seeing our loyal members and friends again soon.~ Anne Price, President

Thanks to the following members and visitors who have donated a total of just over $8,200 since our past two newsletters: B. Birdsall, L Chapman, C. Cunneen, A. Keeth, K. Kondo, L. Crosby, K. Metz, M & J. Smith, Chris Cunneen J Forbes, K. Herron, J. Mastra, B. Elsasser, P. Lautenbach, M Greve, H. Gaines, R. Furlong, T. Weber, K. Waterman, D. Smith, J Kolk, C. Marcellus, S. Harmon, R. Vice, M. Morales, K Orm, J.A. Kettner, E. Bee, S.B. Spiwak, C. Milnick, T.J. Weedin, T. Smith, R. Lynn, S. Livingston, G. Tylee, S. Minzer, G. Secor, S. Anstine, M. Miller, D. Lucas, R. Hoffman, P Esposito, K Cottingham, J. Crowe, S. Peach, J. Thelen, A Haddad, X Li,
D McCubbin, and J. Reisert
If we have missed your name , please let us know so we can correct the listing.

Support us by shopping at  AmazonSmile 

Coloring Contest Winner!
Congratulations to ten-year old Haleigh Bauer of Lincoln Nebraska for being our May Color in Place contest winner. Haleigh's very faithful representation of the cover illustration of the American kestrel won us over big time! She's just finished fourth grade, where her preferred subjects are science, reading and spelling. When not in school, Haleigh enjoys being outside and playing sports...her favorites are basketball, golf and volleyball.

Haleigh's mother works in Colorado periodically and we're hoping the family will come visit us and enjoy their prize of a Small Group Tour of our facility before the end of the summer. We are looking forward to meeting this budding naturalist in person!

Preventing Another Virus Threat
On May 24th we vaccinated all of our birds against West Nile virus. Thanks once again to Dr. Alison Hazel for making the house call and getting the job done in about two hours. We are especially grateful for her assistance this year, as she took some blood from our five-year old female short-eared owl, who has been exhibiting some worrisome symptoms since December, which is definitely not West Nile season. It took several months, two veterinarians and a lab in Ohio to give us the answer: at some point last fall, perhaps around Thanksgiving, our owl contracted West Nile virus. Though we cannot be 100% certain, we believe that years of previous vaccinations provided enough immunity to save her life. She had only minimal symptoms of pinching off feathers and some weight loss, both of which have greatly decreased since March. Thanks also to the staff at Seven Hills Veterinary Hospital who also provided invaluable assistance with medication and labwork!
Sixteen Families are Supporting Us...Please Join Them!
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 double the number of families supporting us by the end of the summer...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.
Color in Place: A Great Contest at Home!
This is an easy way to learn about North America's raptors while you're at home with your kids...and it's a great opportunity to explore the world of raptors and win prizes. Rules here:

The winner from last month is Haleigh Bauer (see her story above!)
Nesting Eagles at the Broadmoor Golf Course in Seattle
May 17th was Peter's first visit in about a month to the Madison Park, Seattle nest located above the eleventh tee of the Broadmoor Golf Course. The best viewing site, for those of you familiar with Madison Park, is the entry to the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary, another great place to view local wildlife. Most of the video is shot from the corner of E. McGilvra and 37th Ave E, which is often the best viewing spot to see the eaglets being fed. As you watch the video, note the size disparity among the babies. This variation happens because raptors lay their eggs over several days, which means the first eaglet to hatch (known as "asynchronous hatching")will have the advantage in size and strength over the subsequent siblings. In lean prey years this ensures that at least one of the eaglets will survive. This pair has successfully fledged three eaglets in past years, so they are clearly doing a good job raising their young. Being a raptor is not easy however, because on average their mortality rate is 70% in the first year. The main cause of mortality during this time period is starvation. Enjoy watching the eaglets being fed a Sunday brunch, and take a moment to visit our website at We Know Raptors.
Shouldn't You Be Driving For Wildlife?
Find out about our Driving For Wildlife Campaign ,
and support us every time you drive!
Please support us by shopping at  AmazonSmile 
A Special Anniversary Offer on all Three of Our Books!
Celebrate our 40th anniversary by purchasing our three books at this special price!
Fall Photo Shoot Announced!
We are excited to announce a full day photo shoot on Saturday, October 10, 2020 . This year we are offering a flying raptor photo shoot in the morning, and a posed photo shoot in the afternoon. You can book one or both sessions depending on your interests. We are offering an "early bird" discount for those who book by June 15th. Click here for booking and additional information. Typically our photo shoots sell out within a month. Don't miss this opportunity!
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
Great Horned Owl Rescue in Brighton
Last month we received a phone call from Shannon, a concerned grandmother and our neighbor just ten minutes north of us in Brighton. She was watching her four-year old granddaughter Ari at her daughter's house, and they had discovered a young great-horned owl in the yard.

The dogs had been barking furiously, and once Shannon spotted the owl, she called our office in the early afternoon. The owl was not yet able to fly, and had been hiding in the shade against the fence. Normally we do not engage in rescue of raptors in distress, and refer any inquiries to a local rehabilitator. However, since Shannon was so close, and constrained by caring for a very active granddaughter and rambunctious dogs desperate to use the yard, we quickly ran north to the suburbs.

Anne brought Senior Docent Jennifer McAllister, who has been with us for twenty-one years and was the perfect assistant to have along. With Jenni manning our capture net and eliminating a possible escape route, Anne was able to grab the owl on the ground. She was fairly certain he was a male, based on the size of his lower legs, known as "tarsi" and his feet. We brought him back to our office and contacted our wonderful Colorado Parks & Wildlife District Wildlife Manager, Serena Rocksund, who then transported the owl to the Birds of Prey Foundation. Normally, a great-horned owl this age should be left on the ground where the parents will attend to it and continue to bring food, however in this case, with no known nest in the area, and confined to a yard with dogs, Shannon did the correct thing by calling us. Thanks again to Shannon and Ari!
Special Limited Offer
This poster is available for a limited time. Printed on heavy poster board, 11.5" x 20"
Special offer details here.
Last September we celebrated three years since the arrival of our wonderful female bald eagle. She arrived as a timid, 18 month old sub-adult, and it's been a privilege, a lot of hard work, and a team effort that's resulted in the beautiful, confident and well-adjusted bird you see in the collage above. Thank you once again to Marilyn Stevens for continuing to take these stunning images of our "girl", now five years old!
Twenty-One Years Ago!
We created Colorado's first environmental license plates back in 1999. Only qualified REF members are permitted to display these on their vehicles. Tell your friends and help us put another 1,000 eagles on the highways and byways of Colorado! Just $24.95 helps spread our message that Coloradoans Respect Wildlife.
Searching for the Perfect Gift?
Raptor-themed gifts for raptor lovers
Gifts Cards Available!

We've had many requests for Gift Cards. Thanks to the folks at Square we are now very happy to make gift cards available to everyone to give to friends, family, and total strangers! Lots of designs for raptorphiles. Currently our gift cards are only available in the electronic versions.
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!
Wish List!
We are looking for a gently-used, 25-foot RV that would serve as a mobile office for traveling programs around Colorado and further away. Or, maybe you have an SUV or pickup truck you would like to donate? We can put them to good use! Please give our office a call if you have a vehicle you think we could use! (303) 680-8500
Thank you!
The Dark Side of Alternative Energy
A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. Never discussed by the GND or Paris Accord sponsors are the questionable and non-transparent labor conditions and loose, or non-existing, environmental regulations at the mining sites around the world for the  products and metals required for renewables . Get the complete look at the real costs of alternative energy schemes.
Using a State Wildlife Area After July 1
Starting July 1, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will require anyone who enters a state wildlife area – like at Perins Peak, Bodo and Haviland Lake – to have a hunting or fishing license, a move intended to help pay for wildlife conservation amid funding shortfalls. More...
Flying Fish By Jeff Wang
It's summer for all intents and purposes, and some of our very favorite summer raptors are back in full force. Unlike the bald eagle, which eats a variety of waterfowl, mammals and shorebirds, as well as fish, the osprey feeds almost exclusively on bony fish, worldwide. They are experts extracting a large, wriggling fish out of the water, and unlike bald eagles, they'll sometimes dive completely under the water to catch their meal.
One foot is no problem for this strong raptor weighing from 49 to 70 ounces, with a
wingspan of up to 6.5 feet.
Larger fish require two feet and eight talons to get under control, and note how the bird always turns the fish to face forward, which makes for better aerodynamics when lumbering out of the water.
Incredibly sharp vision coupled with surprising maneuverability for so large a raptor, enable osprey to quickly snatch fish close to the surface of the water
This remarkable photo shows an osprey with fish in the background, and an American white pelican in the foreground. According to Jeff, the osprey had been harassing pelicans for quite some time, driving them away from its nest. White pelicans are HUGE birds, larger than most US eagles, and with wingspans of up to 9.5 feet!
Burrowing Owls, by George Secor
Another completely-charming, and supremely adapted summer visitor to Colorado is the burrowing owl. Weighing about five ounces, these diminutive owls break all the rules of being an owl, including running around during the day, and sleeping underground (rather than in a tree!) at night. Member and frequent photo shoot participant George Secor has been carefully observing and photographing a very active pair of owls, and he's captured some of their most typical, and popular behavior...
The male standing guard, scanning the prairie for both lunch and potential threats. Note the long legs,
giving him a better view of all he surveys...
...including the sky! One of the problems of being a tiny five ounce owl living on the ground, is that EVERYONE wants to eat you! Being a day-active, or "diurnal" species, burrowing owls are much more observant of other flying animals than other nocturnal owls.
Whoa, there goes lunch on the wing!
In addition to insects, burrowing owls are adept at catching mice, voles, lizards and
nestling prairie songbirds.
"Seriously, THAT'S what you're wearing to the party?"
"Yup."
OK, Anne couldn't resist captioning this photo. Before the young hatch, burrowing owl pairs are often spotted outside the burrow for brief periods of time for the female to get some sun and stretch her legs and wings. The female is on the right, and the male on the left, looking quite satisfied with himself. How can we tell, in a species with very little size dimorphism? Look at the brown spots on the breast and belly of both owls. Because the males spend more time outside the burrow, hunting to feed sometimes up to EIGHT mouths over the course of a summer, his plumage tends to bleach out in the sun more than Mom's, who spends more time underground.
Thank you George!
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!!

(303) 680 8500
Copyright 2020, Raptor Education Foundation, All rights reserved.
Docent & Volunteer Staff : Elise Bales, Morgan Brantmeyer, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Bernhard Hafner, Linda Julia, Kim Kistler, Jennifer McAllister,
Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner, Ann Stanz
Hours of operation:
8:30AM-4:30 M-F.
Hours vary by season; tours are
by appointment only. Please visit
our website.