Meet the 2018 Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt and its Creation Team, by Gail Garber, Executive Director

It's number 25! Yes, that right--our 25th raffle quilt celebrating our 25 years of existence. Technically, our anniversary is one year away, but we will celebrate throughout our 25th year, beginning with this quilt. Back in February 1994, we began by making a raffle quilt. It was pretty primitive, and sadly, we don't have any photos of that quilt, a humble beginning that is now a proud tradition.

Normally, I design the quilt at home during the month of December, but sometimes technology takes an unexpected turn. It this case, the ancient computer I use only to run an equally ancient version of AutoCad, refused to turn--turn on that is! Yikes! Fortunately, my good friend Barb Deshler has a very old version of Illustrator. We worked together with her software on the design--a team effort.

As in the past many years (about 15), a stitching team has convened at my cabin in the Jemez Mountains to stitch all the parts together. This year's team finished the final stitches on Sunday morning, around 11am. Thank you all for your help!

Standing (L-R): Barb Deshler, Chellye Porter, Mary Chappelle and Carol Bauer.
Seated: (L-R): Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Rick Deshler, Allison Schacht, Lizzie Roberts (Elaenia - Garber dog), Sami Sanborn, and Gail Garber (Martial - Garber dog, and his first quilt retreat).

Not shown: Steve Elkins (who took the photo), Donna Barnitz (advance stitching) and Ed Chappelle (who was home with his sick germs).

Tickets are available now at $1 each or 6/$5. We will draw the winning ticket on December 1, 2018. Click here to purchase tickets.
Please join us for a one-day symposium to be held in conjunction with courses offered by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. For information about the basic wildlife rehabilitation and pain and wound management classes, please visit the IWRC page . Registration for these courses is now open!

The one-day symposium will be the introductory meeting for the New Mexico Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Alliance. The morning session will include extensive information about the energy sector's efforts to reduce impacts to wildlife. Industries discussed include wind energy, electric utility, solar, and others. Also included will be regulatory presentations about the 30-year eagle rule, laws, and permitting. Participate in a round-table discussion about wildlife rescue in the state of New Mexico and hear a plethora of presentations about rehabilitation, energy development, partnerships, and collaboration. A meet and greet reception will follow the symposium. We hope to see you there!

Registration for the NMWRA Symposium is $25 until 10 March; $35 after 10 March. Please visit the symposium page for more information and to register for the symposium.

Stay tuned for additional details, agenda, and other updates.

Questions? Contact Gail or Katrina. 

Thanks to Aislinn Maestas for these graphics!
Volunteer Opportunity: Join our Field Studies Team

Hawks Aloft has a number of studies in which you can explore our glorious state in both near and far-flung locales. Surveyor opportunities are offered for the following studies:

  1. Monitoring Nesting Raptor on the Upper Rio Grande Gorge
  2. Monitoring Nesting Raptors in the Middle Rio Grande Valley
  3. Monitor all raptor species in the Rio Grande and Estancia Valleys (driving point count surveys)
  4. Songbird Surveys in the Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera

To learn more about these projects, attend the 2018 training session for more details.

Wednesday, March 7
5:30 p.m.
At the Hawks Aloft Office

Space is limited and pre-registration is required!
Email Katrina to register.
Hawks Aloft Docent Training

Join our dynamic team of people, passionate about indigenous wild birds and conservation! Attend the Hawks Aloft Docent Program Orientation. This annual informative session is required for anyone wishing to volunteer and attend future training sessions.

Volunteers are vital to our mission. We need help in the following areas:

Office Assistance

Attend this informative session to learn all about Hawks Aloft and specific opportunities available to you. You must register by February 10th to reserve your spot. Space is limited! Each participant will receive an informational packet prior to the orientation which will include an agenda, volunteer application, and waiver; all items must be printed out and reviewed before attending the orientation.

Saturday, February 17th
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Bachechi Open Space

Please call 828-9455 to reserve your space, or email Julia .
Adopt-A-Raptor Today!
Help support our non-releasable raptors through our Adopt-a-Raptor program. Hawks Aloft houses and cares for 25 permanently disabled raptors (and one corvid!). Our Avian Ambassadors travel throughout the Southwest, helping us to educate the public about how to help protect these beautiful animals. We provide them with top-quality housing, food, and medical care for their entire lives. It costs an average of $2000/mo. just for their food. When you adopt a raptor, you help feed our birds, make home improvements, and provide veterinary care for one avian ambassador of your choice. Prices range from $35-$100 depending on the species.   

 Click here to Adopt a Raptor  such as Flame, our very tiny Flammulated Owl, photographed here by Larry Rimer. When you adopt a Hawks Aloft raptor you will receive:  

  • A one-year Hawks Aloft membership 
  • An Adoption Certificate 
  • An information sheet about the individual bird you have adopted 
  • Exclusive access to video updates about your bird 
  • Your choice of: 
A professional 8×10 photo of your bird, or  
A stuffed Audubon Bird with realistic vocalizations  
Let's Talk About Trash! by Julia Davis, Education Coordinator

A great lesson I deliver to kids here in Albuquerque focuses on recycling and trash. I have worked one activity into many lessons this year called "Waste Not Want Not." At a training I attended a few years ago at the municipal recycling center here I participated in the activity, which ties in really well with much of our other programming.

I start class by talking about the Loma Colorado Landfill, and how the land is used. A lot of classes do not know what a landfill is. From there we discuss how a landfill works and why they are important. We talk about reduce, reuse, and recycle principles and how long it takes for certain items to break down (disposable baby diapers take 250–500 years to decompose in landfills, by the way). Then we transition into how we can reduce the amount of trash we send to a landfill. 

Next, we sort through a bag of (cleaned!) refuse in small groups. We make piles for paper recycling, plastic recycling, compost, glass, reusable items, and trash. Once the students work on it for about five minutes we come back as a group and work through the different categories, talking about what we can put in the curbside recycling, what cannot go in to it but can still be recycled, and what is 100% trash. By the end of the activity we go from a 5-6 pound bag of garbage that would have all gone to the dump, to a small Tupperware container of garbage. This lesson is a new favorite of mine, because it is practical and children observe it easily at school or in their own home.

The spring education calendar is filling up fast. If you would like to schedule a program like "Waste Not Want Not" or any of our other programs please contact Julia for more details and information about scheduling.

Photo of Lowell Elementary students participating in the activity, courtesy of Ms. Durham
Raptor Handling Class

Raptor Handling classes are the perfect time to hone your raptor handling skills. Get to experience one-on-one time with various educational birds, learn their personal stories, and the biology of their species. Become one of our 'expert' handlers at outreach events.
Raptor Handling Class:
Saturday, March 17
10:00 a.m. - Noon
At the Hawks Aloft Office

Saturday, April 14
10:00 a.m. - Noon
At the Hawks Aloft Office

No walk-ins allowed, as we plan the agenda and birds according to registrations and staff availability. Please call 505-828-9455 to reserve your space in the class, or e-mail Julia
The Year of the Bird, by Maggie Grimason, Senior Editor and Educator

Exactly 100 years ago this year, the founding members of the National Audubon Society, along national policy makers, signed into action the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Often deemed the most important environmental law in place in the United States, under its protection more than 1,000 species of birds are protected from hunting, poaching, interference with eggs and nests, as well as capturing, confining and transporting across state lines.

The law was a godsend for birds like the Snowy Egret, which, after the turn of the century when this law was developed and implemented, had nearly been hunted to extinction for its feathers. While many of the birds that went extinct in preceding years—like the Great Auk and the Passenger Pigeon—were largely hunted for food, the Snowy Egret was being targeted for the purpose of its lovely white plumage, which was added to the most fashionable of women's' hats.

Yet, it seems as though such vehement protection of our migratory birds has, itself, fallen a bit out of fashion lately—in December a memorandum issued by the Interior Department’s Office of the Solicitor stated that the laws outlined in the act only apply to “direct and affirmative, purposeful action,” effectively reducing the potency and all sorts of applications of the law—for example, that businesses that accidentally kill migratory birds are not in violation.

This is just one reason that the Year of the Bird is so necessary and well-timed. For your part, you can sign up here for monthly emails outlining an action you can take to make a difference for birds, and while you’re at it, writing New Mexico’s senators and voicing your support for continued support for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one action you can take today.

Snowy Egret image by David Powell.
Gearing Up for Field Season by Amanda Schluter, Field Technician

For the past few months I have been busy finishing annual reports for 2017 field work. I also have been surveying for songbirds in the Middle Rio Grande Bosque. We have all noticed the influx of montane and other rare birds in the Middle Rio Grande Bosque possibly due to reduced food supply in their high elevation habitats.

February will bring a lot of the prep-work for the field season. It seems that the annual reports are finsihed just in time to turn around and begin field work all over again. With the help of Katrina Hucks and volunteer Larry Rimer, monitoring in the Upper Rio Grande Gorge will be underway this month, weather permitting. It will be interesting to see how the arid winter has impacted nesting raptors in the area.

Katrina and I will also be monitoring for nesting raptors at El Segundo Coal Mine, located north of Grants. Hawks Aloft has conducted surveys at the mine since 2006. Because both Taos and El Segundo have nesting Golden Eagles and Great Horned Owls, monitoring begins early for these species.

If you’re a current volunteer at Hawks Aloft and are interested in volunteering on either of these projects, please email me for more information.

Golden Eagle image by Larry Rimer.
Support Hawks Aloft by Shopping at Smith's!

Many of you have long been Hawks Aloft supporters, and a good number of you have also been longtime Smith’s shoppers. For those not in the know, the grocery chain has a program that provides a small kick-back quarterly to nonprofits when their supporters link their shopper’s cards to the organization.

The company recently changed their policies regarding the program—so even if you’ve signed up in the past, you may need to do it again! The good news is that it is easy to do.

1)      Go to Smith's Foods
2)      Either create an account or sign-in to an existing one
3)      Once logged in, click on “Account Summary” on the left sidebar
4)      From there, scroll down to “Inspiring Donations Program” and click “Enroll”
5)      A searchable list will come up, you can either search for “Hawks Aloft” or enter our ID number for the program, GL430
6)      Shop using your card and now that every time you do so, you help out Hawks Aloft!

We appreciate your ongoing support in this, and so many other capacities!
Guatemala: Birding the Highlands and Lake Atitlán
with Hawks Aloft and Holbrook Travel
January 26 – February 5, 2019
Scarlet Macawy image by Kristin Brown

Guatemala is a richly diverse cultural center and a lush and vibrant paradise for birders. On this 10-day journey, you'll have the chance to explore a variety of habitats, seek out rare and endemic species, and meet with locals who are part of the Audubon bird-tourism initiative in Santiago Atitlán, a hub of Maya culture.

Here, at high elevations in the heart of Central America, Hawks Aloft is partnering with Holbrook Travel and Flyway Expeditions to bring our friends an experience like no other. We’ll seek out rare and native species in this region of Guatemala, which is nestled in the middle of one of the world’s prime migratory corridors. Birders will also have the opportunity to connect with locals who care about conservation through Audubon’s bird-tourism initiative, Santiago Atitlán. A portion of the proceeds of this excursion will be donated to conservation efforts in Guatemala.
See a detailed description on our website , or check out a full itinerary and register for this epic trip on Holbrook Travel’s website . We can’t wait to experience Guatemala with you!
*Check out an upcoming calendar of events, as well as thank-you's after the Photographer's Gallery*
Photographers Monthly Gallery - Frank Dobrushken

This month, we feature the images of Frank Dosbrushken, who has elected to feature the Hawks Aloft trip to the Galapagos Archilepago, specifically Genovesa Island. Written by Frank Dobrushken. Visit his website to see more of his amazing photography from the Galapagos as well as other galleries.

In July 2017 I fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to the Galapagos Islands. The trip was sponsored by Hawks Aloft and run through Wildside Nature Tours, with Kevin Loughlin as our leader. The trip was amazing in so many ways! Here, I concentrate on one of the islands that we visited, Genovesa, located in the far north of the archipelago. A somewhat rough overnight journey got us there before breakfast. Genovesa also is known as Tower Island or Bird Island. It is the remnant of a volcanic cone with a huge cove known as Darwin Bay. We did two landings there--a wet landing on Darwin Bay Beach, and a rough dry landing to climb up Prince Philip’s Steps. The number of nesting birds at Genovesa is outstanding and, as with all species in the Galapagos, they are very easily approachable. The species we saw there included Red-Billed Tropicbird, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Lava Heron, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Frigatebird, Nazca Booby, Red-footed Booby, Swallowtail Gull, Galapagos Gull, and many others. It was great seeing them in various stages of chick raising.

Images Below:

  1. Magnificent Frigatebird and nestling
  2. Red-billed Tropicbird
  3. Red-footed Booby
  4. Nazca Booby and chick
Upcoming Events - Please Join Us!
 Saturday, February 10 
Wild Birds Unlimited Albuquerque 
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Community Outreach Booth 
 Tuesday, February 13 
Lowell Elementary School 
9:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. 
Living with the Landscape 
Thursday, February 14 
Matheson Park Elementary School 
Time TBD 
Living with the Landscape Family Night 
Friday, February 16 
Calvary Christian Academy 
1 – 3 p.m.  
Single Visit Birds of Prey  
Saturday, February 17 
Bachechi Open Space 
9:30 – 12:30 p.m. 
Hawks Aloft Docent Orientation 
Wednesday, February 21 
Bel-Air Elementary School 
9 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. 
Living with the Landscape 
Thursday, February 22 
Matheson Park Elementary School 
9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 
Living with the Landscape 
Friday, February 23 
Matheson Park Elementary School 
9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 
Living with the Landscape 
Monday, February 26 
Valle Vista Elementary School 
12 – 3 p.m. 
Birds of a Feather with Valle de Oro 
Thursday, March 1 
Valle Vista Elementary School 
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
Birds of a Feather with Valle de Oro 
Friday, March 2 – Sunday, March 4 
Fiery Foods Festival – Sandia Resort and Casino 
Times TBD 
Community Outreach Booth 
Wednesday, March 7 
Mountain View Elementary School 
8:30 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. 
Living with the Landscape 
Friday, March 9 – Sunday, March 11 
Monte Vista Crane Festival 
Community Outreach Booth

Thank you to our January Donors!

Charles Brandt

Niels Chapman

Ed & Mary Chappelle

Sara Clark

Friends of Valle do Oro

Sarah Hamilton

Michael & Sheri Milone

Joan Morrison

William Musser

Peggy Norton

Miguel Palaviccini

Dave Parsons

Darl Patrick

Renee Robillard

Mandy & Edward Ruden

Allison Schacht

Lynne Schluter

Nancy Thonen & Virginia Edley

January's Rescue Intakes

Norhern Saw-whet Owl - Probable car strike

Turkey Vulture - Confiscated from a private residence by USFWS

American Crow - Compound fracture to right wing

Red-tailed Hawk - Starving; possible electrocution

Red-tailed Hawk - Injured wing; possible electrocution

American Crow - Dead on arrival

Great Horned Owl - Unable to fly

Cooper's Hawk - Fractured ulna from gunshot
Our Veterinarians and Rehabilitators

Kariana Atkinson, DVM

Linda Contos, DVM

Cottonwood Rehabilitation Center

Mikal Deese, A Wing and a Prayer

Desert Willow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Eye Care for Animals

Ray Hudgell, DVM

Gavin Kennard, DVM, DACVO

Daniel Levenson, DVM

Mike Melloy, DVM

New Mexico Wildlife Center

Bob Peiffer, DVM, PhD

Petroglyph Animal Hospital

Kathleen Ramsay, DVM

Santa Fe Raptor Center

Southwest Veterinary Medical Center

Sammue Uhrig, DVM

Ventana Animal Clinic

Raptor Rescue Team

Nirankar Ambriz
Donna Borowsky
Sophia Borowsky
Charles Cummings
Julia Davis
Mikal Deese
Tim Florence
Maggie Grimason
Bill Houston
Kaiti King
Jeannine Kinzer
Dean Klassy
Maurice Mackey
Arlette Miller
Lisa Morgan
Chellye Porter
Larry Rimer
Emiliano Salazar
Amanda Schluter
Anita Sisk
Sue Small
Mary Smith

Field Survey Teams

Amanda Schluter
Jeannine Kinzer
Bob Kipp
Everett Ogilivie
Larry Rimer
Tom Ryan
Wendy Brown
Ed Clark
Charles Cummings
Vicki Dern
Trevor Fetz
Gail Garber
Fred Hashimoto
Joan Hashimoto
Kay Jackson
Maurice Mackey
Arlette Miller
Dave Parson
Chellye Porter
Renee Robillard
Allison Schacht
Diana Schlies
Mary Smith
Mary Walsh
Christie Wilcox
Chuck Brandt
Mary Bruesch
Ed Chappelle
Gill Clarke
Roger Grimshaw
Jerry Hobart
Bonnie Long
Donna Royer
Susan Russo
Sam Sanborn
Martin Schelble
Steve Youtsey
Education and Outreach

Sophia Borowsky
David Buckley
Chuck Brandt
Mary Bruesch
Ruth Burstrom
Ed Chappelle
Mary Chappelle
Niels Chapman
Dagny Cosby
Charles Cummings
Rebecca Ezechukwu
Tim Florence
Angela Green
Ava Gutierrez
Bryan and Nancy Hall
Jerry Hobart
Bill Houston
Jennifer Jeffery
Karen Jeffery
Karen Kennedy
Dean Klassy
Kaitlyn King
Jeannine Kinzer
Robert Kipp
Molly Lord
Maurice Mackey
Evelyn McGarry
Arlette Miller
Chellye Porter
Marnie Rehn
Elizabeth Roberts
Dianne Rossbach
Allison Schacht
Rebecca Szymanski
Bruce Sisk
Anita Sisk
Sue Small
Cindy Treme
Who We Are

Gail Garber, Executive Director
Trevor Fetz, Lead Avian Biologist
Julia Davis, Education Coordinator
Angela Green, Office Manager
Maggie Grimason, Senior Editor
Katrina Hucks, Naturalist and Raptor Rescue Coordinator
Everett Oglivie, Statistician
Amanda Schluter, Field Biologist
Our Board of Directors

Carter Cherry, Chair
Mary Chappelle, Treasurer
Terry Edwards, Director
Alwyn VanDerwalt , Director
Jim Findley, Emeritus