Raven Rescue – It Took a Village!
by Gail Garber, Executive Director

Sometimes, it takes a village to set things right! In this particular case, it took one Hawks Aloft staff (yours truly), one longtime volunteer, trusted raptor rescuer, and photographer too, Larry Rimer, one motivated Pulte Homes land supervisor, Ron Fernandez, and his Boy Scout Troop. We applaud companies that work to protect nesting birds and other wildlife. It is far too easy to look the other way, especially during the spring nesting season. Such was the case in the Mariposa subdivision of northwest Rio Rancho, where Pulte Homes is building a new subdivision.  

As the earth moving equipment arrived to begin site preparation, it became apparent that there was an active Common Raven nest right in the middle of the site. Mr. Fernandez and Pulte Homes consulted with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and also with Hawks Aloft, sending a photograph of the nestling ravens, already with emergent feathers. We estimated the age of the three nestlings at about 3 weeks which would have placed fledging another 2-3 weeks out. We asked Pulte to establish a buffer zone around the nest and try to wait it out – which they did! 

However, two weeks later, when all other earth work was complete, there was no choice but to mitigate the raven nest. Working with Ron Fernandez, Superintendent of Land Development, we developed a plan to re-nest the family to another juniper tree some 60 yards distant, in direct line of sight of the original tree but beyond the work zone. Ron, a longtime Boy Scout leader, sprang into action, rounding up several scouts to help build an artificial nest. They spent Saturday, June 2, with a wicker basket, clippers, loppers, and ingenuity near the newly chosen tree. With no prior experience in nest building (not being birds after all!), the crew fashioned a nest for the babies and secured it. 

Sunday morning dawned with a light cloud cover with relative calm, following howling winds throughout the the night, just one more potential stressor. We gathered at the site with towels, boxes, a ladder, and a prayer that all would go well. Haste was essential to reduce stress on the family. Hiking over to the former nest tree, Ron and Larry set up the extension ladder and worked together to remove first one nestling, then another, then three, and four, and finally FIVE nestlings in all. All the while Mom and Dad Raven hovered in the air above or nearby squawking mightily. The nestlings hollered too. Move the ladder, tote the boxes, position it again, and climb! The littlest raven was first, followed quickly by the others. As soon as Larry took the final snapshot, we withdrew to watch in some surprise as both parents almost immediately flew over the new tree to investigate.  

We drove away hopeful that all would be well, but due diligence necessitated a lengthier observation period. So we drove around to the other side of the site and watched through binoculars. Both parents soon landed on the new tree, but then also returned to the former nest as if to say, “Hmm! What the heck just happened?!” Later in the day, Larry watched from afar as the Dad Raven delivered prey and fed the babies!  I wish all of our efforts turned out so well. 
Meet the 2018
Hawks Aloft Board of Directors!

We thank each of our directors for their service!

Front Row (L-R): Alwyn VanDerwalt, Carter Cherry

Back Row (L-R): Mary Chappelle, Terry Edwards,
Dave DeWitt
Summer is for the Birds, by Maggie Grimason, Senior Editor and Educator

While offering food to your backyard birds might feel more important in winter time when natural food sources are scarce, summer is also a great time provide such resources to local and migratory birds in your area. By mid-summer, many birds will have extra mouths to feed and summer also provides a great opportunity to spot neotropical migrants that don’t stick around for colder months.

Below are quick and easy tips to make your backyard the ideal stopover for birds this summer—and by proxy, all the more enjoyable for you and your family.

Flashy orioles are a cinch to attract to your feeders around this time of year. If you have a platform feeder you can easily offer any of these known favorites of the beautiful migrator and enjoy their vibrant colors and pleasant chatter all summer—oranges sliced in half, spoonfuls of jelly.

Nestboxes are a nice way to invite bluebirds into your yard during breeding season. During this energy-intensive time you may attract bluebirds to platform feeders by offering mealworms. Mealworms offer the protein that bluebirds need during this time of year.

If hummingbirds are your thing—make sure to mix your nectar without red food dye (in proportions of ¼ cups of sugar to each cup of water) and try hanging your feeder in a shady spot to prolong the lifespan of the mixture. 

Another sure-fire way to bring birds to your home? Make it an oasis by offering a bird bath, filling it with fresh water each morning.

Scott's Oriole, image by Larry Rimer
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  
Recurring Donations, by Angela Green, Office Manager

Looking for a great way to make a difference on a regular basis? Interested in helping Hawks Aloft offer educational programs, promote conservation, and rescue raptors? Then a recurring donation may be a good fit for you! 

A recurring donation is a series of gifts given on an open-ended schedule. Recurring donations work well for donors because a small monthly amount tends to fit better in a budget than a large lump sum—and you can stop the donations at any time. The amount can be anything that works with your budget, even $5! These donations are commonly done on a monthly basis, but if you’d like a different frequency, we can work with you on that.

If you’d like to learn more about setting up a recurring donation to Hawks Aloft, just call (505) 828-9455. I’d be more than happy to help.

Female Golden Eagle that came in on June 2, from Navajo Nation, suffering from emaciation. She is eating well now, around 4 rats per day ($8/day) in food. All donations help to cover the cost of food.

In Full Swing, by Amanda Schluter, Biologist

Field season is in full swing. The Jemez CFLRP Songbird Surveys kept Katrina and I very busy beginning in mid-May. With the impending forest closure, our field surveyors were trying to get two rounds of surveys complete before conditions limited our access. Although I fully support the complete shutdown of the forest, it was a little hectic to get all the surveys done before Memorial Day weekend. We did run into a couple of weather issues--Hawks Aloft has a very strict policy of not surveying in a burn area if it is windy for the surveyor’s safety. We missed out on two sites for this reason. Surveys will pick up again when the forest re-opens after the monsoons have started. I’m know I’m not the only one wishing for some good rains this year.

In conjunction with the Jemez songbird surveys, we continued to check the raptor nests in the Albuquerque bosque, the Upper Rio Grande Gorge, and El Segundo coal mine. I was happy to see my Great Horned Owl nest in the bosque fledge. We had one Golden Eagle nest fail in the Upper Rio Grande Gorge, but three others had growing chicks the last time we visited. We are going to check their progress this week and any Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcon, and Prairie Falcon nests.

June should be another busy month of checking nests, songbird surveys, and maybe getting a chance to do some laundry in my down time. I always look forward to this time of the year, when our hard work pays off with the fledglings leaving their nests to start their lives.

Photo by Amanda Schluter
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
Only 4 Spaces Remain!
Keel-billed Toucan. 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 - Keith Bauer

This month, we feature Keith Bauer, whose photography has been featured in numerous Hawks Aloft publications. Keith offers photography workshops locally as well as far afield. In October 2018, Keith and Greg Basco are leading a photography trip to Chile, designed for you to capture fantastic images of Chile's most amazing places from North to South. If you want to improve your landscape and wildlife photography (and your post-processing!) while taking amazing photos in an exotic destination, this is the trip for you!

It begins in the beautiful city of Santiago. We'll then fly north to the Calama airport. Upon arrival, we take our private bus to our hotel in a beautiful colonial town on the edge of the Chilean altiplano. We'll spend a few days in the altiplano photographing vicunas, the beautiful night sky, flamingos and so much more.

We'll then head south to the amazing scenery of Patagonia for the remainder of this workshop, with stunning mountain views, rivers, wildlife and jaw dropping landscapes. We'll also have a fair chance at photographing Andean Condors, Pygmy Owls, and Lesser Rhea (an ostrich-like flightless bird).

October 8, 2018 - October 18, 2018

This is a trip unlike any other to South America to share the beauty of Chile.  Click here for complete details!

Below are four images, from near and far :

  1. A Guanaco in front of the towers in Torres Del Paine National Park in southern Chile. 
  2. Cactus Wren flitting in and out of a nest in the Sandia foothills when it landed on this juniper tree, then lifted off.
  3. Tufted Tit Tyrant is a member of the tyrant flycatcher family and can be found in southern Chile.
  4. The famous Horns of Torres Del Paine is the centerpiece of this magnificent national park. This was captured with just moonlight as the light source.
Upcoming Events - Please Join Us!
Lavender in the Village
Saturday, July 7
(with set-up on Friday, July 6)
Agri-Nature Center in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
Time TBD
Outreach Booth 
*Contact Angela ( officemanager@hawksaloft.org)

La Ultima Exhibicion  - Art inspired  Bless Me, Ultima
Saturday, July 21
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Presentation on owls
*Contact Gail (gail@hawksaloft.org)

Thank you to our May Donors!

Central New Mexico Audubon Society

Ed & Mary Chappelle

Four Corners Bird Club

Anthony Giancola

Sue Lyons

Miguel Palaviccini

PNM Resources Foundation

Ann Rhodes

Rhonda Rivera

Carolyn Sanborn

Allison Schacht

Lynne Schluter

Southwest Cherokee Township

The Verdes Foundation

May's Rescue Intakes

American Kestrel – wing damage

Great Horned Owl – thin, beak damage

Great Horned Owl – fledgling with left eye damage

American Kestrel – window strike

Common Nighthawk – compound wing fracture

Barn Owl – injured foot

Snowy Egret (2) – chicks fell out of nest

Cooper’s Hawk – broken wing

American Kestrel – chick out of nest

Turkey Vulture – broken wing

Barn Owl (4) – chicks ejected from nest

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

Samantha Uhrig, DVM

Ventana Animal Clinic

Raptor Rescue Team

Nirankar Ambriz
Charles Cummings
Julia Davis
Tim Florence
Maggie Grimason
Denise Inight
Bill Houston
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
Bob Kipp
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

David Buckley
Chuck Brandt
Mary Bruesch
Ed Chappelle
Mary Chappelle
Dagny Cosby
Rebecca Ezechukwu
Tim Florence
Angela Green
Ava Gutierrez
Bryan and Nancy Hall
Jennifer Jeffery
Karen Jeffery
Karen Kennedy
Kaitlyn King
Jeannine Kinzer
Maurice Mackey
Evelyn McGarry
Arlette Miller
Chellye Porter
Elizabeth Roberts
Dianne Rossbach
Allison Schacht
Rebecca Szymanski
Bruce Sisk
Anita Sisk
Sue Small
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, Biologist 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