New Mexico Wildlife Rehabilitators Alliance Inaugural Symposium, by Gail Garber, Executive Director

During the summer of 2017, we began meeting with other wildlife rehabilitation organizations in New Mexico as well as private rehabilitators to investigate the feasibility of developing a statewide network to better facilitate rescues. Hawks Aloft has hosted the Raptor Rescue Hotline since 2014, a 24/7 operation, mostly manned by volunteers with support from our staff. (That number is 505-999-7740!) When a call comes in, a blast text message is distributed to the 30 or so volunteer rescuers. These amazing people then respond if they can travel to pick up (and sometimes catch) the injured bird, performing rescues locally and in the far flung reaches of our state. Our goal here is to perform triage, get the bird to a veterinarian, and to the best facility to provide care for that bird. 

The program has had exponential growth since its inception, with more than 150 responses in 2017, not including calls for which no actual rescue was necessary.
Another of the goals of our newly formed collaboration was to provide continuing education opportunities for those involved in rescues of raptors, songbirds, and mammals, as well as to provide a forum to facilitate improved communication! 

Thus, the first weekend in April, we held the inaugural NM Wildlife Rehabilitators Alliance Symposium at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, in conjunction with the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) Basic Skills Class and the Pain and Wound Management Class. We sincerely thank the generous donors that made this event possible: Avangrid Renewables, PNM Resources, The Binky Foundation, Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and, of course, the individual donors of Hawks Aloft.

In total, 88 attendees from as far distant as Portland, Oregon, and even the country of Croatia participated, learning from a wide array of experts in their field. The first morning session covered state and federal laws that govern those that work with wildlife, followed by energy sector presentations about the electric utility and wind energy industries as well as efforts to reduce impacts to wildlife within each. We also heard from several veterinarians about topics as diverse as basic medical exams, repairs of upper and lower mandibles, rehabilitation of waterfowl rescued from brine lakes, the use of hoods and tail guards, housing innovations and hatching and nestling care of Least Terns. The NM Falconers Association presented a live demonstration of the use of falconry to condition birds for release. 

It was a packed, informative day, one that we hope to repeat at least biannually to continue to build our knowledge base. 

Thank you to all of our presenters: Denise Coil; Paul Domski; Samantha Ferguson; Christine Fiorello; DVM; Kristin Madden; Michael Melloy, DVM; Armando Najera; Kathleen Ramsay, DVM; James Robinson; Jerry Roppe; Adrienne Ruiz; Samantha Uhrig, DVM; Katie Wade; Monique White.
Living with Fire: A Dry Year for the Bosque, by Katrina Hucks, Raptor Rescue Coordinator

With decreased winter precipitation, New Mexico is facing several challenges. The Rio Grande will have a decreased flow, and the surrounding landscape will remain dry. Some animals may not fare well in these conditions, possibly leaving predator-prey interactions to suffer. With drought and high winds comes the danger of fire. Fire can be an incredibly useful tool for managing a landscape, but when fires get out of control, they can threaten businesses, livelihoods, and homes--for both people and animals.
I’ve already experienced an instance like this. I learned of a fire in the bosque with two distinct columns of smoke. When I investigated the area, I realized it was near a nesting family of Great Horned Owls with at least one owlet. I worried about them all night. The next morning, I checked to see if the fire had been contained, then I rushed out to the bosque. I spoke to one of the fire chiefs about my Great Horned Owl nest, and she told me she loved owls and asked if I would be willing to show her the nest. The cottonwood that held the nest had been burned at the base. The fire burned all around the nest, but it seemed that mom and baby were okay! We both admired the owls from a distance, then she told me she would ask the crews to be considerate while at the site.
While the oldest owlet eventually died, there was another owlet in the nest. I have watched this owlet grow and it is now almost ready to fledge. I have to admire this owl family for overcoming some incredible adversity. I also have a lot of gratitude for fire crews across the state for risking so much to put out these fires to protect animals and humans alike.

Image of the owl nest in the bosque by Katrina Hucks
Gathering of Nations Powwow

We were thrilled to participate in the Gathering of Nations Powwow held in Albuquerque April 26-28, 2017! We were there with our Avian Ambassadors, but what stole the show was our 2018 Raffle Quilt. It was a huge hit with the audience, selling a whopping 700+ raffle tickets. The fascination with our quilt was evident in the many dancers that visited our booth to pose to have their photos taken with it, like these two young warriors.

We will draw the winning ticket on December 1. Get your tickets here.

Image by Chellye Porter
Three Easy Ways to Support Hawks Aloft, by Maggie Grimason, Senior Editor and Educator

1)     Sign up for Smith’s Rewards!
It’s actually much easier than you might think, and once you’re enrolled, a fraction of every dollar you spend at Smith’s goes toward the continued efforts of our small nonprofit. All you need to do is:
·       Go to the Smith's website:
·       Either create an account or sign-in to an existing one
·       Once logged in, click on “Account Summary” on the left sidebar
·       From there, scroll down to “Inspiring Donations Program” and click “Enroll”
·       A searchable list will come up, you can either search for “Hawks Aloft” or enter our
ID number for the program, GL430
·       Shop using your card and now every time you do so, you help out Hawks Aloft!
2)     Sign up for Amazon Smile!
Are you a one-click check out, Amazon Prime-having, price-checking fanatic? If so, please consider supporting Hawks Aloft by using Amazon Smile. Again, it’s really easy to sign up and return a small amount of your spending to the birds we serve.
·       Visit
·       Log-in to your regular Amazon account
·       Click on the “Account and Lists” tab
·       Scroll down to “Shopping programs and rentals”
·       Click “Change or select your charity”
·       Search for “Hawks Aloft Inc”
·       Click “select”
·       And shop!
3)     Follow us on social media!
In this digitized world, every follow matters and improves our reach with people who are interested in what we do. Follow us on:
·        Facebook (
·        Instagram (@hawksaloft)
·       Share, like, and comment!

Image of Avian Ambassador Clark Kent (an American Kestrel) 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  
Migration Hits Its Peak, by Trevor Fetz, Head Avian Biologist

As April came to a close, spring migration was hitting its peak through central New Mexico as Neotropical migrants moved in and through, and winter bosque visitors headed back north and upslope. A trickle of migrants were already arriving or passing through at the beginning of the month (or slightly earlier). In late March, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird was the first arrival at our house in the foothills. We also had a couple of Scott's Orioles pass through in early April. One of the highlights of early April raptor nest searching in Corrales was three Osprey at one time. The first Osprey flew low over me, looking for a suitable perch to consume the large fish it was carrying. A second Osprey followed shortly thereafter, while a third individual vocalized from a perch along the edge of the river. Swallows also were prominent during early April nest searches, with Barn Swallows, Bank Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, and Violet-green Swallows all working the Corrales drain. And, it was nice to see Yellow-rumped Warblers, which had largely been missing from the bosque during winter songbird surveys, present in strong numbers during April.

But, peak migration didn't hit until late in the month, when Black-headed Grosbeaks, Summer Tanagers, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and a variety of warblers returned to the bosque. And, as May began, most of the Steller's Jays that had invaded the bosque and foothills last fall, finally departed for their normal haunts at higher elevations. The return of the neotropical migrants fuels the anticipation of starting summer songbird surveys and the opportunity to encounter species not present for past six to eight months. And, possibly, the chance to find some truly unusual birds working their way back to their breeding grounds.

Summer Tanager, image by David Powell.
Check out our New Ball Caps and Fleece Vests!

Angela, Katrina, and Amanda show off our new Hawks Aloft Gear! While the vests are a special order item, you can purchase the embroidered ball cap, which features a Ferruginous Hawk! Visit our store for merchandise!

Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Class, by Angela Green, Office Manager

During the New Mexico Wildlife Rehabilitators Alliance symposium this past April, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council offered two wildlife rehabilitation classes: Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation, and Pain & Wound Management.

The Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Class was a comprehensive overview of rehabilitation--part lecture and part lab. Among the subjects covered were evaluations, basic anatomy, the shock cycle, euthanasia criteria, housing standards, and zoonoses.

The afternoon lab session, which included cadavers, was very helpful. We were able to practice hands-on some of what we had learned in the lecture portion of the class. Each of the five lab stations was led by an experienced rehabber who taught us how to gavage, bandage wounds, and give subcutaneous fluids.

This class was a good introduction to the world of wildlife rehabilitation.
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
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker. 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 - Larry Rimer

This month, we feature the images of Larry Rimer, a longtime volunteer who works on many of our research projects, garnering access to some of the unusual photo opportunities New Mexico has to offer. Larry captures wildlife going about their everyday lives, a testament to his extreme patience. We know you will love the images he selected for this month's gallery.

Below are four images, from near and far :

  1. Scaled Quail family, photographed in Larry's yard
  2. Coyote at first light of dawn, Rio Rancho, NM
  3. Ice crystals on a snag, Yellowstone National Park, WY
  4. Great Horned Owl nestlings, Corrales, NM
Upcoming Events - Please Join Us!

Friday, May 11
Valle do Oro NWR
7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mountain View Field Day

Saturday, May 12
Southwest Cherokee Township
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Single Visit Birds of Prey

Tuesday, May 15
Lowell Elementary School
Elena Gallegos Open Space
10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Living with the Landscape Field Trip

Thursday, May 17
Matheson Park Elementary School
Location TBD
10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Living with the Landscape Field Trip

Thank you to our April Donors!

Edward Barengo

Charles Brandt

Dana Brescia

Niels Chapman

Aaron Dailey

Amy Estelle

Dana & Marion Gebel

Hodgin Elementary School

Melissa Howard

Tom & Edel Mayer

Miguel Palaviccini

Dave Parsons

Virginia Patrella

Lili & Dave Pearson

Allison Schacht

Lynne Schluter

Virginia Sillerud

Maurcena Wells

April's Rescue Intakes

Long-eared Owl – window strike

Northern Harrier – broken wing

Ferruginous Hawk – wing bleeding

Great Horned Owl – dead on arrival

Cooper’s Hawk – head trauma

Great Horned Owl – jumped out of nest

Cooper’s Hawk – wing injury

Cooper’s Hawk – wing injury

Cooper’s Hawk – window strike

Swainson’s Hawk – wing and collarbone injury

Great Horned Owl – wing injury

American Crow – wing fracture

Barn Owl – dead on arrival

Great Horned Owl – wing injury
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
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, 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