Raptor Chronicles
Message from the President
The calendar says it's spring, the season of renewal, hope and warmer temperatures. To be honest, I've been having a hard time finding any of these over the last few weeks. Recent blizzards, illness and loss of life, both human and raptor, have tested all of us at REF. Like so many around the world, there have been "days" that went long into the night, and days when it was difficult to even get out of bed.

Still, the grass is getting green, and the quintessential Denver spring scene, tulips bent over in the snow, has now appeared TWICE in my front yard. The red-winged blackbirds are singing at our front gate, and the Swainson's hawks have returned. To borrow a line from a great book I read about life on the prairie in the 19th century, there is a "precious window between blizzards and bugs" which I cherish each year.

After much discussion, we have made the difficult decision to not host an in-person Spring Open House this year. The health and safety of our guests and wonderful members is our primary concern. While we understand that there is a great deal of pent-up demand for gatherings and events, and we considered various options to increase social distancing, we ultimately decided that the safest course of action is to wait just a little longer. Vaccinations are proceeding quickly and we want to make sure that our guests have the best experience possible. We're also exploring ways to produce a virtual "behind the scenes" Open House that will showcase some of our birds that are a bit more challenging to see during a normal event, as well as the hard-working docents that care for them so well. Stay tuned for information on how to tune in and support us at the same time!

And, as always, thank you for your support!~Anne Price, President
A Tribute to Our First Legal Eagle, Robert P. Koehler
September 17, 1942 - March 29, 2021
Bob and I met in the early 70's. He had just received his JD from the University of Denver Law School after serving in the Peace Corps in South America, in Columbia to be exact. He learned Spanish while serving in the Corps and that fluency served him quite well as a practicing attorney in Colorado where many of his clients did not have a command of English as their first language.

Bob lived in the apartment below my first wife and I and we discovered each other via a communal plumbing problem. As he told the story, multiple times over the decades that followed, he discovered what we had consumed for dinner the night before with the confirmed scatological evidence in his bath tub. That was just a hint of his wonderful sense of humor and a life-long relationship which began while I was working at the Denver Museum of Natural History, now the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

We had many things in common, sometimes arguing into the early morning hours about constitutional law, or the importance of definitions, and he was always asking about my parent's history when he learned they had survived Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. Bob introduced me to the writings of Richard M. Weaver whose seminal work, Ideas Have Consequences is still something I refer to again and again. He introduced me to Roger Candelaria, another lawyer who practiced law and ranched in the Durango area. Somewhere, deep in Bob's genetic makeup he was pulled into ranching and moved away from Denver with his new wife Roxanne to set up a law practice with Roger in Pagosa Springs and Durango, while cultivating his first small ranch near Allison, Colorado. Bob and Roxanne's daughter Allison, came into their lives during this time and she has now blessed their family with two grandchildren, Caleb and Kailia.

Bob helped me create and file various charter documents for REF, and served on our Board as one of our earliest Directors. He became one of our first Eagle Members and continued to provide financial support and advice in various matters over the years. Subsequently, as decades passed, Bob and Roxanne acquired another ranch near Crawford, Colorado and Bob retired from practicing law. About three years ago Bob learned that his lack of energy was related to a blood disease and he would need a bone marrow transplant. That news required timely access to his medical team and the top notch resources at the University of Colorado Anschutz hospital, so Bob and Roxanne moved back to Denver. Roxanne worked diligently and tirelessly to help Bob over the past years as he battled to improve his health.

I had the chance to visit with Bob a few days before he passed away, and despite the immediacy and depth of his challenges, he never lost his humor and wit. His Donald Duck impressions on a starry, starry night while we camped in the Sand Hills of western Nebraska will never be forgotten. To Roxanne, Allison, Dan, Caleb and Kailia: you will never be far from Alex's, Marie's and my thoughts; the Koehler family has left their brand on our hearts. Eagles are a rare species and I have worked with some of the finest. Bob was, still is, and will always be one of those.
~Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects
Lots of Other Ways to Help!
A Special Anniversary Offer on All Three of Our Books!
Celebrate our 41st anniversary by purchasing our
three books at this special price!
Our Online Store is Open Again!
A new look...click on the image below.
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.
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,
Scott & David Menough. Click here!
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!
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!
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!
Our New 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. Just click to order.

If you don't wish to use PayPal, then click here.
A New Print for 2021
This beautiful five-year study of our female bald eagle was photographed and composited by Marilyn Stevens. It measures 16″ x 20″ and is printed on fine photo paper with a “luster” finish. The print will fit many ready-made frames. To our knowledge this is the only available photographic sequence of an immature bald eagle showing off the plumage changes as she matures. Remember, both male and female look identical except for their size, but the male is about 30% smaller. Our foil seal is attached to the bottom of each print. (Not shown in the image above). This is a limited offer and the price includes shipping anywhere in the continental U.S.A. Only 12 left!

This limited offer is only available here. $40 for one print or $60 for two.
Pick it up at our office for only $25!
Join the 40 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.
Farewell to an REF Favorite
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our gray morph eastern screech owl. He was at least 17 years old, possibly older. As the expression goes, he was "small, but mighty". He did everything we ever asked of him, and was simply an outstanding educational bird, the perfect ambassador for his species.

In October 2004, he was found by the side of a road in Nebraska, likely the victim of a car strike. A Good Samaritan picked him up and he was cared for by (then) Raptor Recovery Nebraska, which is now part of Fontenelle Forest. The damage to his left wrist joint was severe enough that it was clear the end of his wing couldn't be saved. He recovered well from his severe injury, and we acquired him in June 2005. We had cared for several screech owls over the years, but this little guy was in a class by himself. He was relaxed and calm in public, though he decided pretty early on that he didn't care for Curator Anne Price one bit! Even then, he educated as well as entertained, swiveling his head that full 270 degrees and chittering his alarm call as Anne walked around lecturing during programs. From June 2005 to March 2014, he lived alone, first at our former facility in Aurora, and then in a specially-designed new home in Brighton.
That fateful March, he was presented with a roommate. Anne was a little concerned about the introduction, as screech owls have QUITE the fierce reputation in the Tiny Owl World. Our guy weighed about five ounces throughout his entire time with us, very average for a male (more on that later). His wild compatriots have been seen capturing sharp-shinned hawks and even Eurasian collared doves twice their weight. Not only did both owls readily accept each other, we were intrigued and surprised when both birds turned out to be male! Our red morph guy is from the Raleigh, North Carolina area, with stunning color that would put an Irish setter to shame. But he has always been consistently a full ounce smaller than his roommate. DNA sexing proved that both birds were male, something we can just chalk up to regional and individual variation, or perhaps the fact that the red morph is a recessive gene and much rarer in the wild.
Both owls have been huge hits with visitors at the World Cup Races at the Birds of Prey Course in Beaver Creek for years. Repeat guests to our booth in the village usually look around, asking to see the "tiny owl". We all bid a fond farewell to the old gray man, and look forward to introducing you to a new screech owl very soon!
Commerce City Eagle Nest Likely Failed
We have been observing this nest south of 112th and west of Chambers Road in Commerce City throughout the month of April, and we've concluded that the nest has failed once again. The egg(s) should have hatched around April l and by now the eaglet(s) would be visible on a regular basis above the nest rim. No gray heads have been seen; this video segment was recorded on April 20th. Nothing was visible during the full 45 minutes the nest was observed. It seems that the eggs were not fertilized, and once again the nest is barren.
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!!
REF Staff: Anne Price, President & Curator; Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects; Savannah Grout, Mews Manager
Docents: Elise Bales, Morgan Brantmeyer, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Bernhard Hafner, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner, Ann Stanz