American Bald Eagle Foundation                 November 2017

(e)agle newsletter   113 Haines Highway Haines, AK 99827 907.766.3094
23rd Annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival Highlights
Earlier this month, the American Bald Eagle Foundation hosted our 23 rd Annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival. This week-long festival celebrates the yearly congregation of bald eagles in the Chilkat Valley, the spawning salmon that draw the eagles here, and the Southeast Alaskan ecosystem. The festival abounds with ways to bring people closer to wildlife, including photography workshops, storytelling, cultural appreciation, and more. During the festival, wildlife photographer Bill McRoberts ran a photography workshop highlighting eagles and many other species within the area including swans, coastal brown bear, and many different seabirds.

Highlights from the festival include: a classic pub-style trivia night, complete with locally brewed beer and raptor-themed trivia questions, a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum with a special appearance by Hans the Eurasian eagle owl, guest speaker, Dr. Rachel Wheat, who spoke about her research on bald eagle movement ecology in the Chilkat Valley, an ABEF-twist on a local tradition typically hosted by the Chilkat Players, “River Talk,” where seven speakers take seven minutes to talk about the topic of the day in any way they choose,
a community bazaar, dancing by the Chilkat Dancers, and cultural talks by youth and elders from the nearby village of Klukwan.

On Saturday afternoon, guests and locals gathered at the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center on Saturday to auction off the release of two rehabilitated bald eagles from the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. After being released by two generous guests, both birds took off into the sky, and we wish them the best of luck back in the wild. In the evening, guests gathered for a banquet at the American Legion where they had the chance to bid on auctions, eat locally made food, dance to a swinging local band, Extended Play, and to sit back and relax after a long week of being outside watching eagles.
All in all, we were so happy to be able to host this year’s festival. We hope to see you all next November at the next Alaska Bald Eagle Festival!
ABEF Capital Campaign Reaches $50,000 Milestone

Staff at ABEF is overwhelmed with gratitude for the many donors who have helped us reach a fundraising milestone- $50,000! The money is being raised for a redesign of the aviaries where our team of avian ambassadors live. The $50,000 raised marks the halfway point in our crowdfunding goal! The remaining funds, around $700.000, will be raised through a combination of grants and corporate sponsorship. Thank you to all of the donors who have helped us come this far!
If you are interested in learning more about the proposed redesign, you learn about it on our website . If you would like to help us reach our $100,000 crowdfunding goal, check out our Go Fund Me .
Another New Intern Arrives on the Scene
ABEF welcomes Matthew Danihel
We are excited to welcome Matthew Danihel to our winter internship program! Matthew is originally from Warminster, PA and earned his bachelor's degree in wildlife conservation and management from Delaware Valley University. He began his career as a shift supervisor at the AARK Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center in Pennsylvania, where he learned to handle and rehabilitate all types of native wildlife. Since then he has moved all around the United States and Canada working in wildlife conservation. Notable stints include banding songbirds at the Intermountain Bird Observatory in Idaho, caring for rescued wolves and other wild canines at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico, and six seasons banding and surveying shorebirds in New Jersey for the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife and later Rutgers University.
Matthew is thrilled to working and learning at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. He hopes to pursue hiking, playing the keyboard and mandolin (poorly), and spoiling his girlfriend and their dog rotten in his spare time.
New Lights on the Horizon at ABEF
Our museum coordinator, Katie Dickerson, was recently awarded the Fall 2017 Collections Management Grant, the last in a long line of grants she has received this year. The Fall CM grant award, from Museums Alaska in conjunction with the Rasmuson Foundation, was worth over $3,500 and will go towards the purchase and installation of track lighting around the museum. The main exhibit spaces, including the diorama room already have LED track lighting, but the peripheral exhibit spaces, including the specimen room, the history room, and the raptor room, still have fluorescent lighting. The switch to track lighting provides a number of benefits to the museum. Track lighting uses LED lights, which are not as harmful to specimens as fluorescents. Track lighting also directs light in controlled areas, allowing the museum coordinator to create ambiance and highlight specific specimens or ideas. The new lights have arrived at the ABEF and should be installed by the end of December!
When you become a member of the American Bald Eagle Foundation, you’re helping to fund educational programs such as our Youth Raptor Program, reduced price programs for low-income families or groups, as well as the resources we need to give our avian ambassadors the best possible care via husbandry, enrichment and training. Interested in joining?