Raptor Chronicles
By Colorado's Oldest Raptor Sanctuary
President's Message: Happy "Owl"oween!
"Seriously? It's gonna SNOW tonight?!"
Tonight it's going to be about 9F in Denver, and as I write this note, I can hear a great-horned owl hooting outside my window. Actually, I think I hear TWO owls, one quite close and likely in the cottonwood tree in my backyard, and one owl whose call seems a bit higher, and more distant. The cottonwood in question is at least 45 years old, and seems to produce (and drop!) more leaves than would seem arborally-possible, every year.
The leaves are falling on almost a foot of snow tonight; the weather changes at a moment's notice here in Denver. But I adore this gawky, giant tree; it is the perfect hiding spot year round for red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, and
Photo:screech owls by Robert Martinez tonight, a great-horned owl seeking a mate.

My first thought while chatting with my neighbors, is that it seems to be a bit early for owls to be courtship calling back and forth, but it's hard to argue that the timing isn't absolutely perfect for Halloween! All animals have their own schedules, and wise humans throughout history have learned to closely observe the cycles and habits of animals to time their own actions and events. This month was too warm; now the snow is too much, and too sudden. The summer was too wet, the Swainson's hawks stuck around longer than normal. I think as we head into the holiday season, I'm going to take my cues from the owls and other wildlife, and seek the optimal timing, even if it isn't adhering to my desired "schedule".

Speaking of schedules, if you are considering a year-end gift to REF as part of your annual charitable giving, please consider giving early this year. It will help us out greatly, and enable you to tick one item off of your holiday "To Do" list.

Happy Fall to All!~Anne Price, President
An Eclipsing Event!
We pulled out all the stops on October 14th, taking twelve of our raptors on the road, or technically, two exits down the interstate, to Barr Lake State Park. There, in conjunction with CPW Raptor Monitor Karen Metz, we presented our fall raptor ID class, "The Who's Who of Colorado Raptors". All the major raptor groups were featured, with special attention paid to the myriad dark morphs versions of the four native Buteo species, three of which can be found in Colorado during the fall. The annular eclipse that same morning was perfectly-timed with our morning break, allowing all who were interested to run outside and gaze up at the sky, albeit for a very different reason.

Karen's expertly curated slides, coupled with our live raptors, gave all the attendees of varied skill levels, a chance to hone their wild raptor identification skills. Our new female merlin, whom we've been training for just three short months, made an appearance, and after the eagle section, our male great-horned owl delighted the audience with an unannounced visit. Thank you to all who attended, and especially to outgoing Barr Lake State Park manager, Michelle Seubert!
"Just" another Red-Tail?

Following up on our ID class on October 14th, there is yet another type of red-tailed hawk which is rarely-sighted in North America: the leucistic, or partially-leucistic hawk. From Wikipedia: Leucism describes a wide variety of conditions which result in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal causing white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales, or cuticles, but not the eyes.

The hawk seen by Anne, and photographed by Dan Lass, is a partially-leucistic red-tailed hawk. She first spotted it on October 21, and again on the 27th, outside of Platteville, Weld County, Colorado. At first, the hawk appeared to be nearly snow white from the side view on the telephone pole, but in flight, the wild mix of "normal" plumage, and the snow-white feathers, is an impossibly spectacular combination that only Mother Nature could conceive.

Many partially-leucistic hawks become whiter as they age. The dark brown iris of this bird indicates that it's at least five years old. Though not visible in the photo, Anne reported that it has at least two completely white tail feathers. Who knows what this beauty will look like after a couple more molts? Thank you to Brighton resident Dan Lass for the photos!
Fall Spa Day
Despite the calendar reading mid-October, we've been enjoying an unusually warm fall, with record-breaking temps in recent weeks. Our new female golden eagle was moved to her enclosure last month, and has been observing everything, especially watching both her new raptor colleagues, as well as the wild birds migrating overheard.

On October 15th she took a big, LONG bath in the afternoon sun. As she is still learning the ropes of being in her new enclosure, with multiple staff and docents cleaning her area and feeding her, we have her temporarily tethered for her own safety. The scraping sound you may hear is that of a rake being used by one of our docents in the nearby Buteo pen. Water is critical for all living creatures, of course, but in Colorado's dry climate, it's especially crucial for keeping feathers in good, waterproofed condition. She's just like a giant sparrow in a puddle!
Lots of Other Ways to Help!
A Special Anniversary Offer on All Three of Our Books!
Celebrate our 44th anniversary by purchasing our
three books at this special price!
Our Online Store is Open!
A new look...click on the image below.
Help Our Book Fly Higher:
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Winner of the 2020 Skipping Stones Honor Award for Nature and Ecology Books

“A unique book aimed at introducing young and beginning birders to the world of raptors. . . . Creative for certain! Helpful, too.”–Jim Williams, Wingnut Blog, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A very cool new book.”–Doc Kirby, On The Bookshelf

“Bird enthusiasts of all ages will find this book full of educational fun.”–Skipping Stones

“Beautiful, educational coloring book.”–Katie L.Burke, American Scientist

“All the essays were well-written and provided lots of easy-to-understand information, which allows the reader to identify many different types of raptors. I also really enjoyed the further reading at the back of the book about the kestrel box. The instructions were clear-cut, and the activity was easy and fun to do.”–Hannah, age thirteen, Kids’ BookBuzz

Orders Here! Or you may order on Amazon. Peek Inside
Read more about the author and the illustrator.
New Snail Kite Earrings
The newest Jabebo earrings are here! Jabebo received requests for this species from several nature centers in Florida, and by coincidence, our photographer friend Jeff Wang spent a few days chasing two species of kites, including the fascinating snail kite. The two designs are taken directly from Jeff's photos with very little editing; the male is on the left and the female, carrying a freshly-caught snail, is on the right.

Feeding almost exclusively on apple snails, this unusual raptor frequently practices ambisexual mate desertion, a reproductive strategy designed to maximize the number of young that survive to fledgling. Thank you, Jeff and Kevin Abbott, founder of Jabebo!
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!
One of our members sent us this picture of his Cobra with our license plates. Anyone else out there with a classic car wearing our eagle? Send us your image!
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! Check out some of the newest intersections as of October 2021.
We're still 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!

Raptor Chronicles
Previous Issues Archived Here
in case you missed any issues, we currently have issues dating back to January 2020!
Limited Edition 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. Click here to order.

If you don't wish to use PayPal, then please click here.
Endangered in Israel
When you walk into our office, almost immediately to your right is a large poster of the endangered diurnal raptors of Israel. The poster was a gift from one of our docents. Thirty-nine raptors are illustrated. Covering an area of only 8,522 square miles, Israel is smaller than the US state of Massachusetts and only one-fifth the size of the state of Kentucky. I could not confirm this, but it is doubtful any of the thirty-nine raptors shown are endemic to Israel. They are migrants from Africa, Europe, and Eurasia. Their migratory routes, along with numerous other species traveling north and south, funnel them through Israel. They travel through remarkably hostile territories on all sides where wildlife protection concepts are barely acknowledged. Finding sanctuary in Israel is a temporary respite.

On October 7th, Israel lost its sanctuary status for humans and all other species. "Never Again" became "ever again" as this tiny little enclave of an ancient and creative culture was ripped apart by barbarians at the gates. Some accuse Hamas of acting like animals. Animals never stoop to the levels of depravity humans will when they are intoxicated with ideologies which can barely tolerate their own kind. The Ukrainian invasion rages on, and the Israeli invasion will not be short lived either. It is an indictment of Homo sapiens, whose remarkable gifts cannot prevent them from committing even worse atrocities that animals would ever descend to. Sadly, it is part of the human condition.~Peter Reshetniak, Founder
Join the 60 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.
Norway Goes Nuclear on Climate Change Consensus
From Norway’s official government Bureau of Statistics: "The effect of man-made CO2 emissions does not appear to be strong enough to cause systematic changes in the temperature fluctuations during the last 200 years."

A small country of just 5.4 million people, Norway has become rich on fossil fuels from the North Sea. From a nation which produces most of its electrons from falling water, including the electrons that power lots and lots of subsidized EV’s, this story is truly a bomb shell: Read it here. 

I have been saying it all along. There is no reason to be sacrificing eagles, whales and all the other wildlife to the hysterical claims of Al Gore and his ilk. Politicians and industrialists get rich off of taxpayers resources, as wildlife deaths punctuate climate change hysteria, while government enables wasteful and destructive behavior on a massive scale. And, the middle class pays for the con while electricity rates go higher and the environment gets more polluted. There is no climate crisis. There is a cognitive crisis.~Peter Reshetniak, Founder
In addition to America, our Facebook followers are found in the following countries:
United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Pakistan, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, New Zealand,
Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and France!
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 automatic monthly pledges...thank you!
REF Staff: Anne Price, President & Curator; Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects; Savannah Grout, Mews Manager
Docents & Volunteers: Jean Anhalt, Kristy Bortz, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Denis Murray, Karen Ogle, Peggy Plaus, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner and Ann Stanz
Docents in Training: Clarissa Cigrand, Robert Mitchell, and Mila Ringo