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Eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, kites, osprey and harriers are all raptors! Their beaks are hooked, rather than straight, and they seize and kill their quarry using powerful feet and sharp talons.
In the annals of human history, raptors have always been an integral part of mankind's physical and spiritual world. Over 4,000 years ago raptors began to be used in some cultures to help put food on the table via the art and science of falconry. Spiritually, they symbolize the highest aspirations of purpose, power, clarity, and focus. Eagles, for instance, are mentioned in virtually all of the great religious texts. Today, scientists use raptors as barometers of environmental health. Drastic declines in the populations of Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons, for example, pointed to the larger problems posed by habitat disturbance and destruction, environmental toxins, and shootings to name a few.
The Raptor Education Foundation uses these magnificent
birds as ambassadors for the vast "silent majority" of living creatures: the
diversity of plants and animals that creates and supports human life. The raptors in the
Foundation's care are permanently impaired, unable to survive any longer in the wild.
Instead, they have found a new home and a new role as educators,
and nature's ambassadors. In a technological age they connect us back to the
elemental forces of nature. In a digitally scattered and clouded culture,
they focus our vision.
About the Raptor Education Foundation...
"The only wildlife theater company in America promoting science to cure Nature-Deficit Disorder*"
|The Raptor Education Foundation (REF) has been promoting
1980 by providing
schools, corporations, conventions, and gatherings of all sizes unique
innovative programs and
seminars that connect people with the natural world. REF utilizes an extensive cast
live, non-releasable raptors to focus attention on environmental concepts and issues.
Other environmental Consulting
Services are also available. These consulting services benefit from REF's extensive natural
history experience and network of associations at an international level. REF has
field experience in Africa, the Caribbean, Micronesia, Fiji, Mexico, Central and South
America, Australia, Indonesia, and Russia.
In 1999, working with Colorado legislators, Colorado Governor Bill Owens and numerous county officials, REF designed and issued Colorado's first-ever motor vehicle license plates featuring an environmental/wildlife theme and benefiting REF's environmental literacy mission. The Colorado Respects Wildlife license plates are available only to qualified REF members. The beautiful graphics featuring America's national symbol, promote REF's mission on the streets and highways of Colorado as part of REF's ongoing Driving For Wildlife campaign. Thousands of vehicles display these exclusive license plates, and their numbers steadily increase. Shouldn't you be driving for wildlife and spreading respect? In 2013 REF's plates are still the only license plates available in Colorado that benefit wildlife and education. They are exclusive to REF members!
In 2002, REF published a revised and expanded edition of its popular coloring book: Raptors, the Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, and Owls of North America. Reviews from raptor scientists, librarians, and parents confirmed another significant achievement featuring 51 raptors in beautiful color illustrations and line drawings by renown wildlife artist, Donald Malick. Precise and informative vignettes of each species written by Anne Price, REF's Curator of Raptors, completes the book's mission. This book is in its 9th printing. Fidget's Freedom, REF's second book aimed at the beginning reader, written by Stacey Patterson, and illustrated by Russia's premier wildlife artist, Vadim Gorbatov is now available at our store. The story illustrates "hacking" a peregrine falcon into the wild, which is the process utilized by scientists world-wide to bring back endangered raptors from the edge of extinction. Fidget's Folly, the second book in the series has now been released by Mountain Press Publishing of Montana. All of REF's books focus on generating interest in science at a young age, which is what REF's live raptor programs have been doing longer than any raptor organization in America. In 2012 The National Geographic Society contracted REF to provide special programming for their signature BioBlitz event held in Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2013, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), contracted REF to provide its exclusive Advanced Raptor ID Seminar to all CPW raptor monitors and staff.
In 2013, when the industry leader, Harmonic, wanted to assemble a large variety of raptors to demonstrate their capacity to deliver 4-K (Ultra-HD) images they contracted REF to deliver a team of birds and trainers in a short period of time. The results will be viewable on our video page when they are edited into final form.
The Foundation operates as a non-profit 501 (c)
(3) educational organization with special permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and the Colorado Division of
Parks & Wildlife. Collaborating
with the Colorado Hawking Club, REF established the first-ever
educational clinics for new wildlife field agents at the Colorado Division of
Wildlife. These clinics cover raptor identification, husbandry techniques,
and maintenance for individuals practicing falconry in Colorado and regulated by
CDOW. Expanding these clinics in 2007, REF added a private online
reference site for all CDOW officials. REF has received
numerous awards and commendations for its programs. The most
recent (Oct/2007) recognition was the
10 Best Bet
award for "Going Green" in Denver in 2008.
Anne Price, REF's curator of raptors received international acclaim by being
featured in the world's oldest continually published sportsmen's
magazine. In the
November, 2007 issue Anne received her own byline with an article about
Eagle Falconry in the U.S. In July of 2008, REF moved its operations into new and expanded quarters in Brighton, Colorado as it
implements its plans to develop
Eagle World International
with partners THF Realty, and the City of Brighton.
A small staff, along with highly-trained and dedicated docents, provide programs and services across the United States and abroad. Members are found world wide. Sponsors and partners include THF Realty, The City of Brighton, The Wal-Mart Foundation, Panwy Foundation, Wolf Creek Charitable Foundation, Frontier Airlines, Vail Valley Foundation, Vail Valley Recreation District, Winter Park Resorts, Gary Williams Energy Corp, Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, and the California Academy of Sciences, to name a few. Since its inception, REF has been self-supporting, without relying on state or federal dollars.
Hundreds of schools utilize REF programs in Colorado alone, and over one million students have participated in REF's unique programs. Millions of people have experienced REF's public seminars nationwide. If you have seen raptors, you have seen REF. Read some of our reviews, and other kudos. REF started its exclusive raptor based programs in 1980, and despite numerous imitators, it still sets the standards for the very best environmental programs featuring live raptors. Plan a visit with us. We are the original and the best with 33 years of experience in promoting environmental literacy.
*Nature-Deficit Disorder-thanks to author Richard Louv.
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Raptor Education Foundation is a Certified Mile High United Way Affiliated Agency
Mile High United Way: (REF) Designation Code: 0294
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Last revised October 28, 2014