Written by Bailey Higa and ABEF staff
Dear supportive visitors and community members,
We’re writing to thank you for your support. We want to tell you about the efforts we have been working on at the Foundation to maintain a positive relationship with the community of Haines, surrounding cities in Alaska, the United States and beyond. The Foundation is involved with different aspects of our near and far communities, and we are proud to work alongside other businesses and organizations to promote education and conservation awareness.
Every Friday, Haines locals get free general admission here at the Foundation. Thank you to the locals who come by and check out the birds and work we do. We’d love to spread the word about this opportunity and get as many locals as we can visiting the Foundation, attending our presentations, and learning more about the wildlife and ecosystems they call home!
To the father and recreational fisherman who came in last week with an ice chest in one arm and your toddler in the other, thank you so much for donating fish to our organization. We are extremely grateful to our local fishermen for fishing sustainably and sharing their catch with the Foundation. If local fishermen have catch less than a year old, we will happily accept donations and have been thrilled to receive a number of fish already this summer. This fresh fish provides an incredible addition to our eagles’ diets, and they really appreciate the fresh treat!
Here at the foundation, a non-profit organization, we rely on volunteers to help keep us running. We have two junior raptor program graduates who volunteer every week with us, who are a huge part of the Foundation’s success. These volunteers work closely with staff and interns, assisting with birds, cleaning, enrichment, guest interactions, cruise ship days, and educational projects.
The aviary redesign project is underway, due in large part to our countless supporters. We have already surpassed the $20,000 mark through the generosity of ABEF fans all across the world. We are so grateful to each and every donor, because we truly believe that every donation, no matter the size, makes a huge difference. We also want to thank our future supporters. We have made a lot of progress on this project, but have a long way to go. We know that through the help of our growing community we will be able to see this project to fruition.
The American Bald Eagle Foundation is a raptor center, and home to 11 resident birds who work alongside staff to educate the public about their species. Although we are not a rehabilitation facility, ABEF is permitted to hold an injured bird for up to 48 hours to stabilize the animal and help it on its way. Citizens can call ABEF if they see an injured raptor. When these animals need rehabilitation, or a visit with a veterinarian, we are able to fly them to Sitka via a complimentary flight from Alaska Seaplanes in Haines. We are lucky to have the Alaska Seaplanes provide a resource whereby injured birds can be flown to a rehabilitation facility and get back in the air as soon as they can! This summer we were also aided by local fishermen who generously gave us a ride to retrieve an injured bald eagle on Chilkoot Lake.
In July we had a window strike awareness event where the community came together to learn about how to prevent window strikes for the benefit of birds! There were arts and crafts, a dart game with a quiz, a raffle, and treats provided by Rusty Compass, a local coffee shop in Haines. We welcomed over 50 guests at this family-friendly event!
Haines has been overwhelmed with different painted and decorated rocks hidden around town. This community trend has allowed people to get outside and search for painted rocks, post a picture of them, and re-hide the rocks for someone else to find. We had a “First Friday” rock painting event, and hid our own rocks around town for our open house and for free local Fridays. To the family of four who were so excited to find our rock near the local grocery store, IGA, thanks for coming into the Foundation and posting a picture of your rock and thanks to all of the artists that came out to the event.
This past July, ABEF staff and Ole, our resident peregrine falcon, had the opportunity to travel to Skagway, AK and participate in Junior Ranger Day, put on by the National Park Service. The day consisted of teaching kids and adults about raptor biology, avian conservation, and featured an interactive touch table where guests could experience raptor skeletons along with items such as furs and antlers.
The American Bald Eagle Foundation regularly travels to Canada for educational programming. This past July, our staff traveled to present at an educational outreach event and brought two of our raptor coworkers with us. A Eurasian eagle owl, Hans, and a red-tailed hawk, Sitka, enjoyed interacting with people and teaching guests about the different adaptations raptors have.
Thanks for being a part of our non-profit organization and supporting us in everything we do. We work hard everyday teaching people about wildlife conservation to improve the lives of birds, people, and our planet. Your support makes this possible. Thank you.