I have been involved with Hawks Aloft since 2007, when I was lucky enough to be hired for a seasonal job doing field work. I have been a volunteer ever since my temporary job ended. In my work with Hawks Aloft, I've gotten to experience many of the things they do: songbird surveys, raptor nesting surveys, raptor rescue and education. I have been impressed by the dedication of the staff and volunteers and the quality of services provided. The data from surveys done over a period of years shows trends in bird populations over time and as changes are made to the environment, so this is very valuable data. Hawks Aloft also performs a valuable role in helping to rescue injured raptors, providing transportation so birds can be brought to a qualified rehabilitator and receive veterinary care. They also work to protect nesting birds.
Hawks Aloft has an excellent education program. They bring birds into classrooms and teach students about the birds and about nature. It's vital that we educate our children to value nature and wildlife, and when children see a live raptor up close, it makes a big impression. It's so much fun to see the children's excitement when a bird is brought out of its travel box. After seeing the bird, the children participate in activities and games that teach them about ecology and nature. For the schools that participate in the Living With the Landscape program, children also participate in a conservation project. Without opportunities like this, many of these children would not have little if any exposure to nature.
Hawks Aloft also brings birds to events such as the Crane Festival, the Lavender Festival, evening programs at schools and many of the events held at Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge, providing education to many adults and children. I often participate in these events, and enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others. Many people have questions about raptors they see near their houses, and we help them figure out what raptor is visiting them (usually but not always a Cooper's Hawk).
I am proud to be a part of Hawks Aloft. I believe they are doing important work, and I support them with my time and with donations.
Hawks Aloft provides raptor rescues, childhood training and education, bird surveys and professional avian protection training for utility workers. Their use of avian ambassadors for classroom training and general public information is a very effective way to "get the word out". The survey data helps to support existing species efforts and can be an early indicator of degradation of habitat - very valuable work!
Hawks Aloft is a wonderful organization which has a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who rescue injured raptors, corvids and other types of birds in New Mexico. Hawks Aloft has birds that are unreleasable due to permanent injuries so these birds have become Hawks Aloft’s avian ambassadors, which along with staff and volunteers, provide schools and various other organizations with educational presentations. Hawks Aloft is dedicated to conservation efforts and has completed raptor surveys and statistical data to monitor raptor activity and populations in New Mexico.
Hawks Aloft is an incredible organization in more ways than one. They “work to conserve indigenous wild birds through avian research, conservation education, and cooperation with others” (mission statement). Personally, I have contacted them when I found a baby Great Horned Owl in a golf course late in the evening. They helped direct me to a rescuer. Also, the programs they offer for community education are invaluable. Exposing the public to their wonderful Avian Ambassadors has a positive effect on future conservation. Their impact is far reaching from education to scientific research as well. Attached are two of their beautiful Ambassadors. It’s a real treat to see these raptors so close!