Your commitment to raptor conservation has led us to this exciting announcement: It’s HawkWatch International’s 35th Anniversary! It’s incredible to reflect on Steve Hoffman’s vision, and how his passion for raptors evolved into an organization that has contributed over 35 years of unmatched migratory raptor data collection, raptor habitat and ecosystem science, and education. There is no way I could cover everything we’ve done together, but I want to remind you of just a few of the things you’ve made possible:
- Counted 15,370,069 and banded 109,454 raptors at migration sites throughout the West,
- Worked alongside over 800 Community Scientists to study and conserve kestrels, forest owls, and more in an effort to support raptor conservation,
- Created memorable encounters with our live Raptor Ambassadors for over half a million children in classrooms across Utah and beyond, inspiring a passion and appreciation for wild things,
- Studied the impact of wind energy developments and vehicle collisions on eagles,
- Launched a truly international program, focused on African eagles and vultures, and
- Published the landmark guidebook, “In-Hand Guide to Diurnal Raptors of North America”
Admittedly, 2020 challenged us in unexpected ways. For the first time ever, we made the difficult decision to refrain from counting several migration sites due to COVID-19 safety concerns for our staff and the migratory raptors they encounter. Luckily, we finished updating our education classroom, complete with distance learning capabilities, just in time. It proved invaluable, allowing us to keep our staff, raptor ambassadors, and classrooms safe during these trying times.
While 2020 was a test of faith and hope for each of us, I am proud to say that HWI soared financially. Committed conservationists like you stretched to keep conserving raptors this year. Thank you for your generosity! This includes a long-time HWI member who left a portion of their estate to our feathered friends after they passed. We are so grateful for this gift, especially in this difficult year. I am also grateful for our dedicated, generous benefactor, whom I want to personally thank, even as they remain anonymous. Regardless of how you support raptor conservation, I want to personally thank you. Each of you has a role to play in conserving these incredible birds and our shared environment. Thank you for your commitment to conservation.
As we take time to appreciate where we have come from, I hope you will take the time to celebrate all that you have made possible. I also hope you’ll stay tuned for some special events to celebrate our 35th Anniversary, as well as information about what you can look forward to in the decades to come.
Thank you for your support, generosity, and passion, which has laid the foundation for 35 years of unmatched scientific excellence. Because of you, HawkWatch International’s goal of Conserving Raptors and Our Shared Environment is soaring high into the future. We look forward to continuing this journey and our work, with you!
Chair, Board of Trustees