Hawks Aloft, Inc.

Hawks Aloft, Inc.


Hawks Aloft has earned the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency!

Guidestar (now Candid) is one of the industry leaders in gathering information about non-profit organizations and communicating to donors that a non-profit is established and is in good financial standing. We are excited to share that Hawks Aloft has earned the 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency. You can support our work in conservation, education, and raptor rescue with trust and confidence. You can view our Candid non-profit profile here: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/85-0418661
Hawks Aloft is selected for the 2022 Best of Albuquerque Award!

The Albuquerque Awards Program has selected Hawks Aloft for the 2022 Best of Albuquerque Award in the organization or association category. Each year, the Albuquerque Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. Various sources of information are gathered and analyzed by the Awards Program to choose the winners in each category. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Albuquerque Award Program and data provided by third parties.
In case you are wondering about how our birds manage in severe weather, all of the larger hawks, falcons and owls, remain in their outdoor flight cages (mews). Several years ago, we installed electricity (and video cameras) to each of the cages at our main facility so that there are heated perches if the birds choose to use them, and we can observe their activities from afar. Most, but not all of them do opt for heat. Jemez, our Mexican Spotted Owl, seems to love the snow; however, seems to thrive in the chill and snow and performs acrobatics during the night when no one is watching (thank you Blink camera).
We never stop learning in Vet Med!

Earlier this week, some of the incredible staff with Hawks Aloft, Inc. stopped by to teach our technicians how to safely handle birds of prey and administer basic rehabilitation care.

Petroglyph Animal Hospital has had a relationship with Hawks Aloft for a very long time and look forward to many more years together. We want to help animals of all varieties, not only household pets.

Thank you to Gail, Maggie, and Amelia for taking the time to make us even better.
It's #FactFriday! I delight in spotting Red-Tailed Hawk, whether on a fence post or "kiting" high in the sky. One of the few birds able to do so, they can hold still against the wind on set wings, much like a kite. The Red-Tail is the largest hawk, usually weighing between 2 & 4 pounds, & did you know their eyesight is 8 times as powerful as a human’s?! No wonder they can easily spot tiny rodents (their main food source) on the ground below. Join us this weekend at Fiesta de Los Niños to meet some fascinating animal ambassadors with Hawks Aloft, Inc. & the New Mexico Wildlife Center, stamp your own leather bracelet with Tandy Leather, hang out with the Rangers of Fort Union National Monument & Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, & enjoy some yummy food & refreshments from our friends at Bruno's Pizzeria & Flamingo Steve's Italian Ice. See you this weekend!
Link in bio.
#fiestadelosninos #elranchodelasgolondrinas #lasgolondrinas #alivinghistorymuseum #santafecounty #SantaFeNM #santafe #santafenmtrue #santafeadventure #newmexicotrue #nmtrue #TheCityDifferent #simplysantafe #landofenchantment #purenm #historylovers #travelnewmexico
Some wonderful donated rides in this months auction, come check them out in person or at www.rt66auctions.com

#donatedrides #nm #nonprofits #autoauction #opentothepublic #albuquerque

Bethel Storehouse, Hawks Aloft, Inc., Catholic Charities New Mexico (CCASFNM), Siberian Husky Rescue of New Mexico, Crossroads for Women - Albuquerque, Wings For LIFE International, NM Veterans Integration Centers, @First Congregational Church UCC,Albuquerque, Heading Home NM,@classical 95.5 KHFM, Beds4kidz Albuquerque
UPDATE: Sadly, this magnificent creature has succumbed to his illness. Thank you to all those - citizens, volunteers with @hawksaloft, and medical staff - who went above and beyond to try to save his life. We will post another update when the lab results come back.

Wildlife story for the week:
This bald eagle was found on Navajo Nation land, unable to fly. Hawks Aloft, Inc. was contacted to transport the bird to us for medical care. Pictured is one of our doctors tube-feeding the eagle. Notice how his feet have been wrapped during handling for our staff's safety! The doctor suspects lead poisoning or some other toxin has sickened this bird. Lab tests are pending.

Such an amazing creature - right here in our clinic!
We really enjoy working with Hawks Aloft, Inc.! They are an incredible organization and we're happy to help!

Our wildlife hospital admitted a very unique (and LARGE) bird - a Sandhill Crane!

Sandhill Crane #20-989, found in Albuquerque unable to fly, was transported to our center by our friends at Hawks Aloft, Inc. Upon admission, Rehabilitator Hilary was able to perform x-rays to see what was going on with the bird's wing - a fracture to the bird’s right ulna caused by a bullet (pictured below). These birds are quite big, this one weighs 4.3 Kg, almost 9 1/2 pounds! Handling and treating them require large amounts of caution, PPE, and careful restraint. After x-rays, the crane's wing was wrapped and placed in a small enclosure to limit movement so the wing will have the best chance at healing.

Not an unusual bird to see in New Mexico, this species of crane gathers in massive numbers to migrate from the northern parts of North America to the southern regions for winter. Hundreds to thousands of these graceful cranes cumulate at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Mexico during the winter months where they feed and rest along grasslands, wetlands, and shores of rivers and shallow lakes. When spring comes, they migrate once more to the north to breed.

After consulting with a veterinarian, we are hopeful Sandhill Crane #20-989 will heal in time to be released back into the wild where it can join up with a flock to migrate north for the breeding season.

Interested in donating your land for releases? Email us for more information: [email protected]

To donate towards the care of NMWC hospital patients, consider donating via our website. https://newmexicowildlifecenter.org/donate/

This Great Horned Owl was released back into the wild near Gallup, NM, recently!

It was quite the journey for this patient. Originally, he was rescued near Gallup, NM, and transported to our friends in Albuquerque, Hawks Aloft, Inc. That's almost 140 miles away! After ensuring the owl was stable, Hawks Aloft volunteers transported it to our center for continued care on Halloween.

The original reason Great Horned Owl #20-928 was brought in for care was that he was struck by a vehicle on a road. The collision did not cause any fractures or major skin wounds, but the bird did sustain head trauma. After spending a few weeks in one of our larger flight spaces, we tested his hunting abilities by offering live prey and observing his abilities using a trail camera.

When wildlife collide with vehicles, windows, and other hard surfaces, they tend to sustain neurological damage that may or may not be treatable. In some cases, the animal will never be able to practice their natural behaviors and will not survive on their own in the wild. At our wildlife hospital, testing a patient's ability to hunt is a critical assessment that predators have to pass in order to be released, especially animals who have suffered from head trauma.

We are pleased to say that this owl had a very positive outcome and is once again a wild bird!

If you would like to donate to the care of our patients, please visit our website at: https://newmexicowildlifecenter.org/donate
My daughter in Tampa sent me these anybody have an idea what kind of Hawk it is?

Hawks Aloft works to conserve indigenous wild birds through avian research, education & cooperation with others. We are based in Albuquerque, NM.

www.hawksaloft.org Hawks Aloft is a non-profit corporation based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our initial work was primarily raptor education, and that work continues to this day, an essential component of our mission. We also conduct avian research and monitoring throughout the state and actively work to protect wildlife and their habitats. In addition to our staff of scientists and educators, we rely on our many vounteers, all working together for avian conservation.

Operating as usual


The magnificent Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a powerful bird of prey. It’s famed for its hunting technique called a “stoop”, a high-speed dive that can reach speeds of over 200 mph, making it the fastest species in the animal kingdom! By the late 1960s this falcon had been virtually eradicated in eastern North America due to pesticide use. Only after extensive recovery efforts, including captive-breeding and reintroduction programs, were Peregrine falcon populations able to make their extraordinary comeback. Thank you Doug Brown Photography for this photo.

Photos from Hawks Aloft, Inc.'s post 03/15/2022

It was March 8 that the call came in. NMD of Game and Fish Officers Heppler & King found this Red-tailed Hawk alongside the road in San Acacia. Mary Bruesch drove to meet them, boxing up the Red-tail and driving it straight to Chellye Porter . Chellye was in a meeting so Mary just put the box in the back of Chellye's car. Imagine Chellye's surprise when she went to her car to find, NOT a Red-tailed Hawk, but a very large Ferruginous Hawk (a female!) that had escaped from the box and was proudly standing in the back of her SUV as if to say, "Now, how do I get out of here?". She was standing atop Chellye's glove and all of her rescue equip! So, catching her up again involved getting help from her son, Travis Porter. Even though she appeared strong and healthy, something must have been wrong that enabled humans to catch her. Stay tuned for the rest of her story! It's a wild one!


This Is Us! The Hawks Aloft Crew 2022! from L-R: Maggie Stein Trevor Fetz Evelyn McGarry Rebecca Vigil Joe Acord, Sue Harrelson, Daniel Abram. Not Shown: Gail Garber, the photographer of the day! We all are looking forward to meeting you!


One more lovely portrait to round out our Prairie Falcon series. While this bird’s plumage resembles that of the American Kestrel and, even more so, the Merlin, DNA analysis has shown that it’s more closely related to the Peregrine Falcon. As it happens, our next series—starting tomorrow—will feature the Peregrine! Thank you Doug Brown for the photo.


Here’s a juvenile Prairie Falcon, identifiable as a youngster by the white plumage that extends up and behind its eye, and also by its pale-blue cere (the waxy covering at the base of its upper mandible) and eye-ring. Not shown in this photo: its pale-blue feet! Thank you Tony Thomas for the photo.

Photos from Hawks Aloft, Inc.'s post 03/12/2022

In the summer of 2021, this male Burrowing Owl was found by the side of the road by Larry Rimer and Steve Youtsey when they were doing a raptor survey in the Estancia Valley. He had head trauma and his recovery took too long for a release before Burrowing Owls migrated south. He overwintered here in the company of our nonreleasable female Burrowing Owl. This week, he got his USGS aluminum band in preparation for his release back to the area he was found. Thank you to everyone who helping in his recovery!


You may need to zoom in on this photo to pick out the adult Prairie Falcon (hint: it’s near center top) and what appear be its nestlings in a nearby crevice. Like their Kestrel cousins, Prairie Falcons do not build nests; instead, they scrape out a shallow depression in a crevice or ledge on a cliff face. Thank you Larry Rimer for the photo.


And it Begins: The 2022 Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt! Thank you Cynthia Figueroa McInteer for the design, and Liz RobertsPottery for the painting.


What Prairie Falcon parents-to-be must face when scouting out potential nesting sites in the Rio Grande Gorge. Check back tomorrow for evidence that it can, in fact, be done — or train your eagle-eye on this photo! Thank you Larry Rimer for the photo.

Photos from Hawks Aloft, Inc.'s post 03/11/2022

You might remember this female Cooper's Hawk that was rescued by Charles Cummings and ABQ Animal Welfare Office Rademaker back in January. Turns out, she was shot prior to being dinged by a vehicle. After two months in recovery this female should be back in the wild very soon after Matt Mitchell imps some feathers to replace her damaged ones. She got her USGS aluminum band this week too so we might be able to learn what happens to her if it is ever recovered. Thank you all for your help with this beautiful hawk:
Amelia Thompson, Christine Fiorello, Acequia Animal Hospital, Lisa Morgan, Maggie Stein. Rebecca Vigil , Evelyn McGarry, and all who helped in her care.


Good advice... 🦋

Credit: Beaver Valley Gold Honey 🐝


Prairie Falcons can be seen flying low over grasslands and desert scrub, hunting for rodents and songbirds—or they may hunt from a perch. Like their Peregrine cousins, they are also adept at the bulletlike high-speed dive known as a stoop. Thank you Doug Brown for the photo.


Please join us in welcoming Rebecca Vigil as our new educator/naturalist! Rebecca is a proud New Mexico native. When she was young, the Rio Grande Zoo’s (Now ABQ BioPark) outreach program came to her class and sparked her interest in Conservation! This led her to attend New Mexico Highlands University where she received a Bachelors of Science degree in Forestry. After graduating, She worked as a Forest Technician for the United States Forest Service where she learned the importance of our natural resources. After that she obtained a job with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Here she was the first point of contact for visitors at the museum and assisted in curating the Kiwanis Learning garden classes. In recent years, She helped manage an urban farm where she addressed food scarcity issues and implemented regenerative agriculture. Her past experiences have allowed her to understand the importance of transforming our food systems to not only be sustainable, but to also promote biodiversity and help conserve our wildlife.


Coming back from a successful hunt! During the breeding season Prairie Falcons rely on rodent prey—primarily ground squirrels—but switch to avian prey in winter. The bird being carried away by this Prairie Falcon is not easily identifiable in the photo, but could very well be a Horned Lark, a species that likes to flock to Prairie Falcons’ winter habitats.
This Prairie Falcon exhibits the classic field marks for falcons: long slender wings, malar stripe under the eye, spotted or streaked underparts—and one more that’s unique to this species: dark wingpits, colloquially dubbed “hairy armpits”! Thank you Larry Rimer for the photo.


The falcon in this headshot could almost pass for an extremely well-fed Merlin! But the squarish head and broad shoulders belong to Falco mexicanus, the Prairie Falcon. Its scientific name is something of a misnomer: while Prairie Falcons can be found in northern Mexico, their primary breeding and wintering ranges cover the western half of the US, including New Mexico. Notice what ornithologist Pete Dunne calls its “owlishly large eyes”; as a desert predator, the Prairie Falcon will be hunting prey that’s most active at dawn and dusk. Thank you Doug Brown for the photo.


Merlins are generally solitary outside of the breeding season; they start migrating to their breeding grounds in late February. Merlins are serially monogamous, pairing up for a single season. From May through June you may see them engaging in aerial courtship. During this time, they become more vocal and use short calls to attract a mate. When nesting, Merlins will utilize abandoned nests found in trees and shrubs in riparian or deciduous forests, or in crevices on a cliff-face. Some will build a shallow nest on the ground or even on human-built structures. Thank you Doug Brown for this photograph.

Photos from Hawks Aloft, Inc.'s post 03/05/2022

It didn't need to happen! Our Raptor Rescue hotline (505-999-7740) go a call yesterday morning about an injured Bald Eagle in a remote canyon at Navajo Lake. The only possible rescue would be by water, a very challenging operation. We contacted Lori Paras of the Santa Fe Raptor Center located in El Rito, NM, far closer than our Albuquerque location. With the help of New Mexico Dept of Game and Fish, she was able to capture the critically ill eagle. She spent the entire day gathering up this eagle and was still not back to her facility until evening! The cause of the inury? Lead poisoning! This bird ingested lead, either from dining on fish with lead sinkers, or eating a mammalian gut pile. Still alive today, Lori began chelation therapy immediately. Say a prayer for this magnificent eagle.


Merlins are expeditious fliers and skillful hunters that rely on their speed and agility to capture their prey. These diurnal hunters are most readily observed when flying fast and low above the ground. They camouflage in a tree or large shrub, then rush out to surprise their prey. They are notorious for catching their prey in mid flight most of the time. Breeding pairs frequently hunt cooperatively, with one bird flushing the prey toward its mate.

This image displays an adult female Merlin eating a House Sparrow. Thank you John C. Longhenry for this photo!


Please join us in welcoming @Daniel Abrams to the Hawks Aloft team as associate administrator. We are thrilled!


This is a special picture of Hawks Aloft's very own avian-ambassador falcons, whom we are always happy to have assisting us in our education and outreach programs. You can easily see the similarities and differences between Merlins and American Kestrels of both sexes. From left to right: a female American Kestrel, male Merlin, female Merlin, and male American Kestrel. The Merlin is larger-headed and shorter-tailed than its relative the American Kestrel and, on average, considerably heavier.

If you are interested in learning more about our avian ambassadors check out https://www.hawksaloft.org/adopt-a-raptor/


These small, dashing falcons breed in forests and prairies throughout North America. They appear spirited and energetic as they patrol shorelines and open spaces for prey.
Merlins are predominantly dark-colored with a heavily-streaked chest, dark underwings, and white bands across their tail. Their coloration varies geographically and by gender.

There are three subspecies of Merlin: Prairie Merlin is found in the Great Plains, Taiga in the boreal forest, and Black in the Pacific Northwest. Their plumage ranges from the very pale Prairie Merlin to the very dark Black Merlin. Taiga overlaps with Prairie and Black at both ends of the spectrum. Pictured above is a Prairie Merlin, Thank you Alan Murphy for this photo.

Videos (show all)

Hawks Aloft Quilt Raffle Ticket Drawing 2021
Baby Cooper's Hawk Preening
Red-tailed Hawk Chick Growing Up
Harlan and Foster Chick Sleeping
3 baby American Kestrels
Foster Parents are the BEST!
Great Blue Heron Nest
Western Screech Owl Flies Free!
Update about Live Videos



We offer a program called Adopt-A-Raptor as well as educational programs for local schools. Additional information for these is available at our website: www.hawksaloft.org



6715 Eagle Rock Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM

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