Monday, March 20, 2017

Message from the Director

It has been a busy start to the year, but it has been productive and very enjoyable.  A warm welcome to our teachers and classrooms that are following along!  We have been working hard to get raptor cams ready for nesting season, training volunteers to operate them, and telling the interesting stories as we watch nature unfold and enter a new cycle of life.  If you are an educator and would like a classroom account, please visit

Two stories come to mind….the first one as each day starts is how to best share the raw beauty that comes with viewing our Decorah Eagles and other raptors as they do what comes naturally.  We are drawn to that connection with the natural world they represent.  Who could imagine that we would recently watch and wonder about the first vivid footage we have seen of Mom North vocalizing while sleeping and dreaming [video:]!  I also had to hunt down the video footage captured by our videographers when I heard about the confrontation between the first female peregrine falcon to arrive at Great Spirit Bluff with our resident female Michelle as she returned a week later to claim her nest and mate. It was not too rough, but I can honestly say I was rooting for Michelle and had to laugh as some of you joked about Newman having some explaining to do! [video:]

The second story is what a difference we can make by leading as an example and using our energy and talents to advocate for the raptors and nature around us.  Most of us have been touched by the example set by Bob Anderson and his RRP partners in raptor conservation and research.  It has been a time of reflection to watch the recent Iowa Public Television movie (The Eagles of Decorah) about the discovery of the Decorah Eagles and subsequent production of the movie “American Eagle”.  It is that passion that has brought us all together to carry on.

Our second annual fundraiser at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul was an event to remember and served as a kick-start to the year.  It was a donation of time and musical talent, one of the many you share, showcasing contributions that help us fulfill our mission.  This year we are focusing some of those efforts on kestrels, osprey, and telling stories of the unique Driftless Area.  I can’t wait to share our first newsletter with you all soon!  We now prepare to monitor peregrine falcons as they return to their historic bluff eyries.

There are exciting times ahead watching and experiencing Nature’s reality TV and sharing our love for the raptors who are only part of the bigger picture.  Spring is just around the corner and we have some exciting projects to share that are in process….stay tuned and need I remind us all to get outside and capture the outdoor experience! It won't be long until eggs start hatching!

John Howe
Director, Raptor Resource Project