Chatter Reunion & American Eagle Day @ Dollywood a Huge Success!
2017 Annual Chatter Reunion Recap & Acknowledgements • June 15-16 2017
This year’s Chatter Reunion was a blast! The reunion began on Thursday morning with a tour of AEF facilities. Those in attendance got to meet Challenger and many resident raptors currently living at the AEF’s bird-care barn at HQ, as well as see our captive breeding aviaries and incubation facilities. Thank you to all of our staff, interns, and volunteers who made this tour a success.
That evening, over $11,000 dollars were raised at our Annual Chatter Reunion Dinner! So many beautiful and awesome items were donated towards our raffle and auction, it was hard to choose! For the first time, we also ran an adoption campaign at the dinner, which entered those donors into a raffle for some exclusive raffle items and experiences. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped us raised money…whether it was a donated auction or raffle item, a $500 live auction bid, or a $1 raffle ticket, every penny makes a difference when it comes to helping us care for our beautiful birds. We’d like to especially thank Hidden Mountain Resort for completley donating the use of their beautiful lodge for our event.
The next morning, everyone was shuttled to the AEF’s hack tower on Douglas Lake, where we released two eaglets in to the wild. There eaglets were transferred to the AEF from Kentucky. The eaglets were named Chief and Catalina.
Later that day, some very lucky people got to experience something that has never been made available at previous reunions. Wildlife Artist Patrick Ching (from Hawaii) taught a “How to Paint Challenger” class, where they were instructed, stroke by stroke, how to paint a beautiful representation of Challenger based off of a photo taken by Gena Flanigen. A huge thank you to Patrick Ching for flying all the way from Hawaii to be with us! Your class was a hit!
American Eagle Day @ Dollywood Recap & Acknowledgements • June 17th, 2017
The morning began with our traditional “The Chatter Wave,” where our Nest Cam fans gathered in front on Frank & Indy’s enclosure at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary to wave up at their nest cam. Afterwards, attendees lined up at the Wings of American stage to meet and get their photo taken with Challenger the Eagle!
The day continued with two Wings of America birds-of-prey programs and two special presentations. Attendees learned about the history of the American Eagle Foundation & Challenger the Bald Eagle from Al Cecere, Founder & President of the American Eagle Foundation, and then they learned about the Bald Eagle’s comeback on the California Channel Islands from Biologist & Conservationist Dr. Peter Sharpe.
Attendees were able to walk around our Dollywood facilities and participate in multiple activities such as: learning about Eagles & the AEF’s Captive Breeding and Hacking Program; viewing our non-releasable Bald Eagles in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary; And helping us build a life-size eagle nest; participate in other fun kids Activities.
We’d like to extend a huge thank-you to all of our staff/volunteers/interns who made this event possible, to Dollywood for being so dedicated to helping us make this event a success, and to Dr. Peter Sharpe for joining us all the way from California.