Feeling Election Fatigue?
Make your vote count, while contributing to a great cause during AEF’s Avian Election 2020!
Over the next few weeks, we will showcase the platforms of our four Avian candidates as they vie to become the next Avian President of AEF. Choose between no less than FOUR worthy candidates who value Conservation, Education, and Protection. You can read about their unique campaign platforms below!
Your vote can be cast by purchasing a limited-edition t-shirt of your chosen candidate. All proceeds go directly towards contributing to the health and welfare of our resident birds. This is one campaign where election fraud is encouraged, so feel free to purchase more than one shirt!
Challenger the Bald Eagle
Running Mate: America
Bio: Challenger was blown from his nest at a young age and rescued by some well-meaning people. Despite numerous attempts at returning him to the wild, it became apparent that he had become too human-socialized to survive, and so he was transferred to the American Eagle Foundation. The rest is history. He became the first Bald Eagle trained to free fly in major arenas during the National Anthem. At the age of 30 (and after over 350 free-flight demonstrations), Challenger retired from such flights, but he continues to be an excellent ambassador for his species. His handlers and fans affectionately refer to him as “Chal.”
- Chal’s platform takes a strong stance on protecting waterways and surrounding habitats through clean-up initiatives like American Eagle Day. He will reach new heights by lobbying for AED to become national holiday.
- Though Chal recognizes hunting and fishing as playing important roles in conservation, he supports transitioning to lead-free tackle and ammunition to protect his bird of prey kin and other wildlife.
- Challenger invites outdoorspeople to be conscious of their use of monofilament. He will push for placing fishing line receptacles at popular fishing holes
- Special Interests: Chal still enjoys sports and wants to provide recognition for animal mascots everywhere.
George the Turkey Vulture
Running Mate: Buzz
Bio: George Walter Paddington is a 35-year-old turkey vulture. After being orphaned, he became imprinted on humans during his rehabilitation and deemed non-releasable. He was one of the first birds to come to American Eagle Foundation, and he has participated in innumerable educational programs, including Wings of America at Dollywood. Because he is non-flighted, he enjoys long walks around the facility. He has become something of an Instagram sensation, and his profile allows others to connect with and love a widely misunderstood species.
- George wants to provide incentives for waste management facilities to integrate composting. In his home county, 60% of waste collected becomes compost; by the end of his term, George would like to see this nationwide!
- George has a dynamic foreign policy. With 16 of the 23 species of vulture at risk, vultures overseas need our help, and their decline has staggering health and economic consequences. He will continue to be a Voice for Vultures—both in the US and abroad!
- Beyond Vultures, George advocates for the “underdogs” of wildlife. Through comprehensive educational reform, George will help spread the virtues of “pests” like new world vultures, possums, pollinators, and other under-appreciated fauna
- Special Interests: George loves his walks! He encourages his supporters to visit their National Parks and go hiking!
Poe the Raven
Running Mate: Friar Tuck
Bio: Poe arrived at the American Eagle Foundation in 2009, and he continues to amaze his handlers with his sharp intelligence and big personality. During his time in the wild, Poe suffered from a traumatic wing injury that prevents him from being fully flighted. Thankfully, he enjoys a wide variety of activities and enrichment that keep his keen mind stimulated. Poe can paint, play basketball, identify colors, do weave poles, and even recycle! His name, of course, pays tribute to Edgar Allen Poe; rather than saying “Nevermore,” this raven encourages his fans to recycle more!
- Quoth the Raven: Recycle More! Poe loves single-stream recycling. If recycling is made easy and accessible, waste can be greatly reduced. Poe also wants to minimize the production of single-use plastics (like straws).
- Poe cares about your “caw”! He plans to incentivize workplace carpooling and annual emissions checks.
- Ravens, like many birds, feel the effects of spreading agriculture and deforestation. Poe will promote sustainable agricultural practices and do his best to curtail deforestation!
- Special Interests: Fine Arts! Poe knows how enriching painting can be, so he believes that fine arts have an invaluable place in our nation’s education.
Petunia the Peregrine Falcon
Running Mate: Aleda
Bio: Hatched in 2019, Petunia was transferred just this year from World Bird Sanctuary to the care of American Eagle Foundation. In the wild, Petunia suffered from an injury to her right wing, and despite the incredible efforts to rehabilitate her at WBS, her injury was severe enough that she never regained full flight capability. Her curious and spunky personality has made her a favorite at both facilities, and she has a long and happy life ahead of her as an excellent ambassador for her species.
- Petunia stands firmly against harmful pesticides and rodenticides. Both pose risks to not just birds of prey but entire ecosystems! As a peregrine, Petunia understands this well; her ancestors recovered from near-extinction due to the use of DDT.
- Bird-safe powerlines are also an important issue to Petunia. These pose a risk to birds all over the world! She believes that the US can be a role model for ethical powerlines.
- Because peregrines can thrive in cityscapes, Petunia wants to make our urban landscapes “wild” through the installation of nest-boxes for declining American Kestrels and greenspaces to counter air pollution!
- Special Interests: Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on earth, so Petunia encourages everyone to move their bodies. Run a marathon! Dance! Do whatever form of fitness fits!