Archive Page 2


Utilities to Pay For Bird Deaths

There are so many environmental and conservation  issues these days. As a result it can sometimes be challenging to remember that the Burning Hawk issue is still massive. And remember that the the Burning Hawk wine initiative was launched to pitch in and help.

Here is an article in the Billings Gazette reminding all of us that this issue is still massive, impacting our energy system and most valued birds of prey.


The Hungry Owl Gets Thirsty!

From April 17th to May 29th, please team up with Burning Hawk Wines to support the Hungry Owl Project!

The Hungry Owl ProjectSince the early days of the Burning Hawk wine initiative we have developed a great deal of respect for The Hungry Owl Project and their work to protect birds of prey and other avian friends by showing people that these birds can be effective pest control partners.

Based in San Anselmo and working under the auspices of Wildcare, the Hungry Owl Project team is on a mission to:

“…reduce the need for harmful pesticides & rodenticides by encouraging natural predators, through conservation of habitat, erecting nest boxes when appropriate, through research & education, and by providing a resource of help and information on alternative methods of sustainable pest management.”

Please take some time to completely read the HOP website at It is such an inspiring and educational experience.

Like our farmers and winemakers at Windsor Vineyards and Burning Hawk, The HOP team knows the value of having birds of prey and avian predators in our communities and agricultural landscapes. Predatory birds such as owls, hawks, falcons and even blue birds eat the same insects and rodents that cause problems for farmers, grape growers and land managers. To eradicate these pests, many farmers have for decades developed the habit of using costly, and many times toxic, pesticides, herbicides and rodenticides. But in many cases there are more natural alternatives that do just as good of a job and also deliver additional benefits. If we welcome back birds of prey into our landscapes as part of our overall Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs we can help boost their populations, expand their habitat and bring them onto our team as partners in pest control. Air and water quality will be improved for our neighborhoods and communities and at the end of the day farmers and land managers might be able to save a bit of money too!

The Hungry Owl Project is growing as a restorative force to be reckoned with here in our community. We are glad to team up with HOP and lend a hand as have so many others.

So in addition to directly supporting and funding their work, for the next 6 weeks you can also purchase Burning Hawk wines with the knowledge that 10% of your purchase will fund The Hungry Owl Project.


Rocky Mountain Raptor Results

As many of you are aware, the Burning Hawk wine team has waged an all out vino-sipping, raptor-conserving and environmental-educating fundraising effort over recent weeks. From the beginning of March until mid-April we worked in collaboration with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Raptor Program to raise awareness and funds for their important work.Beginning with a live auction of inaugural vintages of Burning Hawk wines and following-up with an educational and cause-marketing effort we are happy to report that $900 has been raised by cause-minded wine lovers. Our entire team at Burning Hawk salutes the staff and volunteers at the RMRP for their fundamentally important work. And together we thank you our “Causetomers” for aligning your wine purchases with your values.

We also look forward to tracking the progress of the Golden Eagle in the RMRP’s care. This eagle, which like our original hawk was electrocuted by powerlines, has made remarkable progress. There is a good chance that it will be released this summer to fly again in the future. But the injuries and trauma it has experienced have been great and it is not out of the woods (or back into the woods) yet.


One Golden Eagle & The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

Today we’d like to share information that highlights the work of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program and a stunningly beautiful Golden Eagle they are rehabilitating. This month 10% of Burning Hawk Wine sales will be contributed to this organization for their important work caring for injured wildlife and educating future generations of wildlife stewards. 

It starts with a picture……….

Golden Eagle in good hands after surgery


This Golden Eagle, shown here in the hands of RMRP medical team, was injured in a very similar fashion (at around the same time) as the hawk which was tragically killed here in California and inspired our Burning Hawk Philanthropic Wine initiative.

We asked Judy Scherpelz, Director of RMRP to share some notes about this Golden Eagle’s original injury and what is being done to ensure this bird can fly again in the wild.


  • Golden Eagle 08-115 (Case number means the 115th bird admitted in 2008)
  • Admitted 7/7/08.  Found approx. 25 mi. north of Cheyenne, WY
  • A pair of golden eagles have built their nest on top of a transmission tower (one of those giant ones).  This bird was hanging (by its talon) on the tower, about 30 ft. off the ground.

  • The rancher who found him climbed the tower and freed the bird, which was quite angry at the time.  (They rarely say thank you!).  The bird was then transported to the RMRP.

  • He was admitted with a fractured right tarsometatarsus (the lower leg bone just above the foot).  He also had electric shock injuries (burns ) around the fractured area and the right foot.

  • When the bird was admitted, the leg was bandaged, wounds were treated, bird was stabilized (fluids, food, meds, etc.)

  • Healing of the fracture was slow because of the damage from the electric shock injury.  X-rays on 10/1/08 showed signs of infection in the foot.  Bird had surgery on 10/8/08 to remove the infected tissue form the foot.  Meds and wound care followed.  The bird had limited use of two toes on the right foot.

  • 10/21/08 – Bird had surgery to realign the fracture because the foot had rotated out of alignment.  A fixator (metal bar) was inserted in the bone to keep everything properly aligned.  This process was successful; fixator was removed 12/16/08.

  • 2/16/09 – the bird was moved to our large flight (140’ flying space) where he is now re-learning how to fly and how to be an eagle.  Once he regains his flight skills, he will need to build up stamina, and then will go through hunting training.

The team at the RMRP is cautiously optimistic that this Golden Eagle, after a tremendous amount of compassionate and costly care, will be released to fly again in the wild. Their best estimate for a release date is sometime this summer. We asked Judy to explain what motivates her and her team to do the work that they do and here is what she wrote:

I feel so fortunate to be able to dedicate my life to helping raptors, our community, our environment, our planet. The birds are so magnificent – tough and fragile, and we can give them a second chance at flying free. And when you see “that look” in the eye of a child, the wonder and amazement, the realization that it is up to us to take care of our planet – then you know that you have made a difference for now, and for future generations. The people in this program are amazing – the volunteers are so dedicated, so compassionate, so determined to help these birds. I am very lucky to have this staff – we are like family to each other. Our work is so hard – we have to be dedicated to the program and to each other. There is so much death, so much strife, so much suffering of humans and animals. We can truly make a difference in all of this if we work together. “

The entire team at Burning Hawk Wines extends our thanks to Judy and her team at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program.

This month 10% of your total purchase of Burning Hawk Wines supports this important organization. Please make your purchase online by using code RMRP1 or call 1.800.289.9463.











Triple Pundit, Bird of Mouth & The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program Vino Enjoyment Challenge

Today we sent out the March eNewsletter for Burning Hawk in which we share important and exciting information, including the announcement of a month-long initiative to raise awareness and funds for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program.  This initiative “left the nest” last night in Fort Collins, Colorado at the Lincoln Center where the live auction of 6 bottles of inaugural Burning Hawk wines raised $600! Our partners in this contribution were Rick Harness and colleagues at EDM International!

And until March 31st at Midnight 10% of your total net purchase will fund this amazing little avian organizational train that could. So all aboard for the RMRP! (Note: just a few minutes ago, Jacqueline and Will Smith stepped up to the plate (or palate) and placed  the first order!  Thank you, the RMRP thanks you and enjoy the vino!)

Below are links to this month’s newsletter plus one more from The Triple Pundit that you do not want to miss. 

ONE MORE THING…Finally, this bit of  hot-off-the-press cause marketing journalism isn’t in the eNewsletter but we had the great honor of being interviewed this past week by Gennefer Snowfield from The Triple Pundit. This was a great opportunity to reflect on all that’s happened in just a few months since the unfortunate incident “Burning Hawk Starts Vineyard Fire” ignited our imagination and sparked this effort. Please read Burning Hawk Wines: A Cause That Inspired A Brand.

Please help spread the word. Hawk on!


The Price of Power

Today our colleagues at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sent us a very comprehensive article on global avian electrocution issues.

Please check out the following article, The Price of Power, written by James Lowen. This article was originally published in the World Bird Watch Magazine, a publication of Birdlife International.

The headline reads:

“A ubiquitous part of modern life, electricity and the infrastructure that provides it, have devastating effects on several bird species. James Lowen investigates the long-running campaign that several European BirdLife Partners have been involved in to try and mitigate this serious problem.”

We hope you find this article informative and thank the team at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for sending it our way.


Help Protect Birds of Prey in the United Kingdom

Peregrine Trapped Illegally

Peregrine Trapped Illegally

Since launching the Burning Hawk wine initiative we’ve been blessed to meet many new friends and colleagues. And as each day passes, our team’s knowledge of birds, birding and the many threats to birds and their habitat deepens.

Recently we came across the million-member strong Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) out of the UK who is is working to stop the illegal killing of raptors by hunters.  In the past week the Burning Hawk team has had numerous communications with Jeff Knott, the project’s lead who sums up the problem for us as follows:

  • Birds of prey have been protected in the  UK for many decades, yet they’re still deliberately killed by poisioning, shooting and trapping.
  • The main problem area is on upland grouse moors and hunting estates where  raptors such as hen harriers and golden eagles prey on grouse which compete with “the hunt”
  • Some shooting and hunting traditionalists are unwilling to evolve their sport to allow for co-existence with birds of prey
  • The issue is improving in the lowlands due to increased public awareness, government oversight and shooting estates learning how to live with and cherish raptors and birds of prey.

The RSPB is working very hard to mobilize concerned citizens and present a strong voice to governments and those responsible that this illegal killing of raptors in unacceptable and cannnot continue. They could use your help and support. So please take a moment to learn about the (RSPB) and this important project.  No matter where you live in the  world you can help.  Here’s what you can do: 1) learn about this issue impacting raptors 2) sign their online petition and 3) share this information with your networks.

Also for a broader perspective on the state of birds of prey in the UK you can read “Birds of Prey in the UK: On a Wing and A Prayer”  which the RSPB wrote in collaboration with a dozen or so organizations including Birdlife International, The Northern England Raptor Forum and others. Additionally take a moment to learn about the RSPB’s 100+ year history and initial founding to counter “the barbarous trade in plumes for women’s hats.” What an inspiration!

We extend our appreciation for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for their efforts. While the specific issues or threats facing birds may be different, and the solutions we choose to employ are varied, we share the same focused goals: foster appreciation of wild birds and bring people together to protect them when they are threatened.