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In Memorial: Claire Bourret


Claire Bourret (1951 – 2023)

Claire Bourret was the treasurer of the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation (RMERF) for over 20 years and was a highly competent and effective steward of the Foundation’s finances. Her annual financial reports were always on time and straightforward, and Claire worked hard to raise funds for observation and research activities. She made sure the charity casinos were always well staffed, and even when in hospital in early 2023, Claire still recruited volunteers for the next upcoming RMERF casino. But Claire did so much more:

Although she was not a field person and rarely went to the observation site at Hay Meadow, she was fascinated by the migrating eagles and raptors. Her enthusiasm was infectious and made her an outstanding educator and outreach coordinator. Claire made sure the RMERF had a well-equipped and volunteer-staffed RMERF booth at various events around the Calgary area, such as the Calgary Mayor’s Environment Expo at City Hall, Provincial Park Days, the Canmore Folk Festival and the Open House at the Barrier Lake Field Station. To make these events hands-on, she assembled educational materials, such as handouts, teaching games for kids, and a giant map of North America to show the routes of the migrating eagles. The satellite-tracked eagle “Elaine” was a special favourite of hers and Claire related so well to kids and passed on her enthusiasm for the eagles and for nature in general.

Claire also made sure that we celebrated the RMERF’s ongoing success. She organized and managed well attended 20th and 30th anniversary celebrations which included interesting speakers, field trips, delicious food, and a lot of socializing. She understood very well that field observations and research activities alone do not make a community but that it was the social events, such as the Annual RMERF BBQ (and cricket game) that brought people together. She made sure there was plenty of food and drinks available, and whatever the event, including the board meetings, Claire brought some home baked goodies, usually delicious muffins. She was usually assisted by her patient and loving husband Joe.

“She always gave 100 precent, sometimes even more” as a founding member of the RMERF said, and the RMERF is deeply grateful to Claire for her hard work and the many contributions she made to the Foundation and its objectives.

May she soar with the eagles.