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Guest Speaker for Northern Arizona Audubon Society

  • Shepard of the Hills Lutheran Church 1601 North San Francisco Street Flagstaff, AZ, 86001 United States (map)

Michele will be presenting The Genesis of Raptor Conservation at the NAZ Audubon membership meeting in Sedona and Flagstaff. After an hour-long PowerPoint presentation, Coral will be conducting an informal Q&A session. 

You do not have to be a member to attend, NAZ Audubon meetings are open to the public and FREE. 

Falconry is the ancient culture of hunting small mammals and birds using trained raptors. Although there is some disparity, it is speculated that falconry dates back as far as 4000 - 6000 BC in Mongolia, Egypt or Southeast Asia. Falconry is mostly regarded to the times of Medieval England and the sport of Nobility. Presently, falconry is highly regulated and requires serious commitment in acquiring permits and the discipline to train a raptor to hunting cooperatively with the falconer. There is an estimated 4,000 falconers in the United States that hold permits, with even fewer that are active.

Falconers are often at the core of the raptor breeding projects and re-introductions as well as raptor biology and conservation. Falconers, with other biologists, were the driving force and knowledge that brought the Peregrine Falcon from the brink of extinction. The mid-1960’s, this collaboration, would mark an unprecedented time in raptor conservation history with the formation of the Peregrine Fund and Raptor Research Fund. The return of the Peregrine Falcon and the Bald Eagle are two of the greatest conservation success stories of the new millennium. Raptor propagation was a matter of science: artificial insemination and incubating eggs in a laboratory but the species success depended on the traditional ecological knowledge of the falconers.

This ancient practice facilitates a unique relationship between raptors and humans through mutual respect and trust. For over four thousand years, falconry remains steeped in tradition; and, it is through this tradition and knowledge of raptor behavior and hunting strategies that the falconer gains a rare glimpse into the behavioral ecology of this secretive predator.

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