Speaker: Eric Harold, Falconer
With a history that dates back over 4000 years and geographical span that includes all continents except Australia and Antarctica, falconry has influenced many cultures and is today practiced in societies worldwide. As with the practitioners of other hunting sports, falconers have become organized in order to embrace stewardship and conservation challenges affecting the resources they treasure. Although the first such effort was in response to the decline of a species highly prized for falconry, the peregrine falcon, many current efforts seek to restore and maintain populations of species with little utilitarian value as falconry birds thanks to the techniques that were derived from the days of peregrine recovery. Today, the fruits of labor of the falconry community can be seen in recovery projects in places like Madagascar, Panama, Africa, and the Philippines thanks to The Peregrine Fund and World Center For Birds Of Prey. When no other group or organizations stepped forward or had the essential knowledge and techniques, these folks became involved due to passion that has its roots in the practice of falconry. The future of biodiversity preservation will be brighter if impassioned stewards like those in the falconry community have the opportunity to continue to lead the way when similar challenges arise. Falconer Eric Harold will share the many facets, past to present, of falconry at the May presentation.
Eric holds an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from NC State and an MS in Biology from UNCC. After completing his graduate work, he worked numerous seasonal field ornithology jobs until 2007 when he accepted full-time work at Douthat State Park as a park interpreter. For the past 4 years, he has been employed with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program as a preserve stewardship technician in the southwest region. He enjoys prescribed burns, hikes, trout fishing, birding, and yes, falconry. He currently flies a cast of Harris hawks and a male Cooper's hawk.
Swoop into our May meeting and see what we'll be hawking! Thursday, May 5th at the Tyvola Senior Center (2225 Tyvola Road.) at 7:15 PM. Refreshments and fellowship from 6:45 PM. Although we offer disposable cups, if you think of it beforehand, please consider bringing your own cup or mug to ease the burden on the environment. Ice will be provided. Birds and Beans Bird Friendly coffee will be available too!