A 2007 male Lanner/Saker hybrid is named after a famous North American falconer and author Hal Webster. One of our best birds here at the center, he is a real ham during flight demonstrations and is good at wowing the crowds. He comes right out of the sun at speeds upwards of 100 mph and excels in vertical drops, or stoops. Webster also works at abatement. He is one of our all-stars, be sure to check out his resume in our Media section. Hybridization is done in captivity to help fend off disease or to acquire desired attributes for hunting and flying. Lanner and Saker are both Eastern Hemisphere species of falcon.
Image: XSight Photography
A 2014 male Saker, “saker” means falcon in Arabic. Sakers breed from eastern Europe eastwards across Asia to Manchuria. It is mainly migratory except in the southernmost parts of its range, wintering in Ethiopia, the Arabian peninsula, northern Pakistan and western China. The Saker is the national bird of Hungary and, in 2012, was selected as the national bird of Mongolia.
Image: Hilary Kaseman
Named after the Chicago Cubs, is a 2013 a male Anatum Peregrine Falcon. Peregrine’s are know as the duck hawk in North America. Peregrines lives mostly along mountain ranges, river valleys, coastlines, and increasingly in cities. The peregrine falcon reaches faster speeds than any other animal on the planet when performing the stoop, which involves soaring to a great height and then diving steeply at speeds of over 320 km/h (200 mph). In 2005, Ken Franklin recorded his falcon, Frightful (a female Peregrine), stooping at a top speed of 389 km/h (242 mph) for the film Terminal Velocity
Image: David Swanson Photography
A lovely 2011 white Gyrfalcon. Weighing a massive 3lbs, Shadow is the largest species of Falcon in the world. Gyrfalcons are typically found above the arctic rim on both continents. Highly prized by falconers and royalty for eons, Gyr falcons were often used as diplomatic currency.
Image: David Swanson Photography
A 2015 female Lanner Falcon and she is named after the island of Islay, Scotland. It is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as “The Queen of the Hebrides” and also know for their single malt whiskey.
Image: David Swanson Photography
A 2014 male Aplomado Falcon. Named for the wild-man in the ancient Assyrian tale the Epic of Gilgamesh which first mentions Falconry in human history. Enkidu is right now the loudest of the bunch with his constant baby bird chirping, but his high energy spirit and sweet demeanor has helped him earn a place in our hearts. The Aplomado is a desert south-west falcon that was native from southern Arizona and Texas all the way into South America. They are the only falcon still endangered in North America. Sadly, atomic testing (way back when) in White Sands NM, the decimation of Prairie Dog environment (it’s a long story), the continued overgrazing of cattle and rampant development have left little natural habitat for these birds in the U.S.
Image: Brent Martin MyPhotographyAdventure.com
Mariposa – is a 2003 Female Harris Hawk and she came to us in ’09 after hunting with a falconer since’ 03. Mariposa is an accomplished hunter and is a solid education bird, often the main flyer at events. She loves a crowd. She likes to tease the dogs and her favorite color is red! Sonoran Harris hawks are found in the desert southwest of the United States.
Hancock – is a 2010 Male Sonoran Harris Hawk he is named after Hancock Banning, who was one of the first owners of Catalina Island. Sonoran Harris hawks are found in the desert southwest of the United States.
Piper – Piper is a male 2012 Swainson’s Hawk. This is not a species used in falconry and the Swainson’s Hawk has been a threatened species for many years. Piper was found and imprinted by a rehab facility. He cannot be released to the wild because he was hand raised and imprinted on people. He is an amazing ambassador for this seldom seen species of hawk and often goes with us to school and education events. He teaches about habitat loss and other factors that threaten his species. Swainson’s hawks have one of the longest migratory paths of any hawk species in North America. The Great Basin population travels every year to the southern tip of Argentina. Swainson’s hawks are threatened due to secondary poisoning from pesticides and habitat loss in California.
Don Diego – His full name is Don Diego Alejandro Santiago Saragossa Inigo Montoya Del Gato. Ole! You may call him ‘Diego’ or ‘Don Diego.’ One of our veterans on the team, he is a 2005 Sonoran Harris’ hawk and has been doing education events since he was 24 weeks old. He lives up to his lustrous name as a notorious flirt to the ladies. He was also invited to a Dos Equis event and was named ‘The Most Interesting Hawk’. If we go hunting near a school he will leave the hunt to go visit the kids. Sonoran Harris hawks are found in the desert southwest of the United States.
Teeka – From the Navajo ‘Ahteeka’, which means Sun Maiden. Teeka is a 2011 Female Peruvian Harris hawk, smaller and rather shy when compared to the Sonoran Harris hawks. Teeka came to us when she was returned to breeder because she didn’t act like a Sonoran Harris hawk. Several years of patient training, especially by Jana, has paid off in spades and Teeka is now one of our top teachers. She loves to fly and is considered one of our acrobats, enjoying showing off her flying skills to the crowds. Like a young teenager you will easily find her as the chatty hawk in the group. Peruvian Harris hawks are found further south on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Zephyr – Zephyr is a 30+ year old Finnish Goshawk. She came to WCF three years ago after a full falconry career and spending ten years in a breeding project. She is now retired, and after a couple years of rest, relaxation and exercise she made her debut back in to the hunting field. Zephyrs story is important because she was one of the first Finnish Goshawks imported to the United States for breeding purposes. Finnish goshawks were not a protected species until 1989.
Avalon – is a 2010 Female Sonoran Harris Hawk she is named after the city of Avalon on Catalina Island. Sonoran Harris hawks are found in the desert southwest of the United States.
Cora – Cora is a 2014 Female, dark morph, Red tailed hawk. Cora was a falconry bird for her first year and successfully hunted. Unfortunately she contracted a disease called avian pox. The pox infected her right eye and is now blind in that eye. She is a gorgeous addition to the falconry center and we are working with her for flight demonstrations and possible events. Red tailed hawks are found throughout the United States and are the most widespread of all the North American hawk species.
Cailleach (pronounced Kay-leesh) – A 2005 Eurasian Eagle owl, her name means ‘Wise Woman’ or ‘Crone’ in Gaelic. Eurasian Eagle owls are the largest species of owl in the world. Her wing span is near six feet! She is considered an average size for this species weighing in at six pounds. (Sounds light? Try placing a five pound sack of flour on your left wrist and hold it there.) Cailleach is a favorite at educational events and also moonlights in bird abatement. She is afraid of little wheels and umbrellas. Eurasian Eagle owls are found through the central Eastern Hemisphere from Denmark to Manchuria.
Tigg’RR Is a male 2015 Great Horned Owl, and is Kate Marden’s personal Falconry bird. He can be seen here at the center in his chamber. Great Horned Owls are also know as the “tiger owl” and are native to the Americas.
Amadan – Her whole name is Amadan Ban Bheag, which is Gaelic for ‘Little White Fool’. Amadan hatched on April 1st of 2013. She is a captive bred Barn owl and is a wonderful education ambassador. She helps us to teach about rodent poison and its impact on wild raptor populations. Barn owls are found throughout the United States and in many areas around the world.
Wee Hamish – A 2017 Eastern Screech Owl, gray morph. Newly acquired, Hamish will help us show how small owls can really get. He is a captive bred owl and was hatched out on April 29th, 2017. We are all looking forward to show off this pint size owl. Common east of the Rockies in woods, suburbs, and parks, the Eastern Screech-Owl are found wherever trees are, and they’re even willing to nest in backyard nest boxes. These supremely camouflaged birds hide out in nooks and tree crannies through out the day, so train your ears and listen for them at night.
Zopi – His full name is Zopilote Cathartes and he is a 2013 Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. Sweet and silly, he will always bring a smile to your face. Lesser Yellow-headed vultures are found in the savannas of South America. Vultures are not used for falconry but do play an important role in our ecosystems world wide. Vultures are on the decline throughout the world due to may factors, including lead poisoning and pharmaceuticals used on cattle.