I was in Boise earlier this winter and had a couple of hours right before my flight home to get some outside time. Using the map I had from the hotel I made my way south of town to Flying Hawk Ln. It was a beautiful, crisp early Sunday afternoon in raptor country. Wide open spaces, sage-steppe country, rolling hills.
I have long wanted to visit the Peregrine Fund and World Center for Birds of Prey for several reasons. The first: the efforts of this group saved the Peregrine falcon from extinction and ongoing efforts by PF have kept the California Condor from going extinct. One of our greatest gifts is biodiversity and these guys are on the ground stewards for raptor biodiversity in North America and worldwide.
I started getting to know raptors helping on an urban study of Cooper’s Hawks in Central Wisconsin in 1999. Involvement in that project coupled with annual trips to Hawk Ridge in Duluth, MN to watch the massive southward raptor migration along the Mississippi Flyway game me eyewitness realization of the challenges facing migratory birds of prey.
My next jaunt will be over to the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This place has the greatest concentration of breeding birds of prey in North America. Field trip!