Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: A look at falconry in Minnesota

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 23, 2014 - 7:53 PM

He teaches advance-placement biology and field biology. His classroom resembles a natural-history museum.

His students incubate quail eggs, wade in trout streams to study insect life, measure the tines of white-tailed deer antlers, and care for the breeding pair of peregrine falcons perched in a specially constructed annex just down the hallway.

All the while they gain an appreciation for the earth’s wild things and their dependence on wild places.

Weaver’s own love of birds, particularly birds of prey, was sparked as a youngster.

“I grew up in Anoka, and my brother and I mowed lawns to get money to buy ducks, which we kept around our house,’’ he said.

While preparing to enter college at the University of Minnesota, Morris, Weaver happened upon a book, “North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks,’’ by Frank L. Beebe and Harold M. Webster Jr.

“That book changed my life,’’ said Weaver, who is a past president of the Minnesota Falconers Association, and who flew his first hawk while attending college.

But interest in falconry, and practicing it, are two different things. The state and federal governments have strict licensing requirements, and the ownership and care of birds of prey are closely regulated.

Example: A Minnesota apprentice falconer’s license can only be achieved after a written test is passed and a conservation officer inspects a prospect’s equipment and care facilities.

A mentor also is required to oversee the novice falconer’s first two years.

“Redtails are the most common birds to fly for apprentices,’’ Weaver said. “They’re pretty easy to train.’’

Two years after an initial license is issued, a general falconer’s license can be sought, assuming the mentor approves the application. Five years after that, a master falconer’s license can be applied for, a designation required to take young raptors from nests and to fly species such as peregrine falcons.

Nearly extinct in the U.S. a half-century ago due to the proliferation of DDT and other pesticides, peregrines are capable of 200-mile-an-hour predatory flights.

Dr. Patrick Redig, co-founder of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, is, like Weaver, a scientist who has long practiced falconry.

Redig and the late Dr. Bud Tordoff of the Bell Museum of Natural History at the U played key roles in the peregrine’s recovery when they launched the Midwest Peregrine Falcon Restoration Project in 1982.

Weaver among other falconers aided the restoration by releasing and tending captive-bred young birds on the tops and ledges of tall buildings, smokestacks and bridges.

In 1999, the peregrine was removed from the endangered species list.

Weaver and Redig’s conservation credentials, together with those of other Minnesota falconers, make curious a spat that has divided them in recent months from their regulatory overseers at the Department of Natural Resources.

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Falconry: Prey to survive

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    In Minnesota small number of scientists and bird-lovers practice the ancient sport of falconry.

  • Cabin Country: Lone Lake's festive fish house

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    I built this fish house with a friend of mine, Mark Williams, and kept it at his cabin on Lone...

  • How to ... find shed deer antlers

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    A winter stroll through the woods and fields of Minnesota is always rewarding. It clears the mind and renews one’s...

  • Exploring Town & Country via running snowshoes

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    Not one for following groomed trails, our correspondent heads to the picturesque and hilly terrain of St. Paul’s Town &...

  • Master licensed falconer Andrew Weaver with his five year-old female Red-tailed hawk on a successful rabbit hunting outing near a wooded sub division Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Stillwater

  • Master licensed falconer Andrew Weaver released a five year-old female peregrine falcon to exercise and get the chance to hunt down a homing pigeon near a field Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Stillwater.

  • Master licensed falconer Andrew Weaver used a leather hood to limit outside stimuli and calm this female peregrine falcon.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 12:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 12:10 PM
Atlanta - J. Teheran
Boston - R. De La Rosa 12:10 PM
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly
Minnesota - P. Hughes 12:35 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 1:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Milwaukee - J. Nelson 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle - C. Young 3:05 PM
Oakland - J. Hammel
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 3:00 PM
Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close