beach trapping peregrines in assateague


Helen Macdonald posted a wonderful piece on her blog about beach trapping tundrius peregrines on the barrier beaches of Assateague. She looked at journals and diaries of falconers who were trapping peregrines there in the 1930s and 1940s and the entries she includes from Al Nye, in particular, are great.

Nye describes the peregrines sitting like gulls on the beach — something he had never seen before. The traditional methods for trapping peregrines didn’t work with these birds so he devised a method of burying himself in a sand trench leaving only his head (covered with some kind of netting) and his hands exposed. He held a pigeon and waited for a peregrine to come over to investigate. He’d then grab the falcon by the leg and hold on.

“Came right straight to the pigeon,” wrote Nye. “No dilly-dallying, no stooping, right straight to the pigeon. Here I was with very close to a heart-attack, looking through this grass. We had a peregrine, a wild peregrine sitting on my fist two feet away. And I want you to know in all sincerity my heart was pumping like I have never had it pumped before.”



      Read Macdonald’s entire post.


1 Comment

Filed under falconry

One response to “beach trapping peregrines in assateague

  1. Nice site, good to see someone else with a similar passion to mine. Maybe we could swap articles at some point.


    Ste Lea

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