THE RITES OF AUTUMN: A Falconer's Journey Across the American West

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9780871132451: THE RITES OF AUTUMN: A Falconer's Journey Across the American West

Recounts the author's work with the Peregrine Fund, his two thousand mile journey following the natural migrational movement of falcons, and the behavior and history of the endangered American falcon

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From the Back Cover:

Dan O'Brien spent the summer of 1986 in the Rocky Mountains releasing young peregrine falcons on the mountain cliffs. When one of his release sites was raided by a golden eagle, he managed to save a peregrine chick, and decided to make an improbable two-thousand-mile trip with the surviving young falcon, Dolly. From the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, following the autumnal migration of waterfowl, O'Brien taught her to hunt as a wild falcon would, in the hopes of releasing her into the natural world. The Rites of Autumn is the riveting account of their incredible journey. (51/2 X 81/4, 208 pages, map)

From Publishers Weekly:

The rite began when the author and two other biologists released ("hacked") four captive-bred peregrine falcon chicks on a cliff in the Montana Rockies. Within 24 hours, a golden eagle had taken three, and O'Brien, short-story writer and novelist ( The Spirit of the Hills ), rescued the survivor. An experienced falconer, he decided to keep the bird rather than return it to the breeding laboratory. He would teach Dolly to hunt, accompanying the fall migration of waterfowl, then release her. With two hunting dogsKris, an aging Labrador, and Spud, a young setter in trainingO'Brien and Dolly started on the long journey south to the Gulf of Mexico. Various human companions joined them along the way. This is an engaging story, one to be savored by animal lovers and those interested in falconry. We share the thrill of Dolly's first free flight, watch her stoops with aweand shudder as she collides with a telephone wire on the day of her final release. Dolly now nests on O'Brien's ranch in South Dakota.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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O'Brien, Dan
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