PROFESSIONAL FALCONERS ASSOCIATION

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  • 16 Jun 2022 17:41 | Rebecca Rosen (Administrator)

    Thank you to Chase Dulles for writing this article.

    Falconry based bird abatement is the use of trained raptors to scare off nuisance birds from an area. Birds are hard-wired to avoid predators. In bird abatement, the predator is a raptor, usually a hawk or a falcon; and the prey is any bird that is active in the area. When a raptor is seen hunting, it naturally causes birds to leave the area due to the fear of being caught. If a location becomes a regular hunting ground for a raptor, the birds will avoid it and move on to a new area.

    In falconry based bird abatement the falconer goes through extensive training to create a partnership with their raptor. Both the falconer and the raptor have specific roles in the field. The falconer locates and identifies the nuisance birds and sets up the flight to safely remove them to another location. The raptor then takes flight and removes the birds from the property. During the flight, the falconer assists the raptor by flushing any birds that try to hide in cover. This process usually has to be repeated, but the nuisance birds quickly learn to avoid the area. Professional falconers effectively create an on demand hunting team to naturally remove nuisance birds from a variety of locations.

    Is falconry based bird abatement right for my location?

    Falconry based bird abatement is used primarily at agricultural, commercial and industrial locations. Examples of common locations are the following: airfields and hangers, refineries, warehouses, distributions centers, malls, resorts, landfills, city boardwalks, city and state beaches, vineyards, orchards, and blueberry farms.

    Crops that are commonly protected include: grapes, apples, blueberries, cherries, and spinach.

    Examples of birds that are commonly controlled are: pigeons, gulls, crows, magpies, grackles, starlings, cowbirds, blackbirds, finches, robins, sparrows, and cedar wax wings.

    If you have an agricultural, commercial, or industrial location that is having bird issues, please reach out to our qualified bird abatement companies for more information and help.


  • 21 Feb 2022 10:04 | Rebecca Rosen (Administrator)
     Often times through our work, a photographer will request photos of us and our birds. They may be a client, a passersby, or assigned from a news outlet. Below is a list of tips, many I learned the hard way, to help better navigate the tricky business of professional photography.
    • Negotiate a photo release of your own. Regardless of any verbal agreement, these photos are the property of the photographer and they can charge you any arbitrary fee for even limited use.
    • Beware the term "personal use". Although it can be lovely to have photos of you or your birds, they are completely useless for advertising, publication, or any other commercial activity without the photographers consent.
    • Photographers assigned from the press will often negotiate pricing on unpublicized photos. Technically they are already paid by the media outlet for the shoot, but this is also how they make a living so negotiate this pricing in advance.
    • Outsmart the photo hoarder. Occasionally a photographer may approach you and request to do a shoot as they love birds of prey. You will likely be spending a significant amount of time helping them get "the perfect shot". Make sure they sign your own photo release prior to agreeing.
    • Request final approval of any shot used for the media. An awkward angle or poorly timed photo may look great from a photographers eye, but be perceived by the public or your peers as mishandling and poor falconry skills.
    • Do some prep work with your birds prior to the shoot. Make sure they are clean, their gear is in good shape, and the beak is not overgrown. Try to choose birds in the best feather condition as it lends better to the perception that your birds are very well cared for. If using non releasable education birds, focus on those handled regularly and showing no signs of stress.
    • If your bird has never been photographed and the photographer is using a telephoto lens, test the bird’s response to the lens ahead of time. Some birds react poorly to the giant eye staring at them, and every photo will be of a hackled up and stressed out bird.
    • Slower flying falcons, although not as impressive in person are much easier for the photographer to track.
    • Do not allow the photographer to push you into any unsafe actions for “the perfect shot”. If any direction makes you uncomfortable or isn’t in keeping with the perception that you wish to portray, it is okay to say no.      
  • 21 Feb 2022 08:25 | Rebecca Rosen (Administrator)

    Perhaps you have heard the phrase, "There is no such thing as bad publicity". Anyone who has suffered the ire of the public or their peers, from a poorly written article, knows this old saying is not true. Every time we speak to the press we represent not only our business or organization, but the entire industry as a whole. Wether you have been solicited by a highly circulated magazine or an impromptu morning talk radio show, public perception is key to success or failure. Below are some helpful tips for acing your next interview.


    • Request interview questions in advance. When taking the time to consider your response, you can consider how it might be perceived by the general public. A well thought answer will always reflect better on you, your business, and the industry as a whole.
    • If possible, proofread the final article prior to the print date. Many times, reporters will misunderstand falconry lingo. These gaffs can range from chuckle worthy to cringe worthy to our peers.
    • Peer review is another helpful tool when used properly. Have another industry professional proofread the reporters work. Often times they can catch things that may not seem obvious to the article’s intended subject.
    • Try to avoid drawing attention to any aspect of your interview that may offend the general public. Blowback from offensive language or activity may become incredibly costly.
    • Remember that although the individual you are working with may have some understanding of falconry through their own research, most people reading, watching, or listening do not. Keep in mind that they will not understand the difference between sport falconry and professional falconry. If you do not explain the difference, then by default your answers will reflect on both. 
    • And finally, don't say or do anything in front of the media that you wouldn't say or do in front of a game warden.

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