Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Birdman of JFK"

I have a few reservations about bird-abatement work with raptors—I'm uncomfortable with the blurring of the line between natural resource (emphasis on natural) and commercial commodity, for one thing, and it shouldn't be confused with actual falconry (gamehawking), for another—but this is a nice little film about Ron Rollins' work at one of the nation's busiest airports.

HT Rachel Dickinson at Falconer on the Edge.


Matt Mullenix said...


Somehow bird abatement doesn't bother me, when I can be a real prude about a lot of other things in falconry. I think if you consider the vast unhuman machine that is commercial air travel, adding some trained hawks seems a civilizing, even redeeming influence.

And consider the alternatives... explosives, firearms, poisons, loud noises.

Mark Churchill said...


You have a point about the alternatives, although I think "loud noises" can be scratched off the list for birds that are already living at a busy airport. And Ron Rollins' operation doesn't bother me too much—I know he's a gamehawker "in real life". It's commercialism that makes me leery. (Well, that and the rumours I've heard about an apprentice not too far away trying to start up an abatement business. That's a recipe for disaster.)