Ancient Falcon Tradition Came to the United States Via Media

A peregrine falcon perched on an upper beam
Image via The Wellsboro Gazette
A peregrine falcon perched on an upper beam

America’s first falconry meet took place in Media Borough back in 1936, writes Michael Kuria, an Audubon member writing for the Wellsboro Gazette.

In the Middle Ages, a person of leisure would have owned a small falcon and chase birds, giving rise to the sport of hunting with falcons, known as falconry.

After the sport was described in a 1920 issue of National Geographic, a group of Pennsylvanians created the Peregrine Club of Philadelphia. The club’s founding is the first record of falconry in the New World, culminating in the first falconry meet in Media.

Raptors largely disappeared from the Eastern United States from pesticides, habitat loss, and human intervention.

DDT was thinning the eggshells of peregrine falcons and in the early 1970s, the peregrines made it to the Endangered Species List. 

By then, there were no known falcon nesting sites east of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states.  

Falconers learned how to captive-breed the peregrines and an effort began to save the species.

In 2022, the Pennsylvania Game Commission removed the peregrine and the bald eagle from the state’s Endangered Species List, downgrading them to Protected.

Read more about the peregrine falcon and their return to the Eastern United States in the Wellsboro Gazette..

Experience a modern Falconry meet.

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