James H. Enderson
I was very sorry to hear about the death of falcon researcher Jim Enderson, who passed away on Tuesday, January 10. Jim was a Professor Emeritas of Biology at The Colorado College, where he taught for nearly 40 years, from 1962 to 2001. A key figure in raptor Conservation, he was one of the biologists who brought the desperate plight of the Peregrine Falcon to the attention of the scientific community at the landmark 1965 Madison Peregrine Conference. A few months after the conference, he and a fellow researcher floated the entire 1,000-mile length of Canada's Mackenzie River in a canoe, searching for nesting peregrines.
I first met Jim when I was 16, at a national falconry meet in South Dakota, and got to hear firsthand all about his adventures on the Mackenzie. He later was closely involved in the successful effort to breed peregrines in captivity and release them to the wild, and he served on the administrative board of The Peregrine Fund. Jim wrote a wonderful book about the decline and recovery of the species titled, Peregrine Falcon: Stories of the Blue Meanie (University of Texas Press, 2001).
I got to spend time with Jim again several years ago during a research trip to northern Greenland, where Peregrine Fund biologists were studying Gyrfalcons, tundrius peregrines, and their High Arctic prey species. Although I didn't see him again after that, we always kept in touch and hoped to get together to fly our falcons at game. He will be greatly missed.