Tim Gallagher's got "Falcon Fever"
Orange County, Calif., was Gallagher's stomping grounds in his younger years, and the group in the bookstore consisted largely of his friends, sister and colleagues. At the back of the store, in the children's section, Gallagher sat next to a table on which a mounted Peregrine Falcon remained frozen in flight.
Gallagher read from the beginning of the book, which details his youthful interest in falconry -- encouraged by Walt Disney Presents' "Rusty and the Falcon" -- and his later trek in the footsteps of Frederick II, the 13th century emperor and falconer. He also answered questions about falconry and his overseas adventures -- including escapades with feral dogs in Italy -- and mentioned the ongoing efforts to document Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the southern United States.
I had to laugh as Gallagher recounted his first attempt to take an American Kestrel, using climbing spurs (to scale telephone poles) and rope to reach the top of an incredibly tall palm tree. He didn't succeed.
Tonight, Gallagher will speak at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Friday night, he'll return to Orange County and give a presentation for Sea & Sage Audubon Society.