Talk at Yale School of Forestry – 11/7/17

  • From Criminal to Conservationist: How Birds of Prey Saved My Life

    Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 4:00 PM — 5:00 PM  
      Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall
    Public Event

    Falconer Rodney Stotts is one of only 30 African American Master Falconers in North America. In the early stages of his life, however, he was a drug dealer and criminal on the fast track to a life in prison — or an early death. Through a chance exposure to conservation and bald eagles, Rodney developed a love for the charismatic birds at the top of the food chain. Leaving his past life behind, he became a falconer and conservation advocate specializing in bringing environmental principles to at-risk youth in inner cities. Rodney’s work has been featured on NPR, the BBC, and will be the focus of an upcoming special from National Geographic.

    Over the course of an hour, Rodney will discuss his journey from drug dealer to wildlife conservationist. He will also present and talk about several live birds of prey, including his beloved “Mr. Hoots,” a Eurasian Eagle Owl. For those willing to stay beyond the hour, Rodney will fly several of these birds behind the forestry school in a demonstration of the awe-inspiring aerial acrobatics of raptors.

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