Bronson (Lanner Falcon)

Bronson, Lanner Falcon (photo by Bruce Usher)

Bronson is a male Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) who came to us recently from the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri. He is approximately 20 years old and worked for 10 years doing bird abatement at Travis Air Force Base in California before becoming an education bird at WBS.

Known as “desert falcons,” the main population of Lanner Falcons is found south of the Sahara in semi-desert regions in East and South Africa. They can be found from sea level to 6,600 ft. Smaller populations exist in Egypt, Arabia, the Middle East, North Africa  and Mediterranean Europe.  Although common in most of their African range, they have declined dramatically in Europe due to loss of nesting habitat and contamination of their avian prey with pesticides.

Common food sources include birds, small mammals, reptiles, insects and bats.  Mated pairs are known for hunting cooperatively, even outside the nesting season. They are known for hunting isolated water holes where desert birds congregate to drink. They wait on nearby perches and strike while drinking birds are still on the ground.

Bronson is named after Donald Bronson (1935-2006) of Newfane in upstate NY. He was a Marine, a highly regarded high school science teacher, a master hunter safety instructor and award-winning conservationist.  He and Paul were close friends for decades.