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News & Press: General News

April President's Message

Wednesday, April 1, 2020  
Posted by: Sheldon Nicolle
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April 1, 2020 


           PRESIDENT'S Update

Dear Member,  


I hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and well as you weather these new challenges gripping the world today. As we all get accustomed to the new normal of social distancing, work stoppages, shelter-n-place, isolation, and quarantines, I am encouraged to see and hear about so many of our members answering the call to support their communities. There are some members of our family who may be experiencing significant loses, either physical and/or financial, feelings of grief, anxiety, stress, and, for some, the orders to isolate may be really hard to cope with. It’s often said that falconers are a solitary bunch so social distancing may not be a challenge to some of them, but to others, it might be. 


I would like to challenge each of you to take this opportunity to demonstrate our character and commitment to others and to the greater good. If possible, stay at home! Reach out to your friends, call or send them an email, and sign-on to the NAFA Weathering Yard to share some pictures. Let’s use this time to connect with other members, make new friends, or catch up with old ones. Reach out to your directors or other NAFA officers, let us know what’s going on. NAFA is a family and our commitment to you, the membership, and our shared passion, falconry, remains our highest priority.  I know we will get through this together and emerge stronger.


Last week I received an email from a NAFA member and New York Emergency Physician, Dr. Bob Wighton, aka Dr. Bob. He is working in what has become the epicenter of  COVID-19 in the United States and is just one of our many heroes working on the front lines supporting others during this epidemic . Dr. Bob was asking about the average age of his falconry buddies, the NAFA membership.   I looked into it and, of the members who have provided their birthday, the average age of our membership is 55.  Dr. Bob said, “looking at CDC statistics, the age of 55 seems to be the tipping point. After that the illness is a significant risk. Our members those with hypertension, diabetes obesity and lung disease are particularly at risk.” 


When I asked what advice he could suggest, he strongly recommended we follow the CDC guidelines found at  and further offered the following:


  1. ISOLATE, ISOLATE, ISOLATE! An epidemic needs a constant supply of susceptible individuals in order to sustain itself... To put it simply, if you don't come into contact with anyone you can't catch it. 
  3. Disinfect and clean, especially frequently touched surfaces, door knobs, etc.…
  4. This is likely to be the "NEW NORMAL" for the next several months to a year and a half. BUT it will end. 
  5. Be careful where you get information from. If the person you are listening to does not have MD after their name or health department in their job description, change the channel.   
  6. Take care of yourself. Take your medicines, if you smoke stop!


       We're all in this together.

       Dr. Bob



We ARE all in this together and quarantines shouldn't suck! To share how you’re passing time during this unprecedented time, we’ve created a new group on the Weathering Yard called the ‘Quarantine Corner’. Log on today and post pictures and stories of what you are doing during these unprecedented times. Are you working the front lines? Are you volunteering to help others? Are you building a mews? Hatching babies? Training a new hunting dog? Homeschooling kids? Post some pictures or tell us a story, let us know what you're doing!


Finally, and to repeat what Dr. Bob offered, it is critically important to find accurate information but not to over-react to the non-stop coverage of COVID-19. At this time, the NAFA/IAF Meet planning continues but we will continue to assess the situation as more information comes to light.


This threat will eventually pass, and with its passing, will come the time to make informed decisions regarding future meets and other gatherings for NAFA. 



April NAFA Hawk Chalk is now online....


NAFA's Online Store



Step up and serve our association!  It’s time to start thinking about our annual election cycle.  Every year, five of the ten NAFA Director positions are up for election, this year there are actually six. If you have ever considered giving back to the community, and are able to attend the annual field meet each November, please consider running and joining our Board of Directors. This summer, the following positions will be voted on; Director-At-Large, Canadian, Mountain, Great Lakes, and the South Pacific Director.  If you are interested in running for election, please click here to download, print, and complete the 2020 Nominations Form and return it prior to June 2, 2020. If you have any questions please contact our Corresponding Secretary, Joan Marie at 




Stay safe, stay healthy, and if possible, stay home! 




(214) 288-0670

 North American Falconers Association Mission and Purpose is...
  • to improve, aid, and encourage competency in the art and practice of falconry among interested persons; 
  • to provide communication among and to disseminate information to interested Members; 
  • to promote scientific study of the raptorial species, their care, welfare and training; 
  • to promote conservation of the birds of prey and an appreciation of their value in nature and in wildlife conservation programs; 
  • to urge recognition of falconry as a legal field sport; 
  • and, to establish traditions which will aid, perpetuate, and further the welfare of falconry and the raptors it employs.


These are my kids a decade ago watching baby gyrfalcons being raised on the kitchen table. What an incredible childhood they have had, in a large part because of falconry. These kids have a connection to the natural world they are fortunate to have through experiences like this. I’ve long ago discovered that falconry’s most valuable asset is the brotherhood and sisterhood that we have because of our interest in the natural world, the thrill of the chase and of course or love of raptors. Many of my closest friends are in my life only because of the sport. NAFA is and has been a connection to our past, present and future. NAFA is on the vanguard protecting our rights as falconers, keeping us connected as a community and looking to the future. If you're a member, thank you. If your membership has lapsed please rejoin and if you’ve never been a member please consider joining and supporting the sport we hold so dear. Thanks NAFA!