I was privileged during my career to have the opportunity to work with and guide young students and volunteers at the UC Davis (California) Raptor Center in the 80’s and early 90’s.
Some of them have gone on to distinguished careers in Raptor Biology, Veterinary Medicine, Education, National Park Rangers and administration, etc.
Recently my wife and I attended the Redwood Region Audubon chapter’s annual banquet in Arcata. It was a reunion with one of the Raptor Center's “Outstanding Volunteers of the Year," who was the guest speaker at the banquet.
I had not seen him since the early 90’s shortly after my retirement when I was invited to give a talk at the center on owls. He honored me then by driving up from S.F. to be there.
When he saw me at the Audubon banquet, I was greeted not unlike a father and son who had been separated for 18 years. A total of 3 enthusiastic and very sincere “Bear" hugs from a person who would make any man proud to be his father.
Allen Fish has been Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory(GGRO)since he graduated in the early 80's.
He has taught hundreds of volunteers in the intricacies of Hawk identification in flight and developed the program at GGRO www.ggro.org to the prominence that it deserves today.
His talk on the value of Raptor migration counts and summary of the results over nearly 25 years was informative, humorous and never dull.
Allen’s knowledge of Raptor migration and biology earned him an opportunity to teach a course in Raptor Biology at UC Davis. After hearing him talk I wished that I was a student again taking his course.
I felt proud knowing that I may have had a small part in sparking a young man’s passion for Raptors that led to such an outstanding career.
It was an honor to see him again and meet his great family for the first time.
(A photo of Allen in his younger days at the Raptor Center will be published here at a later time.)