Dr. William and Laurie Satterfield, Mike Garets, Bob Collins, Scott
McNeff, The Idaho Falconers Association, The Archives of Falconry
Legacy Circle and numerous donors to the Tom Cade Endowment
Fund at the Peregrine Fund
Tom Cade led the unprecedented effort
that saved the peregrine falcon from
He led a dedicated group of falconers
to re-establish the peregrine falcon throughout the
United States after DDT devastated the population.
Dr. Cade was director of the Laboratory of Ornithology
at Cornell University in the late 1960s when he and
others worked to help the endangered peregrine. Dr.
Cade enlisted falconers, conservationists, universities, and
industry and business leaders to reestablish a breeding
population of peregrines. The herculean effort overcame
obstacles including how to breed the falcons in captivity
and successfully reintroduce them back into the wild.
The effort was so successful that the Peregrine Falcon was
removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999. The
Peregrine Fund, started in 1970, expanded Dr. Cade’s work to
provide protection and support for raptors around the world.
Thomas J. Cade was born in San Angelo, Texas.
His father, Ernest, was a lawyer. His mother, Ethel
(Bomar) Cade was a homemaker. In 1952, he married
his wife, Rennetta Mae Bennewater. They have been
married ever since and have five children, Maria Jo,
Brian, Cheryl, Thomas Alan and Ernest Drew.
After serving in the Army in 1946 and 1947, Tom
studied peregrines at the University of Alaska where he
received his Bachelor’s Degree in biology in 1951. He
earned a master’s degree at the University of California,
Los Angeles in 1955 and his PhD there in 1957.
Tom began experimenting with breeding kestrels and
peregrines after joining the faculty at Syracuse University.
Cornell recruited him in 1967 and accepted his condition
that Cornell builds a falcon breeding barn to further his goal.
Meanwhile, Dr. Cade, with Frank Bond, Bob Beery, and Jim
Weaver, started the
Peregrine Fund,
which has since
worked helping
scores of species
in 65 countries.
Tom was the
founding chairman.
In the 1980s, the
Peregrine Fund
relocated to
Boise, Idaho and
established the
Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey. Dr. Cade
finished his career at Boise State University, retiring in 1993.
In a 1980 interview with the New York Times, Dr.
Cade gave a simple explanation for his life’s work:
“No one who sees a peregrine falcon fly can ever
forget the beauty and thrill of that flight!”
Dr. Thomas J. Cade
January 10, 1928 – February 6, 2019
Savior of the
“No one who sees a peregrine falcon fly can ever
forget the beauty and thrill of that flight!”