Members of the Nebraska Falconers Association
Excerpt from Hawk Chalk Vol. XLIX No.3 - Dec.2009
Tribute by Mark Churchill
Mike was one of life’s good guys: a man who
married his high-school sweetheart, who worked
hard to support his family but always kept work
and play in balance, who lived with integrity and
generosity and humor. His family, his friends
and colleagues at the paper, and of course the
Nebraska falconry community will all miss him-
the world will never again be quite the same.
But, as Mike pointed out to me, life goes on, and
he was okay with that. I’ll do my best to be okay
with it, too.
Mike’s first bird, “Buford”, an eyess redtail
– 1975. This photo is Mike’s son’s favorite
of his dad, “long hair and all.”
Mike and his favorite bird, “TiaMat The
Dragon Lady”, an eyess Goshawk in his
middle falconry years, Jan. 1995.
Hawk Chalk Vol. XLIX No. 3 - December 2009
In Memoriam:
Mike Cox, 1952-2009
Tribute by Karl Linderholm
We lost a great friend and diehard game hawker
When Mike Cox passed away on the 7
September 2009. He has and will continue to
have a profound impact on my life; part of who I
am is because I knew Mike for over 34 years.
I met Mike on the 22
of March 1975,1 was 16
years old and Mike was 23, at that time he had
been a falconer for one year. We learned together
by sharing our experiences because we were the
only two falconers in Lincoln through most of
the early years.
1 have 34 hawking seasons of memories with
Mike; we caught more rabbits than you could
shake a hawking stick at and as our families
regularly remind us, we would tell the same
stories over and over and still experience the
thrill of the moment. One of my favorite stories
is about the day we were flying Mike’s first bird
Buford, an intermewed tiercel imprint Red-tail
in an area that we had hunted for a few years
but was being encroached upon by civilization,
Buford took off with that quicker wing beat that
means he’s not just flying to another perch. Mike
looked to see the “quarry” but saw a young girl
walking her cat on a leash probably 80 yards
away. Mike yelled as loud as he could “pick up
your cat”, the girl not knowing anything of us
or the impending doom picked up her cat. After
momentarily visualizing the possible outcome,
Mike yelled again only a little more desperately
“drop your cat”. Fortunately, she dropped her cat
and Buford being at the higher end of his flight
weight just buzzed the cat.
Mike had numerous friends in the sport of
falconry as we all do but what set Mike apart
was that he was not contentious with anybody
and was able to use his unique sense of humor
to place our differences in perspective; a rare
quality. Mike and I shared not only falconry mo-
ments, but 34 years of life’s celebrations and
As a 14 year old reading my first falconry book,
The Art and Practice of Falconry by E.B. Michell,
not much made sense to me at the time but I
do remember reading the last couple lines of
chapter one: “Once a falconer, always a falconer,
is a maxim of universal truth. And the fraternal
spirit which animates most English falconers-and,
for that matter, most falconers throughout the
world-is not the least agreeable feature presented
by this ancient and honorable field sport.”
Mike, I had no idea...
Mike sliding down a creek bank with “TiaMat The Dragon Lady”, 1995.
Mike’s second-favorite and last bird during his later
years of falconry, “Hannibal”, a Harris’ Hawk, 2009.