Dr. and Mrs. Richard H. Fitzgerald and David Atkinson
hillip Edward Brougham Glasier takes his rightful place on the Archives of Falconry’s Wall of Remembrance. This is an honor
of which he would be most appreciative. He is the first lifelong British citizen to be so honored. He died September 11, 2000
at age 85 –all but a few preschool years of which were engrossed in falconry and raptor conservation. His legacy of lifelong 80
year endeavor includes the generations of falconers who since the mid 1960’s have profited from his untiring efforts and commitment to
instruction and technique.
He was a complex man of paradox, not without endearing eccentricities: He straddled the ages of the Old Hawking Club and the British
Falconry Club; he championed rigorous training and attention to classical falconry, yet with enthusiasm accepted innovation such as
frequent weighing and telemetry; he was generous and patient with serious students and children, yet never completely dropped the
bearing or air of a parental, gruff taskmaster; he was possessed of relaxed friendliness, great wit, impish sense of humor and turn of
phrase, yet dismissed fools with a sharp tongue preferring to call a spade a spade and not a horticultural instrument”; for most of his life
he championed proper classical goshawk and peregrine flights in appropriate terrain, yet later offered the opinion that one doesnt have
to wait to be aged to fly a Harris Hawk; he was an independent entrepreneur in photography and falconry endeavors, yet worked closely
with the government to monitor aeries hatches during the dieldrin- DDT investigation - he was athletic, a skilled man with ropes and
rappelling; he was always recognized to be a natural leader, yet he was pleased to volunteer for military service as an enlisted man and
adapted well to duty stations where posted and to orders received; he was an individual self motivated and committed to his breeding
project and bred Eurasian kestrels first in 1968, yet in cooperation with John Campbell he bred the first merlins in captivity and in
committee began the Raptor Breeders Association in 1966 and the Hawk and Owl trust in 1969; he had the responsibility of four children
and was without steady employment in 1966, yet he acted on his vision and began the Falconry Centre.
He had talents beyond falconry which he utilized in expressing his love of raptors, planning and evolution of his Centre and preparation
of his books. Among these: He was a skilled land manager, professional photographer and hunting dog trainer. He was an avid admirer
of ecosystems, terrain and what occupied it. He coached film stars and was comfortable in the pub or the manor.
He with his wife Bill raised four children each of whom became accomplished in their own lives and endeavors. Of note and Phillips
heritage are their talents in nurturing, visual arts and teaching.
It is as a teacher that he is most admired and respected. He was a natural raconteur who early in the war was tapped to teach evacuated
children Natural History. Later, he taught tank gunnery and in his beloved and widely emulated Falconry Centre (now the International
Centre for Birds of Prey) taught no less than 800 who enrolled in hands-on intense introductory courses.
Phillips daughers had these beautiful stained glass windows made for his
church in England.
His legacy of lifelong 80 year
endeavor includes the generations
of falconers who since the mid
1960’s have proted from his
untiring eorts and commitment
to instruction and technique.
(biography cont’d)
In addition, innumerable visitors were introduced to the grandeur, majesty and nurture of raptors. He wrote two books of vignettes
and one technical book which became for many a practical working bible of falconry. His own words say it best. He chose to
introduce himself in one book to his “friendly readers” and asked of falconry “who can tell the precise moment one falls in love?
Surely, it is a thing that grows sometimes springing up mushroom-like overnight, or imperceptively like a full bloom from a bud.
He was recognized as a master craftsman unpretentious about his craft. He took teaching to be a noble and deeply felt responsibility
very different from simply doing falconry oneself. Writing about it was far more difficult since every minute detail is important to
the beginner. He considered falconry and his technical book “Falconry and Hawking” to be akin to a very big jigsaw puzzle with
all the pieces needing to be put together in the right place. Otherwise, if there is anything missing then the finished picture will be
He accomplished his achievements without any governmental funding, institutional sponsorship or academic appointment. His was
a family and personal labor of dedication.
He told the area planning board in 1966 that the Falconry Centre he was to begin would be unique and didn’t exist at present…a
sort of bird garden devoted entirely to birds of prey… a collection of eagles, hawks, owls, etc., and some aviaries, a flying ground in
the fields that go with the house, and a small museum. We hope to attract the public to see it all.
And, that he did. Thousands have used his textbook. Many centers have attempted to duplicate his plan. Captive breeding and
his perfected system of incubation of eggs is accepted now as routine. The Hawk and Owl Trust and Raptor Breeders Association,
subsequent governmental regulations and current leadership in international falconry are part of his legacy.
by Dr. Richard Fitzgerald
He wrote two books of vignettes and one technical book which
became for many a practical working bible of falconry.