DONORS:
Blair and Anna Anderson, Kelly Hardy, Mike Garets,
Members of the Idaho Falconers Association, North
American Falconers Association
K
en Higgins was a born falconer like we all are. He
flew most of the North American birds of prey
starting with a kestrel about ‘57. Ken had several
Merlins, Prairies, Cooper’s, Sharpies, Goshawks,
and the 3 kinds of Peregrines here that pass thru the states.
He took a little break and spent some vacation time over
in Viet-Nam in ‘66-’67 but even there found time to fly a
Goshawk from that area. The flying time was restricted a
bit as he was point man on many patrols. They liked Ken
for his height at 6’9”. He could see the smoke from the
enemy’s rifles as those bullets whistled over his head and
pinpoint where they were.
Back in the states in ‘68 he was flying an American Gos
from a Nevada nest around Wildhorse, then went on to
Prairies from Pyramid Lake, then to a few peregrines.
Ken caught a lot of rabbits and pheasants with the Gos.
The Prairies were on pheasants and ducks - so were the
peregrines. Ken took a nice female Sharpie that ended up
flyin out the window of the truck at starlings. Some were
caught on the lawn of industrial areas - people would see
that and we would tell them its a rescue project, “Gonna
turn the bird loose and most times that really did happen.
Ken had a few Merlins that were flown on the yellow field
birds - nothing scares those like a Merlin. You guys know
they will bury up under your feet just to hide. The one bird
that turned out to be THE BEST falcon was a 48 oz. Peales.
A few of you got to see this bird fly at the CHC meets and
NAFA meets. Ken went to the Alamosa, Colorado meet one
year and turned this falcon loose on a herd of mallards a
couple hundred feet up with the line of cars and trucks on
the road watching. This bird took off after the ducks and
she pushed them even higher in the beehive pattern. She
got above them at ‘bout 800’ or so and did the roll and tuck
stoop on the black ball in the sky and went thru the pack
and everyone could see the mallard fall out the bottom like
a drop of oil and spinning in the air to the ground with the
Peales 6’ behind...you could hear that duck hit the ground.
You know there was a gorge that followed that flight.
I have maybe 50+ years of flights that could be told and
other good stories of different things that happened in that
time-span. Anyway Ken Higgins for those who knew him
was always good for a laugh and interesting stories (most
of them true) I met him in ‘59. He was my partner on the
other end of a ‘12 piece of sheetrock for 45 years. We flew a
lot of different birds together and he was a loyal friend - give
ya the shirt off his back (after he wore it a few years), give ya
a bottle of whiskey (but wanted to strain it thru his kidneys
first). Yeah, this guy will be missed in this circle we call
falconers and falconry . . .
My memories of Ken
by Bryan Culbertson
Even during his time serving in the Vietnam War, Ken found a Goshawk to y!
...Ken was always good for a laugh, told interesting
stories and was a loyal friend. We will miss him.
Ken aka Snicks with his big Peales
Memories of Ken
by Susie Higgins
Ken was an avid falconer. He was raised in San Leandro, California and
flew birds all over the San Francisco and central California areas. He
enjoyed flying in Nevada as well. He moved to Idaho in the mid-1990s
and flew with his good friend Bryan Culbertson.
A list of his falconry friends reads like a “Whos Who of central
California falconry. Even his military service with the US Army in
VietNam did not stop his falconry. While stationed there, he trapped and
flew a local goshawk! He was wounded in VietNam by the dreaded punji
stick. But he still had time for his goshawk!
Thanks for
the good
times, Ken!
Hawking chukar and
crows near Modesto
1984 Sharpie from Cull
Canyon Danville, CA