DONORS:
Raptor Resource Project, Janet Carstens
He wanted to make a
difference in kids’ lives, boys,
girls, it didn’t matter. They all
came to play with Rob.
-Jan Carstens (Rob’s wife)
the kids were fascinated by him.
he didnt talk down to kids,
and they loved him.
He loved his Red-tail.
He loved flying it
and breeding it, and
he loved working
to preserve the
species for future
generations.
ROBERT
MACINTYRE
North Minneapolis, Minnesota
Favored birds: Red-tailed
Hawk
“I dont know why
we do it. Falconers
— were all a
bunch of nuts.
Rob MacIntyre may have
considered himself a nut, but
many also considered him
an inspired genius. Or, in the
words of Bob Anderson, a
mad scientist” who couldn’t
resist a challenge.
You can witness his
exuberance and problem-solving for yourself by checking out the PBS documentary “Raptor Force. Not
only will you see the constant boyish smile on his face, but you’ll see the first person to figure out how to rig a
hawk, eagle and falcon with a small camera and wireless transmitter and literally experience a bird’s eye view
of a peregrines speedy descent to its quarry. (To accomplish it, he fabricated a special lithium ion battery
from scratch.)
“When he threw himself into something, he threw himself into it totally, said his wife, Jan. “He never
finished college, but he could do anything and fix anything.
“Hes one of those people you dream about being, said wildlife artist Jim Robinson.
A big kid at heart, he loved scuba diving (he was an instructor), rappelling down a cliff (he spent years
restoring the population of peregrine falcons in the Mississippi River Bluff country), metalworks (he built an
extravagant iron fence around his swimming pool area) and he was an avid gardener.
“He was the most self-motivated person I know, Robinson said.
Frank Taylor said he was very focused, yet was also good at getting people on board. “He was 110 percent all
the time.
He absolutely loved the sport of falconry. (He also loved his Red-tail hawk and was one of the first people to
demonstrate that hooding the species could be done successfully. Telling Rob something couldn’t be done
was the same as a dare to him.) And as President of the Raptor Resource Project at the time of his death,
his love of the birds allowed him the opportunity to repatriate them and return them to their environment.
He was thrilled at being able to work with Bob Anderson at the Project to reintroduce peregrines back into
the wild. Rob didnt want a falcon of his own until he was able to obtain one legally from the wild. He felt
strongly that it was his right to be able to fly a bird, and he got great joy out of working toward those goals.
The Raptor Resource Project was established in 1988 and is still going strong. The nesting web cameras will
distract even the casual viewer into realizing that a morning or afternoon has suddenly slipped by. Robs
innovations for a bald eagle nest camera was deemed the “most-watched video stream on the Internet” with
more than 100 million hits in the Spring of 2011.
Rob was well known in Minnesota, and was always tinkering with technical things, like modifying incubators.
But in his many travels, he was also known to falconers in Italy, where he was once featured in a local paper
for helping rid a town square of pigeons with the help of peregrine nests.
But he was best known in his own neighborhood of North Minneapolis.
Whether it was a community garden or the manufacture of one of his creations, in which he required it be
done locally, he was intently civic-minded. He was a strong supporter of the Tree Trust, which hired youth
and planted trees throughout the metropolitan area.
And the kids. The kids were fascinated by him. He didnt talk down to kids, and they
loved him. One young child even spoke at his funeral.
“He wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives, Jan said. “Boys, girls, it didnt matter. They all came to play
with Rob.
Always smiling, happy and cooperative, he was a delight, said Connie Oar. He was truly a man who would
give you the shirt off his back, she said. (And one time, he actually did just that, when someone admired his
shirt.)
He died the same way he lived his life. With a cheerfulness, a sense of community and one more of lifes
challenges. A tornado struck his neighborhood on May 22, 2011. Once he was assured that his wife and
puppy were safe, he emerged from the basement, surveyed the damage and, with a smile, announced that his
beloved shade garden was now a sun garden. Next, he went door to door to check on his neighbors, then he
took a chainsaw to the tree in his driveway and hopped on his tractor to help his clear debris. He died that
day of a heart attack, too young, at age 53.
Rob was an idea man, a gadget man and an outside-the-box thinker who was “not a person to let anything
grow under his toes. He affected lives with his contributions to raptor species, falconry, education and
community. After his death, an anonymous contribution was made of $50,000 to the Tree Trust to help
repopulate his neighborhood with trees.
But it always came back to his love of raptors and falconry. It began at an early age, when he read about a
falcon in a book, later featured in the movie “My Side of the Mountain. After that, he was hooked.
And he loved his Red-tail. He loved flying it and breeding it, and he loved working to preserve the species for
future generations. “I call it bird watching, he said. “But just a different level of bird watching.
— Reminiscences: Jan Carsten (Robs wife), Bob Anderson, Jim Robinson, Frank Taylor,
Jack and Connie Oar
Always smiling, happy and cooperative...He
affected lives with his contributions to raptor
species, falconry, education and community.
Loved by his friends and neighbors
and helped others to the very end.