Discovered this interesting historic document today. I had read before that it was common to hunt raptors of all kinds in the past because they were considered “pests”. But…
this makes it a whole lot more quantifiable and horrible.

The irony, of course, is that this was a bird sanctuary doing this.  These “pests” were shot…to preserve the tasty game birds. So people could shoot them. Sigh.

I was looking for some online resources that discussed the common practice of hunting raptors in the 1880s- 1900s, but didn’t find much.

Is your GoogleFu stronger than mine? Can you make some suggestions/contribute linkies?


Posted by Gwen Pearson

Entomologist. Educator. Writer. NERD.


  1. *Gulp!*

  2. Little historic bits like this are fascinating. A favorite line of mine that epitomizes how times have changed was something along the lines of, “A true naturalist loves nothing more than to shoot a rare and difficult specimens for addition to his collection.” Times have changed, indeed. Cheers to that.

  3. I found these, might be a atart:

    raptors as vermin:

    Click to access 068.Bildstein%202001.pdf

    a book from the UK:
    Silent Fields

  4. Those are great, thanks!!

  5. The “trick” (to use a word that got those climate people in so much trouble) was to think of raptors as “vermin” when doing the search.

  6. This is awesome, and scary. All that wildlife annihilated in each year in an area of just 800 acres. (And by friends of Aldo Leopold’s no doubt!)

    Reminds me of when I discovered “varmint hunting” in Arizona as a brand-new grad student oh so long ago. It’s appalling, but this one’s at least a great reminder that things have improved.

    Turtles? Snappers taking ducklings, I presume? And the two chipmunks must have been terribly dangerous. And what do you suppose the tally would be if they had included animals poisoned…

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