In a truly miraculous way, Birds of Prey saved a young man from heading down the road of ill repute. Rodney Stotts of Rodney’s Raptors located in Laurel, Maryland was an endangered youth on the ghetto streets of Washington D.C. At a point in his gun wielding, drug dealing days he realized that the path he was traveling on would lead to jail, if not death.
Joining The Earth Conservation Corps and beginning their raptor education program, he began his new life. It was a calling that only Rodney heard from the birds. With a gift of understanding and communicating with these masters of the sky, Rodney is now an integral part of of the Wings Above America program. This program helps endangered youths in learning positive ways to express themselves and to find a promising future.
When watching Rodney Stotts handle his beautiful birds, I could easily see the strong bond that they have together.
He speaks directly with them as if they are another person and explains to them how behaving well will make things so much easier on them.
When presenting, he sets the birds on a ground perch, and the Red tailed hawk decided he wanted to fly off. Tethered of course, he didn’t get far, but got a little bit entangled. Rodney quickly rescued the bird and then proceeded to reprimand the bird. Telling him that “You were the one that did that” you could see the bird was clearly listening to him and bowing his head in shame.
It’s not often when you see an animal whisperer, but they do exist. Horse whisperers are the ones best known. But to be a raptor whisperer, I’m not sure if one has ever been known of. But certainly Rodney Stotts has the gift with these birds of prey. Falconry was once the sport of kings, and now it’s the art of humanity.
Such a beautiful post and great images, Emily.
wow, simply amazing
What a wonderful story.
Wonderful story and beautiful images. Thank you.
That is a very special gift that man has. What a privilege to be able to speak to birds! Brilliant photos, as usual.