Remembering Bob Anderson

Today we are remembering Bob Anderson, founder of the Raptor Resource Project. Bob passed away unexpectedly on July 27 in 2015. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wish Bob was here to share in the joy of what he began with the Decorah Eagle cam and everything that has come from it. It’s hard to believe it has been five years since he left us.

Photo of Bob Anderson in 2014. Taken by David Lynch and used with his permission.

Photo of Bob Anderson in 2014. Taken by David Lynch and used with his permission

RRP Board member and photographer David Lynch shared this photo. He wrote: We lost a good friend, and the world lost a great conservationist and raptor advocate, 5 years ago today. This picture was taken in the winter of 2014 while we were out playing with birds… (with my friend Jim‘s house in the background). I wish Bob Anderson could see what his rag tag group of friends have done to keep Raptor Resource Project active and growing, I think he would be happy. As Bob would say, live long and prosper.

Bob’s many accomplishments included:

  • Breeding the first peregrine falcons in captivity in Minnesota (Brett and Carole Mandernack were involved in this project)
  • Producing the first peregrine falcon to return to the wild and breed mid-continent (MF-1, produced for the Minnesota Falconers Association)
  • Beginning his own banding program
  • Beginning the first utility peregrine program – a project that has since spread worldwide!
  • Putting ‘Mae’s Internest’, the first birdcam we know of, up at Xcel Energy’s Allen S. King plant in Oak Park Heights, MN.
  • Beginning a successful program to return peregrine falcons to the cliffs of the Mississippi River (John Dingley, Dave Kester, Jim Robison, and Neil Rettig were all involved in this project, with John and Dave doing a lot of hands-on work).
  • Launching the webcam movement with the Decorah Eagles, a project he started by saying “Wouldn’t it be fun to put this online?” once filming of the movie “American Bald Eagle” was done. Thanks to RRP Board member David Lynch for the lovely memory and photo!

Sometimes a dream can put you on another path. This is a blog that Bob inspired back in 2012 and it remains one of my favorites to this day. Bob is gone and Dad is gone, but we are still watching, learning, and caring about eagles, falcons, and so many other birds. Fly on, my friend – you made more of a difference than you ever got to know:

Have you heard of the peregrine falcon mounds at Effigy Mounds National Monument? The were originally believed to be bald eagle or generic bird mounds, but Bob established that they were peregrine effigies! You can read more about this at our old blogspot:

And someone mentioned that Happy Dance, so I wanted to add that as well: Bob and Brett were trapping D1 in 2011, and he was so happy to make a successful capture!