My Own Personal Eagle

Martin discusses his friendship with Scout the rescued Golden Eagle who is now one of our Wildlife Ambassadors.

Martin continues to travel throughout the west providing wildlife programs accompanied by his devoted companion, Scout.

In this Video: My Own Personal Eagle

A quote from Martin’s book, Healer of Angels:

“One of my greatest childhood fantasies was the desire to create a personal friendship with a wild eagle. I found myself with a love and fascination for these powerful creatures.”

Martin introduces Scout, a 17 year old rescued wild Golden Eagle. A farmer in Wyoming was threatening to shoot Scout so Martin went up to rescue him. Eagles are very special to him ever since first working with them back around the age of sixteen.

Martin noticed many characteristics about Golden Eagles like their intelligence, patience and personality. They could be silly, mischievous or serious. Mostly still, that they were wild animals and need to be respected as such.

It was a long dream of his to not only rescue and return Eagles to the wild, but to have a Golden Eagle for Falconry and to be friends with. It is a very rare opportunity to say that one of his dearest friends is a full grown wild eagle. The relationship he enjoys with Scout is a life’s work and has been an extremely complicated goal.

The first step to Eagle Falconer is to be a falconer. Martin lays out the first half of process:

  • take a very difficult written test at local fish and game office
  • get equipment inspected
  • do a two year apprenticeship
  • wait five more years before you can apply for a master’s license
  • get two years experience flying eagles before you can get a permit to fly eagles, you cannot fly eagles without a permit
  • a way around that is to work as a wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in eagles
  • apprentice under a eagle falconer

That is just the first half of the process. Falconry is one the most highly regulated field sports in the world. Eagle Falconry is especially demanding and time consuming. A good hawk will will catch more rabbits than a eagle.

Scout is his friend and his hunting companion. Scout is also a Wildlife Ambassador who accompanies Martin to educational programs throughout the Southwest. Scout truly helps educate the public about eagles and so is a marvelous teacher.

Martin is often asked how the friendship developed and how it works. He says is goes back to the very first days of the falconry training. After rescuing Scout, they returned home to Utah. The start of the falconry program is a process called “manning”.

Martin first goal was to show Scout he was a nice guy. They say together in a quiet dark place. Over time, Martin soothed and comforted the eagle and kept food near him. They sat for three days and nights until Scout felt comfortable enough to eat. He was then moved to a larger chamber outside where the process continued using food as a motivator. The way to a eagle’s heart is through his stomach.

Gradually, day by day, food is given from further and further away. First inside, then outside, using a whistle and holding food out for the eagle to come from a perch. After practice moving farther and farther away, the eagle was taken out the desert and let free. The hope would be the return at the sound of the whistle and the desire for food. A terrifying time for a falconer.

Scout is wild, flies free, hunts and can leave anytime he wants. He returns because of food and kind treatment. Scout is the hunter and Martin is his dog. Since Martin is a good dog, Scout keeps him.

They have been together fifteen years and share a daily routine that maintains their relationship.

The falconry process is the basis and development of their friendship.

Falconry, to Martin, is not a hobby. It is truly a life’s skill and life’s dedication.

About Martin Tyner

At age twelve, Martin Tyner started caring for the sick, injured and orphaned creatures in his home town of Simi Valley, CA. At age nineteen, Tyner was hired as curator of birds of prey at Busch Gardens, CA. He worked in the movie and television industry training big cats, elephants, primates, sea mammals and raptors.

Martin Tyner is a federally licensed falconer, eagle falconer, wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife propagator, and wildlife and environmental educator. He has been providing wildlife and environmental programs throughout the western United States, to schools, scouts and community groups for over forty years.

Martin Tyner is the founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit wildlife rescue, wildlife and environmental education organization. With the help of his golden eagle, Bud, they received a donation of 22.6 acres of beautiful, canyon property from Utah Power/Scottish Power for the development of a permanent wildlife rescue facility and a nature park for the children of Utah.