This afternoon I went to an appreciation party for Harrison "Bud" Tordoff (pictured, left in the center) at The Raptor Center. It was a bird nerd's dream, packed with a who's who of raptor bums, especially those on the peregrine end of things (Frank Gill, pictured below, was there--the one book I didn't think to bring to be autographed--yes, I did geek out). Though Bud is stepping down as far as taking the lead on peregrine activity in Minnesota, this was more a "Hey, Bud, we think you're awesome" type party as opposed to a "retirement" party.

Amber and I had the opportunity to go out with Bud a few times and check nests with him around the Twin Cities metro area. Listening to him describe all the life histories of each falcon is like listening to my grandmother recount all the husbands of various heroines in her afternoon stories. We were even able to put together a couple of falcon banding tours with Bud. He's had a great career and you could feel the love for the man flowing thick through the room. He received a plaque from The Raptor Center, a Silver Eagle Award from US Fish and Wildlife and a really cool photo from Carrol Henderson of a peregrine.

For a good time, check out Bud's Midwest Peregrine Falcon Restoration Site--great bird stories from a great man.