Saving the Endangered Peregrine Falcon with Copulation Hats



Falconry is the sport of using a raptor, such as an eagle, hawk, or falcon, to pursue live prey. The majority of the world’s nations have extensive falconry legislation and regulations in place to protect the birds’ welfare and to allow the activity to continue.

Nearly 4,000 years ago, falconry was considered “the pastime of kings,” and it is still practised today. Hunting and bringing back live prey necessitates using a wild hawk, falcon, or eagle.

The peregrine falcon is a bird of prey that is found all over the world. It has a wingspan of about 74 to 120 cm (29–47 in) and a body length of 34 to 58 cm (13–23 in). They are among the fastest animal on earth and can fly at speeds of 390 km/h (to 200 miles per hour) when diving for prey.

Peregrine Flacon doing a Perfect Dive
Peregrine Falcon doing a Perfect Dive

While hawks may hunt in smaller fields or farms, falcons need broad open spaces with plenty of accessible game where they can soar high over the falconer. A falconer must obtain permission (often in writing) from the property owner to enter if they do not already have access to the territory.

A falconer will capture a wild bird, train it for several years (between seven and ten), and then release it. The terms Apprentice Falconer, General Falconer, and Master Falconer refer to the three degrees of falconry.

Fuck Hats for the Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) nearly became extinct in America mostly because they were getting destroyed by pesticides. In the 70s, the number of Falcon breeding pairs dipped from 4,000 to 324.

Nature did not design peregrine falcons to mate rubber-hatted, but a rubber-hatted sexual encounter has become critical for the survival of the peregrine. Falcon Sex Hats helped falconers worldwide boost their populations, and the birds are not on endangered species lists today

Lester Boyd, a falconer from Pullman, Washington, invented the Fuck Hat, or “copulation hat” as prudes may call it, in reaction to the 1960s probable extinction catastrophe of the peregrine falcon.

Lester Boyd, Inventor of the fuck hat. Photo- Peregrine Fund of Boise, Idaho, 1977
Lester Boyd, Inventor of the Falcon Sex Hat or Copulation Hat. Photo: Peregrine Fund of Boise, Idaho, 1977

The copulation hat was a sperm collection device with many dimples that falconers would wear to collect and artificially inseminate the female falcons. And yes, they will wear it on their heads. It sorts of looks something like a cross between a sombrero and a croc.

Imprinted falcons, that is falcons that have been raised since birth, prefer the hats over birds, as people wearing them seem to feel more familiar, but getting them to use one is not exactly straightforward.

The semen receptacle is a non-toxic silicone catacomb device with a honeycomb pattern on top. This method of breeding falcons is highly intense.

Raptor Sex Hat
Raptor Sex Hat

 The Peregrine Fund quickly adopted the fuck hat technique and included it in Cade and Weaver’s official propagation manual. The caps appear to the inexperienced eye to be rubber turbans or perhaps even pith helmets. The male falcons, or tiercels, who perform copulation encircle their heads with a “doughnut.”

They only reproduce from the beginning of March to the end of May, and the falconers have to spend every day in the enclosure with them. Most of them have a fairly typical life, which includes having a family and a wife. Their human connections are important to them. It can be challenging to adopt a falcon’s behaviour every day for three months as one cannot simply carry it out whenever one pleases.

Courting and Mating

A falcon won’t fuck any old hat, that much is true. First, a little wooing of the birds is required. You must court them. A falconer must retain consistency to succeed in this.

The propagation manual advises wearing the same outfits throughout the breeding season and says that the Raptor Sex Hat must be worn regularly so that the bird comes to recognize it as part of your natural look.

Additionally, communication is essential. Falconers are taught to emulate the female falcon’s chirp and even bow their heads and rock them, as a courting female might.

The interested male falcon will then indicate his attention in several ways, such as by vocalizing back or by engaging in ledge displays. A falcon that is particularly interested might even adopt a paralyzed, motionless body posture.

Falconer Courting a Falcon using a Copulation Hat

Once a falcon has decided that a falcon cap is worth its tawdry plumage, the falconer gets down on one knee and tries to think about something else as the bird mounts his head, flutters its wings, and lets out a number of satisfying calls before it is ready to ejaculate.

Falconer Wearing a Peregrine Falcon Sex Hat
Falconer Wearing a Peregrine Falcon Sex Hat

After that, falconers frequently give the birds some food as a treat and conclude the training session by making the sound “chup.” The semen is taken straight to a female falcon and deposited into her oviduct using the same capillary tube from the collection once it has been removed from the Peregrine’s chamber.

Once out of the Peregrine’s chamber, a falconer uses a hose to gather the semen out of the hat, perhaps just one or two drops, which is then taken straight to the female falcon, and placed into her oviduct using the same hose used for the collection.


Despite how absurd that may sound, it was successful. The Peregrine falcons were ultimately saved from extinction thanks to this completely ludicrous technique, which was performed hundreds of times over the following three decades.

Copulation Hat
Falconer questioning his life’s decisions

It wasn’t just biologists and government officials who helped save the peregrine falcon. To ensure that the birds would be present for future generations, falconers who had a passion for the sport dedicated their time and money to bring back the species.

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