“Researching the Peregrine Falcon and other Cliff Nesting Raptors.”
The Montana Peregrine Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research institute dedicated to the study of the Peregrine Falcon and other cliff nesting raptors in Montana and the surrounding states.
Board of Directors:
Dr. John Mitchell
Jay Sumner, Director of MPI
Jay Sumner, Director of MPI, has worked on Montana raptor populations for over 40 years. He located his first active peregrine falcon eyrie in 1961 near Livingston, Montana. Raptor research experience includes studies for the National Park Service, the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Peregrine Fund, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Jay took a brief interlude (12 years) from the falcon studies to work with the Craigheads’ on grizzly bear research in Yellowstone Park and the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall ecosystems.
Ralph Rogers initiated his peregrine falcon research in Texas in the mid-1970s. Ralph moved to Montana shortly after and continued his studies. Ralph has worked on all phases of the peregrine falcon, including leading the North American Falconry Association. Ralph has conducted surveys for the Montana agencies responsible for the management of the peregrine falcon and for the Peregrine Fund. He has recently completed eight years of Montana Peregrine surveys (1999-2006) with Jay Sumner of the Montana Peregrine Institute.
Steve Gilbert was part owner, president and wildlife biologist for a Helena, Montana environmental consulting firm (OEA Research, Inc.) from 1974-1999. In 1971 and 1973 he surveyed birds in the North Cascades and the length of the Columbia River in Washington for the U. of W. In 1974 he assisted with a study on sympatry of icelandic gulls off the coast of Baffin Island, NWT. From 1978 through 2001 he conducted bird surveys in Montana and South Dakota. All bird surveys included standard techniques for raptors. In 1999, under contract to the Montana Peregrine Institute he conducted surveys of cliff-nesting raptors for Glacier National Park. Mr. Gilbert presently works part time for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks as the state non-motorized trails specialist and consults part time.
From his earliest days, Don MacCarter has continuously incorporated raptor studies into his life, education, and career. With a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana (1966), Don conducted osprey research throughout western Montana and also northern California, apportioning the work into two projects for individual Master’s theses: one, a study of osprey population trends with 10 years of data which served as the basis for Don’s M.S. Degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University (1971); and a second project about osprey feeding preferences and methods which became the M.S. project for Don’s twin brother, Doug. Don’s professional career has included the following: nearly two decades of teaching advanced field biology to secondary high school students; more than two decades with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, managing the state’s wildlife education program, 18 years of doing aerial waterfowl surveys and bald eagle surveys, as well as assisting with elk and bighorn sheep surveys throughout the state; and he worked five years with the Montana Peregrine Institute, monitoring active Peregrine Falcon eyries in Paradise Valley and the Boulder River drainage in Montana, as well as managing the Summer 2015 monitoring of Peregrines along the Montana portion of the Bighorn River Canyon. In addition, he has also monitored both Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle nesting sites within the Livingston-Big Timber area. Don passed away in the fall of 2018, he will be missed by all.