“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.
Bob Hollister has had a passion for birds of prey since he was a young boy growing up in the forests of southern Ohio locating raptor nests and banding their young with local park rangers. He went on to earn his B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1983, where he began working at The Peregrine Fund, Inc., helping in their effort to raise and release captive-produced peregrine falcons into the wild. Bob began his own falcon propagation program in 1986 and raised peregrine falcons for release in Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania and elsewhere during the mid-west reintroduction effort. Bob’s CITES registered captive breeding program continued until 2015 and was responsible for producing hundreds of peregrine falcons. Bob’s raptor research experience also includes field work with Dr. James Mosher’s Central Appalachian Raptor Ecology Program, peregrine falcon surveys for Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and more recently the Yellowstone River Peregrine Falcon Survey conducted in 2018 by Montana Peregrine Institute.