September 21, 2017

Image of the Week

This week's Image of the Week is of a photo taken in 1986. The photo shows a trained male prairie falcon depositing semen into a special collection hat.

Do you wonder why a falcon would be trained to do this? Well, it has application in species conservation, as explained in the photo's description: “Male prairie falcon imprinted on its human trainer voluntarily deposits semen by pressing its cloaca against a specially designed collection hat. Note that the falcon’s feet are closed so that its talons are not exposed during “copulation.” Semen deposited in this way can be recovered in a capillary tube and used for evaluating semen quality and for artificial insemination. This is a valuable conservation tool that contributed significantly to the restoration of the once endangered peregrine falcon.”

See more photos or submit your own at the Animal Science Image Gallery.

Photo credit: John Parks