Craig Nikitas distinctly remembers his first up-close encounter with a Peregrine falcon as an adolescent in Idaho. He was struck by the animal’s piercing gaze, its vivid plumage and adaptations honed through generations of evolution. It was the ultimate avian predator.
Nikitas, who has lived in San Francisco for more than four decades, spent his career working as an architect and urban planner. Upon retirement, he decided to dedicate his life to protecting and preserving these animals. He started Bay Raptor Rescue in 2015.
He’s become the guy that Bay Area animal control departments call when they need help handling trapped raptors and other birds of prey. Among his frequent haunts are BART stations, warehouses and the rafters above grocery stores.
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Kevin Truong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org