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Ellen Paul

Jim Enderson 1936 - 2017

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James Harris Enderson was a beloved husband, father, stepfather, brother, grandfather, professor, and friend. Jim was born on November 3rd, 1936 to Harris Emil Enderson and Marjorie Blair in Sioux City, Iowa.



After graduating from Joliet Township High School in 1954, Jim went on to obtain a B.S. in Biology Teacher Training and a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1959. He continued his education at Wyoming University and graduated with a Ph.D. in Zoology. In 1962, Jim joined the biology department at Colorado College. He became an associate professor in 1968 and professor in 1975. Jim was an early board member of The Peregrine Fund and devoted his life to the restoration of the peregrine falcon. He was also an elective member of the American Ornithologists' Union (now known as the American Ornithological Society). 


Among his numerous awards and citations, he was the recipient of the Hamerstrom Award for contributions to the ecological understanding and conservation of wild raptors, and the Cade Award for captive propagation and management from the Raptor Research Foundation. Beyond that, he was a skilled big game hunter, teacher, historian, and life-long student of nature.


In 2005, he published Peregrine Falcon: Stories of the Blue Meanie. In this personal and highly entertaining memoir, Jim Enderson tells stories of a lifetime spent studying, training, breeding, and simply enjoying peregrine falcons. He recalls how his boyhood interest in raptors grew into an ornithological career in which he became one of the leading experts who helped identify DDT as the cause of the peregrine falcon's sudden and massive decline across the United States. His stories reveal both the dedication that he and fellow researchers brought to the task of studying and restoring the peregrine and the hair-raising adventures that sometimes befell them along the way. Enderson also seamlessly weaves in the biology and natural history of the peregrine, as well as anecdotes about its traditional and widespread use in falconry as an aggressive yet tractable hunter, to offer a broad portrait of this splendid and intriguing falcon.

Jim is survived by his wife of 34 years, Betty Enderson, two children, Ritt Enderson (Angie) and Anne Toroxel (Michael), his sister, Joan Silliman (Dan), and stepchildren, Carrie Rains and Cathy Becker (Randy). He was loved by his grandchildren, Alec and Emma Enderson, Amy and Kate Toroxel, Brooke Morgan (Matthew) and Blake Rains, Hannah, Hollie, and Hope Becker, and his many friends.

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